Read the FAQs about the changes for 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas - When the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships returns to the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., in 2013, the storied tournament will have changes designed to improve the event and ease of registration.
First, the tournament's daily schedule will be adjusted to allow for fresh oil for all squads, including doubles and singles.
Second, an enhanced online registration system will allow captains to enter and change their team information at any time, as well as select and lock in their preferred squads in real time as soon as payments are made.
Also beginning in 2013, each event will cost $55 per bowler, up $10 from the current entry fee. This is the first price increase since the 2007 event. Half of the increase will go to the prize fund, while the remaining $5 goes to cover rising tournament expenses. Bowlers may continue to enter all-events for an additional $15, making the cost of a complete entry $180.
The details on each change:
New daily schedule for 2013 USBC Open Championships
The new daily schedule at the USBC Open Championships features doubles and singles squads at 7 a.m. and 11 a.m., followed by back-to-back team events at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. The day will conclude with a doubles and singles squad at 10:30 p.m.
With the new format, each pair of lanes will have six bowlers, and they will bowl all six games on the same pair. Traditionally, there were four bowlers on each pair for doubles, and they would flip to the adjacent pair for singles.
"Though the Open Championships is more than 100 years old, we are always looking for ways to improve the event and enhance the experience," said Brian Lewis, USBC's Managing Director of Tournaments. "We value the feedback from our bowlers and felt it was time to make some changes. We're excited about the new look, and we're hoping for 100 more successful years."
Registration made simple with enhanced online system
Instead of dealing with multiple payment deadlines and hoping to receive their first choice of squad times, team captains will be able to choose their squads in real time when they make their payments.
For example, a captain can reserve a team spot with a $275 deposit and immediately select a date and squad time, much like buying concert tickets online. As soon as payment is received on the remaining balance, a doubles and singles squad time can be reserved, too. Another exciting feature of the new system is that captains will be able to log in and manage their rosters and information or make additional payments any time.
Registration for the 2013 Open Championships is scheduled to open March 1, 2012. Squad reservations will be on a first-come, first-served basis. USBC will work to accommodate team captains requesting the same date each year, provided they make reservations before March 31, 2012.
In order to encourage use of the new online system and cover expenses associated with processing entries manually, a 5-percent fee will be added for entries not submitted online. Online registration will continue to have a smaller fee to cover credit card transaction expenses (two percent).
The new enhanced registration system also will be available when registration begins for the 2013 USBC Women's Championships.
Eligibility rules for exempt professionals will not change
Players classified as exempt on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour are not eligible to compete in the USBC Open Championships. This rule will remain in place for the 2013 tournament, meaning that any bowler who is exempt for the 2011-12 PBA Tour season will not be eligible to compete in the 2013 Open Championships.
USBC will review the rules on this item ahead of the 2014 Open Championships as more information on touring classifications for the PBA Tour becomes available.
Sponsors for the 2012 USBC Open Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno. Other sponsors include the Belle of Baton Rouge, official brackets sponsor; Kegel, official lane maintenance provider; Humana, official registration sponsor; Bud Light and Budweiser, official beer sponsors; The Advocate, official publication sponsor; Brunswick, official lane provider; Steltronic, official scoring system; Storm Bowling Products and Nationwide Insurance.