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Greater Cincinnati Bowling Association

Tribute to Joseph J. Rotsching (1905-2000)

Where does one start with writing about a man so instrumental to the game of bowling in Cincinnati? Joe came on the GCBA Board of Directors at the age of 34 in 1939. That's a total of 61 consecutive years Joe dedicated to the GCBA, a number that may never be matched or rivaled. Joe started out as the Secretary of the association from 1939 to 1940 and then continued on as a Director. Joe then became the President of the GCBA in 1947 and was granted Life Membership in 1948 upon completion of his presidential term. Joe became the Director of the Cincinnati Times Star Bowling Tournament at Stone's Lanes in 1945. He bowled in the national ABC tournament from 1934 through 1976 as well as bowling the Ohio State Tournament every year through that same period. Joe's full time job was for the Union Central Life Insurance Company. In 1954, a group of 8 ABC Directors selected Joe as President-designate of the Ohio State Bowling Association. He became the Ohio association President in May, 1955 and used his energy and organizational skills to build the Ohio State Tournament. He also oversaw many changes in the structure and management of the state association, molding it into a strong and viable organization. Joe then became a Life Member of the Ohio State Bowling Association in 1956. The national ABC mandated the inspection of all ABC lanes, and Joe fell heir to this added facet of his "part-time" job. Concurrently, Joe was pouring through old newspaper copies and developed a compendium of the history of Cincinnati bowling entitled 'The First Fifty Years'. But Joe couldn't get away, he was asked again to serve as our Association Secretary in 1965 and continued on until 1974. Now, Joe's part-time job was just getting too big. So, Joe retired from Union Central after 43 years and secured an office for the Greater Cincinnati Bowling Association in the Hotel Alms on McMillan Street. Joe was then appointed "full-time" Association Secretary/Treasurer in June 1965. Joe and the GCBA worked hard, bringing the 1968 ABC Tournament to Cincinnati. Joe was a charter member of the Greater Cincinnati Bowling Hall of Fame from its inception in 1965 and was inducted into the Ohio State Hall of Fame in 1989 as well as recently being the recipient of the Hamilton County Sports Hall of Fame 1999 Special Award. We all loved Joe and he will be missed by many.