91st USBC Women's Championships gets underway in El Paso, Texas


    United States

    2010USBCWCRibbonCutting.jpgThe 2010 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships in El Paso, Texas, kicked off its 100-day run Saturday afternoon, as the first of nearly 6,000 teams took to the tournament lanes at the recently-transformed El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center.

    As the USBC Women's Championships entered a convention-center setting for the first time in its 91-year history, bowlers and spectators were treated to the opening ceremonies, which helped usher the tournament into a new era.

    Festivities included the traditional mass ball shot, a ribbon cutting (pictured) featuring El Paso mayor John Cook and USBC Executive Director Stu Upson and the ceremonial first ball thrown out by former El Paso major Suzie Azar. Entertainment was provided by Mariachi Flores Mexicana and VIVA! El Paso.

    "I want to bowl opening day every year," said Cyndi Hollinger of Wildomar, Calif., who competed in her ninth Women's Championships. "The performance was great, and this venue is a lot different then we are used to. I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but it's wonderful."

    USBC crews began to transform the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center into a state-of-the-art 48-lane bowling facility on Jan. 25. Many of the bowlers on the opening squad appreciated the efforts taken to build a one-of-a-kind setting for women bowlers.

    "Most of us work in a bowling center, so we know what kind of work happens behind the scenes," said Ellie Fears of Lake Elsinore, Calif., who bowled in her 10th Women's Championships and works at Trevi Lanes in Lake Elsinore. "We really appreciate what they did for us."

    Also new to the Women's Championships this year is the introduction of three average-based divisions, instead of five, which will be contested using 100-percent handicap. The divisions are named Diamond, Ruby and Sapphire.

    Bowlers looking to compete at the 2010 event, which runs through July 4, still have time to sign up. The entry deadline for the Women's Championships is April 1.

    2010USBCWCLogo.jpg The Official sponsors for the 2010 USBC Women's Championships are Nationwide Insurance; Kegel, official lane maintenance provider; Brunswick; US Steltronic, official scoring system; Storm Bowling Products Inc.; and the El Paso Convention and Visitors Bureau.


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