The opportunity to give bowling fans additional live coverage, including live broadcasts each Saturday in August, meant the PWBA Tour had to adjust the 2018 schedule announced earlier this year. The PWBA has had a regular presence on network television since the women’s bowling tour relaunched in 2015.
Also in 2018, the finals of each PWBA event will take place in the host centers. In the last two seasons, the championship rounds of standard events were taped for delayed broadcast in conjunction with one of the four major events on the PWBA Tour. In 2018, fans will be able to watch wire-to-wire action of a PWBA event.
“For the proprietors and the fans who come out to support us, they now will be able to watch the crowning of a PWBA Tour champion in their center, and it also will provide continuity for the bowlers,” PWBA spokesperson Kelly Kulick said.
“The 2017 season concluded with an incredible live show in Richmond, and the energy in the venue was amazing. We can’t wait to capture that again in 2018.”
A new element of the 2018 season will be three elite-field events that will take place during the second half of the season.
After eight events, the top 24 players on the 2018 PWBA points list will earn automatic spots into the elite-field events – the PWBA St. Petersburg-Clearwater Open, PWBA Twin Cities Open and PWBA Columbus Open. Those events will have 32-player fields, with remaining spots filled through an on-site eight-game qualifier each week.
All 32 competitors will bowl 16 games of qualifying, then the top 12 advancers will bowl six additional games. The top five after 22 games will advance to the TV finals.
The 2018 PWBA Tour season will kick off in Las Vegas in late April and hit locations across the United States, closing with six consecutive live TV shows, including back-to-back majors to end the season. Five of the live shows during the season will take place on Saturdays.
“The addition of the live telecasts gives the PWBA greater exposure and the opportunity to grow even more to build future stars,” Kulick said. “We have so many amazing women competing each week, and I’m looking forward to another great season.”
The finals of the six events not on TV will be livestreamed from the host center. All non-televised competition from every tournament will be livestreamed. Details on livestream distribution will be announced early next year.
The six standard events in 2018 will feature 16 games of qualifying before the field is cut to the top 32. After eight more games, another cut will be made to the top 12, who will bowl six more games. The top four after 30 games will advance to the livestream stepladder finals.
The complete revised 2018 PWBA Tour schedule:
2018 PWBA Tour #1
PWBA Las Vegas Open (standard event; livestream finals)
South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, Nev. United States (April 26-28, 2018)
2018 PWBA Tour #2
PWBA Sonoma County Open (standard event; livestream finals)
Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park, Calif. United States (May 3-5, 2018)
2018 PWBA Tour #3
PWBA Fountain Valley Open (standard event; livestream finals)
Fountain Bowl in Fountain Valley, Calif. United States (May 10-12, 2018)
2018 PWBA Tour #4
USBC Queens (PWBA Major; live TV finals)
National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev. United States (May 16-22, 2018)
2018 PWBA Tour #5
PWBA East Hartford Open (standard event; livestream finals)
Silver Lanes in East Hartford, Conn. United States (May 31-June 2, 2018)
2018 PWBA Tour #6
PWBA Louisville Open (standard event; livestream finals)
Fern Valley Strike and Spare in Louisville, Ky. United States (June 7-9, 2018)
2018 PWBA Tour #7
PWBA Greater Harrisburg Open (standard event; livestream finals)
ABC West in Mechanicsburg, Pa. United States (June 14-16, 2018)
2018 PWBA Tour #8
U.S. Women’s Open (PWBA Major; live TV finals)
Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando, Fla. United States (June 23-30, 2018)
2018 PWBA Tour #9
PWBA St. Petersburg-Clearwater Open (elite format; live TV finals)
Seminole Lanes in Seminole, Fla. United States (August 2-4, 2018)
2018 PWBA Tour #10
PWBA Twin Cities Open (elite format; live TV finals)
Cedarvale Lanes in Eagan, Minn. United States (August 9-11, 2018)
2018 PWBA Tour #11
PWBA Columbus Open (elite format; live TV finals)
Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl in Columbus, Ohio, United States (August 16-18, 2018)
2018 PWBA Tour #12
PWBA Players Championship (PWBA Major; live TV finals)
Plano Super Bowl in Plano, Texas, United States (August 22-25, 2018)
2018 PWBA Tour #13
PWBA Tour Championship (PWBA Major; live TV finals)
TBD in TBD (August 31-Sept. 4, 2018)
The site for the invitation-only PWBA Tour Championship will be announced at a later date. Click here for more information about the PWBA Tour.
2018 U.S. Women’s Open to feature select field, guaranteed prize fund
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