Pan American Games selection process heats up


    United States

    USBC Team USA Trials, Pan Am Team Trials performance will be heavily weighted

    2007PanAmericanGamesLogo.jpg Hidden within next month's United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials will be the continuing selection process for United States athlete representatives at the 2007 Pan American Games, which will be held July 19-28 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    The 2007 Pan American Games team shall consist of two men and two women. An athlete must be a member of Team USA 2007, which will consist of 12 men and 12 women selected at the USBC Team USA Trials, to be eligible for nomination to the 2007 Pan American Games team.

    The Pan American Games team will be selected from those 12 men and 12 women as follows:

    * Total ranking points from 2006 competition at the U.S. Open, USBC Open Championships, USBC Women's Championships, USBC Queens and USBC Masters (15 percent of weight).

    * Actual pinfall finish at the 2007 USBC Team USA Trials, which will be held Jan. 8-11 at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev. (40 percent of weight).

    * Total ranking points from 2007 Pan American Games Team Trials, which are scheduled for Feb. 15-17 in Milwaukee at a center to be named, consisting of actual pinfall total (45 percent of weight).

    The Pan American Games Team Trials will feature two six-game blocks each day on four different lane patterns, which will be determined at a later date. The four players who will represent the United States in Pan American Games bowling competition will be announced on the evening of Feb. 17.

    "For Team USA athletes, the Pan American Games is the most prestigious tournament to compete in," Team USA High-Performance Director David Garber said. "They will be in an atmosphere with athletes from Olympic sports and treated at the highest level possible for any athlete."

    The Pan American Games are an Americas version of the Olympic Games which includes the Olympic Program sports and others that are not part of the Olympics. Conducted every four years, the first Pan American Games were held in 1951 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    An estimated 5,500 athletes from 42 countries will compete in 28 sports at the XV Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro. The bowling competition is scheduled for July 23-26 at Barra Bowling Center, a 20-lane facility located in the Barra Shopping Mall.

    Bill Hoffman, Scott Pohl and Shannon Pluhowsky -- all members of Team USA in 2006 -- as well as Stacy Werth represented the United States at the 2003 Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic. Pluhowsky won the women's singles gold medal and earned silver in doubles with Werth. The men's doubles gold medal went to Pohl and Hoffman, who also claimed bronze in singles.

    Pluhowsky, who won the 2006 USBC Queens title, and Hoffman already have secured spots on Team USA 2007 after earning two-year exemptions at the 2006 USBC Team USA Trials.