The United States Bowling Congress gave Open Championships bowlers a nice tease on Monday when it announced that 900 Global would sponsor the Showcase Lanes and two new side events at the 2013 USBC Open Championships and Women’s Championships in Reno, Nev.
The 10 new Showcase Lanes are on the ground floor of the National Bowling Stadium, replacing the restaurant that was to the right of the main entrance.
Along with the VIP and practice and coaching sessions, the Showcase Lanes will host the new 900 Global Two-Game Challenge and the Who’s Got the Look Baker Bonanza presented by 900 Global, USBC said in this news release.
USBC said that “the side events will have their own lane condition, and bowlers will be able to compete anytime lanes are available beginning at 11 a.m. Hours are subject to change.”
The 900 Global Two-Game Challenge features competition in three average divisions: Eagle (200 and above), Train (176-199) and Sure Thing (175 and below). The entry fee will be $40 with daily payouts and year-long prizes in each division.
The Who's Got the Look Baker Bonanza presented by 900 Global will feature five games of three-person Baker with the team being able to designate who bowls each 10th frame so long as each player bowls at least one 10th frame. The entry fee is $60 per team and competition is in three divisions: 600 team average and above, 526-599, 525 and below.
There's a guaranteed first prize of $3,333 in the top division, $1,111 in the 526-599 division and $777 in the 525 and below division, with a cashing ratio of 1-in-5. There also will be a special prize fund for all-female teams.
It's previously been announced that the Bowlers Journal tournament will be held on the unused high end of the main 78 lanes of the Stadium — there will be open lanes each day with the Open Championships moving to all fresh oil for every squad and using a maximum of 64 lanes.
USBC said the Bowlers Journal tourney in 2013 will feature lower entry fees, a new 3-game format, extended hours, the traditional and senior singles and doubles competition, a return of the 199 & Under Handicap Singles, a new Women's Handicap Doubles, a new Super Senior Singles (for bowlers 60 and older), and instant payback and jackpots.
As was the case on the four Showcase Lanes in Baton Rouge, USBC said the Showcase Lanes also will feature practice sessions on the lane conditions for both the Open and Women’s Championships, with or without coaching from a yet-to-be-identified USBC Silver level coach. One hour is $200 with a coach or $100 without for up to 10 bowlers.
Reservations are recommended, USBC said, and can be made by calling (866) 977-7433 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
With its sponsorship, 900 Global, which decided to drop from the PBA registration program this year, will show off its product line each day from 9:30-10:30 a.m. and 1:30-2:30 p.m., with bowlers able to throw 900 Global balls at no charge.
“The Open and Women’s Championships are the two premier events in bowling, and we are thrilled to be able to have such a significant presence at both upcoming tournaments,” Dave Smart of 900 Global said in the release. “The Showcase Lanes and side events help create a fun and competitive environment with a lot of traffic, and we welcome the opportunity to promote our products and help enhance the tournament experience for so many dedicated bowlers.”
The final nugget in the release is the entry counts USBC seems to be expecting for the tournaments: “The one-of-a-kind NBS will welcome more than 50,000 Open Championships competitors, and more than 25,000 bowlers will make their way to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center for the Women’s Championships. The 2013 Open Championships will kick off March 1, and the Women’s Championships will start April 12.”
That works out to 10,000 teams for the Open Championships and 5,000 for the Women’s Championships, which is in line with what I’ve been predicting.
I would imagine USBC would be thrilled if they could reach those numbers for all the tournaments in Reno over the next few years.