ARLINGTON, Texas – The United States Bowling Congress has canceled all remaining national events for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These decisions are tough on everyone, but mostly our players, athletes and members,” USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy said. “USBC’s mission is to serve our bowlers, and canceling the most significant events in the sport certainly is heartbreaking for all involved. Nevertheless, USBC has a responsibility to consider the health of its members and their communities. Given the increasing spread of COVID-19 in several states, along with constantly changing guidelines and travel restrictions, we sadly do not see a responsible way to conduct national events in 2020.”
This cancellation includes the previously postponed USBC Open Championships, USBC Women’s Championships, USBC Masters, USBC Senior Masters, USBC Senior Queens and Super Senior Classic.
The 2020-2021 USBC Collegiate season will be postponed until January 2021 and be conducted as a second-semester sport. The dates for the Intercollegiate Team and Singles Championships will be determined at a later time, with plans to hold them in the late spring or early summer.
USA Bowling events and in-person coaching seminars for 2020 also have been postponed to 2021.
USBC previously announced the cancellation of the 2020 Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour season, with a possibility of conducting events in the fall and winter months. In light of current conditions, plans for a PWBA event in late 2020 now are indefinitely on hold.
USBC plans to resume a traditional schedule of events in January 2021, starting with USBC Team USA Trials, as conditions allow.
“While USBC national events are canceled, bowling certainly is not shut down for 2020,” Murphy said. “USBC is confident competitive bowling can take place locally, and we are seeing many proprietors taking proactive steps to responsibly host leagues in accordance with local guidelines. Those steps will help leagues begin and tournaments to take place during the rest of the summer and into the fall. Our hope is that conditions improve to allow national events again in 2021.”
Teams registered for the 2020 Open and Women’s Championships may request to have their payments rolled forward for the 2021 tournaments, or they can request full refunds.
Individuals who have submitted entries for any USBC short-duration event (Masters, Senior Masters, Senior Queens, Super Senior Classic) will be refunded in the upcoming weeks.
ARLINGTON, Texas – The United States Bowling Congress Open Championships will head to Las Vegas in 2022 with the South Point Bowling Plaza serving as the host venue.
The event previously was scheduled to be conducted in a newly built facility in Houston but because of business interruptions caused by COVID-19, the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority and USBC mutually agreed it is not feasible for Houston to host the event in 2022.
The Sports Authority planned to have a new building in a dynamic North Houston setting completed by January 2022. Plans had been approved and was on schedule until the economic disruption from the pandemic made the project timeline unworkable.
“The USBC is an incredible partner and we are disappointed that we will not be able to host this prestigious event,’’ said Sports Authority CEO Janis Burke. “Our organizations put in years of planning on the building and event, but we hope to have a chance to host the USBC Open Championships in the future.’’
USBC and HCHSA plan to work toward a new agreement for Houston to host the Open Championships in the future. Currently, the next available date is 2028.
“We continue to believe Houston is an ideal city for the Open Championships and the partnership with the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority has been strong through these unexpected challenges,” USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy said. “Thankfully, South Point in Las Vegas stepped up to provide their amazing venue for 2022, once again showing tremendous support for our tournament bowlers.”
With the schedule change, the Open Championships will be conducted at the South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas in 2021 and 2022. The event is the world’s largest participatory event, attracting over 50,000 bowlers who compete over a four-month period.
Visit BOWL.com/OpenChamp for more information on the Open Championships.
USBC asked its members to respond to a one-question survey that asked: Assuming local government allows your bowling center to open and operate leagues, do you plan on bowling in leagues(s) this fall?
Respondents were asked to select from three possible answers: Yes, No or Unsure.
USBC received more than 47,000 responses in the first week, with 75% answering “Yes” and just 5% responding “No” as to whether they planned to bowl in a fall league.
With 20% of members responding as “Unsure”, the timing of the survey in late May could have been a factor. The survey was sent prior to the opening of bowling centers in many states, and respondents likely were not aware of any restrictions and how their center planned to address a return to bowling.
When the 20% responding “Unsure”, plus those who answered “No”, were directed to a follow-up question asking the reason, an overwhelming majority (80%) answered it was because of health and safety concerns.
The survey was distributed to USBC members through email, the USBC Facebook page, a pop-up on the BOWL.com homepage and in the weekly BowlTV newsletter. More than 47,000 answered in response to the email, while the remaining distribution channels delivered a combined 525 responses.
Statistically, USBC has a 99% confidence level, with less than a 1% margin of error, of the survey results and that it is a relevant and accurate representation of the entire USBC membership.
The survey also showed responses were slightly different depending on age and gender, as 78% of those age 59 or younger plan to bowl in a fall league, and men (77%) were four percent more likely to respond “Yes” to bowling this fall compared with women (73%).
Visit BOWL.com/USBCSurveys for the full results of the survey and to see a state-by-state breakdown.
ARLINGTON, Texas – The Scholarship Management and Account Reporting for Tenpins (SMART) policy recently was updated to expand the use of SMART scholarships for student-related expenses.
Under the new guidelines, a student can use their SMART scholarships to be reimbursed for expenses related to tuition and certain related student expenses, or to have a payment made for such expenses as off-campus housing and/or student-loan debt.
While there are now more ways for students to use their SMART scholarships, student-athletes must remain aware of the restrictions.
Regulations of colleges and college sports governing bodies, such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), have specific restrictions for student-athletes. It is the responsibility of the student-athlete to check with their school administrator and their sport governing body (NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA) regarding all regulations before using their SMART scholarships.
The reimbursement related to tuition and certain related student expenses is a new policy, as previously funds only could be sent directly to an educational institution. The reimbursement check will be made out to the owner of the SMART account and mailed to the address on the account, so it is important for recipients to always keep their SMART account information up to date.
To check, and provide any needed edits, to an address, recipients can visit the SMART profile page.
Payments for off-campus housing cannot be used if renting from parents, relatives or friends, and payment will go directly to the company or managing owner of the property, once the proper paperwork is submitted.
To use SMART scholarships to make payments on student-loan debt, current student-athletes again should make certain they are following regulations for their sport. Once the correct documentation is received, the payment will go to the student loan provider.
Visit BOWL.com/SMART to learn more about the SMART program and visit the Recipients page for the SMART Waiver Form, to request funds, and the SMART Student-Athlete information page that discusses how SMART scholarship funds can impact their eligibility.