Goddard Web applications developer Mindy Thomas is also a Women’s National Duckpin Bowling Congress (NDBC) National Champion. Duckpin bowling differs from tenpin bowling in that the balls are smaller, three balls are used instead of two, and the pins are shorter. The game was developed in Baltimore, Md.
At the age of eight, Thomas and her brother began duckpin bowling at the local Boys & Girls Club. Says Thomas, “The league itself was not competitive, although I still wanted to beat everyone.” In her early teens, she started entering state tournaments for kids divided by age division. “When I was thirteen, my brother won the Boys’ State Invitational Tournament and I won the Girls’ State Invitational Tournament. It felt awesome to win against all the other older girls. My mother was ecstatic.” They each won a two-foot trophy. She later won $500 scholarship for college in a national youth team tournament. “I won a few other state invitationals, but the first one was the best one for me since I was so young.”
Thomas moved into the adult leagues early because she wanted more competition. Today she is in two leagues so she bowls two nights a week, which she uses for practice. In 2004, she joined the Pro Tour of the Women’s National Duckpin Association (WNDA) and became the 2004 Rookie of the Year.
Thomas’ first major win in a women’s national tournament, the Ladies’ All-Star Classic, was in March 2008. Participants are invited based on their averages. The first day, they bowl eight games as qualifiers. Only the top 24 bowlers advance to the next day and are put into one of four Divisions. Explains Thomas, “Six people are in each of four Divisions. You bowl five games on Sunday and bowl each person in your Division once. Then the top person in each Division gets put on the ladder which is called ‘making the ladder.’ Your position on the ladder is determined by your win-loss record for those five games. If there is a tie, the total pin fall determines the winner.”
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Mindy Thomas after her win. Credit: M. Thomas