ARLINGTON, Texas – United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Elaine Hagin of Castro Valley, California, died Sunday. She was 92.
Hagin dedicated her life to the sport of bowling and was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame in 2000 for meritorious service.
Her introduction to bowling came as a young competitor, but over more than half a century, she served a multitude of roles, from the local level to the national stage, and she was a key contributor for a variety of bowling-industry entities.
In 1973, Hagin joined the Women’s International Bowling Congress Board of Directors to begin a run of more than 30 years with the organization. During her time with WIBC, she served as seventh vice president, sixth vice president, fourth vice president, second vice president and first vice president.
Her influence as a leader then earned her a spot on the first USBC Board of Directors when USBC officially launched Jan. 1, 2005, as the organization to serve adult and youth bowlers in the United States. It resulted from the merger of the American Bowling Congress, WIBC, Young American Bowling Alliance and USA Bowling.
Hagin also was instrumental in the sport’s future and global reach, serving as the president of the YABA from 1991-1993 and USA Bowling from 1996-1998. Her total time with YABA lasted more than a decade, and her efforts on the international bowling scene were important in bowling’s ongoing journey toward Olympic inclusion.
Her local and state service with the Alameda County Women’s Bowling Association and the California Women’s Bowling Association began in the late 1940s with a spot on the ACWBA board and eventually earned her entrance into their halls of fame in 1975 and 1988, respectively. It was a springboard to her success at the national level.
Beyond the membership sector of bowling, Hagin was active with many of the sport’s most visible committees and foundations. She was a historian, leader, pioneer and cheerleader.
She served as national chair of the Bowling to Veterans Link and as vice president of the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame. Her contributions for the IBMHOF helped the museum thrive in its original home of St. Louis and now as part of the International Bowling Campus in Arlington.
Through her work, travels and passion for bowling, Hagin became one of game’s best-known promotors. She was a director for the International Bowling Media Association and was a member of the advisory board for the Women’s Sports Foundation.
Along with induction into the three halls of fame, Hagin earned many industry awards.
During the 1986-1987 season, she earned the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association Gordon Teigen Meritorious Service Award.
From the National Women Bowling Writers, she received a trio of awards – the Mary Janetto Award (1987), given for outstanding promotion of local bowling exclusive to the host city of the USBC Women’s Championships (previously the WIBC Championship Tournament); the Jo Ettien Lieber Award (1988), for distinguished service to the game of American tenpins; and the AMF – Helen Duval Award (1992), for outstanding service to YABA.
In 1999, she received the Women’s Sports Foundation President’s Award.
In 2009, she received the Sam Levine Flowers for the Living Award, which is given to people in the bowling industry who have made exceptional contributions to enhance the growth, welfare and image of bowling and are alive and able to accept and enjoy the recognition.
On the lanes, Hagin competed in the Women’s Championships 47 times from 1958-2010.
Information about funeral services for Hagin is not yet available, but the Hagin family did request that in lieu of flowers, she be remembered with a contribution to BVL or the IBMHOF.
For more information on the USBC Hall of Fame, visit BOWL.com/HallofFame.