ARLINGTON, Texas - The United States National Amateur Bowling Championships returns alongside the 2016 United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials for an exciting week of competitions starting Sunday in Las Vegas.
The 70-lane venue at Gold Coast Hotel and Casino will host the 2016 events, as a near-record field of men, women and youth competitors seek spots on Team USA and Junior Team USA for 2016.
The U.S. Amateur was last held in 2007 as part of the Team USA Trials. The World Tenpin Bowling Association (now World Bowling) announced professionals would be allowed to compete in international competitions starting in 2008, opening spots on Team USA to both the top professional and amateur players.
Now, in 2016, the men's and women's U.S. Amateur champions not only will take home the coveted title but also earn a spot on Team USA.
"The Team USA Trials and U.S. Amateur are a true test of a player's versatility, shot-making ability and mental focus," said Neil Stremmel, USBC Managing Director, National Governing Body. "The top players at these events certainly will have earned the opportunity to represent the United States in 2016."
Qualifying at the 2016 Team USA Trials will begin Sunday and conclude Thursday, with all competitors bowling five six-game blocks. Each block will be contested on a different World Bowling lane condition.
Competitors will earn ranking points based on their finish position in each block . The top bowler of the block earns one ranking point, second place in the block earns two points, etc., with the lowest total of ranking points after the five blocks determining the top qualifiers. The top men's qualifier and top women's qualifier will represent Team USA at the QubicaAMF World Cup in 2016.
Immediately after Thursday's final qualifying round, the top three amateur men and top three amateur women will advance to a stepladder final to determine the U.S. Amateur champions. If the champion already has earned a spot on Team USA, the spot will be awarded to the next highest qualifier based on ranking points.
BOWL.com's BowlTV will provide wire-to-wire coverage of the events.
A minimum of 12 men and 12 women will join Team USA 2016. The top four men and top four women finishers at the 2016 Team USA Trials, based on ranking points, will earn automatic spots while two additional men and two additional women will be selected by the National Selection Committee from the pool of players that competed at the 2016 Team USA Trials.
The National Selection Committee also will select a maximum of five men and five women for the team based on submitted resumés from Team USA or Junior Team USA members within the last 10 years or the top 25 points list of the 2014-2015 Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour and the 2015 Professional Women's Bowling Association (PWBA) Tour.
On the youth side, Junior Team USA 2016 will consist of 12 boys and 12 girls. The top four boys and top four girls at the 2016 Team USA Trials, based on ranking points, will earn automatic spots while two additional boys and two additional girls will be selected by the National Selection Committee from either the 2016 Team USA Trials or 2015 Junior Gold Championships.
They will join the six boys and six girls who already earned their spot on Junior Team USA 2016 by qualifying at the 2015 Junior Gold Championships in Chicago.
To be eligible for the U.S. Amateur portion of the event, a bowler must not currently hold or have held a professional membership (PBA or PWBA) in the preceding year. Also, anyone who has won a professional title (regional, national or senior) as a professional is not eligible to compete as an amateur.