ARLINGTON, Texas – The scheduled start of the 2020 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships and 2020 USBC Women’s Championships will move to September and include a modified format to allow for increased social distancing for competitors.
The move to September is designed to give tournament bowlers more time to focus on their personal situations during this difficult period. In surveys, registered competitors said they still would like to participate in the tournament late in the year, if public health conditions allow. Moving the tournaments to September gives everyone a chance to consider their options and plan for their own circumstances.
The Open Championships at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada, will start Sept. 12 and run until Nov. 21 (last team date), while the Women’s Championships at the South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas will kick off Sept. 19 and run through Oct. 18.
The tournaments will feature a shorter daily squad schedule, without early-morning or late-night squads. A survey showed 62 percent of Open Championships registered teams are interested in bowling in the fall, while 37 percent of Women’s Championships teams expressed interest. Since there is a lot of uncertainty, the schedule is built with some flexibility. Additional team squads can be added every other day or tournament dates can be extended, if more teams want to compete.
“Our first concern is the well-being of our members,” USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy said. “Moving the tournaments to later in the year gives our bowlers and their families a chance to consider what is best for their circumstances. We appreciate the amazing patience and compassion that we have seen from all of our team captains throughout this process.”
For both the Open and Women’s Championships, the format will include only one team on a pair, to allow for increased social distancing and reduce the number of teams per squad. USBC will continue to collaborate with its venue hosts and modify participant flow, space markings and occupancy, as well as photo and squad room processes, based on public health guidelines.
With the 2020-2021 bowling season officially starting on Aug. 1, the 2020-2021 season rules, including the no-balance hole rule, will be in effect.
USBC will provide pre-registration to Captain’s Club members – coordinators with five or more teams – starting April 17, asking them to submit a form with the dates their teams want to compete, which will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Registration will open to the public on April 27, at which time teams will be able to go into the Online Registration System and move their 2020 teams to any open dates/squads.
Teams that choose not to compete in 2020 may request to have their payment used for the 2021 tournament or they may submit a request for a refund.