ARLINGTON, Texas - A new year is on the horizon, and that means exciting things for tournament bowlers and BowlTV subscribers.
The 2021 United States Bowling Congress event calendar again will include the traditional tournaments competitors of all ages and skill levels have grown to enjoy.
The tournament schedule and live BowlTV coverage will kick off with the USBC Team USA Trials during the first week of January.
The event originally was slated to take place in Las Vegas, but it now will be held in the Indianapolis area during the same time frame - Jan. 2-7. Complete details will be available next week.
The Team USA Trials will be followed by two high-profile events run in conjunction with the Professional Bowlers Association - the 2021 U.S. Open and USBC Masters.
The U.S. Open tentatively is scheduled for Feb. 21-28 at The Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and the Masters is slated for March 29-April 4 at the Gold Coast Bowling Center in Las Vegas.
Both sets of dates are subject to change based on the schedule and programming for the PBA and its TV partner, FOX Sports, while locations and entry maximums also can change due to recommended best practices, social-distancing protocol and other COVID-19 restrictions.
"We're excited to get back to doing what we love, and that is putting on top-tier events for all of our USBC members, but we also know we must do so cautiously and responsibly, because the safety of the competitors is our top concern," USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy said. "The 2021 schedule has something for every segment of our bowlers, and we're really looking forward to sharing the year's most memorable moments with bowling fans around the globe through BowlTV."
Both the U.S. Open, a collaborative effort between USBC and the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America, and the Masters, again will be considered majors on the PBA Tour schedule. Qualifying and match play for both will be livestreamed on BowlTV, before the action shifts to Fox Sports.
Invitations for the U.S. Open will be going out this week, and registration now is open for the pre-tournament qualifier, an on-site event that will give those who did not earn direct-entry into the tournament a chance to make the elite field. More information can be found at BOWL.com/USOpen.
The 2021 U.S. Open will feature 108 of the world's best bowlers, most of whom earned their spots in the event based on their recent on-lane performances. The list includes leaders on the PBA Tour points list and top performers at USBC events and PBA majors.
The U.S. Open format features qualifying across multiple oil patterns and round-robin match play, before the top five competitors advance to the TV stepladder, based on their 56-game pinfall totals.
The Masters generally attracts hundreds of the sport's top competitors for 15 games of qualifying over three days, before the field is cut to the top 63, plus the defending champion, for a unique double-elimination match-play bracket that features three-game matches.
The 2020 U.S. Open was held in Lincoln, Nebraska, in February and won by Australia's Jason Belmonte for the 12th of his record 13 major titles. The 2020 Masters was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. Left-hander Jakob Butturff won the event at Gold Coast in 2019.
Along with the U.S. Open and Masters, the format, location and entry maximums for all 2021 USBC tournaments are subject to change based on the recommended best practices and social-distancing protocols as the start date of each tournament approaches.
The dates, sites and start of registration for each USBC short-duration event in 2021:
- Jan. 2-7: USBC Team USA Trials - Western Bowl and Expo Bowl, Indianapolis (registration opened Sept. 8)
- Feb. 21-28 (tentative): U.S. Open - Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley, Green Bay, Wis. (registration opens Oct. 28) *Dates are subject to change w/PBA and FOX Sports scheduling/programming.
- March 9-13: USBC Senior Queens - Gold Coast Bowling Center, Las Vegas (registration opens Nov. 11)
- March 29-April 4 (tentative): USBC Masters - Gold Coast Bowling Center, Las Vegas (registration opens Nov. 11) *Dates are subject to change w/PBA and FOX Sports scheduling/programming.
- May 12-18: USBC Queens - Location TBD (registration opens Jan. 13)
- June 2-6: Super Senior Classic - Sam's Town Bowling Center, Las Vegas (registration opens Jan. 13)
- June 7-13: USBC Senior Masters - Sam's Town Bowling Center, Las Vegas (registration open Jan. 13)
- Aug. 24-31: U.S. Women's Open - Double Decker Lanes, Rohnert Park, Calif. (registration opens April 7)
- Aug. 3-6: 2020 USBC Senior Championships - Sunset Station, Henderson, Nev. (registration is complete)
- Aug. 8-14: 2021 USBC Senior Championships - Sunset Station, Henderson, Nev. (registration opens Feb. 10) *Bowlers must qualify through their state or province.