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Mission & Awards

* Create a new and continuing generation of bowling journalists dedicated to disseminating bowling history, news, features and editorials.

* Offer opportunities for achievement, recognition and growth.

* Provide programs honoring bowler performance, meritorious contributions and scholastic excellence.

Awards Program:

  • Bowlers of the Year
  • Bowler of the Month
  • Hennessy Award of Merit
  • Luby Hall of Fame Service to Journalism Award
  • BWAA Alberta Crowe Meritorious Service Award
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2011 Bowlers of the Year




ARLINGTON, Texas - Mika Koivuniemi, the Finland star living in Hartland, Mich., and Shannon Pluhowsky of Kettering, Ohio, added to their 2011 success by being selected male and female Bowlers of the Year by the Bowling Writers Association of America.

Voting in both divisions was fairly close with each first-place vote worth five points, second place three points and third place one point. Koivuniemi received 30 of 63 first-place votes to total 192 points and finish ahead of two-handed Australian sensation Jason Belmonte who earned 15 top votes and 145 overall points. Professional Bowlers Association Senior star Ron Mohr of Eagle River, Alaska, was third with 89 points (10 first-place votes) followed by Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, with 50 (7), Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., with 33 (1) and Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., with 9 (0).

Pluhowsky earned 29 of 68 first-place votes and finished with 182 points, just 21 ahead of Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y. Johnson collected 21 top votes. Bowling's U.S. Women's Open winner Leanne Hulsenberg of Roseville, Calif., was third in the voting with 63 points (9 first-place votes), 2010 Bowler of the Year Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., placed fourth with 58 points (4), Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of Keller, Texas, was fifth with 47 points (2) and USBC Queens champion Missy Parkin of Lake Forest, Calif., was sixth with 30 points (3).

Pluhowsky, a member of the USBC Team USA, dominated the WTBA World Women's Championships in September in Hong Kong. She won gold medals in the doubles (with Liz Johnson), trios (with Stefanie Nation and Shannon O'Keefe) and team (with Johnson, Nation, O'Keefe, Kelly Kulick and Carolyn Dorin-Ballard) events before rolling 300 and 299 games to help her beat Singapore's Daphne Tan three games to one in the best-of-five games Masters championship match. She also earned a bronze medal in all-events.  The left-hander placed sixth in the U.S. Women's Open in Euless, Texas, eighth in the USBC Women's Championships Diamond/Classic singles and ninth in Diamond/Classic all-events.

Awards for Koivuniemi and Pluhowsky will be presented during the BWAA Annual Meetings and International Bowl Expo in Reno, Nev.

Koivuniemi won three tournaments in 2011, the PBA Tournament of Champions and World Tenpin Bowling Association World Bowling Tour's Brunswick Ballmaster Open and World Bowling Tour Finals. He placed second in the U.S. Open and third in the Bayer United States Bowling Congress Masters.  The player known as Major Mika had two other top-five PBA Tour finishes, fourth in the Shark Open and fifth in the One-A-Day Earl Anthony Memorial. He finished 2011 with a 224.29 average while earning a PBA-best $325,540 in prize money.
Virtual Youth Challenge

We are now looking for a few good men or women...

To serve on the BWAA Board of Directors.

Please complete and return the attached form before May 15, 2012 to be considered.

Click here for the application

Kegel BWAA Bowler of the Month



ARLINGTON, Texas - Pete Weber, of St. Ann, Missouri, has been unanimously named the February 2012 Kegel Bowler of the Month by the Bowling Writers Association of America.

In what he later stated was the biggest win of his career, Weber defeated Mike Fagan, Dallas, Texas, 215-214, to win the 69th U.S. Open. His record fifth win surpassed the four wins by both his dad, the late Dick Weber and also the late Don Carter. Those wins were in the predecessor to the U.S. Open, the BPAA All Star.

The #4 seed Weber started the television stepladder finals with a 223-191 win over Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, New York. A semifinal win followed over Jason Belmonte, Orange, NSW, Australia, 225-213, setting up the title match with the top-seed Fagan.

Needing to fill 20 pins in the tenth frame for the win, Weber converted the 10-pin and then struck on the fill ball for the single-pin victory, causing Weber to exclaim, “Who do you think you are? I am!” The shot of that strike has been replayed on numerous electronic and online media outlets, including 500,000 hits on YouTube in the first 72 hours after that shot was thrown.

Others receiving votes were Cherie Tan and Tommy Jones, women’s and men’s winners of the DHC International Bowling Championships, Dan MacLelland, winner of the International Mini-Eliminator, and Scott Newell, winner of the PBA Richard Ford Open presented by Columbia 300. 

BWAA Photo Gallery

We have now added a "BWAA Photo Gallery" to the website.  There is a box with a link in the left column of this page that you can use to access the Photo Gallery.   Please take a look at it and see photos from Bowl Expo and the Grand Opening of the new "50 Years of Womens Professional Bowling" exhibit at the Hall of Fame.  More will be added soon...

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