Chard Murphy, United States Bowling Congress Executive Director, demonstrated a spirit of cooperation between the International Bowling Campus and the Professional Bowlers Association Tour Thursday when he announced on Facebook that the re-launched Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour will "go dark" during the weekend of the Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles tournament in Houston.
The Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles tournament will be contested for the 16th year July 31-August 2, 2015, at Palace Lanes in Houston, Texas. Those dates would place the tournament in the heart of the proposed PWBA season, which Murphy announced in an October 15 conference call with media is tentatively scheduled to be held from July 7 through September 10, 2015.
Alluding to longtime tournament director, Donna Conners, Murphy said in a November 5 post on Facebook that "Politics and egos play such a big role in things today while she just keeps running a great charity event that has a bowling tournament attached. . . . I called Donna tonight to let her know we will be going dark that weekend with the new PWBA Tour supporting her effort instead because it's what's best for bowling."
For the first time in its history, winners of the Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles tournament in 2015 will earn a PBA Tour title. Winners in recent years were granted a regional PBA title provided they were PBA members at the time they won. The tournament has become one of the most storied and popular events in competitive bowling in recent years, attracting some of the world's greatest bowling talent and providing challenging lane conditions.
In a phone interview with Bowlers Journal this past August, Conners said "People who get cancer have to fight to live, so what I have tried to do is to make a mission of this event by giving players a tough shot."
The 2014 event raised in excess of $71,000 for breast cancer research and paid 41 out of 84 spots. Missy Parkin and Scott Norton emerged the winners, each earning PBA regional titles for the victory.