Grab your balls and get your butt to Philadelphia this month for the 2017 Liberty Belle Invitational Bowling Tournament (LBI). Returning for its 29th year, it is one of the largest east coast tournaments on the International Gay Bowling Organization’s (IGBO) circuit. Taking place every year over Philly’s annual 4th of July celebration, this year’s LBI tournament runs from June 30 to July 2.

Singles, doubles, 4-person team events and scratch masters competitions are all part of the tournament and all are mixed events, meaning that no gender-based divisions exist in the sport. With the LBI approaching its “Dirty 30s” of bowling, you can expect a fun and exciting weekend of bowling, social events, partying and overall fun. See old friends, meet new friends and come together for good times that are sure to be had by all. Here are some highlights of the planned happenings.

Friday, June 30

8 Pin No-Tap and Storm/Roto Grip Match Maker Bowling Ball Demo are taking place at Laurel Lanes.

For non-bowlers, No-Tap is a version of play where a strike is awarded to a player knocking over equal or more than a specified number of pins. In 8 Pin No-Tap you need to knock over at least 8 pins (as opposed to the normal 10) to score a strike. This version helps level the playing field for weaker bowlers, giving them a chance to compete with more skilled players.

Saturday and Sunday, July 1-2

Following early morning registration, competition begins for single, doubles, teams and scratch masters events. Then Sunday evening you can have fun at the annual Awards Banquet aboard the “Spirit of Philadelphia.” You’ll enjoy a freshly prepared dinner while taking in the gorgeous views of Philadelphia from the water.

Celebrate with your teammates and fellow athletes at the awards banquet and then enjoy dancing the night away, topped off by fireworks going off all around Philadelphia. And if you decide to stay after the tournament ends, you can enjoy additional fireworks, concerts and festivals that are part of Philadelphia’s regular 4th of July celebration.

Each night the group will celebrate the day’s accomplishments out and about at a number of soon-to-be-determined Philadelphia venues and additional special events will be announced later. So be sure to join in on the fun and meet new friends – after all, you already have something in common – BOWLING!

If you’re interested in becoming a competitive bowler, check out IGBO’s website which is full of information and resources on how and where to find a local LGBT bowling team/ league in your area. Information on local, national and international tournaments are also included.


How’s your training coming along? Keep yourself fit and ready for the tournament so you can bowl at your best, have fun and maintain your fitness which is always good for overall health.
Here are a few tips to get you ready.

Proper warm up is key! 

  • * An essential warm up allows muscles to prepare to throw a heavy ball; it should include a stability and mobility element that engages the full body in all three planes of motion (front, sagittal and transverse).
  • * Exercises include: lunge with rotation, mummy kicks, pushups, bodyweight squats, one-legged deadlifts, rowing machine.


Train both sides of the body.

  • * It is important to train both sides of the body together as well as individually. Known as bilateral and unilateral training, it builds proper functional balance that helps you keep your balance and strength equal on both sides. It also helps prevent injuries.
  • * Exercises include: Kettlebell swings (both single and two arms), rows, lunges.


Train your core.

  • * The core is the most important element in developing proper approach and delivery. It is key to maintaining good posture by strengthening back muscles as well as muscles within the belly that maintain torso stability. And developing abdominal and oblique muscles will better generate power from the core, giving you a stronger throw.
  • * Exercises include: planks, back extensions on Fit Ball, sit-up with a medicine ball, throw, glute bridge, rotating side plank, spiderman plank.


Preventing injuries.

  • * The wrist is a bowler’s most important tool. It is important to maintain strength in your wrist as well as the elbow and shoulders (remember to train both sides).
  • * Exercises include: wrist pulley (both supine and prone), wrist rotation with weight, shoulder external rotation.


By David Smith


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