From the inception of the idea of IGBO, back in 1980, gay and lesbian bowling leagues have played a major role in the organization. Individuals from leagues in Houston, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New York City, San Diego and Toronto met during a tournament in Los Angeles (August 29, 1980) and laid the foundation of what would become the International Gay Bowling Organization. And until 1998, IGBO Member Leagues held the only voting privileges in the organization.


Since that first meeting, IGBO has welcomed new leagues into membership every year. At this time, IGBO has over 150 Member Leagues across the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Germany. This translates into approximately 17,000 individual bowling members in the organization—making IGBO one of the largest Gay and Lesbian Sporting Organizations in the world!

Member Leagues run the gamut from extremely competitive to strictly social. The majority of the leagues are handicapped [not a mental or physical condition, but a method of creating an equal playing field] and therefore you will likely find a wide range of skill levels among the participants.

Most IGBO Member Leagues are also sanctioned members of the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) (formerly ABC and WIBC).

Benefits of bowling in an IGBO Member League

Individual Members of IGBO [membership status granted by virtue of participating in an IGBO Member League] are invited to participate in the IGBO Annual and Mid-Year Tournaments, as well as all IGBO Member Tournaments around the globe. In addition, Individual Members receive an IGBO Membership Card which entitles them to discounts from various Corporate Sponsors of the organization. They are also eligible for individual and team awards throughout the bowling season in recognition for outstanding bowling achievements.

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