2020 - Robin Orlikowski

Robin Orlikowski’s bowling successes to date would take a volume to print. This short story of her bowling career will focus on her accomplishments at the state level. Her induction into the Michigan State USBC Hall of Fame for Superior Performance is a well-deserved honor.

Little Robin Crawford followed her big brother down the block to their local 5 pin bowling alley. She was hooked on the sport. She would have success as a 5 pin bowler in her native Canada. Robin credits her accuracy in 10 pin bowling on her experience as a 5 pin bowler. The smaller ball, the greater spacing between the pins in 5 pin and no oil, demands a higher degree of accuracy. Robin would try her hand at 10 pin a couple of times during this period.

The family would move to Tennessee for the mother’s job in 1992. The transition to ten pin would start in “The Volunteer State”. The local pro shop owner saw potential in young Robin and gave her lessons. As a youth bowler Robin would go on to three Coke National Tournaments in Rochester, NY, Houston, TX, and Salt Lake City, UT. At age 16, she would take more lessons, this time at bowling camps run by the late Dick Ritger. Robin would then learn of a Kelly Kulick and her work at Morehead State. Robin started thinking about collegiate bowling and looked at finding her “right fit”.

At Morehead State, Robin would be a Lady Eagle and compete in Division 1 Bowling. Robin would win many awards and honors during her college career. In 1998, she would be named Collegiate Rookie of the Year. In a foreshadowing moment, Robin would win a collegiate award in 2001, named for Grand Rapids native, Marion Ladewig. During her junior year at Morehead, Robin attended a seminar which suggested doing an internship would be a good career move.  Heeding the advice she asked Jim Zebehazy from YABA if they ever did internships. The result was a three month internship between her junior and senior years.  In 2000, Robin would become the Alberta E. Crowe Star of Tomorrow and give a speech with her puppet, Gloria the Gorilla that few in the audience will ever forget. Immediately following graduation, she would take a leap of faith and move to Milwaukee in the hopes she could get a job at the bowling campus in Glendale, WI. In the Greater Milwaukee area, Robin would find success in both city and state competitions.  Robin would win the Wisconsin Badger Queens Tournament Title in 2003. While working at the bowling campus Robin would have the ability to bowl national, PWBA, and internationally with Team Canada. Although the job in Milwaukee was a bowler’s dream, bowling would lead her to love and Grand Rapids in 2005.

Today, Robin runs a small business marketing firm in Grand Rapids and is married to fellow bowler Billy Orlikowski. She participates in all things bowling and is still winning titles. At the state level, Robin owns three team titles in the women’s championships. She was the Michigan State Queens Champion in 2015. Robin was on the first place team in the Michigan State Mixed Tournament. 

The following are some of the highlights from Robin’s austere bowling career.

  • Eight National USBC Season Records for Game and Series for Team
  • Six Midwest Women’s Tournament Titles
  • Seven All City Women’s Teams in Grand Rapids
  • Detroit and Lansing Queens Championship Titles
  • Three Women’s Series Cup Championships in Detroit
  • Four time Canadian Female Bowler of the Year
  • First women in the nation to roll a 700 series in a Sports League -741
  • To date: 14 – 300 games, 8 – 800 series   

Robin is a wonderful addition to the Michigan State USBC Hall of Fame for Superior Performance and we welcome you.