by Erin Tindell
Air Force Personnel, Service and Manpower Public Affairs
4/29/2011 - SAN ANTONIO (AFNS) -- As part of continuing efforts to support wounded warriors, Air Force Services Agency officials recently purchased and distributed 85 remote-controlled bowling balls and ramps for installations worldwide.
The purchase makes the Air Force both the single largest purchaser of the bowling balls and the first service within the Department of Defense to purchase and distribute them.
According to Don Freund, the bowling program manager at the agency, the balls were initially purchased with wounded warriors in mind, but eligibility was expanded to others looking for a new way to enjoy the game.
"This is another way we're ensuring the Air Force is a great place to live, work and play," Mr. Freund said. "We own more remote-controlled bowling balls than any bowling center in the U.S., and we're the first of the armed forces to offer this option."
Wounded warriors and those with special needs, including civilians and dependents, have priority to use the balls at bowling centers at no charge. All others can use the ball for a fee.
The remote-controlled bowling ball looks like a traditional ball, but is equipped with a computer chip and motor inside that allows the ball to self propel. A battery-operated remote allows the user to sync control of the ball's speed and direction of movement. The ball also lights up as it travels down the lane.
The technology allows wounded warriors and those with special needs to bowl on any lane instead of being limited to outside lanes that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Demonstrations of the remote-controlled bowling ball can be seen at installation bowling centers. For more information about Air Force quality of life programs, visit www.usafservices.com.
5/29/2011 5:59:12 PM ET Wow! Sounds like a video game with real pins. Looks like the Americans with Disabilities Act has gone nuts. Does this mean the United States Bowling Congress will have to change the rules to allow sanctioned competition with this?