ARLINGTON, Texas - The 2021 Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour schedule will feature 20 tournaments, highlighted by the introduction of Classic Series events and an increase in the season's overall prize fund by nearly $400,000.
The 2021 PWBA Tour schedule marks the first season since 2001 to include at least 20 events, with the first increase in the number of national tournaments being held since 2016. Each season from 2016 to 2019 featured 14 events, while the 2020 PWBA Tour season, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, also was scheduled to include 14 tournaments.
In addition to the growth on the national tour, the PWBA Regional program also will be expanding in 2021, with 14 events expected to be on the schedule.
The three Classic Series events on the 2021 PWBA schedule will be a combination of national and regional competition. The first will be the PWBA Kickoff Classic Series at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas, from Jan. 18-26.
Classic Series events will feature three national tour events during one stop, in addition to a PWBA Regional tournament. The first two tournaments in each Classic Series event will be open to the entire field of entrants, while the third event will use the qualifying totals from the first two tournaments to determine which players will compete in the final tournament.
"We're incredibly excited to see the PWBA Tour schedule expand to 20 events in 2021," Bowling Proprietors' Association of America Executive Director Frank DeSocio said. "We're thrilled to be able to provide additional opportunities to showcase the top bowlers in the world next year."
In addition to the expanded schedule, the BPAA and United States Bowling Congress will continue to pay out a minimum of 32 spots at each standard PWBA Tour event. Each tournament will feature a $60,000 prize fund, with $10,000 going to the champion. The final cash spot will be $1,100.
The organizations also will continue to add to the prestige and excitement of the two majors on the 2021 PWBA Tour schedule - the USBC Queens and U.S. Women's Open - by subsidizing the prize funds with an additional $190,000 across the two events.
The collective efforts, plus the additional events in 2021, will help increase the overall prize fund for the season from approximately $920,000 to more than $1.3 million.
The 2021 broadcast schedule for the PWBA Tour will move exclusively to BowlTV.com and feature live coverage from qualifying through the stepladder finals of each event, including both major championships.
"We made a decision with this year's tour to invest additional dollars toward the players and increase the number of titles being earned," USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy said. "The players will be competing for part of the largest overall prize fund since the relaunch of the PWBA Tour in 2015, and the introduction of the Classic Series events will allow us to crown additional champions and continue to build toward the future of the PWBA Tour."
In an effort to continue to bring the tour to different parts of the country, there are four new cities and centers scheduled to host a stop for the first time since the relaunch in 2015.
Those venues include Farmingdale Lanes in Farmingdale, New York; Kingpin Alley Family Fun Center in Albany, New York; Smyrna Bowl in Smyrna, Tennessee; and Lilac Lanes & Casino in Spokane, Washington.
2021 PWBA TOUR SCHEDULE
With dates, event, center and location (subject to change):
- Jan. 18-26, PWBA Kickoff Classic Series, International Training and Research Center, Arlington, Texas
- Jan. 19-21, PWBA Bowlers Journal Classic
- Jan. 22-23, PWBA ITRC Classic
- Jan. 25-26, PWBA Hall of Fame Classic
- April 22-24, PWBA Twin Cities Open, Cedarvale Lanes, Eagan, Minn.
- April 29-May 1, PWBA Lincoln Open, Sun Valley Lanes, Lincoln, Neb.
- May 6-8, PWBA Greater Cleveland Open, Yorktown Lanes, Parma Heights, Ohio
- May 12-18, USBC Queens, TBD
- May 27-29, PWBA BVL Open, Farmingdale Lanes, Farmingdale, N.Y.
- June 3-5, PWBA Albany Open, Kingpin Alley Family Fun Center, Albany, N.Y.
- June 10-12, PWBA Greater Nashville Open, Smyrna Bowl, Smyrna, Tenn.
- June 17-19, PWBA Louisville Open, Executive Strike and Spare Lanes, Louisville, Ky.
- July 29-Aug. 1, PBA/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles, Copperfield Bowl, Houston
- Aug. 2-10, PWBA Summer Classic Series, International Training and Research Center, Arlington, Texas
- Aug. 3-5, PWBA Go Bowling Classic
- Aug. 6-7, PWBA International Bowling Campus Classic
- Aug. 9-10, PWBA BowlTV Classic
- Aug. 19-21, PWBA Spokane Open, Lilac Lanes & Casino, Spokane, Wash.
- Aug. 24-31, U.S. Women's Open, Double Decker Lanes, Rohnert Park, Calif.
- Oct. 25-Nov. 1, PWBA Fall Classic Series, TBD
- Oct. 25-27, PWBA Fall Classic
- Oct. 28-29, PWBA Pepsi Classic
- Oct. 31-Nov.1, TBD
The PWBA Regional program has seen steady growth in the previous two seasons, with five events held in 2019 and 10 tournaments scheduled for 2020, before the regional tour was canceled for the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The jump to 14 regional tournaments in 2021 will allow more female competitors the opportunity to test their skills in one-day events across the United States. The full regional schedule for 2021 will be posted in January, prior to the start of the national tour season.
Registration for PWBA membership for 2021 will open on Nov. 5, 2020. New benefits for members include an annual subscription to both BowlTV and Bowlers Journal International.
To learn more about the PWBA Tour, membership benefits and the upcoming season, visit PWBA.com.