PWBA Unveils 2017 Tour Schedule

by Bob Johnson 0

The Professional Women's Bowling Association will visit four new venues during its 14-event schedule in 2017.

The 2017 PWBA Tour kicks off April 27-29 at Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park, Calif., and will conclude with the 16-player, invitation-only PWBA Tour Championship Aug. 31-Sept. 3. The Tour Championship site will be announced at a later date.

The 2017 season again will feature four major events, including the United States Bowling Congress Queens, PWBA Players Championship, U.S. Women's Open and the PWBA Tour Championship. Thirteen of the 14 events will be televised on CBS Sports Network, including live telecasts of all four majors.

“I guess it’s time to start making travel plans for 2017,” said PWBA spokesperson, Kelly Kulick. “But really, it is great to see the PWBA returning to several centers that have given us tremendous support over the last two years. The new venues allow us an opportunity to showcase the tour to more bowlers and fans, and, hopefully, attract elite bowlers from surrounding areas.”

One of the new venues on the 2017 schedule is Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando, Fla. Two-time PWBA Tour champion Kendra Gaines is General Manager of Aloma Bowl, part of the chain of centers that includes Boardwalk Bowl, and she was instrumental in bringing the tour back to Orlando.

“I wanted to bring the PWBA back to Orlando to showcase the talented women in professional bowling to our community,” Gaines said. “As a former tour player, I enjoyed having a Florida swing because it was a great destination for bowling fans of all ages. We hope to give the bowlers in the Orlando area a treat, witnessing and bowling alongside some of the greatest athletes our sport has to offer.”

In addition to Boardwalk Bowl, the PWBA's new stops include Fountain Bowl in Fountain Valley, Calif.; Baton Rouge River Center in Baton Rouge, La.; and Plano Super Bowl in Plano, Texas.

Steve Cook's Fireside Lanes in Sacramento, Calif.; Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan.; Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln, Neb.; Super Bowl in Canton, Mich., and The Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley in Green Bay, Wis., are making their third consecutive appearances on the PWBA Tour schedule. Also making its third consecutive appearance is the doubles event featuring Professional Bowlers Association and PWBA Tour players, the PBA/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles event hosted by Donna Conners in Houston.

Double Decker Lanes, Seminole Lanes in St. Petersburg, Fla., and AMF Gates Lanes in Rochester, N.Y., will host a PWBA event for the second consecutive season.

Not returning this year are 2016 stops at Texas Station in North Las Vegas, Nev.; and Collins Bowling Centers-Eastland in Lexington, Ky.

The 2017 PWBA Tour schedule:

• April 27-29 — Double Decker Lanes, Rohnert Park, Calif.

• May 4-6 — Steve Cook's Fireside Lanes, Sacramento, Calif.

• May 11-13 — Fountain Bowl, Fountain Valley, Calif.

• May 17-23 — USBC Queens, Baton Rouge River Center, Baton Rouge, La.

• June 1-3 — Northrock Lanes Wichita, Kan.

• June 8-10 — Sun Valley Lanes, Lincoln, Neb.

• June 15-17 — Canton, Mich., Super Bowl

• June 22-25 — PWBA Players Championship, The Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley, Green Bay, Wis.

• June 29-July 1 — Boardwalk Bowl, Orlando, Fla.

• July 6-8 — Seminole Lanes, St. Petersburg, Fla.

• July 13-15 — AMF Gates Lanes, Rochester, N.Y.

• July 27-30 — Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles, Bowl On Bellaire, Houston, Texas

• July 31-Aug. 6 — U.S. Women’s Open, Plano Super Bowl, Plano, Texas

• Aug. 31-Sept. 3 — PWBA Tour Championship, site to be determined

— Terry Bigham, USBC Communications

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.