Note: This story originally posted Sept. 8, 2022 and has been updated multiple times.
The first of this season’s two Greater Iowa Bowling Association Ebonite Classics is set for Sept. 16-18 at Maple Lanes in Waterloo, Iowa, GIBA Administrator Joe Engelkes announced.
Maple, 2608 University Ave., was torched by burglars in February 2020 and had to be rebuilt almost from the ground up, re-opening in magnificent form only a few weeks before the 2021 Ebonite Fall Classic, as I detailed in this story.
GIBA administrator Joe Engelkes said the tournament will have at least $5,500 in sponsorship. In addition to Ebonite (now owned by Brunswick) and the Waterloo Convention and Visitors Bureau, support also comes Guaranteed Rate Mortgage, Kwik Trip/Kwik Star, IAMBowling, and Budweiser/Bud Light.
The entry fee is $160 ($135 prize fund, $25 lineage). Engelkes can be reached at [email protected] or 319-260-1356 or 319-269-6909.
Update Sept. 16, 2022: Engelkes reported that the tournament was full. The squad listings are here.
There will be a practice session from 4-6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16 for a cost of $10, with that $10 including a free raffle ticket for prizes. Ebonite donates a bowling ball certificate for the raffle, and Cadillac donates the lineage so the entire $10 will go back into the tournament to help pay for the webcast by InsideBowling.
Mike Flanagan of InsideBowling.com will be webcasting the tournament.
Update Sept. 16, 2022: The symmetrical lane pattern was posted at the start of practice. It is 43 feet with a 34-foot drop brush, 29.94 mL of oil — 16.65 mL forward and 13.29 mL reverse — and ratios of 1.84-1 middle-outside track, 1.27-1 middle-middle track, and 1.01-1 middle-inside track. The interesting twist to the pattern is that the forward oil is nine 2-2 loads, while the pattern is laid down in the reverse oil.
Qualifying on Saturday is seven games and the squad times have changed slightly to try to get the last two squads running on time: A will be at 8:30 a.m., B at 1:45 p.m. and C at 7 p.m. The field is limited to 168 players.
The top 56 with 168 players advance to a 6-game semifinals at 9 a.m. on Sunday. 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 168 entries, there will be 56 cashers, first through fifth will be $2,800, $2,200, $1,600, $1,300 and $1,100, 9th and 10th will be $750, and last cash will be $220.
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.
Matt Gasn won the Ebonite Winter Classic in January 2022, Nate Stubler won the Ebonite Fall Classic in September 2021, 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 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.