Local bowler qualifies for nationals

After a three-year hiatus from the sport, Dave Gourley is off to the Canadian Championships

The bowling team that will represent B.C. at the national championships includes a Cranbrook resident

The bowling team that will represent B.C. at the national championships includes a Cranbrook resident

Though he’s taken a three-year break from the sport of bowling, Dave Gourley is back.

The Cranbrook bowler has made an immediate impact, bowling his way into the national 5-pin championships in the team event, after his crew won the event at the provincial level in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

Gourley made it through zones in Vernon, and competed in the singles category at provincials as well, narrowly coming in second place.

“Our men’s team—it was pretty well ranked number one,” said Gourley. “We were favoured to win. I guess, over the years, a lot of the older guys who have bowled, said our team that we had was probably the best team on paper that they’d ever seen come out of the province.”

The team will head to St. Johns, Newfoundland, to represent B.C. and compete in nationals at the end of May.

“From what I’ve heard at nationals, our team and the Alberta team are favoured to win—they got a pretty good men’s team out of Alberta,” Gourley added.

Not bad for a guy getting back into the sport after stepping away from the lanes a few years ago. Gourley has bowled his entire life and made a name for himself as a national-level competitor, but he decided he needed a break.

“I’ve bowled on TSN and CBC, made lots of money with the bowling and stuff like that,” said Gourley.

“…I stopped about three and a half years ago; I just got tired of it and wanted to do things with my kids and lost interest, and then my girlfriend this past year talked me into getting back to the competitive side.”

Gourley joins five other bowlers that will face other teams from each province and territory across the country.

Five members of the team compete during a match, while the sixth is used as a spare if someone struggles.

The lead bowls against his lead counterpart on the other team, second bowls against the second, and so on and so forth down the line. The winner of the individual match ups within the two teams earns a point, while an overall team victory results in three points.

From the round robin, like hockey, the first place team faces the last place team, second place plays the second last team.