ARLINGTON, Texas – The world of bowling lost a legend on September 28, 2023, when United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Bill Chrisman passed away at the age of 74. His remarkable journey in the sport, punctuated by innovation, philanthropy, and countless accolades, has left an indelible mark on the bowling community.
In 2021, Bill Chrisman and his wife, Barb, achieved a historic milestone by being jointly inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame for their meritorious service to the sport. This unprecedented honor marked a testament to their unwavering dedication to the game and their role as the co-founders of Storm Products, Inc.
Chrisman’s story began in 1985 when he introduced High Score Products, a company specializing in manufacturing and marketing a cleaner for urethane bowling balls. This was just the first chapter in a remarkable journey that would transform the bowling industry.
In 1991, the Chrisman-led company introduced the world to the name “Storm” for the first time as they ventured into manufacturing bowling balls. By 1994, the company officially became known as Storm Products, Inc. From there, the journey was marked by continuous innovation and trailblazing achievements.
One of Storm’s pivotal contributions to the bowling world was the creation of the first dual-color logo and the three-color high-performance bowling ball. Their groundbreaking approach to adding fragrances to bowling balls also garnered significant attention, earning them a front-page feature in the Wall Street Journal in 2005.
While Storm’s equipment became synonymous with success on the lanes for bowlers across the globe, Bill and Barb Chrisman’s impact extended well beyond the lanes. They were staunch supporters of the sport’s growth through philanthropic efforts and charitable contributions to organizations such as Susan G. Komen Bowl for the Cure, the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA) Hall of Fame Xtravaganza, and the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame.
In 2014, Bill Chrisman received the prestigious USBC Joyce Deitch Unity Award in recognition of his significant contributions to the sport of bowling. This award is reserved for individuals and organizations who have played pivotal roles as motivators, visionaries, leaders, and innovators in the bowling world.
In 2015, he was honored with the VA Wapensky Award, an accolade that acknowledges individuals who have made substantial contributions to the advancement of the bowling industry through their exceptional business acumen, unending passion for bowling, and continuous promotion of the game at both local and national levels.
Bill and Barb Chrisman’s combined efforts have been celebrated with several industry awards, including the William Landgraf Memorial Award for Distinguished Service in 2003, the John Davis Memorial Award in 2013, the Billiard and Bowling Institute of America (BBIA) Industry Service Award in 2014, and the International Bowling Media Association (IBMA) Alberta E. Crowe Meritorious Service Award in 2016.
Bill Chrisman’s impact on the local level was equally profound. He served as a board member for the Ogden Bowling Association from 1981 to 1989, earning a spot in the association’s Hall of Fame for Superior Performance in 1994 (now known as the Northern Utah USBC Association). In 2005, he was also inducted into the Utah State USBC Hall of Fame for his meritorious service to the sport.
A testament to his enduring commitment to the game, Bill Chrisman made an astonishing 39 consecutive appearances at the USBC Open Championship, starting in 1984. This remarkable streak not only showcased his dedication but also served as an inspiration to aspiring bowlers.
Bill Chrisman’s legacy in Arlington, Texas, and the broader world of bowling is one of innovation, philanthropy, and relentless dedication. He and his wife, Barb, set a standard for excellence and service that will continue to influence the sport for generations to come. As the bowling community mourns his passing, it also celebrates the profound impact he had on the game and the countless lives he touched along the way. Bill Chrisman will forever be remembered as a true icon of bowling.