RENO, Nev. – The sound of pins crashing and teams cheering filled the National Bowling Stadium on Friday as the opening squad of the 2021 United States Bowling Congress Women’s Championships featured the first of more than 2,700 teams.
The 2021 tournament is the 101st edition of the USBC Women’s Championships and marked the comeback of the event after the 2020 tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last time the Women’s Championships was not held prior to 2020 was from 1943-1945 due to World War II.
Friday’s squad was preceded by an opening ceremony, which featured welcomes from several local dignitaries and representatives from THE ROW Reno, the presenting sponsor of the 2021 Women’s Championships.
Reno Vice Mayor Bonnie Weber rolled the ceremonial first ball to help kick off the competition, and the ceremony was capped by the famed Mass Ball Shot, which featured one member of each of the 28 teams on the opening squad rolling a ball down the lane at the same time.
The 2021 event marks the tournament’s 12 visit to Reno and ninth trip to the 78-lane NBS.
One of the four-player teams to hit the lanes Friday was Rock N’ Rowdy Rollers of Gun Barrel City, Texas, which also bowled on the opening squad at the 2019 Women’s Championships in Wichita, Kansas.
“We were very excited to be out here, and it’s always a privilege to come out on the first day,” Dina Feld said. “We always like to do big things in Texas, and there’s nothing bigger than the first day.”
The team included Feld, Connie Harlan, Kaye Walker and Debbie Hammack and put up a big number for the Sapphire Division. The group finished its team event with a 1,868 total, seven pins short of the winning Sapphire total from the 2019 event.
Harlan led a consistent team effort with a 489 series and helped the group to games of 581, 686 and 601. Walker had 482, Hammack added 452 and Feld finished with 445.
Teams in the Sapphire Division have combined entering averages of 544 and below.
The Women’s Championships features four average-based divisions for team competition and six divisions for doubles, singles and all-events. All-events titles are awarded to the bowlers with the highest nine-game totals at the event, made up of three games of team, doubles and singles competition.
The members of Rock N’ Rowdy Rollers credited their team unity and ability to pick each other up in helping put together the big score.
“What really makes it fun and encourages us is when one of us is doing bad, we hold each other up,” Feld said. “We’re really good about that. I think we all cheered each other on tonight and did that, which made it easier. We’re a team, and we’re very excited about how we bowled.”
The 2021 Women’s Championships will run for 73 days, with the final doubles and singles squad taking place July 4. During the course of the event, the Women’s Championships will take a break in May to welcome the USBC Queens to the NBS.
The Queens, the first major on the 2021 Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour schedule, is scheduled to take place May 12-18.
For more information on the USBC Women’s Championships, visit BOWL.com/WomensChamp.