Ida Simmons Slack is considered one of the greatest women duckpin bowlers of all time. On seven occasions, she was ranked No. 1 bowler in the nation, an honor based on comparison of all bowlers’ scores in sanctioned league play. Slack was top ranked from 1934 through 1940 and the leader again in 1942. She was also ranked No. 2 on three occasions. Slack was duckpin bowling’s first professional. While ranked No. 1 she toured the country under contract, giving exhibitions and engaging in match games.
Retiring from competitive bowling in the late 1950’s, Slack was still the holder of the second highest average among women bowlers in the Tidewater area, even though she was nearly 50 years old at the time.
Slack began bowling in 1930 when a group of friends asked her to compete on their team. She had never bowled a game and the first time she stepped on the lanes she bowled 95, a remarkable duckpin score for a beginner. The nation’s best bowlers only averaged 120. In 1961, Slack was one of the first nine bowlers named to the Duckpin National Hall of Fame.