PBA News

PBA Tour standard format adjusted
for second half of 2004-05 season

Round of 64 to feature 14 games of qualifying, with top 32 advancing to match play

SEATTLE (Dec. 20, 2004) — Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour Commissioner Fred Schreyer announced today that the PBA Tour will modify its standard tournament format for the second half of the 2004-05 season.

The round of 64, currently a match play format, will now consist of 14 games of qualifying. The top 32 players with the highest total pinfall will advance into match play.

The new format will begin with the PBA GEICO Open in Mesa, Ariz., Jan. 5-9, 2005.

The round of 64 will feature two seven-game qualifying sessions every Thursday at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. local time.

“Our fans told us they wanted to see as much of our players as possible,” Schreyer said. “By switching to a 14-game qualifying format for the Round of 64 we ensure that any fan who comes to our event on Day 1 of competition will have the opportunity to see his or her favorite player compete.”

The top 32 qualifiers will then be seeded using the rolling points list based on the 20 previous PBA Tour events.

The rest of the tournament format remains unchanged. Wednesdays will showcase the PBA Tour Qualifying Round beginning at noon local time, followed by the PBA Practice Session at 7 p.m.

Fridays feature the round of 32 match play beginning at 10 a.m., followed by the round of 16 at 2:30 p.m. and the round of 8 at 7 p.m. All match play rounds remain best-of-seven games format. The top four will advance to ESPN’s finals every Sunday.

Saturdays are a day for the fans, with PBA Pro-Ams scheduled in up to three centers in each city, including the tournament host center.

The weekly Commissioner’s Exemption will be inserted into the round of 64, and bowl 14 games of qualifying with the rest of the field.

The PBA is enjoying early success this season, as its ESPN ratings are up 6 percent through the first seven events of the season, and attendance has markedly improved across the board.

Liz Johnson to become first female
to bowl in PBA Tour event

WICKLIFFE, Ohio (Nov. 10, 2004) — Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., will make history by becoming the first female to appear in a standard PBA Tour event when she bowls in the round of 64 in the PBA Uniroyal Classic Thursday at Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe.

Johnson earned her spot in the best-of-seven match play event as the top amateur with a 2,074 nine-game qualifying pinfall (good for a 230.44 average) in the PBA Tour Qualifying Round Wednesday afternoon.

“This is pretty exciting. I came in here with no expectations. It was actually a last minute decision to enter,” said Johnson. “I got off to a bad start out of the gate, shooting a 150, but after I calmed down a little my shot came to me. I got focused and it got better game by game. I’m pretty happy with the result.”

The PBA Tour Qualifying Round gives the top four non-exempt PBA members and the top amateur a slot in the 64-bowler bracket for that week’s standard event, joining 58 exempt PBA Tour members.

Johnson, seeded 64th for tomorrow’s round of 64, will face No. 1 Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., in her first match. Match play is a best-of-seven games, single-elimination format.

Johnson won the 1996 Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) U.S. Open en route to being awarded the 1996 PWBA Rookie of the Year Award. She collected 11 career PWBA Tour titles before the league ceased operations in the fall of 2003.

The PBA began operations in 1959 and opened its membership ranks to females in April of 2004. There are currently 11 female PBA members.

The PBA Uniroyal Tire Classic runs Nov. 11-14 at Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe. The final round will air live on ESPN Sunday, Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. ET.

PBA opens membership to women

SEATTLE, Wash. (March 29, 2004) — In what may be a first in professional sports, the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) will allow women to join its membership beginning immediately. The women will need to meet the same requirements for membership as the men, namely, maintaining a 200 average or greater for two consecutive 66 game league seasons.

"We have had requests from women over the past year to participate in our regional tournaments," said PBA Commissioner Fred Schreyer. "We thought about it for a long time and concluded, why not? We currently allow non-members to participate in our tournaments on a regular basis, and we felt that if a woman can meet the same criteria she should be allowed to compete and become a member."

Women who join the PBA will be able to participate in any PBA Regional event, and in the weekly PBA Tour pre-tournament qualifier (PTQ) for a spot in that week's event.

The 2004 PBA Tour Trials is open to any PBA member who has participated in five PBA events (PBA Tour, PBA Regional Tour, or PBA Senior Tour). Therefore if a woman has participated in at least five events before the June 1 start date, she may enter and compete for one of the eight remaining season-long exempt spots.

"I want to make it clear that this in no way means we will create or run a women's tour," continued Schreyer. "We just wanted to expand our membership to anyone who meets the requirements and give them an opportunity to compete at the highest level."

The 2004-2005 PBA Regional Tour season begins April 1. It was previously announced that there will be approximately 200 regional tournaments with a $600,000 increase in prize money, bringing the Regional Tour's prize fund to nearly $4 million.

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