Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Carol Gianotti, Pam Buckner Elected to PWBA Hall of Fame

by Emil Williams, USBC Communications 0

ARLINGTON, Texas – Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Carol Gianotti and Pam Buckner will form the 2020 Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) Hall of Fame Class, following their election by the PWBA Hall of Fame committee.

All three players were selected in the Performance category.

The 2020 PWBA Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place May 13 in Las Vegas, in conjunction with the 2020 United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Queens, a major event on the PWBA Tour. Details on the ceremony will be announced later.

Dorin-Ballard, 55, of Keller, Texas, captured 20 PWBA titles from 1991 through 2003, including the 2001 USBC Queens. She was the 2001 PWBA Player of the Year after winning a record-tying seven titles (Patty Costello, 1976). She tied or broke 11 PWBA records that season, setting the record for most TV appearances in a season with 18.  

Her 20 PWBA titles is tied for seventh on the PWBA all-time titles list with 2019 PWBA Hall of Fame inductee Wendy Macpherson.

“It’s the icing on the cake for my career,” Dorin-Ballard said. “It’s something I hoped I would be eligible for one day and be most fortunate to get there. But it’s funny because when I bowled, I never really thought about hall of fames and I never thought about the money. 

“I always just wanted to win. I always wanted to be the best. I didn’t care what the trophy looked like and I didn’t care what the check was. As I progressed in my career, you get to a certain point and you say, ‘Wow, I got there.’ I met a goal that I had as a little girl.”

Dorin-Ballard was selected to the Bowlers Journal International All-American Team 14 times in her career, including 10 selections to the first team. She also was named the Bowlers Journal International Female Player of the Decade (2000s) and the first woman to be named the publication’s Person of the Year (2001). 

In 2001 and 2003, she led the PWBA in earnings and average and was named the International Bowling Media Association Female Bowler of the Year. 

Dorin-Ballard was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame in 2008.

Gianotti, 52, became a major champion at age 21, capturing her first professional title at the 1989 USBC Queens. The Perth, Australia, native would claim 16 PWBA titles from 1989 through 2000, adding her second major title at the 1996 Sam’s Town Invitational. 

“I’m very grateful and very honored,” Gianotti said. “It’s a dream come true for me because that’s where it all started. I feel very over-whelmed and it tops off my career. I’m looking forward to the night and sharing it with the other inductees.”

She won a career-best four titles during the 1992 season, which helped her earn Quit Australian Sportswoman of the Year honors in 1992 and 1993. In 1998, she won two titles and was named PWBA Player of the Year after leading the PWBA in earnings and average.

Gianotti was named the 1998 International Bowling Media Association (IBMA) Female Bowler of the Year, the 1998 Bowling Digest Female Pro Bowler of the Year and was selected to the Bowlers Journal All-American Team 12 times, including four times as a first-team selection. 

She represented Australia at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Bowling Exhibition and is a multi-time member of Team Australia. 

Gianotti was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame in 2011.

Buckner, 73, of Reno, Nevada, won her first PWBA title at the 1975 PWBA Championships, and picked up her second major championship at the 1976 USBC Queens. She won seven total PWBA titles between 1975 and 1980.

“It’s an honor,” Buckner said. “It means everything. As an athlete, you go out, you work hard and do the best that you can and that’s the highest honor in my estimation that any athlete can receive. I’m totally elated, very honored and very blessed to be elected to the PWBA Hall of Fame.” 

Along with her two major titles, Buckner owns nine career PWBA 300 games, four PWBA 800 series awards, and averaged a career-high 214.5 in 1980. At the 1980 Stroh’s Light Classic, Buckner tossed 30 consecutive strikes during games 8-10 of qualifying. The run featured back-to-back 300 games ahead of a 280 game. 

In five U.S. Women’s Open appearances, she finished no lower than fourth and added two fifth-place finishes at the PWBA Championships.

A nine-time Bowlers Journal International All-American selection, Buckner was named a first-team selection three times.

Buckner was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame in 1990.

The PWBA Hall of Fame committee elected the 2020 PWBA Hall of Fame class based on applications received. The committee is comprised of three PWBA Hall of Fame members, three Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA) board members, three USBC board members, and three media members.

Nominees in the PWBA Performance category must be at least 50 years of age and have a minimum of 10 PWBA Tour titles or a minimum of five PWBA Tour titles including two majors. 

The inaugural PWBA Hall of Fame class in 1995 included Donna Adamek, Patty Costello, Dorothy Fothergill, Mildred Ignizio, Marion Ladewig, and Betty Morris in the Performance category, LaVerne Carter, Helen Duvall and Shirley Garms in Pioneer, and Georgia Veatch in the Builder category.

With the 2020 class, there are 41 members of the PWBA Hall of Fame – 24 in Performance, 10 in Pioneer and seven in Meritorious Service/Builder.

The 2020 PWBA Tour season will have 14 events, kicking off with the PWBA Tucson Open on April 23-25 at Lucky Strike Bowl in Tucson, Arizona.

Visit for more information on the PWBA and the PWBA Hall of Fame.

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