PBA, PWBA to Cooperate in Providing More Opportunities for Women Bowlers

by Bob Johnson 0

The Professional Bowlers Association and Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) have formed a new strategic partnership to provide new events, exposure and services for women’s bowling.

Highlights of the new partnership include:

• Seven new PWBA regional events to complement the PWBA Tour.

• Player services transportation and mobile pro shop for the PWBA Tour.

• Exclusive live coverage of the PWBA Tour through Xtra Frame, PBA’s online video streaming service.

• Eligibility for PWBA members to bowl in all PBA events.

• Expanded points program for women bowling in PBA regionals, culminating in the ESPN-televised PWBA Regional Challenge at the PBA World Series of Bowling VII.

Tom Clark
Tom Clark

“Advancing opportunities for women professional bowlers has been a goal of the PBA for years, and this partnership reinforces that commitment,” PBA Commissioner Tom Clark said. “We also are thrilled to add PWBA to the Xtra Frame schedule to provide more programming for our subscribers and valuable content from a business perspective.”

The seven new PWBA regional events are women-only competitions conducted by PBA’s respective regional managers, and will have $10,000 prize funds based on a minimum of 40 entries. Host centers and cities for the new events include:

• June 5-7 – Bowlium Lanes, Montclair, Calif. (West Region)

• June 12-14 – Secoma Lanes, Federal Way, Wash. (Northwest Region)

• June 26-27 – Pro Bowl West, Fort Wayne, Ind. (Central Region)

• July 4-6 – Liberty Lanes, Gastonia, N.C. (South Region)

• Sept. 25-27 – Tomball Lanes, Tomball, Texas (Southwest Region)

• Sept. 27 – Liberty Lanes, Carpentersville, Ill. (Midwest Region)

The East Region event will be announced soon.

The new PWBA regional events will complement the PWBA Tour schedule. The 10 events on the PWBA Tour will have $60,000 in guaranteed prize money per event, with a $10,000 first-place prize. The PWBA Tour schedule:

• May 13-19 – USBC Queens, Green Bay, Wis. (major)

• July 9-12 – PWBA Storm Sacramento Open, Sacramento, Calif.

• July 16-19 – PWBA Lubbock Sports Open, Lubbock, Texas

• July 23-26 – PWBA Wichita Open, Wichita, Kan.

• Aug. 6-9 – PWBA Topeka Open, Topeka, Kan.

• Aug. 13-16 – PWBA Lincoln Open, Lincoln, Neb.

• Aug. 20-23 – PWBA Minnesota Open, Welch, Minn.

• Aug. 27-30 – PWBA Detroit Open, Canton, Mich.

• Aug 31-Sept. 6 – Bowlmor AMF U.S. Women’s Open (major), North Brunswick, N.J.

• Sept. 10-13 – PWBA Tour Championship, location TBD (major)

FrankDeSocio
Frank DeSocio

“This agreement further demonstrates the bowling industry’s commitment to the success of competitive women’s bowling,” Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America Executive Director Frank DeSocio said. “Thanks to the PBA’s partnership, we are able to offer women bowlers the same top-level player services as men, plus additional events in more regions of the country.”

The PBA Women’s Regional points program, started by the PBA in 2014, will expand to include more than 70 additional PBA standard regional tournaments. These events will award points in tournaments across the United States and Japan under the PWBA name during the 2015 season.

Regional events afford women a professional environment close to home as part of weekend PBA Regional competition. The top points earners in each of eight regions with earn paid entries into this fall’s PBA World Series of Bowling VII in Las Vegas and will have the opportunity to advance to the ESPN-televised PWBA Regional Challenge.

Chad Murphy
Chad Murphy

“I want to thank Tom Clark and the PBA for their leadership in helping put the pieces of this partnership in place,” United States Bowling Congress Executive Director Chad Murphy said. “This agreement benefits the entire industry, including the ball brands, centers, fans and players. It is another example of working together to do what is in the best interest of bowling as we continue to build a future for the sport.”

Additional details about the PWBA regional point system events will be released soon.

2015 PWBA REGIONAL POINTS EVENTS SCHEDULE

(For complete tournament schedules and entry fee information, visit pba.com and click on the Schedules tab/Regional Tours)

EAST REGION

• April 10-12 - Rockaway, N.J.

• April 17-19 - Ellicott City (Baltimore), Md.

