It’s not a given thing that an organizer finds the time to participate in his own tournament, especially when 479 players have registered for the event. Ian Robinson, tournament director of the 38th AIK International Tournament Powered by Track was among the 56 players who took to the 28 lanes at Bowl-O-Rama in Stockholm, Sweden, on Jan. 1 and he set the tone in the first squad in 2018 and seventh overall.
The southpaw (pictured right and above), whose previous high score was 1212, rolled games of 203, 188, 233, 276, 208 and 219 for 1327 total, an average of 221.17 for six games, to improve by 115 pins and to leap from 77th to 22nd place in the qualifying standings.
Swedes James Gruffman (left), Isabelle Hultin and Peter Hellström continued to lead the 255-player field from seven countries since the first qualifying day (Dec. 26). Gruffman, a one-time European Bowling Tour champion, is in the pole position with 1465 and the field-best 244.17 average.
Hultin (right), the best woman in the field, was just two pins back with 1463 (235.83 scratch average), including 8 pins handicap each game, an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events.
Hellström (left), who owns three EBT titles was third with 1427. Squad 3 leader Joakim Biehl, Sweden, was the only other player who reached the 1400-plateau to sit in fourth place with 1405.
Former Swedish youth national team member, Kim Bolleby, who now bowls for Thailand, remained the best non-Swedish bowler in sixth place with 1387.
The cut for the top 8, who will earn two byes and skip the semi-final round and the first round of the finals, is currently Richard Dahllöf of Sweden with 1384 or an average of 230.67.
22nd place Robinson and Björn Bergvall, Sweden, who was second in squad 7 with 1305 to take over 31st place, are among the top 38, who will miss the semi-final round. Johan Brunsberg, Sweden, holds the 38th and last place with 1287 and an average of 214.50.
There is currently a five-way tie for 74th and last place to advance from the overall leaderboard with 1224 or an average of 204. Each tie in qualifying is broken by the highest last game. If a tie still exists the highest fifth game breaks the tie, and so on.
Anton Adolfsson, who had a 234 last game sits in 73rd place, while Adam Hultgren is the cut thanks to his 222 in game six. Just below the cut line in 75th to 77th place are Peter Almqvist (213), Stefan Nilsson (208) and Stefan Dew (183), all from Sweden.
Qualifying continues on Tuesday, January 2, with squad 8 scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Central European Time (CET).
The 38th AIK International Tournament Powered by Track, which will be held from December 26th through January 7th at 28-lane Bowl-O-Rama in Stockholm, Sweden, is the season-opening event of the 2018 European Bowling Tour.
A newcomer on the Tour, the “silver” level tournament offers total prize money of 475.000 Swedish Kronor (SEK), roughly 48.000 Euro or 57,000 U.S. Dollar, including extra prizes for women, seniors, juniors and under 200 average bowlers.
The champion will walk away with the 60.000 SEK top prize (6.070€ / $7,195), with 30.000 SEK going to the runner-up and 20.000 SEK to the third place finisher. Low to cash is 56th place, worth 4.500 SEK (455€ / $540).
Qualifying (six games, unlimited re-entries) begins Tuesday, Dec. 26, with squads 1 & 2 and concludes Saturday, Jan. 7, with squad 23.
Women will receive 8 pins handicap each game (up to 292 – maximum score is 300), an equality handicap provided to women in all EBT events.
Total 100 players will advance, including the top 74 in the overall qualifying standings, the top 4 “early birds” (squads 1-3), top 4 women, top 4 juniors (born in 1997 or later), top 4 seniors (born in 1968 or earlier) and top 4 bowlers with a certified average under 200, who are not among the top 74, plus the top 3 players each from Turbo G5 (highest qualifying game #5) and Turbo G6 (highest qualifying game #6).
The top 8 qualifiers go directly to Final Round 2, while qualifiers 9-38, the four “early birds” and the Turbo G5 and G6 leaders advance to Final Round 1. The remaining 56 finalists meet in the semi-final round on Saturday evening, Jan. 6, to bowl six games starting from scratch with the top 12 advancing to Final Round 1 on Sunday morning, Jan. 7.
Final Round 1 and 2 are also six-game rounds beginning from scratch (no carryover pins), which trim the field to 32 and then 16 players. Round 2 pins carry over to the finals.
Final Round 3 and 4 are four-game rounds after which the field is cut to the top 8 and then three players, who determine the champion in a stepladder final. No. 3 takes on no. 2 for the right to bowl the top-seed for the title.
The 2018 European Bowling Tour features 13 tournaments in 10 countries including two “platinum”, two “gold”, three “silver”, three “bronze” and three “satellite” events, which will offer total prize fund of more than 560.000 Euro.
The top 50 men and the top 50 women in each event receive ranking points. Those points will be tabulated throughout the season to determine the top 8 men and top 8 women, who will be eligible to compete in the 12th EBT Masters July 8, 2019 at Bowling Chamartín in Madrid, Spain.
Malin Gref, Jesper Svensson lead Squad 6 at AIK International Tournament
Squad 5 leader Björn Lindqvist cracks top 8 at AIK Stockholm
No changes atop the AIK leaderboard in Squad 4 on Thursday
Joakim Biehl moves into fourth place at AIK International Tournament
James Gruffman averages 244 to take the early lead in Stockholm
2018 European Bowling Tour gets underway with AIK International Tournament
2018 European Bowling Tour Schedule of Events
38th AIK International – Qualifying Standings after Squad 7/23
Players with position, country and 6-game total; women’s scores including 8 pins handicap each game. Top 74 qualifiers plus another 26 players will advance.