Opening ceremonies will usher in 2006 USBC Women's Championships


    United States

    National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev. - March 16 through July 2

    2006USBCWomensChampionshipLogo.jpg For the fifth time in its nearly 90-year history the world's largest participatory sporting event for women will kick off in Reno, Nev., next week. The 2006 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships begins its 109-day run at the National Bowling Stadium on March 16 and will continue through July 2.

    The event, formerly known as the Women's International Bowling Congress Championship Tournament, will feature 10,976 teams from across the country.

    Opening ceremonies will begin at 6:30 p.m. March 16 and will feature three local bowlers throwing out the ceremonial first ball. Bowlers on the opening squad will also take part in a mass ball shot to kick off the tournament.

    This year marks the fourth time the event has been held at the National Bowling Stadium, which has undergone recent renovations. The changes to the stadium include new carpeting, a new scoring system and new lane panels.

    The Women's Championships, which was previously held in Reno in 2003, 2000, 1997 and 1988, is open to any USBC female member. It features five average-based divisions, giving bowlers of all skill levels an opportunity to compete for a prize fund estimated to reach $2.5 million.

    Highlighting the 109-day run of the tournament is the USBC Queens, which will be held June 17-21. The Queens will feature approximately 300 of the best women competitors in the world - both former professionals and amateurs - who will compete for a guaranteed prize fund of $200,000. The USBC Senior Queens will also be held at the same time.

    In the days leading up to the opening of the Women's Championships another event will take place on the lanes at the National Bowling Stadium. The USBC Senior Championships will be contested March 14-15 with bowlers in five divisions competing in the handicap singles event.

    Presenting sponsors of the USBC Women's Championships are Eldorado, Silver Legacy and Circus Circus Hotel/Casinos in Reno, Nev.