Bowling News USA - April 13, 2013 2013 USBC Women's Championships Underway in Reno...
The 2013 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships got underway at the newly-transformed Reno-Sparks Convention Center as the first of more than 4,200 teams took the lanes Friday.
The 94th edition of the world's largest participatory sporting event for women made its record eighth trip to Reno as bowling fans and local dignitaries cheered on the opening squad that featured 30 teams.
It's the first time the USBC Women's Championships has been held at the RSCC and the first time a bowling event has been held at the venue since the 1990 USBC Open Championships.
The 81-day event, which will conclude July 1, kicked off with a ribbon cutting featuring USBC Executive Director Stu Upson.
Paulette Moore of Pasadena, Calif., was chosen to roll the ceremonial first ball, and the right-hander knocked down nine pins to mark the official start of the 2013 event.
"Everybody was looking at me, and I didn't want to throw it in the gutter," said Moore, who made her ninth Women's Championships appearance. "I just went out there and released it. I had a good time and enjoyed myself."
The RSCC was transformed from an empty room into a 44-lane state-of-the-art facility in approximately eight weeks. The convention-center setting, which debuted at the Women's Championships at the 2010 event in El Paso, Texas, features the world's largest mobile scoreboard and a unique vendor area with shops, concession area and pro shop.
Carolynn Mikkelson of Sparks, Nev., looks forward to the start of the Women's Championships every year and has participated in the opening-day festivities for the past several years.
"We really enjoy bowling on opening night," Mikkelson said. "We've been doing it for a while now, and it's enjoyable. You have the entertainment, and it's nice. The convention-center setting is getting even nicer."
With both the Open and Women's Championships visiting the same host city in the same year for the first time, more than 75,000 bowlers will make their way to the Biggest Little City in the World, and the city is expected to see an economic impact of more than $150 million.
The USBC Open Championships, which is taking place at the National Bowling Stadium this year, began its 125-day run March 1 and will conclude July 7.
"Today, our female bowlers took center stage in Reno," said USBC Managing Director of Tournaments Brian Lewis (right). "Our Women's Championships competitors have a fantastic facility for this year's tournament, and our staff, along with the city of Reno, is excited to begin welcoming each and every one of them."
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