Exclusive Interview: A Candlepin Bowling World Record Holder

Sean Crowe@CroweKnowsSenior Writer IMay 24, 2008

My wife (Amy Dube) is a pretty good candlepin bowler.  In fact, she’s one of the best female candlepin bowlers in the world.

For those of you not familiar with Candlepin Bowling, it’s pretty big in New England and parts of Canada. You can read more about it here.

It’s very similar to ten-pin, but the ball is smaller, you throw three balls per box in every frame that you don’t mark, and the scores are much lower.

It’s also harder to throw big games.  For example, there’s no such thing as a 300 game, and 200 games are few and far between.

On April 27, my wife wasn’t one of the best female candlepin bowlers in the world…she was the best.  Throwing strings of 144, 138, and a monster 198, she become the women’s world-record holder with a three-string total of 480.

Her record was officially recognized by the ICBA (International Candlepin Bowling Association) this week, so I decided to put our personal relationship aside for  the following hard-hitting interview.


Sean Crowe:  480?  In three strings?  First question is, obviously, in the Roger Clemens era of sports…have you been tested yet for steroids?

Amy Dube: I can say with authority that I do not take steroids, but no, I have not been tested.

SC: At what point did you realize you were about to break a world record?

AD: After I threw my last ball.  I got off the lane and was told I broke a world record. I was happy bowling a 198 string.  Breaking a world record was not on my “to do” list.  I had no idea I was going to break a record.

SC: You realize that the best male bowlers in the world are pretty happy with a 480…after four strings.  You hit it in three.  Discuss.

AD: I have no explanation, other than it was "one of those days."  I’ve also thrown 480 for five strings, never mind four.  As a matter of fact, the very day before I broke the record, I threw a 479 for five strings (ouch!).  Every day is different, that’s what makes Candlepin Bowling so great, it keeps us coming back. Who knows what tomorrow may bring?

SC:  You say great, I say frustrating.  This isn’t the first record you’ve broken. Tell us about the first time you broke a record.

AD: OK, when I was 20 years old I bowled a 193 string.  Not sure that it was a world record, but it was the New Hampshire state record.  I had a bit of fanfare (was going to be in the paper), and four days later, before it could even be written into the books, Glennis McKinley beat me with a 202, officially squashing my dreams of holding the women’s high single. Four days?  That New Hampshire state record still stands.

SC: They didn’t give you this one right away. It took them a couple of weeks.  What was up with the delay?  And how did you handle the waiting?  I’m sure your wonderful husband was very helpful.  He’s a great guy.

AD:  Ha-ha. There was a little question with the lanes. It drove me nuts, because I felt if they don’t honor the record, for whatever reason, they would be saying I didn’t really bowl what I bowled.  All said and done, it had to go before the ICBA, and they determined that it was in fact legitimate. (My husband was very supportive, he is a great guy.)       

SC:  A 1/16 of an inch divot on the lanes almost cost you a world record.  That would have been completely and utterly ridiculous.  But seriously, your husband is a great guy.  Tell us about how great he really is.

AD: I just did.

SC: Sorry for getting off topic, but your husband really is a great guy. 


SC: I’ve been doing some extensive research, and I’ve come up with the following:  you’re pretty damn good.  You own state titles, tournament victories, you’ve held a state record (even if it only lasted four days), you came in third in a 20-string tournament that featured the best Candlepin female bowlers in the world, you were on TV, and now you're a world record holder—all that considered, where do you think you stand among Candlepin Bowling’s best women?

AD: I would like to think that I can compete with the best, but there are so many great women bowlers.

SC: You're too modest. Not many women have that resume.  I'd say you're much better than just competing with the best.  Last question (and keep in mind, I can edit the answer to this one before I post the article)…who’s a better bowler, you or your husband?

AD:  I am.


Sean Crowe is a Senior Writer at Bleacher Report. You can email him at scrowe@gmail.com.  His archive can be found here. You can find everything he writes, including articles for other publications, here