Head Coaches:   Lee Abigail/Debbie Fickenscher email:     

Season: The spring (recreational) season  is from March 4 – May 13, 2017 

Note: Because the bowling association is holding a tournament the mornings of April 1, 8 and 22, our practice on those dates will be 2:30 to 4:30.

On April 15 and 29 practice is 11:45 to 2 p.m.

The competitive season: August 27 2016 through first weekend in December.

Practice begins at 11:45 am and ends at 2 pm  Each practice involves two games.

Where: Bowl America Gaithersburg (1101 Clopper Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20878)

REGISTRATION for the spring session is notwopens Feb 4, 2017 at noon

Athletes interested in bowling should sign up for BOWLING – PRIMARY if they will not be signing up for any of the other spring sports or BOWLING – ALTERNATE if they wish to join other spring sports.

The Bowling program is very popular and fills up quickly. It is a fun sport and accessible to even those in wheelchairs. The reason this program is often oversubscribed is that the coaches have helped build skills and a strong sense of community.

Map of Bowl America 1101 Clopper Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20878

A note from Coach Debbie:

Registration will open on Saturday – Feb 4, 2017 at noon. 

Special Fall signup  procedure: When you sign up, you need to understand that participating in another fall sport will make you an alternate in bowling.   This is a decision of the management team, and it makes sense.   We have athletes for whom bowling is the only sport in which they participate.

By August 1 I will send an email about the first practice.  Bowling begins the last Saturday in August and ends the weekend before Thanksgiving unless you are going to the State competition (eligibility is based on the performance at the Regional competition).  We have practice every Saturday (no breaks).  We will have two games per practice until November, and then practices will involve three games.  Competitions are always three games.  Athletes need to understand how to pace themselves prior to the Regional Competition on Nov 13 (Sunday) and the State competition (Sunday Dec 4).   We once again host the Regional and State competitions.  Parent volunteers are always needed, so it would be a good idea for those of you who help at practice to ensure volunteer forms are up to date before we begin practice August 27.

Typically I cut off the registration at 90 (a total that includes alternates). This is a popular program, however we can only handle so many athletes.  Registration will fill quickly, so plan accordingly.  If you know someone who has been a bowler and you suspect their counselor or parents haven’t been reading the emails I send and don’t check the Special Olympic website, be a good friend and share this email with them.

Rather than spend hours phoning parents about missing medicals and responding to angry emails about why a son or daughter is an alternate, I encourage all to read the explanations below.


The only significant difference between a “bowler” and an “alternate” is that alternates are not assigned to a specific team. Alternates fill in for those who are absent.  Over the past 4 years, alternates who arrived at 11:30 have 1) participated in practice and 2) competed in the regional games if they also attended the required number of practices to qualify.  The only alternates who missed out were those who failed to show up to practice! Generally this was because parents wrongly assumed their athlete would show up only to be turned away.  Those parents were totally incorrect and their no-show ended up taking a space for someone who, given the opportunity, would have enjoyed bowling.


To be eligible to be on the roster for competitions, athletes must have medicals CURRENT through the first Sunday in December (Dec 4) BEFORE the first practice.  If, for example, the medical is current through November, an athlete will be able to bowl at practice but will NOT be eligible for competitions, even if the medical is renewed in November.  Why?  The athlete and medical information is put into the system at the beginning of September.  Those athletes with medicals that expire prior to Dec 4 do not get into the system.  If an athlete is not in the system by early September, they are not eligible for the regional or state competitions.  This is why I keep reminding everyone to CHECK the medical expiration date!!!

Checking the medical expiration date is EASY.  Go to and click on the link, highlighted in yellow on the top right column of the home page.   If you need to renew the medical, follow the very clear directions on the website.  Medicals are sent by mail, fax or email to the medical director.  Please do NOT hand a medical to me at a practice because no one can participate until the medical is in the hands of the medical director.  Once you have sent in the medical, do not panic if you do not see it reflected online as the webmaster does not update the list as medicals come in.  He does it periodically.


All athletes/volunteers must sign up for sport training prior to attending practice. Please sign up online as soon as possible so that we can make plans for coaching needs.

Athlete and volunteer application’s must be current UP TO THE date of the State Games for your sport. If you are unsure of a person’s status, click HERE to see list of names and expiration dates.

ATHLETES – Click HERE to sign up on-line for this sport’s training season. YOU MUST have the required Athlete Application (also know as Athlete Medical) already on file to sign up for a sport. If you are not sure if you have completed all the paperwork, please click HERE to review the requirements.

VOLUNTEERS – Click HERE to sign up on-line for this sport’s training season. YOU MUST have the required volunteer application already on file to sign up for a sport. If you are not sure if you have completed all the paperwork, please click HERE to review the requirements.

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