TO THE OREGON BOWLER OLD TIMERS TEAM TOURNAMENT WEBSITE!
The Old Timers tournament was started by Howard and Ethel Sitter in 1969. The Sitters published The Oregon Bowler, a weekly bowling publication, between 1956 and 1992, which was distributed throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. With their love of bowling, and their equal love of people, they wanted to start a “fun-day” tournament for the more “experienced” bowlers where everyone could get together for friendly competition and just get to know each other.
Originally held at Amato Lanes in Portland, with 16 lanes, the tournament’s popularity grew…and so did the tournament. After just a couple of years at Amato’s, the waiting list to bowl grew to the point they needed to move to larger bowling establishments, until finally capping at 48-50 teams to keep it a one-day event.
The original premise of the tournament was simple. 5 person teams (5 men, 5 women, 5 mixed) and the team age had to total 275 years or more. It was changed, later, to having a minimum individual age of 50 years, with no maximum. Each bowler receives champagne and a KFC chicken dinner in the third game. The prize money is paid out immediately following bowling, so the tournament is completely wrapped up in one afternoon, between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m.
The tournament now has teams from all corners of Oregon and Washington. Previous years’ captains receive invitational letters to the tournament in August. If an opening comes available, new teams have an opportunity to join. Bowling proprietors and individual team captains from all around the states of Oregon and Washington have continued to show their support, making the Oregon Bowler Old Timers Team Tournament the oldest continuing tournament of its kind in the nation.
In the year 2000, after the passing of Ethel Sitter (Howard passed away in 1994), Debbie Sitter Deane and Lee Sitter took the reins of the tournament until Lee retired a couple of years later. Now Debbie, with enormous help from her friends and family, runs the tournament, keeping it a family event. Also since 2000, Larry Schwab has donated door prizes from Larry’s Pro Shop, located inside AMF 20th Century Lanes, where the tournament is currently held.
2014 will mark the tenth year that the tournament will be featured by Drew Carney on his LIVE entertainment segment, on News 8 at Sunrise, KGW Channel 8 television, the Tuesday or Wednesday prior to tournament day.
So mark you calendars for the 45th Annual Old Timers Bowling Tournament! Saturday, October 18, 2014, 1:00 p.m., AMF 20th Century Lanes, Portland, OR.