Out of 6,000 competitors from bases worldwide, Hill Air Force Base dependent Dirk Valle, 18, was recently notified that his bowling score was one of the highest in the 2009 Air Force World Wide Bowling Program, formerly known as the Bowl-by-Mail competition.
The free competition has been held annually for the past nine years and requires youth ages 5-18 to bowl a series of games at their installations and mail the results to their respective major commands. The top three places for each age division are then given to Air Force agency officials who select from the highest scores of the major command bowlers.
The Hill AFB Youth Center organizes the annual competition here and submits the best scores to the Air Force officials.
The competition is held between February and May, but Valle was not notified of his top placement until recently. "My dad actually just told me. He said, 'Yeah, I guess you won!'Ã¢Ã¢"
Valle first took up the sport of bowling 10 years ago with the help of his father, Jonathan, who recently retired from the Air Force and who is now working as a civilian in the 500th Combat Sustainment Squadron. "He taught me how to release the ball and I figured out the other things (about bowling) I could do," Valle said.
Valle and his brother would go bowling a lot when their family completed a permanent change of station here four years ago and they found it was a great way to meet people.
"It's something I like to do for fun, and I only compete in
tournaments every once in a while," he added.
Valle competes each winter in the Saturday strikers' leagues at the Hill Bowling Center and is considering joining a bowling team at the school he currently attends, Weber State University. He also plans to compete in the 2010 World Wide Bowling Program.
Valle scored 669 points in a three-game series plus his handicap. In addition to receiving a certificate, Valle will get a customized bowling ball and bag courtesy of the Hill Bowling Center.
Garry Navas, the Youth Sports and Fitness director, says the Youth Center will hold the 2010 AFWWBP competition next March and he encourages all youth to submit their top scores to him around that timeframe. Navas reported that 76 youths from Hill AFB submitted scores for the 2009 competition.