Schedule Unveiled for PBA’s World Series of Bowling in Reno

by Bob Johnson 0

This December, Reno’s National Bowling Stadium will be the center of the bowling universe as ESPN, Xtra Frame and the best players in the world will converge for a series of unique and lucrative events under the banner of the GEICO Professional Bowlers Association World Series of Bowling VII, presented by Silver Legacy.

WSOB VII will again give players from around the world five fresh opportunities for PBA titles across five diverse PBA lane oil patterns, highlighted by the main event, the PBA World Championship.

The World Series will feature an enhanced prize fund, adjusted tournament formats, live TV and the potential for the largest field in WSOB history. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the National Bowling Stadium’s size — 78 lanes — translates to a full field of 312 and a prize fund that will exceed $760,000.

National Bowling Stadium.jpg

The focal point will be the PBA World Championship, the season’s final major championship and its ultimate test of versatility and endurance. The five players who qualify for the live stepladder finals on ESPN on Thursday, Dec. 17, will survive 66 games of qualifying and round-robin match play on five different lane patterns.

For the first time, bettors will be able to wager on PBA World Championship results at the host hotel Silver Legacy’s MGM Mirage Satellite Race and Sports Book. The finals will be the PBA’s first time on live, prime-time TV since 2001.

“Thursday night, Dec. 17, will be one of the greatest spectacles in the history of the game,” PBA Tour CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark said of the 2015 PBA World Championship finals.

The qualifying stages of the PBA World Championship involve nine games each on the PBA’s Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion lane conditions. Those stages will again also serve as separate opportunities for players to win PBA Tour titles and prize money.

After the nine-game qualifying rounds in the Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion Championships, the top 24 from each pattern will advance to best-of-five-game single-elimination match play rounds. The top eight qualifiers will receive a bye to automatically advance to the second match play round.

Match play will reduce the field in each event to four semifinalists. The four ESPN-televised animal pattern finals will include two one-game semifinal matches with the two winners bowling for titles — the format commonly used shortly after “the new PBA” was introduced at the turn of the millennium.

Entries open on July 8. The past two World Series have attracted sold-out fields, each with representatives from 21 countries.

Subscriptions to Xtra Frame, PBA’s exclusive online video-streaming service, have reached their all-time highs during each of the past four WSOBs, and the 2014 WSOB’s ESPN viewership ratings were up 14 percent cumulatively for the seven shows produced over the previous year. Fans from around the world also have scheduled trips around the WSOB.

In addition to the main schedule, several ancillary events and TV shows will take place at WSOB VII. Here’s a look at PBA World Series of Bowling VII schedule:

 

MONDAY, DEC. 7

• 9 a.m. – Official practice session, A Squad (Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon, Scorpion, World Championship patterns)

• 1:30 p.m. – Official practice session, B Squad (Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon, Scorpion, World Championship patterns)

• 5 p.m. – PBA50 and PBA Regional Challenge match play qualifying events (8 games head-to-head match play; top two in each event advance to PBA Challenge Finals on ESPN)

 

TUESDAY, DEC. 8

• 8:30 a.m. – Cheetah Championship, 9 qualifying games (A Squad)

• 4 p.m. – Cheetah Championship, 9 qualifying games (B squad)

Top 24 advance to best-of-five-game single elimination match play on Monday, Dec. 14

 

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 9

• 8:30 a.m. – Viper Championship, 9 qualifying games (B Squad)

• 4 p.m. – Viper Championship, 9 qualifying games (A squad)

Top 24 advance to best-of-five-game single elimination match play on Monday, Dec. 14

 

THURSDAY, DEC. 10

• 8:30 a.m. – Chameleon Championship, 9 qualifying games (A Squad)

• 4 p.m. – Chameleon Championship, 9 qualifying games (B squad)

Top 24 advance to best-of-five-game single elimination match play on Tuesday, Dec. 15

 

FRIDAY, DEC. 11

• 8:30 a.m. – Scorpion Championship, 9 qualifying games (B Squad)

