New Hampshire bowler achieves 50-year milestone at 2021 USBC Open Championships Article Image
By Hope Parsons
USBC Communications

Representing the state of New Hampshire, another participant aiming to cross the 50-year plateau at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships stepped onto the tournament lanes.

John Bovoy, an 80-year-old right-hander from Manchester, New Hampshire, was recognized this week at the South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas for reaching the milestone, and he became the first bowler from The Granite State to add his name to the list.

In 117 years of competition at the USBC Open Championships, only 278 bowlers have celebrated 50 years of participation.

Bovoy received a plaque, chevron and diamond lapel pin to commemorate the achievment.

"Now that I've made it to 50 years, I need another 10 or 12 years to try and get to the 100,000-pin goal," said Bovoy, who started his Open Championships career in Rochester, New York, in 1966.

While many things about the world, event, venues and bowling conditions might be different than in his tournament debut, Bovoy pointed out one big consistency.

"The camaraderie has not changed since I started in these tournaments," Bovoy said. "Bowlers from all across the United States have always had such a strong camaraderie and love of this sport."

Within his 50 years at Open Championships, Bovoy notes that his biggest achievement came at the 1988 tournament in Jacksonville Florida, where he bowled 642 in singles, 605 in team and 597 in doubles for a 1,844 all-events total.

It was his first 1,800 on the national stage and definitely helped his confidence as he went on to compete in his first USBC Masters, where he advanced to the famed double-elimination match-play bracket and faced off against Walter Ray Williams Jr. and George Pappas.

Beyond the Open Championships, Bovoy has enjoyed continued success at the local and state levels, and he is a member of multiple halls of fame, including the Seacoast New Hampshire USBC Association and the New Hampshire State Bowling Association Halls of Fame.

Bovoy's contributions to the sport also extend well beyond the scoreboard.

He is the owner and national distributor of Knockout Ball Cleaner at Bowlpro Sales & Service, which is sold at a handful of local New Hampshire pro shops and has been around for nearly two decades.

After traveling more than 2,700 miles from New Hampshire to Las Vegas for the 2021 Open Championships, Bovoy bowled sets of 510 in singles, 508 in team and 488 in doubles for a 1,506 all-events total.

In 50 years on the tournament lanes, he has knocked down 84,116 pins for a career average of 188.1.

Bovoy continues to show dedication and love for bowling, the Open Championships and for traveling to the event each year.

"In this game, it doesn't matter what your age is, as long as you have good health, and it doesn't matter if you're bowling with an 8- or 16-pound ball, just try to enjoy it and have fun," Bovoy said. "I hope to see more of the younger crowd coming out and participating in the tournaments in the upcoming years."

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