November 3, 2010 at 6:39 pm EDT | by Kevin Majoros
Get the ball rolling

(Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The International Gay Bowling Organization 2010 Mid-Year Tournament will be held November 10-15 in Washington attracting more than 400 bowlers from across North America.

The Mid-Year Tournament is an annual event held each Veterans Day weekend in a different host city in the United States and Canada. Participants bowl nine games during the tournament — three games each for the singles, doubles and team competition. Optional events such as Scratch Masters and Optional Scratch (both based on average division) and brackets are also available should the bowler wish to enter them. Besides bowling, IGBO holds Board, committee and general membership meetings during the tournament weekend. Two years ago, a committee of D.C.-area gay and lesbian bowlers bid to host the tournament in Washington.

This year is the organization’s 30th anniversary and special events will celebrate the organizations three decades in existence. Festivities will include great raffles, evening hospitality suites, a Women’s Interests Social Event, a Human Rights Campaign Headquarters open house, a side tour to Mount Vernon, viewing of the organization’s AIDS Memorial Quilt, an annual drag competition and a stellar awards banquet with the cake being created by Charm City Cakes, the subject of the Food Network series “Ace of Cakes.”

The tournament’s host hotel is the Westin Alexandria. Host bowling centers are AMF Alexandria Lanes, Bowl America Shirley and Bowl America Falls Church.

The organization is composed of 170 leagues, 60 tournaments and 10,000 members worldwide. Washington has one of the largest LGBT bowling populations in the country. The Capital Area Rainbowlers Association, the D.C. region’s gay bowling association of choice, has 13 member leagues that represent 750 bowlers.

The D.C. gay bowling community has a reputation for hosting first-rate tournaments. Washington hosted International Gay Bowling Orgnization annual tournaments in 1988 and 1999, and holds an annual regional tournament, the Capital Halloween Invitational Tournament, each year. That event will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2011.

The tournament will also be donating to the local charitable organizations SMYAL (Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League), Food & Friends and the Daniel Fissell Music Foundation, as much as possible so that the tournament multiplies its positive impact in the host city.

The International Gay Bowling Organization is the sports membership organization of choice for the gay community worldwide. The organization provides educational services, communication avenues and social opportunities to promote the sport of bowling and to enrich lives of individuals through leagues and tournaments worldwide. More information may be found here.

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