Rockford's Record Breaking Bowler


It looks and sounds like your typical strike, but take a closer look. Andrew Cowen is the world record holder in backwards bowling with a 280. He threw a strike in the first frame, then a spare followed by 10 straight X's.

Andrew has spent his spare time on the lanes since he was 10 bowling regularly and actually threw a 300 forwards so why make the change? He has a laundry list of reasons.

"Nobody has thrown a 300 and I figured it would be an interesting challenge to throw that way." Cowen says, "It also helps because my knees aren't in the best shape and it helps because when i throw backwards it doesn't really effect my knee because there is no knee bend."

Cowen also told me he liked the challenge of starting from scratch. One of the most common questions he gets is of course how do you do it.

"Well you are going to take the ball by your side, step back and push away. Step two you are going to have the ball down. Step three you have the ball forward swing in front of you. Step four you're gonna throw the ball back down the lane."

Luckily if you want to try it you have him to guide you. When the Rockford native was getting started he was all on his own.

"There really wasn't anybody to role model after." He told me, "It's really something I've had to pioneer on my own and just discover what works."

The rarity of backwards bowlers made it tough to start, but now it helps strike up conversation

"That's probably the best part of bowling backwards. It's a lot of fun and a lot of people come down and say that's really neat, what's going on, how do you do it."

The first 300 ever recorded happened in Rockford in 1902...Andrew's goal is to represent the city again by adding the first backwards 300 to the record books. If he keeps getting better he could do it...Andrew has only been bowling backwards since May and tells me he is still improving.


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