11-year-old bowls over record book with 300 game in Florida

July 20, 1993|By Dave Hereen | Dave Hereen,Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Matt Gilman of Davie, Fla., bowled a 300 game this past weekend in a youth bowling league at University Bowl. He is believed to be the youngest bowler ever to roll a perfect game.

Gilman is 11 years and 2 months old. He was born May 18, 1982.

The Young American Bowling Alliance, based in Greendale, Wis., keeps track of youth bowling records. A YABA spokesman said the youngest bowler on record to have bowled a 300 game was Richard Daff Jr., of Crownsville, Md., in 1991. Daff was 11 years and 9 months old.

Gilman, who will enter the sixth grade at Driftwood Middle School next month, bowled the perfect game in the junior-senior division of the YABA League.

"I was scared the last shot," he said. "It went right in the pocket. I don't know how I did it."

Normally, 11-year-olds bowl in YABA's prep division. However, Gilman was promoted to the junior-senior division where he competes mostly against teen-agers.

"We test kids and put them at their skill level instead of their age level," said Rod Rumbaugh, University Bowl's marketing coordinator. "A kid like him would be bored to death in the preps."

Gilman was averaging 197 when he rolled the 300 game. Earlier he bowled a 676 series.

A bowler since the age of 3, Gilman's career aspirations are no surprise.

You guessed it: He wants to be a professional bowler.

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