Professional bowling returns to the Wabash Valley in the form of the PBA Central/Midwest Region Terre Haute Open at the Terre Haute Bowling Center on June 12-14.
“Rick [general manager Braden] and I have been working on this for a few months,” said tournament host Phil Cooper on Friday. “We should have the pro-am entries out sometime this week.”
THBC is using this event to recognize their major facility reconstruction after sustaining heavy flood damage in June 2008. In a related gesture to area bowlers, the THBC will charge no admission to that weekend’s tournament.
To draw a parallel to Major League Baseball, the PBA Region Tour is the Triple A level of the Professional Bowlers Association. With this tournament in the summer months, it’s in the realm of possibility PBA regulars might participate to keep their games sharp.
Also unique to this event is the temporary merging of the Midwest and Central region tours. The two tours are split geographically straight down the Indiana-Illinois border, a natural for Terre Haute.
The tournament begins on a Friday (June 12) with a practice session from 3 to 5 p.m. and a PBA non-member meeting following at 5 p.m. A pro-am is slated for 7 p.m., with an adult and youth division.
The tournament competition begins in earnest on Saturday (June 13) with an “A” squad bowling eight games starting at 9 a.m. then a “B” squad rolling its eight games at 4 p.m.
Match play is on Sunday (June 14) with the round of 16 based on the number of entries, also beginning at 9 a.m. The field will be whittled down to the final two bowling for the championship.
Typically, according to Cooper, around 100 bowlers could compete in this tournament.
“This tournament is open to all PBA Midwest and Central Region bowlers, but also anybody who wants to participate as an amateur by paying the entry fee,” Cooper added. Entry fee is $220 for PBA members, $285 for nonmembers. First place is projected to be $2,500 based on a 1 in 3 ratio.
Cooper also said that sometime in April, the Bowling Center will conduct a qualifying tournament with the winner earning a paid tournament entry. Bowlers will compete on a PBA oil pattern. If enough bowlers compete, more than one paid entry is possible.
• Bowl like a pro — The Bowling Center is setting aside a few of their lanes on a daily basis with a different PBA generated bowling patterns (Viper, Scorpion, Chameleon, Shark, etc.).
Interested bowlers wanting to test their skills on these specially prepared lanes should request them when they come to the Bowling Center, according to Cooper.
Also, Cooper announced a PBA League (bowling on these different PBA conditions each week) will begin soon. The organization meeting is set for May 6, with the league commencing on May 13.
• Church League — Vigo Bowl will host a 12-week Church League on Tuesday nights this summer. The meeting is 6:30 p.m. on May 5, with the league starting the same day at 7 p.m. Cost is $7 per person with a pizza party on the last night of bowling.
• Mixed Team Shootout — Vigo Bowl is also hosting a Mixed Team Shootout at 11:30 a.m. on April 19. Sign up as man/woman couples, couples will be placed in A or B divisions by average. Cost is $50, bowl five games, with the draw at 10:45 a.m. the day of the event. Entries are due by 10 p.m. on April 17.
For more information on either of these items, contact Vigo Bowl at (812) 232-6800.
• VU qualifies for intercollegiate finals — At Chattanooga, Tenn., Vincennes University men’s team bowlers earned a slot in the April 15-18 USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships by grabbing the final qualifying position available at the Chattanooga qualifying sectional earlier in March.
VU edged out major college power Florida State for the final qualifying spot by 18 pins.
Dennis Clark can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.