Bowlers and spectators saw a rare sight at the Minto Bowl and Rec Centre on Wednesday as local five-pin bowler Jack Mukli bowled a perfect game.
“Everyone was treating me like a pitcher in baseball, kind of staying away from me,” Mukli says. “By about the eighth frame I realized what was happening. Then, at the last ball, the butterflies kicked in.”
To get a perfect game in five-pin bowling a bowler must bowl 12 consecutive strikes, for a final score of 450. These types of games are uncommon, although Saskatchewan has a knack for producing them. According to the Canadian 5-Pin Bowlers’ Association, four of Canada’s eight perfect games bowled during the 2012-2013 season were bowled here.
Still, the effect wasn’t lost on the crowd.
“It’s quite exciting,” says Blair McGillivary, the Minto Bowl manager who witnessed the game. “It’s an honour to see someone do it.”
Mukli, however, remains humble.
“I just got lucky, I guess,” he says with a laugh.
But McGillivary says luck had nothing to do with it.
“When you’re on a good run people tend to go and watch. The pressure gets on a bowler when watched, so people backed away and watched from a distance. He didn’t let the pressure get to him. He’s having a great bowling year.”
There are plenty of rewards for bowling a perfect game. Besides the respect and admiration of his fellow bowlers, Mukli will also receive a prize package from the C-5 Bowlers’ Association, as well as some prizes from the Minto Bowl. He also has to play again Friday night, but he is not too worried about the outcome.
“I won’t take it too seriously,” he says.
Regardless of how the perfect game affects him, it left a lasting impression on the spectators, McGillivary says.
“It’s a great way to start off the New Year.”
Minto Bowl Perfect Games
Jack Mukli - January 8, 2014
Don Hlewka Jr. - September 28, 2000
Don Hlewka Jr. - November 20, 1997
Jon Cennon - November 03,1996
Dave Stratychuk - September 22, 1993
Milan Kolasa - January 26, 1990
Eugene Shinkewski - March 05, 1989
Allan Beyers - January 31, 1980
Tom Baker - February 23, 1977
Gary McKinlay - January 25, 1976
Ted Akers - November 08, 1969