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A perfect score

Monday, October 8th, 2012 | Posted by

Ivan Shadrick, 82, at Double Decker Lanes after scoring 247. Two weeks prior, he bowled a perfect 300. (Nicole Zimmerman)

The oldest person ever to throw a perfect game in a United States Bowling Congress certified league or tournament was 89 when he bowled it.

If Ivan E. Shadrick, 82, keeps up his game, he just might break that 2010 record.

“It’s not every day an 82-year-old bowls a perfect game,” says Curtis Woods, in charge of bowling development at Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park for the past year and a half.

Scoring 300 in his Tuesday morning competitive doubles league on September 18, the octogenarian said it was his second time bowling 12 strikes in a row in a single game. That first time was commemorated with a Bowling Congress ring.

What’s his secret?

“Just keep my health up and go bowl,” says Shadrick, who takes a pill for a heart murmur but is otherwise in great shape. “I can’t help it if I bowl 300. They’re hard to come by.”

Shadrick competes in a different league several times each week. Besides mixed doubles he bowls on a Classic Sports Invitational Men’s Fives league every Monday night.

That team is named after him: Shad’s Row.

Born in Decatur, Ill., Shadrick moved to California during WWII when his father was transferred to work in the San Francisco shipyards.

“Been here ever since and I don’t intend to leave,” he says. “Weather is so good.”

Shadrick, who has bowled consistently since he was about 25, has been coming to Double Decker Lanes since it opened in 1975. A carpenter by trade, he even helped build it.

“They’d bring in a stack of wood about two and a half inches wide and an inch thick. You’d just stack them up and then lay them down. These lanes here are plastic though. My work is all covered up,” he says.

He tells about one guy who took two lanes and built a bowling alley in his chicken house. “We’d go over there and bowl for nothing.”

When Woods started bowling professionally on tour at 25, Shadrick was one of his sponsors. “I was selling thousand-dollar shares and he walked up with an envelope with $1,000 cash. He did that every year that I was looking for investors.”

Woods says Shadrick is “just that kind of guy, generous and hardworking.” If someone has trouble paying for a league, he pays for them. He’ll buy a bowling ball at the pro shop if business is slow. He even brings in produce to share from his flower and vegetable nursery.

“He’s part of the bowling center, part of the family,” says Woods. “Everyone loves him.”

  • Pat B

    you rock Ivan

  • Nick D

    Congrats, Sir….Very impressive. Keep up the good work!

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Nick Walden is our Rohnert Park + Cotati correspondent.
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