Today, it takes a team of more than 30 carpenters and laborers more than a month to transform a venue into a state of the art 48-lane bowling center (60 lanes in 2009) before the Open Championships begin its 140-day run (recent tournaments have run anywhere from 135-154 days). The event attracts 60,000 to 90,000 participants from all 50 states and features a prize fund that exceeds $5 million. Every third year, the Open Championships is conducted at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.
Open to all bowlers who hold a USBC adult membership (except bowlers who are exempt members of the PBA Tour), the Open Championships has two divisions - Classified for bowlers who average 180 or less (360 combined doubles average; 900 combined team average) and a Regular Division for those who average 181 and higher.
Why should I enter the Open Championships?
As one of the most prestigious events in the sport, which was established in 1901, the USBC Open Championships is the national championships for grassroots USBC members. It is an opportunity for every USBC member to compete for a national title, bowl in a one-of-a-kind bowling stadium and possibly cash in on a huge prize fund.
Since the event is held in different cities each year, it also provides members with an opportunity to see the country. Most entrants enhance the experience in the event by also taking in all the attractions that the host cities have to offer. For the thousands of loyal Open Championships participants, the event is the highlight of the bowling season.
How do I verify my average?
There are three ways to verify your average. However only the bowlers who qualify for the Classified Division in any event have to verify.
*The easiest way to verify your average is to use the Find a Member search on bowl.com. You can search by name or member ID. Once you locate your record, you can pull up your averages from past seasons. Print out the page that lists your averages, and either send it with your entry, or bring it with you to the tournament.
*If you are unable to print out your record from bowl.com, you can also bring a copy of your local association yearbook that lists your highest average.
*Have your local association manager verify it for you. If you don't know already, you can ask your league secretary how to get in touch with your association manager.
How much does it cost to enter the USBC Open Championships Championships?
When you think about it, the cost to enter one of the world's largest and most prestigious bowling tournaments is really quite inexpensive.
The entry fee is $55 per event, per bowler: (Breakdown per event: $29 for prizes and $26 for expenses); All-Events - optional $15. ($13 for prizes, $1 expenses and $1 to Team USA). The total cost is $180 PER BOWLER, which allows them to compete in team, doubles, singles and all-events.
What is the process for scheduling doubles/singles?
Doubles and Singles are scheduled after full fees are received.
If I need to use a substitute bowler, who receives prize money, the original bowler or the sub?
The prize money goes to the sub. The sub is the person who bowled the games therefore the sub gets the money.
What exactly is All-Events?
All-events is a combination of team, doubles, and singles scores. It takes all nine games and combines then into a extra prize fund.
If I substitute for a bowler on the team, do I have to pay the entry fee?
That is determined between the captain and the substitute bowler.
Tournament operations questions for those already entered in the Open Championships.
Can I bowl more than once in an event?
You may only bowl in each event once.
Why is it so important for companion teams to have their paperwork returned together?
Many teams travel to the Open Championships together. Turning in their paperwork at the same time allows them to be scheduled on the same squads for team and doubles/singles.
Can I bowl in only one of the events?
You can bowl team without bowling doubles and singles or vice-versa, but doubles and singles is a package deal. You cannot sign up for just one or the other.
How soon do I need to arrive before my team squad?
We recommend arriving two hours before your squad time in case of changes need to be made. For doubles and singles, we recommend one hour if there are no changes or need for a sub.
What is the dress code?
It has often been said that looking your best helps instill a sense of pride that can assist you in competing at your very best.
Increasingly, Open Championships bowlers are showing their pride by participating in the Pride Award program, which recognizes teams that dress alike. All teams that dress in matching shirts and pants (no jeans) will receive a special lapel pin.
But whether or not your team participates in the Pride program, the Open Championships requires that you abide by its dress code which is as follows:
All participants must wear a shirt and casual slacks, trousers or jeans. Traditional collared shirts, mock-collared shirts and collarless bowling jerseys are all permitted. Women may wear Capri pants provided the length is below the knees. Female participants can also wear skirts, culottes or skorts that extend beyond their fingers when their arms are extended down by their sides.
Examples of prohibited attire include, but are not limited to:
T-shirts,tank tops, halter tops, bare midriffs, spaghetti strap tops, shorts, sweatpants, zubas and hats. If you are wearing any of these items you will be asked to change into more appropriate attire.
All apparel must be neat, clean and in good condition.
Any questionable items or special circumstances will be addressed by the Manager on Duty.
Why do you collect Social Security Number?
Since you have the opportunity to win prize money the social security number is needed for tax purposes.
What do I do if I do not want to provide my teammates with my SSN?
The social security number is required before you begin competition.
Traveling with my bowling equipment can be a pain, especially when flying. How do you ship bowling balls? Will the hotels accept them? Where do you ship them to?
Through a service provided called Bowling Ball Express (BBE), you can ship your bowling balls directly to the tournament site.
You can ship them to the hotel if they accept them, however, they may not be responsible for them. It saves you the hassle of carrying them from hotel to tournament venue.
You can also ship the balls home when you are finished with your bowling.