With the return of Professional Bowlers Association
competition to broadcast television looming in 2019, the PBA and its new broadcast partner, FOX Sports
, are finalizing plans for an historic PBA Playoffs series that will add unprecedented drama to the Go Bowling! PBA Tour’s 61st season.
Beginning in January, PBA members will compete in a schedule of 13 PBA Tour events, earning points toward 24 berths in an all-new PBA Playoffs match play elimination series that will unfold over nine weeks of television coverage on FOX Sports’ FS1 and FOX channels.
The 10-event television series will begin with live coverage of the first Round of 24 matches from Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, on Monday, April 8, and conclude with live coverage of the semifinal and final rounds on FOX on Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2, also from Bayside Bowl.
Details for each tournament, including schedules, formats and more, are posted here.
The winner of the PBA Playoffs will earn $100,000.
“With the largest first prize in bowling at stake and live broadcast TV on FOX for the championship rounds, qualifying for the PBA Playoffs will be the goal of every player on the 2019 PBA Tour,” said Tom Clark (pictured), PBA CEO and Commissioner.
“At each of the 13 Tour events leading up to the Playoffs, points will be at stake, with only the top 24 making the cut. Keeping track of that points list during the first part of the year, and then watching all the intense elimination matches play out on mostly Monday nights in the spring on FS1, the Playoffs will capture the attention of fans everywhere.
“We couldn’t choose a better home for the first PBA Playoffs on FOX Sports than Portland’s Bayside Bowl, with its great fan base and unique atmosphere. Maine is going to host the most exciting tournament ever held.”
Here’s how the PBA Playoffs will unfold:
PBA Tour players will earn points based on positions for both qualifying and final standings in 13 tournaments classified as Tier 1 (major championship), Tier 2 (traditional) events, or Tier 3 (small or limited field, short format) events. Tier 1 events will award 50 percent more points than Tier 2 and three times as many as Tier 3 events.
The 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule, with “tier” designation, includes:
- Jan. 1-6 – PBA Hall of Fame Classic, Arlington, Texas (Tier 3)
- Jan. 8-13 – PBA Oklahoma Open, Shawnee, Okla. (Tier 2)
- Jan. 8-13 – Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles, Shawnee, Okla. (Tier 3)
- Jan. 23-27 – PBA Lubbock Sports Open, Lubbock, Texas (Tier 2)
- Feb. 5-10 – PBA Tournament of Champions, Fairlawn, Ohio (Tier 1)
- Feb. 12-17 – PBA Players Championship, Columbus, Ohio (Tier 1)
- Feb. 19-24 – PBA Indianapolis Open, Indianapolis, Ind. (Tier 2)
- Feb. 27-March 3 – PBA Jonesboro Open, Jonesboro, Ark. (Tier 2)
- March 11-18 – PBA WSOB X Cheetah Championship, Allen Park, Mich. (Tier 3)
- March 11-19 – PBA WSOB X Chameleon Championship, Allen Park, Mich. (Tier 3)
- March 11-20 – PBA WSOB X Scorpion Championship, Allen Park, Mich. (Tier 3)
- March 11-21 – PBA WSOB X PBA World Championship, Allen Park, Mich. (Tier 1)
- March 26-April 1 – USBC Masters, Las Vegas (Tier 1)
If any of the 2019 events includes a limited field, all PBA members will have the opportunity to advance into the field through a PTQ regardless of the size of the field.
In each Tier 1, 2 or 3 tournament, up to 64 players may earn points for their finishing positions in both qualifying and the finals.
The maximum a player can earn in a Tier 2 event will be 5,000 points per event (1,000 for leading qualifying, 4,000 for winning the tournament. In Tier 1 events, 64 players will earn points. The maximum will be 7,500 points (1,500 for leading qualifying, 6,000 for winning the event). In Tier 3 tournaments, the maximum will be 2,500 points (500 for leading qualifying, 2,000 for winning the event).
Based on cumulative points earned at the completion of the USBC Masters, the top 24 players will advance to the PBA Playoffs. The top 8 on the points list will earn a bye for the first single-elimination match play round.
The Round of 24 will include qualifiers 9 through 24 bowling one-game matches. The winners will advance to the Round of 16 (joining qualifiers 1-8) for best-of-three-game matches wherein the third game will consist of a two-frame tiebreaker if needed. The winners will continue to advance to the Round of 8, the semifinal round and the championship for the two survivors.
Complete details including pairings, prize money and more will be posted on the PBA Playoffs page on pba.com in the near future.
The PBA Playoffs will be contested in front of Bayside Bowl’s enthusiastic fans in Portland, Maine, beginning with a live telecast on Monday, April 8, on FS1. Preliminary rounds will air for eight consecutive Monday nights through May 27. The semifinals and finals will then move to FOX for live coverage at noon Eastern on Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2.
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2019 FOX-FS1 PBA Playoffs Telecast Schedule
(All times Eastern)
- Monday, April 8 – PBA Playoffs Round of 24, Portland, Maine (FS1, 7 p.m., live)
- Monday, April 15 – PBA Playoffs Round of 24, Portland, Maine (FS1, 8 p.m.)
- Monday, April 22 – PBA Playoffs Round of 24, Portland, Maine (FS1, 9 p.m.)
- Monday, April 29 – PBA Playoffs Round of 24, Portland, Maine (FS1, 9 p.m.)
- Monday, May 6 – PBA Playoffs Round of 16, Portland, Maine (FS1, 9 p.m.)
- Monday, May 13 – PBA Playoffs Round of 16, Portland, Maine (FS1, 9 p.m.)
- Monday, May 20 – PBA Playoffs Quarterfinals, Portland, Maine (FS1, 9 p.m.)
- Monday, May 27 – PBA Playoffs Quarterfinals, Portland, Maine (FS1, 9 p.m.)
- Saturday, June 1 – PBA Playoffs Final Four, Portland, Maine (FOX, noon, live)
- Sunday, June 2 – PBA Playoffs Championship Round, Portland, Maine (FOX, noon, live)
- Tuesday, July 16 – PBA League Quarterfinals, Portland, Maine (FS1, 7 p.m., live)
- Tuesday, July 16 – PBA League Quarterfinals, Portland, Maine (FS1, 9 p.m., live)
- Wednesday, July 17 – PBA League Semifinals, Portland, Maine (FS1, 9 p.m., live)
- Thursday, July 18 – PBA League Elias Cup Finals, Portland, Maine (FS1, 9 p.m., live)