2013 PBA Tournament of Champions FAQ

The 48th edition of the Professional Bowlers Association Tournament of Champions will return to its traditional roots in March of 2013 when it will feature an exclusive field featuring 48 PBA Tour champions plus any previous TOC winners who elect to participate.

Q. Where will the 2013 Tournament of Champions be held?

A. Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis which has been a long-time host of PBA Tour events and majors.

Q. When is the 2013 Tournament of Champions?

A. March 26-31. It will be the concluding event of the winter segment of the 2012-13 PBA Tour schedule.

Q. Why did the Tournament of Champions move from Las Vegas to Indianapolis?

A. The PBA, in cooperation with other bowling industry organizations that promote professional bowling, has reconfigured the scheduling for its major championships for 2012-13. The PBA World Championship will return to South Point Casino, Hotel and Bowling Center in Las Vegas. The USBC Masters will be held at Brunswick Zone Carolier in North Brunswick, N.J. The site for the U.S. Open has not yet been announced.

Q. Why is the Tournament of Champions is going to back to its something similar to its original format and qualifying procedure?

A. Since its inception in 1962, the PBA Tournament of Champions has gone through several adaptations, but in the end, the PBA has concluded that the simple variables that made the TOC the PBA’s signature event need to be restored.

The two most important variables include returning the Tournament of Champions to an elite field, and limiting the field to 48 players – plus any past TOC champions who elect to enter - which will allow the drama of trying to qualify for the field to unfold over a span of several months preceding the tournament.

The starting list of eligible players will change as any new champion emerges in the months preceding the tournament, with the last player “on the bubble” facing elimination from the tournament.

Q. Who is eligible for the 2013 TOC?

A. The 2013 TOC will feature a core field of 48 players (see list below). As of August 1, 2012, the field includes 45 PBA Tour champions who achieved Touring 1 or 2 status during the 2011-12 season (Touring 1 players bowled in at least 80 percent of last season’s PBA Tour events; Touring 2 players bowled in at least 60 percent of last season’s Tour events). Jason Couch was the 46th player to achieve Touring Player status, but has announced his retirement and subsequently surrenders his Touring Player status.

Because only 45 PBA Tour champions fall into the Touring Player category as of the start of the 2012-13 season, the three remaining places in the field will be filled initially by the most current title winners who did not attain “touring player” status last season. Those players are Brian Voss, Robert Smith and Doug Kent.

The initial list does not guarantee that Kent, Smith, Voss or any of the players at the lower end of the current roster will, in fact, be in the 2013 TOC field because any new PBA Tour champion will “bump” the lowest-ranking eligible player off the list.

Kent begins the season as the player “on the bubble.” If a new champion emerges (a player who is not currently on the eligibility list), that player will automatically achieve Touring Player status, go to the top of the eligibility list, and “bump” Kent out of the event. That process will be repeated if any additional new champions emerge at any time prior to the start of the 2013 TOC.

Q. What titles are considered PBA Tour titles?

A. Titles that will qualify a new player are all standard PBA Tour titles, all major championships (PBA World Championship, USBC Masters, U.S. Open and PBA Tournament of Champions) and all PBA International titles conducted in cooperation with the World Tenpin Bowling Association.

PBA Senior Tour, PBA Regional Tour and special regional titles will not include TOC eligibility.

Q. How will the TOC eligibility list be updated?

A. The winner of each new PBA Tour event will move to the top of the list. If the winner is already on the eligibility list, he/she will simply move up and the date of his/her most recent title will be noted. If the winner is a new champion, the last player on the list (the player “on the bubble”) will be eliminated from the list.

Q. Do major titles include any special multi-year exemptions?

A. No.

Q. Are past TOC winners eligible?

A. All former TOC champions (see list below) receive a lifetime invitation to compete if they so choose. To enter, a past champion will be required to pay an entry fee equivalent to 48th-place prize money. If any past champions elect to enter, the field will be increased to more than 48, and the prize fund will be expanded to include the additional entry fee(s).

Q. What is the Tournament of Champion format?

A. The 2013 Tournament of Champions will return to a traditional PBA tournament format, whereby all players will begin on equal footing and all will have an equal chance to win. There will be no pre-qualifying events.

