Based on the input of players who compete in the PBA’s more than 160 regional tournaments annually, the PBA will introduce new programs on a trial basis in 2014, including allowing re-entries in selected events, conducting additional tournaments exclusively for non-title winners and expanding its one-day, reduced entry fee tournament schedule.
PBA’s regional program was created in 1969 as a proving ground for bowlers who aspire to compete at the Tour level as well as providing accomplished players who are unable to compete on the national tour with close-to-home, affordable competitive opportunities.
Beyond its original intent, the current total of roughly 160 regional events in its East, South, Central, Midwest, Southwest, West and Northwest Regions gives the PBA and its host bowling center partners an ongoing showcase for the sport’s most talented players. The regional program, which consists of regular and PBA50 division for players 50 years of age and older, is reviewed annually and changes are introduced to meet current demands.
For 2014 revisions include:
● Each region will conduct at least one re-entry tournament, allowing bowlers who have a bad round additional opportunities to cash and advance to match play rounds.
● Each region will conduct at least three non-champions tournaments, which will be titled Challenge tournaments. Challenge tournaments will be open to PBA members and non-members who have never won a PBA event and will offer reduced entry fees. A non-member who wins a Challenge event will not be eligible to bowl any additional Challenge tournaments as a non-member, but will be allowed to bowl additional Challenge events if he/she joins.
● Based on the popularity of one-day, reduced entry fee events – introduced on a trial basis in 2013 to help reduced travel expenses for players – each region will offer one-day tournaments in 2014. The number of one-day, reduced entry fee events will be at the region’s option.
● Each region will conduct at least two tournaments that will offer a 1:4 prize fund ratio instead of the standard 1:3, providing more prize money for those who cash.
● Based on the popularity of doubles format events, each region will have the option to conduct a variety of doubles events, such as Over 50/Under 50, member/non-member, open doubles (any combination of partners) and mixed doubles.
“The PBA regional program not only provides a wide variety of competitive opportunities, but it also provides the PBA with an opportunity to examine new ideas and changing needs,” said PBA Director of Regional and PBA50 Tours John Weber. “We will be monitoring the new programs we’re introducing for 2014, and considering other ideas that will enhance or improve opportunities for PBA members.”
For PBA regional schedule and entry information click on http://www.pba.com/Tours/Regional.