Monday, 16 May 2011 00:00
When people used to ask me if softball is a sport I would smile enigmatically. As an ex-baseball and rugby player, pitching a softball underhand has always seemed kind of, well, light-weight. Then I learned my lesson when I played in a softball tournament fundraiser and left sweaty and tired. Now I have the highest respect for all of you who play softball.
Speaking of light-weight sports, do you consider bowling a sport?
I didn’t. But after talking to Professional Bowling Association (PBA) pro bowler, Scott Norton, I certainly do now. In fact, I have a lot of admiration for Scott as an athlete in a very competitive sport.
I must say I was really impressed when I first spoke to Norton last month. At just 29, he is the PBA’s only “out” professional bowler and he’s making waves on the tour. Last December in his rookie year, he took the Chameleon Championship tournament at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas. The win came with lots of kudos and a $15,000 payday and his first year earnings came to nearly $33,000. According to Norton, top bowlers can earn up to $400,000 or more with endorsements although the money pro bowlers earn has been shrinking in recent years.
When I asked Scott how other people treated him as an out player he said that not much is made about his sexuality. He feels he is accepted by others on the tour – all the while being cheered on by his longtime finance Craig Woodward. In fact, the couple is engaged and will be married this October.
Speaking of family, I asked Scott to recall his favorite bowling moment. “The most special moment I have had to date in my career was certainly winning my first title. It was in Las Vegas so I had a crowd of about 20-30 people there to watch and support me, cheering me on. It was incredible not only to win but to have everyone there with me to share the victory."
Norton, son of United States Bowling Hall of Famer Virginia Norton, trains for bowling just as I would train for a rugby tournament – lots of outdoor activities and sports. He shies away from the gym but instead he spends 2-3 days a week at his favorite bowling alley in addition to his outdoor fitness addiction.
I am truly impressed with Scott Norton and Compete looks forward to sharing much more about him with you in the near future in Compete Magazine
and on Compete Radio
If you want to support Scott, visit his profile
in our online community
. Scott says he would love to hear from you. His profile name is Bowlsaurus, quite appropriate for a tournament champion.
*On May 5th the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) announced that Scott Norton has been named as the 2011 Harry Golden Rookie of the Year!
Norton, a practicing California attorney, of Costa Mesa, Calif., won his first PBA Tour title in the Pepsi Chameleon Championship. He was the only rookie to win a title during the 2010-11 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season. Norton received 445 votes; no other player received more than 15.