U.S. Amateur Titles up for grabs at 2007 USBC Team USA Trials


    United States

    National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev. (Jan. 6-12, 2007)

    2007TeamUSATrialsLogo.jpg The nation's top amateur competitors will face a grueling new format and tough lane conditions that will put their skills to the test in the quest to become the next U.S. Amateur champion.

    The 2007 United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials will feature 40 games over four days to determine not only the men's and women's U.S. Amateur champions, but also the players who will represent Team USA in 2007.

    Beginning Monday at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., all competitors will bowl 10 games each day until Thursday. The men's side features a sold-out field of 156 competitors while more than 75 women will take part.

    "I'm excited about the new format because it gives us an opportunity to use all the tools in our toolbox," said USBC Youth spokesperson Diandra Asbaty of Chicago, the defending women's champion and a Team USA member since 1999. "I will take the same approach as last year in that I will make the best ball decisions I can and use what I know. There will be a lot of great athletes competing, so it's no easy task to win again."

    Four different lane conditions will be used over the course of the tournament. All four patterns are USBC Sport Bowling compliant and are used on the Denny's Professional Bowlers Association Tour.

    In the opening round on Monday, bowlers will face the Viper pattern, followed by the Shark pattern Tuesday, the Cheetah pattern Wednesday and the 2006 USBC Masters pattern in Thursday's final round.

    "The main challenge is bringing the right equipment to attack each pattern," said defending men's champion Dan Patterson of Buffalo, N.Y. "You can only bring so many balls, so you just have to have an arsenal that's versatile enough so you can compete on every pattern."

    Another change for 2007 is an increase in the number of bowlers who will earn spots on Team USA. At the 2006 Team USA Trials, four men (Patterson, David Haynes, Bill Hoffman and Fero Williams) and four women (Asbaty, Lynda Barnes, Shannon Pluhowsky and Stefanie Nation) earned two-year spots on Team USA.

    In addition to those athletes, the top four men and top four women after 40 games at this year's event earn automatic spots on the 2007 team. Another four men and four women will be picked by the National Selection Committee to join Team USA.

    Team USA will compete in several major events in 2007, including the Pan American Games in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, the Women's World Championships in Monterrey, Mexico, and the American Zone Men's Championships in Guatemala City.