Bowling News USA - July 19, 2014 PBA Adjusts Women's Dues, Re-Schedules Central, Midwest Region Events Including PBA St. Charles Lanes Midwest Open
Based upon input from women bowlers, Professional Bowlers Association Deputy Commissioner Kirk von Krueger (pictured) announced Friday that the PBA has adjusted membership dues for women for the balance of the 2014 season as part of a revised PBA Women's Regional program.
The inaugural PBA Women's Regional program, offering women bowlers close-to-home opportunities to bowl in PBA-caliber competition, will culminate with a PBA Challenge television event on ESPN which also will feature the PBA Regional Finals match, PBA50 Tour Finals match and Teen Masters Grand Championship match.
To enhance the program, the PBA will pro-rate membership dues for women to $75 for the balance of the 2014 season, and waive the standard initiation fee for new members.
Von Krueger also announced tournaments originally scheduled for this weekend in the Central and Midwest Regions have been replaced due to an unforeseen conflict with the BPAA Women's All Star which gets underway Sunday in Rockford, Ill.
"We've received a lot of favorable reaction from interested women bowlers since we announced this new program, and based upon that feedback, we're making a few other adjustments to the program – including a pro-rated membership structure for women for the rest of the 2014 season – to make it more accessible and more affordable," von Krueger said.
The new regional program will result in eight women's points leaders based on three-tournament series conducted by the PBA's East, South, Central, Midwest, Southwest, West/Northwest combined and Japan Regions advancing the PBA World Series of Bowling VI in Las Vegas.
The PBA Women's Regional Finals in Las Vegas will feature an eight-game round-robin match play competition at South Point Bowling Center on Oct. 24. The top two players will advance to the ESPN telecast.
The eight regional qualifiers also will receive paid entries into the World Series where they will compete in the PBA Cheetah, Scorpion, Chameleon and Viper Opens – all leading to a chance to qualify for the PBA World Championship.
Additional updates to the women's program announced Friday include:
A new $75 PBA membership, with no initiation fee, will be offered to women for the duration of 2014 if they wish to join. Women who want to compete for berths in the PBA Women's Regional Finals in Las Vegas must be PBA members in order to earn points in their regions, and to enter the PBA World Series of Bowling VI.
Tournaments scheduled in the PBA Central and Midwest Regions for the July 19-20 weekend have been re-scheduled to avoid a conflict with the BPAA Women's All Star in Rockford, Ill., and to give more players an opportunity to enter (see revised schedule below).
The competition points leaders for three designated tournaments in the eight regional programs will also receive paid entries to bowl in the PBA World Series of Bowling VI. The top two women in combined West/Northwest Region points will qualify for the PBAW Regional Finals.
A PBA Regional title will be awarded if the regional tournament field includes 20 or more PBA women members, or if a woman wins the "open" portion of the regional outright. Winning a PBA Regional title also means a player is eligible to enter the PBA Tournament of Champions.
Other aspects of the PBA Women's Regional program will continue as originally announced:
Women will bowl with and against male bowlers in each regional tournament, but women will be guaranteed at least one cashing spot (minimum $250). All women will be eligible to cash in the general prize fund and if she is a PBA member and wins the regional, she will earn a PBA Regional title (which also means eligibility for the PBA Tournament of Champions).
Women who are PBA members may enter regionals at the PBA member entry fee; non-member women will pay the non-member entry fee.
"This is an entirely new program for us," von Krueger added. "We are going to watch it closely, listen to players and do whatever we can to make it bigger and better in the future. We know there are hundreds of women bowlers across the United States who are looking for a place to bowl in high-level competition, and that's what we're striving to provide."
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