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Bowling on a roll at Peterson

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Members of the Magnificent Seven bowling league team prepare for a bowling tournament at the Peterson Bowling Center, Feb. 5, 2015. The Magnificent Seven team won the intramural league twice and is pursuing a third victory. Sixteen teams and approximately 150 bowlers participate in the intramural competitions twice a week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Members of the Magnificent Seven bowling league team prepare for a bowling tournament at the Peterson Bowling Center, Feb. 5, 2015. The Magnificent Seven team won the intramural league twice and is pursuing a third victory. Sixteen teams and approximately 150 bowlers participate in the intramural competitions twice a week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Johnathon Karagiannes, member of the Magnificent Seven bowling league team, kisses his bowling ball before his turn during a bowling tournament at the Peterson Bowling Center, Feb. 5, 2015. The Magnificent Seven bowling league team has won twice in the league and is pursuing a third victory. Sixteen teams and approximately 150 bowlers participate in the intramural competitions twice a week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Johnathon Karagiannes, member of the Magnificent Seven bowling league team, kisses his bowling ball before his turn during a bowling tournament at the Peterson Bowling Center, Feb. 5, 2015. The Magnificent Seven bowling league team has won twice in the league and is pursuing a third victory. Sixteen teams and approximately 150 bowlers participate in the intramural competitions twice a week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Members of the Magnificent Seven bowling league team high five during a tournament at the Peterson Bowling Center, Feb. 5, 2015. The Magnificent Seven team won the intramural league twice and is pursuing a third victory. Sixteen teams and approximately 150 bowlers participate in the intramural competitions twice a week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Members of the Magnificent Seven bowling league team high five during a tournament at the Peterson Bowling Center, Feb. 5, 2015. The Magnificent Seven team won the intramural league twice and is pursuing a third victory. Sixteen teams and approximately 150 bowlers participate in the intramural competitions twice a week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. –Members of the Magnificent Seven bowling league team participate in a bowling tournament at the Peterson Bowling Center, Feb. 5, 2015. The Magnificent Seven team won the intramural league twice and is pursuing a third victory. Sixteen teams and approximately 150 bowlers participate in the intramural competitions twice a week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. –Members of the Magnificent Seven bowling league team participate in a bowling tournament at the Peterson Bowling Center, Feb. 5, 2015. The Magnificent Seven team won the intramural league twice and is pursuing a third victory. Sixteen teams and approximately 150 bowlers participate in the intramural competitions twice a week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Dixon Scholfield, member of the Magnificent Seven bowling league team, participates in a tournament at the Peterson Bowling Center, Feb. 5, 2015. The Magnificent Seven team won the intramural league twice and is pursuing a third victory. Sixteen teams and approximately 150 bowlers participate in the intramural competitions twice a week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Dixon Scholfield, member of the Magnificent Seven bowling league team, participates in a tournament at the Peterson Bowling Center, Feb. 5, 2015. The Magnificent Seven team won the intramural league twice and is pursuing a third victory. Sixteen teams and approximately 150 bowlers participate in the intramural competitions twice a week. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Terry Graybeal, 21st Communication Squadron alternate information assurance officer, shows off his form at the Peterson Bowling Center. Graybeal is a long-time bowler with eight perfect 300 games to his credit. He participates in various leagues at the center and in many tournaments locally and around the country. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dave Smith)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Terry Graybeal, 21st Communication Squadron alternate information assurance officer, shows off his form at the Peterson Bowling Center. Graybeal is a long-time bowler with eight perfect 300 games to his credit. He participates in various leagues at the center and in many tournaments locally and around the country. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dave Smith)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Bowling's history can be dated back to a crude form of the sport that was discovered in an Egyptian tomb dating to 3200 B.C. It was so popular in England during the 1300s that King Edward III supposedly outlawed bowling to keep his troops focused on archery practice.

Today, bowling is still rolling along with plenty of interest here. About 150 bowlers on 16 teams participate in weekly intramural competition twice a week at the bowling center, while other groups like the Couples' league meet other days to participate.

What is it that people find appealing about bowling that keeps them coming back year after year? As it turns out, it's probably a combination of competition and camaraderie.

Amanda McGuffin, 21st Operations Group executive assistant, started bowling when she got out of high school. Her parents were bowlers and she followed in their footsteps.

"Why do I still do it? Because I enjoy it," McGuffin said. "But I suppose what I enjoy most is the camaraderie."

Nationally bowling is the top participation sport with about 69 million people bowling at least one game per year in nearly 99,000 U.S. Bowling Congress-certified lanes in 4,700 certified centers for the 2013-14 season.

Terry Graybeal, 21st Communication Squadron alternate information assurance officer, started bowling at age 13. He shares a couple of things with McGuffin; They bowl on some teams together, both started bowing with their parents and both share a common draw to the sport.

"I enjoy the camaraderie, the people," Graybeal said. "That's what keeps me coming back."

Graybeal's wife Tamera is an avid bowler, who he met, of course, bowling.

"We like being together and meeting other couples," he said. "We tend to enjoy mixed leagues more. You meet people in the leagues and bowl against different people each night."

He has joined up with a group from Wichita Falls, Texas, every year since the early 1980s. The group attends a number of tournaments together throughout the year.

McGuffin extends the camaraderie she loves in bowling to her family as well. Her daughter began bowling when she was about six years old and now averages about 20 pins higher than her mother. McGuffin is proud of her daughter's accomplishments, but she may be even more glad about scholarships won through bowling.

Jon Karagiannes, Air Force Space Command Force Management administrative assistant, combines competition and camaraderie by bowling on a team. His team, The Magnificent Seven, won the base intramural league twice already and are working on a third title.

"We knew each other and just got together," he said of how the team started bowling together. The group has made the league roll-offs...for about 10 years.

"The good thing about the team is we put personal glory aside and go for the team," Karagiannes added. The ultimate key to the team's consistent success is good clutch bowling and not cracking under pressure.

Bowling is a relaxed sport, which is a draw for many people and something experienced bowlers point out to others who may consider taking up the sport.

"Basically the sport is not stressful so it's something you can enjoy. You can join a league and meet people -- that's what I enjoy," Graybeal said.

"It's indoor so weather doesn't hamper bowling," added McGuffin. "And I've gotten to see a lot of the U.S., so there are travel opportunities."

And while these bowlers enjoy the friendship, camaraderie and team spirit, don't think they don't want to win. Graybeal has achieved the holy grail of bowling - a 300 game - eight times since his first one in 1987. He bowled six of them right here on the Peterson Bowling Center lanes. In his opinion it is harder to bowl an 800 series because of the consistency required, but just for good measure he has bowled three of them. Graybeal won all the events he entered in 2001 at the annual National Military Bowling Championships in Las Vegas.

McGuffin doesn't have any 300 games to her credit, but she has bowled a personal best of 268. She participated in a number of national tournaments where she bowled with a lot of women who have higher averages, but McGuffin is known for bowling well in tournaments.

"They used to give out trophies and patches, but now they have moved to money," she said, "I usually win my entry fee."

The Magnificent Seven averages about 880 as a group, Karagiannes said. They are confident in putting together scores higher than 850 per game, but their goal is 900, including handicap.

Bowling a good game and having a great night in terms of performance is important, but an off night is not something to get too down about. McGuffin had this sage advice to offer:

"What I tell people is every frame is practice for the next," she said.

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