"What's the story horse." Bernard Gibbons lifts the lid on the Bowling World Cup!

Twelve questions is just not enough for a person like Bernard Gibbons. There is much to tell about the popular Irishman who got his first taste of the Bowling World Cup way back in 1977. He hosted the 25th Anniversary in 1989 and a year later took on a role with the tournament committee. Twenty eight years in November. Bernard is back and ready for another amazing tournament.

How did you first get involved with the Bowling World Cup?bernard 90's.png

In 1977 I attended the World Cup in London at the Charrington Bowl as the Irish official from The Stillorgan Bowl where I was the assistant manager at the time. The Irish players Pauline Caffola & Phillip Dunne were the players. I was very impressed by the scale of the tournament, the way it was organized and the AMF staff of Jock Caie, Paul Lane, Bent Peterson and more.

As you are aware the first Bowling World Cup was in Stillorgan in 1965 and since then someone from there in an official capacity attended to the Bowling World Cup each year. I liked the event and set about hosting the 25th for Stillorgan in 1989, this I did.

Following this I was asked by Bent Peterson to get involved in the tournament committee with Gerry Hodges for the 1990 event in Pattaya Thailand following the retirement of Paul Lane the then Tournament Director.

The rest is history as they say.


Of all the events you have been to which stand out as great spectacles of the sport?leading.jpg

I cant think of a bad one, the two that stand out are 1984 Sydney Australia, Steve Mackie AMF Australia  put on a spectacular event. The victory banquet was the icing on the cake, with a video of the complete event from arrival at Airport to the finals in the bowl just hours earlier projected on a large screen.

They managed to feature everyone who showed up to the tournament guests include on the video, was not a dry eye in the banquet room. 1997 in Cairo Egypt this one we had two lane built in the desert next to the Pyramids for the finals. We managed to do it despite the heat and sunshine and attracted great crowds, even the camels look on.


There must have been funny moments over the years, can you share any with us?

Each tournament has had many great times and memories, even the very first one in Stillorgan when the Irish player slept it out and missed the opening ceremony and had to be replaced at the last moment. Then 1998 Kobe Japan, as I was about announce the Sportsman award at the victory banquet (the players vote this person from the countries attending) I was stopped and the players took the microphone from me awarded the trophy it to me.


How did you first get involved in bowling?

It was after the 1965 BWC in Stillorgan that I started playing this was a major sporting event in Ireland at the time and got lots of publicity. I played golf as a Professional at the time and this was ideal for a winter sport for me to play. I joined a 5 man team league on Thursdays with the "Magnificent 7" team, then another two leagues, one a mixed team. This is where I met my late wife Patrice. Then made the Irish International team for the Triple Crown event in 1971 at Wembley London. Continued playing until we sold Stillorgan in 1996.



What do you think makes this tournament unlike any others and special to so many Worldwide?

Well this is a difficult question, and as the Tournament Director I do not want to sound bias against other tournaments. The QubicaAMF team and Anne Marie in particular set up the event every year, taking us around the world to great locations and always played with the latest equipment with consistent lane conditions. We always have a great QubicaAMF team on hand at the event to look after players, coaches, countries officials and guests.

Then you have circa 90 countries and some lower average players, and in some cases do not have access to the latest equipment and may never have a ball drilled for them. They get the opportunity to play with the best in the World, and get advice on how to improve themselves at the sport.


So nearly 30 years then Bernard, That is a long time to do any job these days. You mention why the event is good for others but what makes YOU return each year?bernard g mexico.jpg

I like the people in QubicaAMF and those involved in the tournament, they are very passionate about bowling and the World cup. Meeting new people from around the bowling world. The challenge when we visit a new centre where they have no experience in staging a tournament, by this I mean showing and working with the local proprietor and their committee what is required.


In your World Cup years, the sport itself has changed in many ways. Have you had to adapt to a changing World or do you run the tournament managers job the way you always have?

Not too much has changed, I have to adopt the number of games in the qualifying rounds to suit the number of lanes we have to play with. The finals format also has changed over the years, this is to fit in with TV requirements. Playing rules yes they have changed so I just take a lead from the World Bowling rules.


Golfing certainly is your main passion these days. Which AMF staff and World Cup bowlers have shown any Golfing skills?

Over the years we have tried to have a little golf in the off time, not too many I must say. Bent Peterson enjoyed the golf, and would always play if the opportunity arose, John Walker, Roger Creamer, Gerry Hodges, Ron Wood, Cliff Adair, Gerald Paluzzi  to name but a few. On the players and coaches media side we had Arne Stroem from Norway, (won two World Cup's) Tore Torgerson, Sweden’s Thomas Leanderson Ireland’s Philip Dunne and the late Paul Magee, Bill Hoffman, coach Jeri Edwards, media Seija Lankinen from Finland too on the ladies side.


A passport always full of stamps, Is there a country you would really like the Bowling World Cup to visit one day?

Canada for sure, it has being discussed many many times, but for some reason never gets the green light. New Zealand is another country 


Having seen nearly all the best bowlers in the World at the tournament, which moment in time ranks as probably the best World Cup moment?bernard art.jpg

Has to be 1985 Soul South Korea, when the Irish girl Marjorie McEntee won. The excitement in Ireland was brilliant the press went mad about it, "A World Champion" she got a hero's welcome home and a "sports star of the year" award from the Irish sports writers.


Vegas in 2018 again at the fantastic Sam’s Town. A big centre and shorter days allowing for some time to see the city, can you recommend places to our upcoming visitors?

Vegas and Sam's Town just a great venue. The bowling centre is located in the lower ground floor of the hotel and casino. The famous  Las Vegas strip is a must to see, take a helicopter to the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam, take in a show, there are plenty on every night. Restaurants are all over the place and for transport use Uber, if you dont have the ap then get it.


Finally Bernard, and back to those early days. What was the best advice you were given that has served you till today?

This question goes all the way back to my early days (1965 ) as an assistant golf professional to the great John Jacobs, now sadly deceased. Be patient, do not make instant decisions, think first, dress is important when in the public eye. They say a well dressed person is a confident person. OH and always be happy.



Interview by Dom Gall

Dominic Gall is a former bowler and founder and content manager for since its birth in 2006.

He has reported, Interviewed and Live Streamed many tournaments Worldwide and in 2013 formed the UK

Tenpin Hall of Fame. Collaborating with QubicaAMF on the World Cup since 2015.

"To be a part of the history in a small way is something special."



QubicaAMF is the largest and most innovative bowling equipment provider in the world with 600 employees worldwide. We build and modernize more bowling entertainment centers than any other company in the industry and have an installed base of more than 10,000 centers in 90 countries. The company has a sales and distribution network with worldwide reach and maintains the largest R&D team for electro-mechanical products, software, electronics, and entertainment systems in the industry.

QubicaAMF has over 100 years of experience and can provide the perfect combination of bowling equipment, products, and services for new or existing bowling entertainment centers, FECs, Cinemas, or any other facility in the hospitality, retail, or restaurant industry. Our ongoing mission is Making Bowling Amazing. We are convinced that bowling has so much more potential to attract and entertain even more people. With our products, we will help our customers fully unleash that potential.

The company has U.S. headquarters in Richmond, Virginia and European headquarters in Bologna, Italy.

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