The new RPI program, which will introduce affordable, closer-to-home regional “major” championship events to the PBA’s East, South, Central, Midwest, Southwest and West/Northwest combined regions at the conclusion of the 2012-13 season, will provide six regional champions with $6,000 guaranteed first prize checks, paid entries into PBA World Series of Bowling V in the fall of 2013, and a chance to bowl in front of a national television audience on a special ESPN telecast. The winner of the ESPN telecast will earn a berth in the Tournament of Champions.
Each RPI will offer a $25,000 prize fund based on 48 entries, a 1:2 payoff ratio, a Friday pro-am and two six-game qualifying rounds on Saturday with the top 16 qualifiers advancing to five rounds of elimination matches on Sunday. Each of the six RPIs also will be webcast live, exclusively on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame.
"This is one of the most exciting initiatives for the PBA Regional program ever and shows the PBA's commitment to developing great players on the regional level,” said PBA Commissioner Tom Clark. “It makes the races for the RPI spots in each region even more compelling and the resulting Xtra Frame and TV exposure for the regional program will shed more light on one of the most important foundations of the PBA."
The 2012-13 RPI program is based upon competition points earned by players within each region between Sept. 1, 2012, and July 15, 2013. A total of 48 players within each of the six regions (including the combined West and Northwest Regions) will be eligible for the RPI finals, with preferred entry status awarded to the points leaders in each area.
For complete format, schedule and entry information, visit pba.com.
The newly-announced ESPN-TOC incentives add another dimension to the program. The six RPI winners will compete in a one-hour ESPN-televised event. The East, Central and South RPI winners will bowl in the first one-game match, and the Midwest, Southwest and West-Northwest winners will bowl in the second. The winners of those two matches will meet in a final game to determine the player who will earn special PBA Tournament of Champions consideration.
If the winner of the ESPN telecast is already a PBA Tour champion and currently eligible for the TOC, he/she will move to the top of the TOC eligibility list. If the winner is not a PBA Touring member and/or not already eligible for the TOC, he/she will become eligible for a one-time opportunity to bowl in the 2014 TOC.
2013 PBA REGIONAL PLAYERS INVITATIONAL SCHEDULE
Aug. 2-4 – PBA South Region Regional Players Invitational, Break Point Alley, Tavares, FL.
Aug. 31-Sept. 2 – PBA Midwest Regional Players Invitational, Super Bowl, Peru, IL.
Sept. 6-8 – PBA Southwest Regional Players Invitational, Firelake Bowling Center, Shawnee, OK.
Sept. 13-15 – PBA Central Regional Players Invitational, Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, MI.
Sept. 20-22 – PBA East Regional Players Invitational, to be announced.
Sept. 27-29 - PBA West/Northwest Regional Players Invitational, National Bowling Stadium, Reno, NV.