Professional Bowlers Association
The 2015 Professional Bowlers Association World Championship, the main event of the PBA World Series of Bowling and the final major championship of the year, will be televised live in weekday prime time on ESPN for the first time in 14 years, PBA Commissioner and CEO Tom Clark announced [Tuesday].
The move to live two-hour coverage at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 17, will result in a shift of PBA World Series of Bowling VII from its previously announced October time frame at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas to the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity for the PBA and bowling,” Clark said. “December 17 will be one of the most spectacular events in the history of the sport.”
Since 2000, the PBA’s ESPN telecasts have aired almost exclusively on Sunday afternoons. The remainder of PBA’s 2015-16 schedule will return to the Sunday time slot.
In order to maximize the impact of the prime time event, WSOB VII will move to Reno’s National Bowling Stadium, and the PBA will work with South Point Director of Bowling Mike Monyak to create new events for PBA members in the vacated October time slot.
The PBA World Championship is the PBA’s ultimate test of player versatility, requiring players to perform at a high level on five different lane conditions. WSOB VII, now scheduled for Dec. 7-19 at the National Bowling Stadium, will include the PBA Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion Championships. Qualifying rounds in those four “animal pattern” events determine the finalists who advance to World Championship match play, where they bowl on a special World Championship lane pattern. Combined scores from qualifying and match play will determine the top five players who will advance to the PBA World Championship stepladder finals.
WSOB VII is moving to Reno because rooms are not available due to the National Finals Rodeo, which will take place in Las Vegas in December.
The presenting sponsor and headquarters hotel for the PBA in Reno will be the Silver Legacy Resort Casino, which is within walking distance of the stadium. Special rates at Reno’s premier casino resort property will be offered to World Series participants. WSOB VII entry fee, schedule, format, hotel and prize money information will be announced soon.
Clark said the PBA and South Point are finalizing plans for a new PBA tournament initiative involving multiple events for PBA members for October. The South Point program will include a new Xtra Frame PBA Tour-title event. Details will be announced later.
The PBA also will re-schedule the Xtra Frame PBA Detroit Open, which originally had been scheduled for December at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich. Details will be announced later.