Sylvester Sobanski, the former vice president and general manager of Bowl America, Inc., truly was a "bowlers' administrator" if his efforts in our sport ever needed a label.

His career in bowling administration began years ago in Detroit, Mich., where he served as tournament director of Chene-Trombty Recreation, which was recognized as a leading center in the area. A year-round tournament program, in which Syl directed all activities, was one the finest in the Midwest.

In 1955, Syl became office manager and tournament director for the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America out of Chicago, where he was responsible for all BPAA events.

In 1960, he became general manager of Bowl America, Inc., which then consisted of two centers and 96 lanes. During his term in office, Bowl America grew to over 20 centers. In 1971, Syl was elected vice president and a member of Bowl America's board of directors.

A better-than-average bowler, Syl averaged in the high 190s while in Chicago and Detroit.

Syl served as president of the Metropolitan Washington Bowling Proprietors' Association and held many positions with the Maryland and Virginia BPAs. In addition, he was active in committee work with bowling and tournament activities, especially with youth bowlers.

In 1995, he was the recipient of Bowling Proprietors' Association of America's Victor Lerner Memorial Award. The Lerner Medal is the highest honor in the bowling business and is awarded for a lifetime of service to the bowling industry. It represents the recipient's induction into BPAA's Hall of Fame located at the International Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Louis.

Syl's efforts were untiring in these contributions: He always was ready and willing to contribute to the success of any bowling event.

A gentleman all the way, Sylvester Sobanski is a credit to his profession and a deserving addition to the NCABA Hall of Fame.

Back to Hall of Fame