Dwayne Moore Jr., first person to bowl two perfect games in the Student Center


Dwayne Moore, Jr., approaches the lane to bowl inside the Student Center on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. (Carson VanBuskirk | @carsonvanbDE)

By Jeremy Brown, Campus Editor

Dwayne Moore Jr. is the first person to bowl two perfect games in the university’s Student Center and the first ever to bowl two 800 series.

Moore is a graphic designer, graduate student and teacher’s assistant in the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts, but he’s been bowling on campus for eight years. He got his first perfect game at SIU in 2014, and his second in 2017.

Bill Null, manager of the Student Center Bowling & Billiards, said Moore scored his latest 300 during a Monday Night League series. He’s only seen a 300 thrown in that bowling alley four times since he’s worked there.


A perfect game of bowling is a score of 300; the bowler needs to throw a strike each time they step up to the lane.

“If you miss by a millimeter, as far as how the ball enters the pins, you can get a different result,” Paul Deering, mechanic at the Student Center bowling alley and Moore’s former bowling coach said.

When bowling, you have all of these distractions around you, Moore said. People bowling to your right, your left, so you can always see others moving around you.

“Most times, like on PBA tours, you have the lane to yourself. It’s just you. I didn’t have that,” Moore said. “One of the things I worked on was zoning things out. […] I go into this tunnel vision, where I only see the lane.”

An 800 series, a bowling series where a player must bowl an average of 267 per game, is much harder than one perfect game, Moore said. He’s gotten two 800 series in the Student Center bowling alley.

“I was more focused in shooting the 800 than I was when I shot the 300,” Moore said. “I shot the 800 series back to back, two weeks in a row. 824 then I shot an 811. But [with] the 811, I had a 300 the first game.”

Moore was on the university’s bowling team for three years while obtaining his undergraduate degree.


“The thing is, I didn’t even know bowling existed until I got to SIU,” Moore said. “So I’ve only been bowling since my sophomore year of college.”

Null said when Moore started bowling at the university, he wasn’t that good.

“But you know, when you start, you don’t have the best equipment,” Null said. “Through Paul, Paul drills all the balls for people. Dwayne started getting better equipment, he started practicing more, he got on the bowling team. After he graduated he stayed on the league, and this is the result of it.”

Deering was the coach of the bowling team when Moore started at the university. Now, Null said there’s no money to keep a team like that.

Luckily, when Moore tried out for the team, he said he had the best day of his life.

“I started out with a 279, which was one strike away from a 300,” Moore said.

Deering is actually the reason Moore still bowls, he said. Deering made bowling Moore’s outlet.

“When I’m angry, I go bowl. If I’m stressed out, I go bowl. If I’m trying to get creative juices in my head of what to do, I go bowl,” Moore said.

Moore said Deering was the biggest influence that helped him enjoy bowling so much.

“Especially when he took a chance at letting me try out for the bowling team,” Moore said. “And then get on tour with the team, and we actually sucked. We sucked so bad it was crazy.”

It wasn’t that the SIU team sucked to the point where they shouldn’t attempt pro bowling, Moore said, but rather because they faced Wichita State, number one college bowling team in the country.

“It wasn’t the greatest, but it gave us confidence,” Moore said. “To know, that we stood toe-to-toe with the bowling gods of the college world made a big difference.”

Moore throws with a curve, which Deering said is the favored way to throw, rather than a straight.

“Simple geometry. You miss by a half-inch at five feet, you’ll miss by a foot at 60 if it’s going in a straight line,” Deering said. “So the curve tends to give you more forgiveness.”

As a proficient bowler, Moore has over 20 bowling balls. Different styles are used on different lanes, for different days. If the lanes are more recently oiled, you use a dull ball, and wipe off any absorbed oil after a throw to get a more consistent score.

“Different cover stocks for different lane conditions. I’ve had to learn how to adjust,” Moore said. “Adjusting was my hardest issue.”

So during a game of bowling, even if you threw the ball the exact same way every time, the ball could still move down the lane differently because the lane is “breaking down,” Moore said.

“The oil is starting to shift, the oil is starting to remove itself from the lane, and you throw in the same spot every time? Your ball will start to do different things,” Moore said. “So if I got an aggressive ball that was working the first game, second game I better not be standing where I was when I threw it in the first.”

Especially when it comes to throwing a 300, you have to read the lane just as you throw the ball, Moore said.

“It’s just like driving a car. If I’m driving down the road and I know there’s a car coming I’m not going to cut the car off, I wait until that car gets past me,” Moore said. “Same thing with bowling. If I know the lane’s going to break down, I’m not going to stay in the same spot.”

When people ask Moore how he’s gotten as great as he is at bowling, he said he tells them he isn’t a great bowler. He’s an okay bowler that’s still learning.

“I bowl because it makes me happy,” Moore said. “It gets me to where I need to be.”

Campus editor Jeremy Brown can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @JeremyBrown_DE.

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