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LGBT Bowling Tournament Strikes Metro Detroit

By | 2014-10-09T09:00:00-04:00 October 9th, 2014|Michigan, News|

Mike Odom

It will be an action-packed weekend for competitors of the 29th Annual Motown Invitational Classic (MIC), Michigan’s oldest and largest LGBT bowling tournament that is scheduled to take place October 10-12 at Super Bowl in Canton.
With more than $10,000 in cash prizes, including singles, doubles and team awards, optional division jackpots and 50/50 raffles, the MIC tournament attracts on average more than 200 bowlers and non-bowler participants who attend every year from cities across the U.S. and Canada.
In addition to the prizes, this year’s “Super Heroes and Villains” theme will provide entertainment throughout the weekend by randomly matching bowlers with some of the most courageous heroes and dastardly villains in the Marvel and DC Universe.
According to Bill Havican, 2014 MIC Co-Director, the theme is a nod to the energy and excitement already taking place in metro Detroit as a result of the filming of the “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” blockbuster movie.
“There will be plenty of chances for our participants to have fun with our super heroes and villains theme, including a costume contest in our hospitality suite and mini-games during tournament play,” said Havican. “The changing MIC tournament theme is an annual tradition that provides a one-of-a-kind experience, creating meaningful opportunities for fun and camaraderie.”
On Friday, an optional 9-Pin No Tap Singles event starts at 9 p.m. and will kick off the tournament weekend allowing out-of-town bowlers to test the lanes the day before the MIC competition begins. No Tap scoring allows bowlers who roll a count of “9” on their first ball to be counted as a strike.
“The 9-Pin has always been a popular event that gives the opportunity for bowlers of any skill level, regardless as to whether or not they are registed in the MIC tournament, to bowl alongside our competitors,” said Havican. “We always invite the local community to come out for the 9-Pin and experience what friendly-competition is all about.”
Cost is $20 per bowler and includes three games, shoe rental and first and second game mystery jackpots. Registration begins at 8 p.m., and event organizers encourage anyone who is interested in bowling to arrive early since the event sells out every year.
The MIC tournament begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday with the Singles competition, which is immediately followed by the Doubles event once all bowlers have changed lanes. On Sunday, bowlers start at 10 a.m. in the Team event, consisting of four bowlers per team. All three events use handicap scoring based upon certified bowling averages for each participant.
An optional Scratch Masters event begins at 1:30 p.m., which uses non-handicapped scores, requires bowlers to qualify in order to compete and is separated by four divisions based on individual average.
According to 2014 MIC Co-Director, Linda Jackson, all MIC events are open to spectators who want to stop by and enjoy the competitive atmosphere.
“Tournament spectators can have just as much fun as the bowlers themselves,” said Jackson. “Whether you are supporting a loved one or are interested in making new friends, we encourage the local community to take advantage of this one-of-a-kind opportunity and join us tournament weekend.”
In addition to the MIC participants, representatives from this year’s benefiting nonprofit charities will have staff and volunteers on-hand to sell 50/50 tickets, raising money and awareness for each local organization. The charities include the Ruth Ellis Center, Higher Ground, Michigan Animal Adoption Network and Affirmations.
Since its inception, MIC event organizers have supported numerous local nonprofits with fundraising events, strategic partnerships and raffles over the course of the annual tournament weekend.
“This year, we also will hold a special coat drive for local runaway and homeless LGBTQ youth who seek assistance this winter season from the Ruth Ellis Center,” said Jackson. “Each bowler who brings in a coat or article of clothing, like a thermal shirt or underwear, will receive a strip of tournament raffle tickets. We hope this effort makes a positive impact on the lives of local LGBTQ youth who are in the greatest of need.”
Once the tournament is completed, top rankings will be determined for each individual category as well as optional divisions with prizes and awards distributed at an awards banquet Sunday evening.
MIC is a member tournament for the International Gay Bowling Organization (IGBO), the largest international gay and lesbian sports organization in the world. IGBO boasts more than 5,000 members in the U.S., Canada and Australia, with plans to expand its presence to several European countries.
For more information regarding the MIC tournament and local LGBT bowling leagues in metro Detroit, visit http://www.mictournament.org.

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BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.