• 4 p.m. – Scorpion Championship, 9 qualifying games (A squad)

Top 24 advance to best-of-five-game single elimination match play on Tuesday, Dec. 15

 

SATURDAY, DEC. 12

• 10 a.m. – PBA World Championship cashers’ round, 6 games (top 25 percent of the field based on combined 36-game pinfall totals after Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion qualifying rounds)

Top 24 after 42 games advance to round robin match play

• 2:30 p.m. – PBA Tri-Regional Open, 8 qualifying games, all players

• 5 p.m. – PBA World Championship match play round one (8 games)

 

SUNDAY, DEC. 13

• 9 a.m. – PBA Tri-Regional Open match play and finals

• 10 a.m. – PBA World Championship match play round two (8 games)

• 5 p.m. – PBA World Championship match play round three (8 games)

Top five after 66 games advance to live ESPN finals

 

MONDAY, DEC. 14

• 10 a.m. – Cheetah Championship best-of-five-game single elimination match play (qualifiers 9-24)

• 1 p.m. - Cheetah Championship best-of-five-game single elimination match play (winners of 9-24 matches vs. qualifiers 1-8; eight winners advance to Round of 8 on Wednesday, Dec. 16)

• 4:30 p.m. – Viper Championship best-of-five-game single elimination match play (qualifiers 9-24)

• 7:30 p.m. - Viper Championship best-of-five-game single elimination match play (winners of 9-24 matches vs. qualifiers 1-8; eight winners advance to Round of 8 on Wednesday, Dec. 16)

 

TUESDAY, DEC. 15

• 10 a.m. – Chameleon Championship best-of-five-game single elimination match play (qualifiers 9-24)

• 1 p.m. – Chameleon Championship best-of-five-game single elimination match play (winners of 9-24 matches vs. qualifiers 1-8; eight winners advance to Round of 8 on Wednesday, Dec. 16)

• 4:30 p.m. – Scorpion Championship best-of-five-game single elimination match play (qualifiers 9-24)

• 7:30 p.m. – Scorpion Championship best-of-five-game single elimination match play (winners of 9-24 matches vs. qualifiers 1-8; eight winners advance to Round of 8 on Wednesday, Dec. 16)

 

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 16

• 10 a.m. – Cheetah Championship Round of 8 (best-of five-game single elimination match play; four winners advance to ESPN finals on Friday, Dec. 18)

• 1 p.m. – Viper Championship Round of 8 (best-of five-game single elimination match play; four winners advance to ESPN finals on Friday, Dec. 18)

• 4:30 p.m. – Chameleon Championship Round of 8 (best-of five-game single elimination match play; four winners advance to ESPN finals on Friday, Dec. 18)

• 7:30 p.m. – Scorpion Championship Round of 8 (best-of five-game single elimination match play; four winners advance to ESPN finals on Friday, Dec. 18)

 

FRIDAY, DEC. 18

• 9 a.m. – PWBA-PBA Women’s Regional Challenge match play qualifying event (8 games head-to-head match play; top two in each event advance to PBA Challenge Finals on ESPN)

 

ESPN TELEVISION FINALS SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, DEC. 17

• 4 p.m. (7 p.m. Eastern) – PBA World Championship, five-player stepladder finals (live on ESPN)

FRIDAY, DEC. 18

• TBA – Cheetah Championship ESPN finals (two one-game semifinal round matches, winners bowl for the title)

• TBA – Viper Championship ESPN finals (two one-game semifinal round matches, winners bowl for the title)

• TBA – Chameleon Championship ESPN finals (two one-game semifinal round matches, winners bowl for the title)

• TBA – Scorpion Championship ESPN finals (two one-game semifinal round matches, winners bowl for the title)

SATURDAY, DEC. 19

• TBA – PBA Challenge Series Finals (PBA50 Challenge, PBA Regional Challenge, PWBA-PBA Women’s Regional Challenge, Teen Masters Grand Championship)

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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