Monday, December 14, 2009

PA Seniors in Online Wii Championship Bowl

In an article dated December 11, 2009, entitled "Wii senior league bowlers to 'spare' no mercy at Tuesday's national championship game", McKnight's Long Term Care News noted that a team of seniors from Charleroi, Pennsylvania, qualified for the finals of the National Senior League (NSL)Wii Bowling Championship.

This first Senior Wii Bowling Bowl will be held on Tuesday, December 15, 2009.

After months of competitive play, the “SAS Strikers” from St. Andrews Estates South in Boca Raton, FL, will face off against the “Riverside Silver” from Riverside Place in Charleroi, PA, in Tuesday's National Senior League Wii Bowling Championship Game.

More than 180 teams from 102 senior living communities in 24 states participated in the competition this year, according to NSL organizers. The regular season lasted from Oct. 19 through Nov. 23, and brought in players of all levels.

The first-ever Wii Bowling tournament wraps up Tuesday with the showdown between the SAS Strikers (ranked third) and the Riverside Silver (ranked 16th). The two teams will compete head-to-head in a live, online championship extravaganza. * * *

Riverside Place, located in Charleroi, Washington County, PA, is connected with the Southwestern Pennsylvania Area Agency on Aging, Inc. SPAAA "develops and manages the overall service system for the older adults of Fayette, Greene, and Washington Counties."

It is one of the many Pennsylvania Senior Centers operating statewide with the cooperation of the Pennsylvania Association of Senior Centers and the Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging, with funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.

As the three galleries of photographs demonstrate, SPAAA takes its mission seriously; and it appears to have developed excellence in its Wii Bowlers along the way. See: 2009 Senior Games Photos - Section 1; 2009 Senior Games photos - Section 2; and 2009 Senior Games photos - Section 3.

Wii bowling is one of the simulated sports activities available on Nintendo's Wii game machine. I noted its growing popularity in a prior posting, "Seniors Scoring on Nintendo's Wii Games" (12/26/07).

Recently, Wii bowling activities by seniors have been organized into a structured competition through at least one program -- the National Senior League, which "brings senior and assisted living communities across the country together for fun and competition!"

NSL's 2009 online statistics and standings list 32 "Conferences" and 180 seniors-only Wii bowling teams. Riverside fielded two teams -- Riverside Silver (with 9 players), and Riverside Gold (with 8). The Silver team made it to the finals.

The use of technology is fantastic. Not only are seniors bowling through software on a game machine that mimics physical equipment & facilities, using remote, hand-held controllers that mirror their body movements, but the NSL competitions between distant teams can be conducted over a webcam, so that competitors can see each other!

This trend is noticed by the media, including National Public Radio, which broadcast a segment on December 3, 2009.

Now, I am virtually rooting for Pennsylvania's Riverside Silver to take the first bowl home!

Update: 12/17/09:

I am virtually crushed. According to NSL News & Notes on December 17, 2009,

"National Championship goes to SAS Strikers" , the "St. Andrews Estates South wins National Wii Bowl title by 20 pins," citing an article dated December 16, 2009, by Brian Hamacher, posted by NBC-Miami on MS-NBC, entitled "Wii Bowling Championship for Boca Geriatrics":
A group of geriatric Wii bowlers from South Florida showed their virtual pin dropping dominance in the first ever National Senior League Championship yesterday.

Metamucil flowed like champagne and naps were aplenty after the St. Andrews South Strikers, from Boca Raton, squeaked past the Riverside Place
Silver from Charleroi, PA.

The five Boca seniors bested Riverside by a mere 20 pins, and the thrilling victory had seniors like Duane Webster, 88, feeling like a kid again.

"This Wii bowling has been quite an experience," Webster told the Sun-Sentinel. "They didn't have this Wii bowling when I was young. They had that
16-pound ball...but it was not as accurate as this electronic ball."

A whopping 180 teams from 24 states participated in the five-week tournament. All players have to be over 62 and come from nursing homes, senior
centers and senior-living communities. * * *
See also: "South Florida team wins Wii bowling National Senior League championship game" posted December 16, 2009, by McKnight's.

Still, the "silver" second place in the 2009 national challenge among seniors now proudly rests with the Riverside Place Silver.