Raleigh Outlaw pin logo

           The Raleigh Blind Bowlers Association -
                          The Raleigh Outlaws 

            The nation's largest bowling league for persons who are blind or visually impaired.


History of the Raleigh Outlaws

Organized Blind Bowling began in Raleigh in the spring of 1979 with a small league known as the Night Owls. This group was unable to maintain appropriate numbers, and it failed to reconvene the following bowling season.

In the summer of 1982 leaders of the visually impaired community of Raleigh gathered and put a plan together to bring about a new bowling league. This group headed up by the late Joe Hayes and the late HC High would become known as the Raleigh VIPs. This group began bowling on Sunday afternoons in November of 1982. This schedule continued into the spring of 1983. In the fall of 1983 the city of Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department got on board as a main supporter of blind bowling in the city. They provided a van to assist bowlers to reach the bowling center, which was Western Lanes on Hillsborough Street. With approximately 20 bowlers, the VIPs flourished for two years.

In the summer of 1985 the organization met in the back yard of the home of RD and Jan Hall. On that date new officers were elected and a new name was given to the organization. Acting on a suggestion from Willie Robinson, who was the founder of the Night Owls and a key component of the VIPs, we became known as the Raleigh Outlaws.

In 1987 the league changed its name again to the Raleigh Blind Bowlers Association-the Raleigh Outlaws. This was done to ensure that public entities would not mistake the organization as being associated with a notorious motorcycle gang. This actually did happen to the Outlaws when they attempted to check into a hotel for a tournament in Winston-Salem in March of 1987.

During the fall of 1985, the Raleigh Outlaws moved to our current home at Buffaloe Lanes North. We are proud to have been associated with the Buffaloe family and this bowling facility for 25 years. In April of 1988 the Raleigh Outlaws developed our own in-state tournament to promote bowling for persons who are blind or visually impaired. This tournament is known as the Raleigh Outlaw Invitational and is a 6-game 1 day event which averages more than 100 bowlers annually.

Currently the Raleigh Outlaws have expanded to 10 teams of 4 bowlers each and a sub base of more than 20 bowlers. We are the largest bowling program for visually impaired bowlers in the country.

The Raleigh Outlaws are a sanctioned body of the American Blind Bowlers Association and its members are extremely active on the national front. The Raleigh Outlaws have traveled all over North Carolina and in fact across the country participating in state, regional and national events. Our league has won two national team titles and one Master’s championship. We also hosted the Southeastern Blind Bowlers regional tournament in 1990 and the American Blind Bowlers Association National Tournament in 1999.

Our organization is a founding member of the Carolina Bowling Alliance, which was developed in 1997 to promote bowling across North Carolina and adjacent states. Our league strives to embrace the core principles set forth by the Carolina Bowling Alliance. We work to create an opportunity for people to have fun and to enjoy each other in fellowship while promoting sportsmanship and competition.

The Raleigh Outlaws continue to be supported by the city of Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department Specialized Recreation Services. Vans and drivers are made available to our organization at an affordable rate for all league competition and most tournaments. Fundraising events are held annually to generate additional funds to cover the cost of travel and to provide stipends for staff when we are out of town.

Team Names

In keeping with the Outlaw theme, our team names are (mostly) Western. Our current ten teams are as follows:
1. The Sharp Shooters
2. The Crimebusters
3. The Pit Bulls
4. The Gunslingers
5. The Strike Time
6. The Midnight Bandits
7. The Posse
8. The Silver Bullets
9. The Hangmen
10. The Rough Riders

Retired Names -
These are names that have been used by our teams in the past, but are currently on the Retired list. They occasionally show up as team names for tournament entries.
Lucky Strikers
Bounty Hunters
Blue Jays
Masked Riders
Miracle Workers
Strike Force
Coyotes and Roadrunner
3 Pistols & a Shotgun

Masters Teams
In American Blind Bowlers Association Tournament Masters Competition, the Outlaws have used various team names over the years. These names include -
Carolina Cowboys

Carolina Sharpshooters
Carolina Bankbusters
Carolina Moonshiners

Website Builder