A Look at the PBA’s New Regional Program for Women

by Bob Johnson 0

Based upon input from women bowlers, PBA Deputy Commissioner Kirk von Krueger announced that the PBA has adjusted membership dues for women for the balance of the 2014 season as part of a revised PBA Women’s Regional program.

The inaugural PBA Women’s Regional program, offering women bowlers close-to-home opportunities to bowl in PBA-caliber competition, will culminate with a PBA Challenge television event on ESPN, which also will feature the PBA Regional Finals match, PBA50 Tour Finals match and Teen Masters Grand Championship match.

To enhance the program, the PBA will pro-rate membership dues for women to $75 for the balance of the 2014 season, and waive the standard initiation fee for new members.

Von Krueger also announced tournaments originally scheduled for last weekend in the Central and Midwest Regions had been replaced due to an unforeseen conflict with the BPAA Women’s All Star, which began Sunday in Rockford, Ill.

“We’ve received a lot of favorable reaction from interested women bowlers since we announced this new program, and based upon that feedback, we’re making a few other adjustments to the program... to make it more accessible and more affordable,” von Krueger said.

The new regional program will result in eight women’s points leaders based on three-tournament series conducted by the PBA’s East, South, Central, Midwest, Southwest, West/Northwest combined and Japan Regions advancing the PBA World Series of Bowling VI in Las Vegas.

The PBA Women’s Regional Finals in Las Vegas will feature an eight-game round-robin match play competition at South Point Bowling Center on Oct. 24. The top two players will advance to the ESPN telecast. The eight regional qualifiers also will receive paid entries into the World Series, where they will compete in the PBA Cheetah, Scorpion, Chameleon and Viper Opens — all leading to a chance to qualify for the PBA World Championship.

In upcoming tournaments, a PBA Regional title will be awarded if the regional tournament field includes 20 or more PBA women members, or if a woman wins the “open” portion of the regional outright. Winning a PBA Regional title also means a player is eligible to enter the PBA Tournament of Champions.

“This is an entirely new program for us,” von Krueger added. “We are going to watch it closely, listen to players and do whatever we can to make it bigger and better in the future. We know there are hundreds of women bowlers across the United States who are looking for a place to bowl in high-level competition, and that’s what we’re striving to provide.”


PBA East Region

• July 25-27 — PBA Pure-It Pro Shop East Open presented by DV8, Cedar Lanes, Lebanon, Pa.

• Aug. 15-17 — PBA Bethmann Russell Syracuse Eastern Open presented by Radical, Flamingo Bowl, Liverpool, N.Y.

• Aug. 22-24 — PBA Mil-Ray Foods East Open presented by Columbia 300, Brunswick Zone Deptford, Deptford, N.J.

PBA South Region

• July 11-13 — PBA Spring Hill South Open, Spring Hill Lanes, Spring Hill, Fla. (top woman finisher, amateur Kimberly Roe, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.; top PBA member woman finisher, Christina Hardee, Mount Dora, Fla.).

• Aug. 8-10 — PBA Waccamaw Bowling Center Myrtle Beach South Classic, Waccamaw Lanes, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

• Oct. 17-19 — PBA Franklin South Open, Franklin Bowling Center, Franklin, Va.

PBA Central Region

• Aug. 15-17 — PBA Lefeld Implement Central Classic, Pla-Mor Lanes, Coldwater, Ohio.

• Sept. 19-21 — PBA Rex & Griffin Bigelow Memorial Central Open, Troy Bowl, Troy, Ohio.

• Oct. 5 — PBA Northway Lanes/Muskegon Central Open, Northway Lanes, Muskegon, Mich.

PBA Midwest Region

• Aug. 22-24 — PBA Bowlerama Lanes Midwest Open presented by Radical, Bowlerama Lanes, Des Moines, Iowa.

• Sept. 20-21 — PBA Diamond Jo's Casino Midwest Open presented by Dexter, Cherry Lanes, Dubuque, Iowa.

• Oct. 3-5 — PBA Calvert's Express Auto Midwest/Southwest Open, Aaron’s Family Fun Center, Belton, Mo.

PBA Southwest Region

• Aug. 8-10 — PBA Killeen Southwest Open, Hallmark Lanes, Killeen, Texas.

• Aug. 22-24 — PBA Greenville Southwest Open, Shenaniganz, Greenville, Texas.

• Sept. 26-28 — PBA Tomball Southwest Open, Tomball Lanes, Tomball, Texas.

PBA West/Northwest Region

• Aug. 22-24 — PBA Steve Cook's Capital City West/Northwest Open presented by DV8, Fireside Lanes, Citrus Heights, Calif.

• Sept. 26-28 — PBA Fog City West Open presented by Roto Grip, Classic Bowling Center, Daly City, Calif.

• Oct. 10-12 — PBA Battle at Black Oak Casino West Open, Black Oak Lanes, Tuolumne, Calif.

PBA World Series of Bowling VI, South Point Bowling Center, Las Vegas

• Oct. 24 — PBA Women’s Regional Finals match play round (point leaders in eight PBA regions bowl eight games of round-robin match play; top two advance to PBA Challenge title match).

• Nov. 2 — PBA Women’s Regional Finals match (part of PBA Challenge ESPN television event).

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.

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