The competition is fierce among the 25 members of “The Gutter Busters” Wii bowling league.
Competitors ranging in age from 78 to 98 gather every Tuesday at The Glades at ChampionsGate to practice their skills.
Organizers said the senior living community’s league is set up like a traditional bowling league, with teams and brackets.
“Our team knew if we put a league together in a competitive way they’d show up,” said Heather Corton, Executive Director of The Glades at ChampionsGate. “They’ve really taken ownership of the league and it’s taken off. What’s great about the Wii is that it’s an activity that all residents can enjoy. We have some who play sitting down and others who are jumping up and down when they get a strike.”
Diane Page, 78, to her teammate Edna, 98, named their team “The Golden Girls,” with each member taking on the persona of one of the characters from the show.
“I love going down there and being around everyone,” Page said. “The first season we had an audience, and people were congregating and watching us. I wasn’t sure if I was playing to play or playing to perform – I was flabbergasted. This year we don’t have many people watching because most of them are playing, and some of them are very good. It’s competitive, but so much fun.”
Page said she wasn’t very good when she first started, but eventually found her groove, taking home the award for top score at the league’s awards ceremony last year. Since then, organizers said three new teams have joined The Gutter Busters.
“We had a new gentleman play in the game of the week and get a strike on his first turn,” Page said. “I looked at him and said ‘Where did you come from? We don’t need you here!’ But it’s all in good fun. Now we’re looking into what else we can play – baseball or golf – there’s so many other things we can make competitive.”
The second season of The Gutter Busters will come to an end on Tuesday, and now there are plans to introduce the game to residents in the communitys’ memory care neighborhood.