For Gary Wood, the Carson Indian Bowling Tournament signals the time for a pot of chili beans on the stove and the start of venison stew.
Wood, who averages a 205, and his wife Sharon, who averages a 176, are host to this year's American Indian Bowling Tournament, scheduled for Oct. 28-30 at Carson Lanes.
The chili beans and stew, which Wood cooks every year, are part of the closing meal on Sunday. The Carson Indian Colony resident, father of seven and grandfather of 12, has hosted the event for the past 21 years with his wife. He's been bowling since he was 23.
"I like to bowl and just to see everybody come together and have a good time and bowl," he said. "When I was younger I played a lot of basketball and sports, and you'd go to a lot of tournaments, and it always was a big party.
"With bowlers, it seems like they are a different breed. Nobody argues or gets mad or anything and it's a lot of fun to see everybody coming together."
Over the years, American Indians from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Lame Deer, Mont., Warm Springs, Ore., Arizona, Utah, Washington, the Bay area and Northern Nevada have participated. Many of the participants, like Carson City resident Billie Calvin, will know others from other tournaments around the country.
Calvin, who plans to bowl on the mixed team, mixed doubles, singles/doubles and masters categories, likes that the 21st annual Carson Indian Bowling Tournament is scheduled right in her back yard.
"It's convenient," she said. "It's right here and you get to meet new people and see your old friends. It makes it kinda nice."
While the weekend is for sanctioned Native American United States Bowling Conference bowlers only, those who are married to a USBC Native American Bowler can participate.
"Every year we get a few new (participants)," said Wood. "A lot of them are people you've seen before at different tournaments."
Registration begins Friday evening, but Wood said he and Sharon will likely be set up around 3 p.m. to start registering. The cost is $18 an event, with masters costing $30 and seniors masters costing $25. Each registrant will receive a souvenir bag with coupons for dining at local casinos.
The bowling fee will be used to buy jackets for the six masters' winners, as well as cash for the two strike pots and other division winners. Raffle tickets are $1 a piece and are for items like camping gear and American Indian jewelry.
Usually between 175-200 people attend the weekend affair that ends Sunday with a submarine sandwich luncheon, salads and Wood's beans and stew. The largest year saw 300 people.
"There are enough (American Indian) bowlers here in Northern Nevada that if they all played it would probably more than double the tournament entries if they would all come," Wood said.
n Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.
If you go
What: 21st annual Carson Indian Bowling tournament
When: Oct. 28-30
Where: Carson Lanes, 4600 Snyder Ave.
Cost: $18 for regular events, $30 for masters, $25 for senior masters
To register: Call Gary Wood at 883-8333 or reach him by e-mail at email@example.com