ARLINGTON, Texas – The 2018 U.S. Open will have a few notable changes, including the use of several lane patterns and the oiling of lanes before each squad, when the event takes place this fall in Wichita, Kansas.
The U.S. Open, a major event on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour and one of the toughest tests in the sport of bowling, will take place Oct. 24-31 at Northrock Lanes.
In 2018, four lane patterns will be used for the U.S. Open and competitors will compete on fresh lane conditions as all lanes will be cleaned and oiled before each squad. A different pattern will be used for each of the three qualifying rounds (three rounds, three patterns) and the final pattern will be used for the Cashers’ Round, match play and the live stepladder finals, which will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
Patterns will be posted at the tournament venue no later than the start of the practice session.
Also in 2018, bowlers will be allowed a maximum of 10 bowling balls, two more than last year’s event, and bowlers will have to complete an equipment registration form before Squad A takes to the lanes for the first qualifying round. Prior to the Cashers’ Round and the televised stepladder finals, bowlers will be able to make changes to their equipment registration card, while keeping the 10-ball limit.
“The U.S. Open is a major event, and we continuously look at ways to challenge the best bowlers in the world,” United States Bowling Congress Executive Director Chad Murphy said. “The use of several patterns and fresh oil for each squad are part of the enhancements that will provide a great test this fall.”
With 144 competitors to start, each of the three squads will have three bowlers on each pair of lanes (32 lanes). That will allow six bowlers on a pair for the 16 lanes that will be used for warm-up sessions prior to the squad. Bowlers will receive 20 minutes of warm up before the start of their squad.
At the U.S. Open, bowlers warm up on lanes not used in competition. After pre-squad announcements, competitors are permitted one ball on each of their starting lanes.
Before the tournament, there will be two official practice sessions, each lasting three hours, that will be available to all bowlers. The first session will have the event’s first two patterns (the first and second qualifying rounds). The second practice session will have the pattern for the third round of qualifying and the pattern that will be used for the Cashers’ Round, match play and the televised stepladder finals.
The U.S. Open became a limited-field event in 2017, with bowlers qualifying based on their on-lane performances during the 2017 calendar year. Leaders on the PBA Tour money list, and top performers at United States Bowling Congress and international events are among those who qualify.
In 2018, Rhino Page of Orlando, Florida, will seek to defend his first career major title. Page defeated top seed Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Arizona, 256-222, to win the 2017 U.S. Open in Liverpool, New York.
The U.S. Open is a collaborative effort of the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America and USBC.
Visit BOWL.com/USOpen for the complete rules and to see how bowlers qualify for the event.