The second of this season’s two Greater Iowa Bowling Association Ebonite Classics is set for Jan. 7-9 at Cadillac XBC in Waterloo, Iowa, GIBA Administrator Joe Engelkes announced.
Engelkes said the tournament again will have more than $5,000 in sponsorship. In addition to Ebonite (which is owned by Brunswick) and the Waterloo Convention and Visitors Bureau, support also comes USA Mortgage, Kwik Star (Kwik Trip), Budweiser/Bud Light, Fran’s Pro Shop, and The Other Place on Ridgeway Avenue.
The field is limited to 204 players and quite possibly will fill. To avoid getting shut out, players should get their $160 entry fee ($135 prize fund, $25 lineage) to Engelkes with their squad request. No checks will be cashed until the Monday prior to the tournament. PayPal also can be used to enter.
Update Dec. 22, 2021: Engelkes said in an email that with 110 entries openings remain on all three squads, although A & B are "filling fast." He noted that many bowlers who typically compete in the Winter Classic will be bowling in the PBA National Regional Professional Invitational and the Team USA Trials, both being held in Las Vegas at the start of January.
Update Dec. 29, 2021: Engelkes said in an email that just over 130 bowlers have entered, meaning there are plenty of spots available, including about a dozen on A squad and four on B squad.
Update Jan. 3, 2022: Engelkes said in an email that 135 bowlers have entered, with only B squad nearly full. "I am hopeful we can get to at least 150 entries by this weekend," he said. "If you are already coming to bowl this event, thank you for your support! Talk it up with your bowling friends and let them know it will be a great opportunity to bowl one of our premier GIBA events!!"
Update Jan. 6, 2022: Engelkes said in an email that the event is up to 154 members as of Thursday morning, with 7 spots open on A squad, 1 on B squad, and about 30 on C squad. If there are openings on C, re-entries will be allowed.
Mail entries to Engelkes at 1805 Quail Ridge Road, Cedar Falls, IA 50613. He can be reached at [email protected] or 319-260-1356 or 319-269-6909.
Update: The practice session has been moved to 6:30-8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 7, due to a high school bowling event.
The lane pattern typically is a very challenging Sport level pattern. The main parameters of length, volume and ratio are released in the week before the tournament and the pattern will be posted from practice on. I’ll update this story with details when they are released.
Update Jan. 7, 2022: The lane pattern was released at practice and is attached to the bottom of this story as a PDF. The asymmetrical pattern is 39 feet, with a 38-foot drop brush and 28.355 mL of Infinity oil — 12.735 mL forward and 15.62 mL reverse — left-side ratios of 2.26-1 middle-outside track, 1.14-1 middle-middle track, and 1-1 middle-inside track and right-side ratios of 2.02-1 middle-outside track, 1-1 middle-middle track, and 1-1 middle-inside track.
Qualifying on Saturday, Jan. 8 is seven games and the squad times are A at 8:30 a.m., B at 1:45 p.m. and C at 7 p.m. The top 64 (based on 204 entries) advance to a 6-game semifinals at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 9. Pins carry over and the top 10 after 13 games making the 10-man modified stepladder with the top four making the stepladder and the remaining six bowling bracket matches to determine the final spot. Seeds 5 and 6 get a bye before facing the winners of matches between seeds 7-10 and 8-9.
Anyone who has bowled one of these tournaments the past few years knows what awesome events they are. To those who haven’t: you are missing a well-run tournament with a strong field and format, challenging condition and great payout.
With 204 entries, there will be 68 cashers, first through fifth will be $3,000, $2,200, $1,600, $1,300 and $1,100, 9th and 10th will be $650, and last cash will be $200.
There also is a guaranteed 1-in-3 cashing ratio for seniors and women. For example, if there are 15 senior entries and three cash in the regular prize fund, two more spots will be paid so there are five total cash spots. The minimum payout will be $160.
And there will be pots and brackets, with half of the bracket proceeds going back into the prize fund. And there is a Bet You Win pot.
Engelkes said there again will be a bonus prize fund for GIBA members who have bowled at least four GIBA tournaments this season. The cost to enter the bonus prize fund will be $20, while members who have bowled three tournaments can enter for $75. The bonus prize fund will feature at least $2000 in added prize money. Qualifying scores will determine the cashers.
Engelkes said in an email last week that “At the beginning of this season, I had posted that we would most likely not have the bonus prize fund available as my plans were to use the money we normally put into the bonus prize fund to supplement the prize funds of our other tournaments throughout the season. Fortunately, our sponsors have stepped up in their support, and the growing number of GIBA members has provided us with enough funding that we can once again offer the bonus prize fund. The bonus prize fund will be a part of the Ebonite Winter Classic with at least $1500.00 added by the GIBA to that fund. Since there has been one less event this season prior to the Winter Classic, GIBA members who have bowled at least 3 of our prior events will be eligible to participate in the bonus prize fund side event.”
Nate Stubler won the Ebonite Fall Classic in September. Daniel Healy won the Ebonite Winter Classic in March 2021, Stubler won the Ebonite Fall Classic in September 2020, Tom Hess won the Ebonite Winter Classic in February 2020 and Dave Beres won the Ebonite Fall Classic in September 2019. Past Open Fusion winners were Michael Martell in February 2019, Hess in September 2018, Nick Pate in February 2018, Chris Pierson in September 2017, Vince Biondo in February 2017, Casey Murphy in September 2016, Beres in February 2016, Steve Keeler in September 2015, Matt Smith in January 2015, Hess in September 2014, Murphy in February 2014, Jason Poli in September 2013, Nick Heilman in February 2013, Derek Sapp in September 2012, and Matt McNiel in September 2011.