ARLINGTON, Texas - The United States Bowling Congress has canceled the 2021 USBC Team USA Trials due to ongoing public health concerns, restrictions and recommendations surrounding COVID-19.
Following schedule and location adjustments based on recommended best practices and social-distancing protocols, the event was slated to take place at two bowling centers in the Indianapolis area from Jan. 2-7, but the current COVID-19 metrics in the area, and many other states, suggest it is not reasonable to conduct the event at this time.
The current 2020 Team USA roster will move forward and represent Team USA in 2021 competitions.
"For months, our staff has been planning and creating protocols to operate the 2021 Team USA Trials," USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy said. "Unfortunately, we are seeing infection rates and hospital capacity on a concerning trend. Additionally, nearly 100 athletes have withdrawn from the event and requested refunds.
"We are disappointed to deliver this news but believe the decision is in the best interest of the athletes and the broader community."
As the national governing body for the sport of bowling, as recognized by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, USBC looks to the USOPC for guidance. Earlier this month, the USOPC announced the closure of all its Colorado Springs training venues through Jan. 14, 2021, due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and concern about the local health care system.
Additionally, several states currently require quarantine upon returning from travel to other states. These requirements could preclude some athletes from participating in the event.
"The outlook for the new year is still positive, and a vaccine appears to be on the horizon," Murphy said. "We have the plans in place to be back on the lanes and hosting our national championship events in 2021."
The next events on the schedule for USBC and the Professional Women's Bowling Association are the PWBA Kickoff Classic Series in Arlington from Jan. 18-26 and the U.S. Open, scheduled to take place in Green Bay, Wisconsin, from Feb. 21-28.
At this time, schedules and locations for both events, plus the start of the 2020-2021 USBC Collegiate season in January, are unchanged.
An additional update about 2021 USBC national events will be made on, or before, Jan. 15.
For more information about the 2021 tournament schedule, visit BOWL.com/Tournaments.