Veterans Nationwide Gearing up for Annual VA BVL Bowling Tournament
Veterans receiving care at VA Medical Centers around the country are lacing up their shoes and taking a few practice rolls in preparation for the 71st BVL/VA Bowling Tournament in March, an annual event that encourages recuperating veterans to get involved in a fun, yet challenging, activity.
The 2017 tournament, set for March 1-31, is open to all veterans connected with the VA Medical Center system and is coordinated through recreation therapists on site at the facilities. It has seven separate divisions based on physical and age parameters; including two divisions for electronic bowling.
Bowling is often utilized by recreation therapists as it is adaptable to most skill levels and physical limitations.
Teams of five – with up to three alternates – bowl a total of 45 games and submit scores to BVL. All competitors receive a certificate of participation, and team members in the top three teams in each division receive medals.
The tournament was first introduced in 1947 to provide a recreational outlet for those hospitalized veterans returned from the battlefields of Europe and Asia. The inaugural event was conducted on the White House bowling lanes with President Truman on hand to confer awards. The tournament has been conducted annually since.
“BVL is proud to host another tournament for our veterans,” said BVL Board Chair John LaSpina. “From this tournament, to our longtime support of the VA’s national veterans’ sports and creative arts programs, to our regular bowling events for those receiving care at Walter Reed, BVL is committed to ensuring that our nation’s veterans have access to constructive activities that enrich lives and create positive change.”