PBA, World Tenpin Bowling Association unveil International Tour


    Breaking News

    For first time in bowling history, players will compete for PBA titles on first true global professional bowling tour

    201112PBALogo.jpg2011WTBALogo.jpgThe Professional Bowlers Association and the World Tenpin Bowling Association Wednesday announced an historic agreement that will result in the first true global professional bowling tour.

    The alliance between the PBA and the WTBA, the international governing body for tenpin bowling in the eyes of the International Olympic Committee, will allow international and domestic PBA members who compete in World Bowling Tour events to earn PBA Tour titles in WBT events and to bowl in PBA Tour events in the United States.

    200910PBACOOTomClark.jpg"This agreement fulfills a dream for all lifelong bowling fans," said PBA Commissioner Tom Clark (pictured left). "We created the PBA World Series of Bowling in 2009 to give bowlers from around the world an opportunity to come together in a unique competitive environment.

    2011WTBAPresidentKevinDornberger.jpg"Our goal was to take the next step in expanding competition around the world. To see it happen is the most significant step our sport has ever taken in creating world-wide awareness and recognition for bowling's best players, regardless of where they live."

    WTBA President Kevin Dornberger (right) said that the alliance is just the beginning.

    2012PBACEOGeoffReiss2.jpg"We are greatly indebted to the international bowling federations and tournament hosts who have given us the opportunity to create the World Bowling Tour," said Dornberger. "We sincerely believe this alliance will lead to even bigger things."

    PBA CEO Geoff Reiss (left) said the expanded relationship between the PBA and WTBA has the potential to lead to greater marketing and sponsorship opportunities.

    "The PBA is ecstatic over the overwhelming acceptance and support we have received from the World Tenpin Bowling Association's leadership in making this relationship happen," Reiss said. "For the sport of bowling, we have literally opened an entire new world of possibilities."

    2012WTBAPBALeaders.jpgThe agreement was finalized during a meeting in Las Vegas between PBA leadership and WTBA's Executive Board:

    L-R Christer Jonsson, Secretary-General, Sweden; Addie Ophelders, ETBF President, Netherlands; Jose Guandique, PABCON President, El Salvador; Pekka Korpi, First Vice-President, Finland; Vivien Lau, FIQ Secretary-General and ABF Past President, Hong Kong; Dornberger, FIQ and WTBA President and CEO, and Mike Seymour, Vice-President, WTBA and the Australia Tenpin Bowling Federation; Tom Clark, PBA Commissioner and Geoff Reiss, PBA CEO .

    Also present in Las Vegas were Veronica Rajii, 1st VP of PABCON, Chile, and Kim Jensen, ETBF Vice President.

    201112PBABillONeill.jpg201112PBAMikeFagan.jpgThe 2012 World Bowling Tour began in January with the Brunswick Ballmaster Open in Helsinki, Finland, which was won by Bill O'Neill (left) of Southampton, Pa.

    The PBA-WBT agreement includes three tournaments in the United States (the Alka-Seltzer Plus Liquid Gels United States Bowling Congress Masters, won by Mike Fagan (right) of Dallas in Las Vegas on Sunday; a new WTBA International Open currently underway in Las Vegas, and the U.S. Open Feb. 20-26 in North Brunswick, N.J.)

    Other events will include stops in Japan, Kuwait, France, the Bahamas, Korea, Thailand, Austria and Australia. Players who bowl in the WBT events will earn points toward the second annual World Bowling Tour Finals presented by the PBA, which will be held during the 2012 PBA World Series of Bowling on a date to be announced.

    WBT points are compiled over a cumulative span of two years. The top three men and three top women in WBT points will bowl for $20,000 first prizes in November during the fourth PBA World Series of Bowling. The finals will be televised by ESPN.

    Beginning with the U.S. Open, all international and domestic PBA members who win WBT-PBA titles will be eligible to bowl in the end-of-season PBA Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas. PBA members will receive credit for official PBA Tour earnings from WBT events, but will only earn PBA Tour competition points in the USBC Masters and U.S. Open.

    A new PBA international membership is available for non-domestic players. For information, call the PBA Membership Services at 206-654-6025.

    While several WBT events allow women to compete in their own category, women will be eligible for PBA Tour titles only if they compete as equals against their male counterparts. Two events on the WBT schedule, USBC Queens and Bowling's U.S. Women's Open, are for women only and will not be part of the PBA agreement.

    Tournament formats and prize money will be announced later.


    2012 PBA-WTBA World Bowling Tour Schedule

    2012 World Bowling Tour #1
    Brunswick Ballmaster Open
    Tali Bowling Center in Helsinki, Finland, (Jan. 6-15, 2012)
    Winner: Bill O'Neill, United States
    (WBT points only)

    2012 World Bowling Tour #2
    United States Bowling Congress Masters
    Strike Zone at Sunset Station in Henderson, Nev. United States, (Jan. 23-29, 2012)
    Winner: Mike Fagan, United States
    (PBA title and PBA/WBT points awarded)

    2012 World Bowling Tour #3
    WTBA International Open
    Sunset Station's Strike Zone Bowling Center in Henderson, Nev. United States, (Jan. 28 - Feb. 5, 2012)
    (WBT points only)

    2012 World Bowling Tour #4
    International Bowling Championship 2012 supported by DHC
    Hakata Star Lanes in Hakata, Japan, (Feb. 7-11, 2012)
    (WBT points only)

    2012 World Bowling Tour #5
    69th U.S. Open
    Brunswick Zone Carolier in North Brunswick, N.J. United States, (Feb. 20-26, 2012)
    (PBA title and PBA/WBT points awarded)

    2012 World Bowling Tour #6
    9th Kuwait International Open
    Cozmo Bowling Center in Kuwait City, Kuwait, (March 15-19, 2012)
    (PBA title and WBT points awarded)

    2012 World Bowling Tour #7
    Brunswick Euro Challenge
    Plaza Saint Maximin in Saint Maximin, France, (March 16-25, 2012)
    (PBA title and WBT points awarded)

    2012 World Bowling Tour #8
    USBC Queens (non-PBA event)
    AMF Euless Lanes in Euless; finals at ITRC in Arlington, Texas, United States (April 20-25, 2012)

    2012 World Bowling Tour #9
    Bahamas International Bowling Classic 2012
    Mario's Bowling and Entertainment Palace in Nassau, Bahamas, (May 14-20 , 2012)
    (PBA title and WBT points awarded)

    2012 World Bowling Tour #10
    Daejeon International Open 2012
    Daejeon World Cup Bowling Center in Daejeon, Korea, (June 16-21, 2012)
    (PBA title and WBT points awarded)

    2012 World Bowling Tour #11
    Bowling U.S. Women's Open (non-PBA event)
    National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev. United States (June 22-29, 2012)

    2012 World Bowling Tour #12
    PTT World Bowling Tour Thailand
    TBD in Bangkok, Thailand (Sept. 24-30, 2012)
    (PBA title and WBT points awarded)

    2013 World Bowling Tour #13
    10th Columbia 300 Vienna Open
    Plus Bowling in Vienna, Austria (Oct. 2-7, 2012)
    (PBA title and WBT points awarded)

    2014 World Bowling Tour #14
    AMF Australian Masters 2012
    AMF Rooty Hill RSL in Sydney, NSW, Australia (Oct. 26-27, 2012)
    (PBA title and WBT points awarded)