Major bowling competitions

Weber Cup

Named after US Bowling legend Dick Weber, the Weber Cup is to ten-pin bowling what the Ryder Cup is to golf. It sees Team Europe square off against Team USA in 35 singles, doubles and team matches, spread over three days of play. Taking place every year in October, it is broadcast live in its entirety on Sky Sports. The first Weber Cup was staged in 2000 in Warsaw, Poland. In 2006, England’s Paul Moor bowled the first perfect game in the history of the competition during his match up against Jason Couch, although Europe narrowly lost out to USA 18-17 in the closest Cup to date. As of 2007, the score stands at 4-3 to the Americans.

style=”border-color:black; background:aqua; text-align:center; font-weight:bold” |Year style=”border-color:black; background:aqua; text-align:center; font-weight:bold” |Location colspan=”2″ style=”border-color:black; background:aqua; text-align:center; font-weight:bold” |Winning Team colspan=”2″ style=”border-color:black; background:aqua; text-align:center; font-weight:bold” |Losing Team
style=”border-left-color:black; border-right-color:black” |2000 style=”border-right-color:black” |Warsaw, Poland style=”border-right-color:black” |Team USA style=”border-right-color:black” |18 style=”border-right-color:black” |11 style=”border-right-color:black” |Team Europe
style=”border-left-color:black; border-right-color:black” |2001 style=”border-right-color:black” |Dagenham, England style=”border-right-color:black” |Team USA style=”border-right-color:black” |18 style=”border-right-color:black” |12 style=”border-right-color:black” |Team Europe
style=”border-left-color:black; border-right-color:black” |2002 style=”border-right-color:black” |Sheffield, England style=”border-right-color:black” |Team USA style=”border-right-color:black” |18 style=”border-right-color:black” |13 style=”border-right-color:black” |Team Europe
style=”border-left-color:black; border-right-color:black” |2003 style=”border-right-color:black” |Manchester, England style=”border-right-color:black” |Team Europe style=”border-right-color:black” |18 style=”border-right-color:black” |14 style=”border-right-color:black” |Team USA
style=”border-left-color:black; border-right-color:black” |2004 style=”border-right-color:black” |Manchester, England style=”border-right-color:black” |Team Europe style=”border-right-color:black” |18 style=”border-right-color:black” |11 style=”border-right-color:black” |Team USA
style=”border-left-color:black; border-right-color:black” |2005 style=”border-right-color:black” |Barnsley, England style=”border-right-color:black” |Team Europe style=”border-right-color:black” |18 style=”border-right-color:black” |16 style=”border-right-color:black” |Team USA
style=”border-left-color:black; border-right-color:black; border-bottom-color:black” |2006 style=”border-right-color:black; border-bottom-color:black” |Barnsley, England style=”border-right-color:black; border-bottom-color:black” |Team USA style=”border-right-color:black; border-bottom-color:black” |18 style=”border-right-color:black; border-bottom-color:black” |17 style=”border-right-color:black; border-bottom-color:black” |Team Europe

World Tenpin Masters

The World Tenpin Masters is an annual tournament in which 16 of the world’s best bowlers from 12 different countries compete in head-to-head singles knock-out matches. Each match is played over two games with the winner being the player with the highest aggregate score. Over the ten year history of the tournament, it has moved to several different locations in England, being played in Doncaster, Milton Keynes, Dagenham and Barnsley. Because of its location, tournament officials are supplied by the BTBA. The top prize is about £15,000 ($30,000) and there is a total prize-pot of £35,000 ($70,000). Consisting of a single lane enclosed by the audience, the WTM is one of the most highly acclaimed events in the ten-pin bowling international calendar and is the sport’s biggest televised tournament.

Previous winners have included Norway’s Tore Torgerson (1998, 2002, 2004), Tim Mack of the US (200), England’s Nikki Harvey (2003) and Australia’s Jason Belmonte (2007). In the last three years, England’s Paul Moor has consistently finished second, but is yet to win the World Tenpin Masters.

AMF World Cup

Since the first competition in 1965, AMF’s Bowling World Cup has been the most sought after prize in amateur ten-pin bowling. Held in a different world venue every year, the tournament is one of the largest in the sport. Each participating nation selects one male and one female bowler to represent them at the tournament. These players are usually chosen as the result of a national qualifying tournament. In the last few years, the men’s AMF World Cup has been dominated by players from Finland, with Mika Luoto, Kai Vertanen and Osku Palermaa each winning the event in 2002, 2004 and 2006 respectively. The women’s competition has gone to players from North America in each of the last five years. Shannon Pluhowsky of the USA lifted gold in 2002 and 2004, while Canada’s Kerry Ryan-Ciach came first in 2003. Lynda Barnes and Diandra Asbaty, both from the USA, each won the event in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

European Bowling Tour

The European Bowling Tour is one of three continental tournaments arranged by the WTBA. Along with the American and Asian bowling tours, the EBT informs the World Ranking Masters (WRM), the WTBA’s international ranking system. After the three tours, the top eight bowlers are invited into a special WRM showcase event. In 2007, England’s Stuart Williams and Paul Moor competed in the men’s WRM, while Zara Glover competed in the women’s competition. Williams went on to win the men’s event, while USA’s Diandra Asbaty beat Glover in the women’s final.

Organised by the ETBF, the European Bowling Tour was set up in 2000 and is the only European tour. Originally consisting of nine tournaments in eight different countries, the tour is now made up of 18 competitions in 15 countries, with the top 50 competing men and women being awarded points towards the WRM rankings. Most of the tournaments on the tour are mixed gender, with women receiving a handicap. The PTBC Storm English Open is the final round of the tour. Paul Moor is a three-time winner and defending champion of the European Bowling Tour.

BTBA National Championships

The BTBA Nationals is the premier national ten-pin bowling tournament in the UK. It is held in March every year, and has been running since 1961, when the BTBA was established. The tournament is only open to members of the organisation, and is split into a number of different categories, with men’s and women’s singles matches, doubles and team events spread across three separate average-based divisions, each carrying its own prize fund. Each player, or team, rolls three games, with an end ranking based on their cumulative score. In 2006, Mike Quarry won the men’s division A with a series score of 774, while Donna Adams won the women’s division A rolling 764 over three games.

Other events

The Professional Bowlers’ Association (PBA) hosts a number of competitions across the USA, with winners qualifying for the PBA Tour. Although the PBA operates in the US, members can be from anywhere in the world. There are also a number of important annual youth events, including the ETBF European Youth Championships, while the FIQ World Championships, held every two years, is one of the world’s top amateur events. Since 1998, Ten-pin bowling has also been admitted into the Commonwealth Games.

British leagues

The majority of officially sanctioned play in Britain comes in the form of BTBA approved leagues. Leagues are typically made up of teams that compete against each other over the course of a season. In most leagues, each team member will bowl a three game series, with the winner of each clash the team with the highest aggregate score. Points are awarded for each game won, while bonus points are awarded depending on the pinfall. Most leagues in Britain are mixed gender, although single-sex leagues are still fairly common. League bowlers usually use their own equipment. Most UK bowling centres will run some sort of league. There are generally two types of league:

  • Scratch leagues – Winners are determined by the actual pin count.
  • Handicap leagues – Teams with lower averages will have a handicap benefit so they can compete against stronger bowlers. Most leagues use handicaps.