• June 5-7 - Yonkers, N.Y.

• May 15-17 - Syracuse, N.Y.

• June 19-21 - Howell, N.J.

• July 23-25 - Lebanon, Pa.

• Aug. 6-8 - York, Pa.

• Aug. 21-23 - Middletown, Del. (Xtra Frame)

• Aug. 28-30 - Deptford, N.J.

CENTRAL REGION

• March 20-22 - Hubbard, Ohio

• April 11-12 - Kokomo, Ind.

• April 18-19 - Elkhart, Ind.

• May 8-10 - Lorain, Ohio

• May 15-17 - Grove City, Ohio

• June 19-21 - Wooster, Ohio

• July 17-19 - Fishers, Ind.

• July 24-26 - Angola, Ind.

• Aug. 14-16 - Coldwater, Ohio

• Sept. 11-13 - Wapakoneta, Ohio

• Sept. 18-20 - Troy, Ohio

• Oct. 3-4 - Kokomo, Ind.

• Oct. 10-11 - Muskegon, Mich.

• Dec. 11-13 - Allen Park, Mich. (Xtra Frame)

SOUTH REGION

• April 10-12 - Bluffton, S.C.

• May 15-17 - Marion, N.C.

• June 5-7 - Easley, S.C.

• June 19-21 - Pensacola, Fla. (Xtra Frame)

• July 3-5 - Gastonia, N.C.

• Aug. 14-16 - Spring Hill, Fla.

• Aug. 28-30 - Fayetteville, N.C.

• Oct. 16-18 - Franklin, Va.

• Nov. 13-15 - Gloucester, Va.

• Dec. 4-6 - Merritt Island, Fla.

MIDWEST REGION

• June 5-6 - Richton Park, Ill.

• June 13-14 - Elk Grove Village, Ill.

• June 20 - Tinley Park, Ill.

• June 21 - Tinley Park, Ill.

• July 11 – St. Charles, Mo.

• July 12 – St. Charles, Mo.

• Aug. 8 - Lockport, Ill.

• Sept. 5-6 - Peru, Ill.

• Sept. 19-20 - Dubuque, Iowa

• Sept. 25-26 - Carpentersville, Ill.

• Oct. 9-11 - Council Bluffs, Iowa (Xtra Frame)

SOUTHWEST REGION

• Feb. 20-22 - Lakewood, Colo.

• March 20-22 - Odessa, Texas

• April 10-12 - Shawnee, Okla.

• May 1-3 - Junction City, Kan. (joint with Midwest)

• June 12-14 - Jonesboro, Ark. (joint with Midwest)

• June 26-28 - Lubbock, Texas (Xtra Frame)

• July 17-19 - Fort Sill, Okla.

• July 31-Aug. 2 - Houston, Texas (mixed doubles, Xtra Frame)

• Aug. 7-9 - Killeen, Texas

• Aug. 21-23 - Greenville, Texas

• Sept. 11-13 - McAlester, Okla.

• Sept. 25-27 - Tomball, Texas

• Oct. 9-11 - Austin, Texas

• Nov. 13-15 - Colorado Springs, Colo.

• Nov. 20-22 - Fort Worth, Texas

• Nov. 27-29 - Beaumont, Texas

WEST REGION

• Feb. 20-22 - Sutter Creek, Calif.

• April 10-12 - Dublin, Calif. (joint with Northwest)

• April 26-28 - Kona, Hawaii (joint with Northwest)

• April 29 - Schofield Army Barracks, Hawaii (joint with Northwest)

• May 1-3 - Hickam AFB, Hawaii (joint with Northwest)

• March 6-8 - Reno, Nev. (joint with Northwest)

• June 5-7 - Montclair, Calif.

• June 19-21 - Modesto, Calif.

• Aug. 7-9 - Gilbert, Ariz.

• Sept. 25-27 - Tuolumne, Calif.

• Oct. 16-18 - Reno, Nev. (joint with Northwest)

• Dec. 11-13 - Reno, Nev. (joint with Northwest)

NORTHWEST REGION

• May 22-24 - Puyallup, Wash.

• Aug. 14-16 - Milwaukie, Ore.

• March 20-22 - Grants Pass, Ore.

• June 12-14 - Federal Way, Wash. (joint with West)

• July 31-Aug. 2 - Boise, Idaho (joint with West)

JAPAN REGION

Dates and locations to be announced

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.