No Gutter Balls Gramps

Don’t let their Naturalizers fool you. These bowlers were prepared to compete.

A group of seniors gathered Thursday at the College Avenue Older Adult Center near San Diego State University – some traveling from Poway – to compete in the final round of a Wii Bowling Tournament.

The seniors took their turns in heats while others cheered them on. And no, their Mii’s weren’t all gray-haired with canes.

For some the strategy was simple. “Make strikes,” said Henry de la Torre. He’s the instructor’s son but claimed that doesn’t give him an advantage. He looked trustworthy. It may have been the smile he offered us while sitting between his teammates.

“These girls are good,” he said. ”They carry me.”

The two-day tournament started Tuesday. Of the six finalists, most were in their 80’s.

Vern Boyce said he hasn’t bowled in 30 or 40 years, but was surprised at how close the Wii is to actual bowling, without the smoking and drinking.

For de la Torre, the video game offers him the chance to do something he simply can’t do anymore. “If I tried to bowl now,” he said. “I would go down with the ball.”

Despite all the attention around the Wii tournament, Boyce doesn’t see why anybody comes to the center just for the activity. He comes here for the lunch too. “We have a lunch for $3.50,” he said. “We have a salad bar.”

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