Introducing Jim Cripps – The Unbelievable Backwards Bowler!


Occasionally you’ll come across a sports star or athlete that is so skilled that they can carry out a maneuver in their chosen sport backwards or without looking. Like the soccer player’s overhead kick with their back to goal, or a reverse slam dunk in basketball for example.

Well, that’s not quite how it worked out with Jim Cripps or the “Backwards Bowler” as he is now known. Cripps apparently was a pretty terrible bowler when he did it the traditional way – you know, facing the lane and the pins that he was aiming the bowling ball at!

Things changed for Tennessee native Cripps, when a friend challenged him to a lighthearted bet that he couldn’t score 150 points by bowling backwards. Cripps accepted the challenge and ended up bowling a strike on his first try and with a final score of 163. It was then that he realized he was much better at bowling backwards than forwards and since then his unusual skill has got him his own little cult following.

Cripps has been bowling backwards for many years now and scores an average of 204 points per game. He even has his own Guinness World Record of 278 points scored by bowling backwards!!

Cripps says that not every bowling alley liked his unconventional bowling style however, considering it to be horseplay. He claims that some even asked him to leave, but luckily he has managed to find bowling alleys that accept that it is a talent and allowed him to hone his skills. He has even managed 11 strikes in a row.

On his official website, Cripps states:

“I love the sport of bowling & turning around has changed my life as well as given me the opportunity to meet and make friends from all walks of life. From Bowlfest in Las Vegas to Trick shots in Tokyo and all the stops in between, seeing the wonder from both children and adults when you make a shot they thought was impossible is both humbling and AWESOME!”

Maybe I should try this the next time I go bowling, as I struggle to keep the ball out of the gutter every time I play! Though knowing my luck, I’d end up sending my bowling ball soaring straight into a kid standing two lanes over and land myself a lifetime ban!

About Sheniz Raif

I am, and think I have always been, a writer. I’ve been scribbling stories since I was old enough to hold a pen and thoroughly enjoy using my words to make people laugh or inspire them. I love going to gigs and am a professional groupie for a couple of awesome bands. I am an avid fan of socializing, football, film, and refusing to grow up! I’m also a proud member of the BODO UK team!