How It All Began......

The National Bowling Association, Inc. is a non-profit corporation, organized in August 1939, in Detroit, Michigan, for the express purpose of encouraging Blacks to develop their skills in the game of Ten Pins. It was originally known as the "National Negro Bowling Association" because at the time of its birth, Negroes and other Non-Caucasians were not permitted to belong to ABC or WIBC because of certain restrictive clauses in their constitutions. Because our membership included a large number of Asians, Hispanics and people of color other than Black, in 1944, our organization was renamed "The National Bowling Association, Inc." We participated actively in the fight for "Equality in Bowling," and in 1950 both ABC and WIBC removed the Non-Caucasian clauses from their constitutions. Starting in 1951 TNBA members have enjoyed the privilege of competing in all open sanctioned tournaments.

Although approximately 80% of our present membership is Black, TNBA has no racial restrictions whatsoever as to membership or participation.  TNBA's slogan is "Promoter of Sportsmanship, Fellowship and Friendship" - Ideals which are accomplished through organized competition.

The constitutional purpose is to foster and promote the game of Ten Pins among both men and women. Membership is open to all bowlers, without regard to race, creed or color.

TNBA promotes friendship, sportsmanship and fellowship among its members. We also serves as a recruiting agency and point-of-entry for black bowlers who otherwise would not receive the encouragement, tutelage and guidance needed to learn the game and develop the skills that are essential to full enjoyment and successful competition. Such encouragement and training prepares TNBA bowlers to compete on equal terms in the tournament and competitions that are now open to them.
TNBA has been and continues to be a major factor in the integration of blacks into the "bowling world" and plays a part in the national movement toward implementation of American democracy, ideals and principles. The acquaintance that comes with contact and the respect that is engendered by superior skill helps break down unfavorable attitudes and racial barriers.

The National Bowling Association is more than an organization. The National Bowling Association is a concept founded on the principles of sportsmanship, fellowship and friendship. For the Black bowler especially, TNBA membership should be as automatic as ABC and WIBC membership is to all bowlers mainly because the National Bowling Association is one of the largest BLACK FOUNDED, BLACK OPERATED AND BLACK DIRECTED organizations in the country. The National Bowling Association was instrumental in opening the doors of open competition in the ten-pin sport throughout our country for Black Bowlers.

Every organization can trace its origin and the purpose for its creation - TNBA IS NO DIFFERENT. Founded in 1939, of necessity, because Black Bowlers were denied membership in the American Bowling Congress, TNBA provided an avenue for participation in the game of bowling for its membership. Even after full membership status was available in the ABC, TNBA continued its existence because the premise of its birth mandated its perpetuation. Over the years TNBA has continued its growth pattern and its growth paralleled the movement of Blacks from the rural areas of our country to the major metropolitan centers of the nation. Diversified programming geared to the needs of a given area became the keynote of TNBA's format as the organization's membership ranks swelled and its geographic scope widened. TNBA, in it's 65+ years of existence, has over 23,000 members contained in over 100 local chapters throughout the country, plus Bermuda. The motivation to join the National Bowling Association is simple and direct...

TNBA membership is a small price to pay when we consider the heritage aspect of TNBA tradition and consider that our status today is the result of foresight and dedication on the part of our founding fathers. Today, TNBA is a successful operation that has weathered the growing pains that plague most organizations and is in a position to become one of the most viable Black organizations in the world. Consider that TNBA's concept is direct and objective, TNBA pays its way - as does its membership. TNBA only wants what TNBA is entitled to, in terms of today's social and economic climate. From its inception the National Bowling Association has served as a coordinating body dedicated to the principles of SPORTSMANSHIP, FELLOWSHIP and FRIENDSHIP through participation in a program of local and national significance. In order to affect an even more direct impact TNBA must become more involved in the mainstream of American society. The accomplishment of this goal requires extensive programming and increased membership. TNBA is the program...You are the members. As TNBA membership increases TNBA programming will reflect growth in proportion to the increase.

To those who are NOT ABOARD, WE SAY, STAND UP AND BE COUNTED. Become one who reacts through involvement in the shaping, forming and extension of a program geared to the needs of amateur bowlers across the United States.




TNBA membership means unity and strength through organization and the sense of belonging to a dedicated, purposed and progressive group. The National Bowling Association, Inc., presently in its 65th year, has over 23,000 members contained in over one hundred local senates (chapters) throughout the United States including Bermuda. It is not necessary to be a bowler to belong to TNBA.

The National Bowling Association, Inc. adult programs consist of:
League Bowling Competition
High Score Achievement Awards
Four (4) Regional Tournaments
National Championship Tournaments
Five (5) Classic Tournaments
Rhodman Classic Roll-off
National Honor (Individual) Awards
Hall Of Fame
Celebrity Bowl Tournament
King and Queen Contest
Sponsor Appreciation Awards
Local Achievement Honor Awards
Charity and Fund Raising Programs
Intra-Senate (Chapter) Bowling Competition

League Bowling Competition
High Score Achievement Awards
Four (4) Regional Tournaments
National Junior Championship Tournament
Honor Awards
Scholarship Awards
The present membership of TNBA's Junior Bowling Program is 8,000 youngsters between the ages of six (6) and twenty-two (22) years, representing one hundred-plus senates and affiliates.

1939 - First Annual Tournament held in Cleveland, Ohio
1941 - Incorporated under state laws of Ohio
1944 - Name changed to National Bowling Association, Inc.
1945 - Joe Blue Award for Outstanding Achievement - deemed by Cleveland Alliance in memory of the deceased "organizer"
1950 - Racial restrictions removed from constitutions of American Bowling Congress and Women's International Bowling Congress
1978 - J. Elmer Reed, Cleveland, Ohio, first black to he inducted into American Bowling Congress Hall of Fame
1980 - Mr. Aubrey Harrison bowled the first 300 game in TNBA in Los Angeles.  Joan I. McDuffie of Chicago, Illinois was elected the first female President of TNBA.
2000 - Cornell M. Jackson of Lanham, Maryland and Alesia A. Bryant of St. Louis, Missouri, first two females elected President and Vice President, respectively, along with Margaret S. Lee of Brooklyn, New York as Executive Secretary-Treasurer became the first all female Executive Cabinet of TNBA.

Membership in the National Bowling Association gives the bowler a sense of belonging to a dedicated, purposeful and progressive group and of helping to achieve unity, strength and solidarity through organization.
Why not add your name to our membership rolls to help us grow bigger, stronger and even more effective in promoting opportunity for and protecting the interests of our bowlers?




© 2023 by Thunder Strike. Proudly created with