The tournament will begin on Wednesday, March 27, with all players bowling two eight-game qualifying rounds. After a third eight-game round on Thursday, the top 24 players will advance to three eight-game match play rounds: one round Thursday evening and two rounds on Friday. The top five after 48 games, including match play bonus pins, advance to Sunday’s five-player ESPN stepladder finals.

Q. Why a five-player stepladder instead of four?

A. Because the live ESPN telecast will be a two-hour event instead of 90 minutes.

Q. What is the Tournament of Champions prize fund?

A. First prize in the TOC will be $50,000. All players will cash. Last place will pay $1,450.

Q. What is the TOC entry fee for eligible players?

A. $500.

Q. How can I get tickets to the Tournament of Champions?

A. Ticket information for those who want to watch the action in person at Woodland Bowl will be available closer to event dates on pba.com.

Q. Will the TOC be covered by Xtra Frame?

A. Yes, all rounds except for the live ESPN stepladder finals will be webcast live, online, on Xtra Frame, PBA’s subscription-based Internet bowling channel. Xtra Frame allows bowling fans around the world to watch designated PBA Tour competition on a year-round basis.


Here is the eligibility list for the 2013 TOC, as of Aug. 1, 2012:

  • 1, Sean Rash, Tournament of Champions, April 2012
  • 2, Norm Duke, Dick Weber Playoffs, April 2012
  • 3, Mike Fagan, Brunswick Euro Challenge, March 2012
  • 4, Osku Palermaa, Kuwait Open, March 2012
  • 5, Pete Weber, U.S. Open, February 2012
  • 6, Scott Newell, Ricart Ford Open, February 2012
  • 7, Eugene McCune, Cheetah Open, January 2012
  • 8, Jason Belmonte, PBA Elite Players, November 2011
  • 9, Andres Gomez, Salvino Classic, November 2011
  • 10, Wes Malott, PBA Doubles, November 2011
  • 11, Dom Barrett, Scorpion Open, November 2011
  • 12, Stuart Williams, Viper Open, November 2011
  • 13, Dick Allen, Dick Weber Playoffs, April 2011
  • 14, Tom Hess, USBC Masters, February 2011
  • 15, Ryan Ciminelli, Earl Anthony Memorial, January 2011
  • 16, Mika Koivuniemi, Tournament of Champions, January 2011
  • 17, Chris Barnes, PBA World Championship, January 2011
  • 18, Bill O'Neill, Viper Championship, November 2010
  • 19, Scott Norton, Chameleon Championship, November 2010
  • 20, Tommy Jones, Japan Cup, April 2010
  • 21, Brian Kretzer, Match Play Championship, March 2010
  • 22, Mike Scroggins, Don Johnson Eliminator, March 2010
  • 23, Walter Ray Williams Jr., USBC Masters, February 2010
  • 24, Kelly Kulick, Tournament of Champions, January 2010
  • 25, Anthony LaCaze, Earl Anthony Memorial, January 2010
  • 26, Tom Smallwood, PBA World Championship, December 2009
  • 27, Jack Jurek, Shark Championship, August 2009
  • 28, Mike DeVaney, Scorpion Championship, August 2009
  • 29, Rhino Page, Viper Championship, August 2009
  • 30, Patrick Allen, Japan Cup, April 2009
  • 31, John Nolen, USBC Masters, February 2009
  • 32, Parker Bohn III, Cheetah Championship, December 2008
  • 33, Michael Machuga, Chameleon Championship, November 2008
  • 34, Mike Wolfe, Ultimate Scoring Championship, November 2008
  • 35, Brad Angelo, Viper Championship, November 2008
  • 36, Michael Haugen Jr., Tournament of Champions, January 2008
  • 37, Danny Wiseman, PBA Doubles, January 2008
  • 38, Steve Jaros, Tournament of Champions, April 2005
  • 39, Amleto Monacelli, Jackson Hewitt Open, February 2005
  • 40, Ryan Shafer, Empire State Open, November 2003
  • 41, Lonnie Waliczek, Odor-Eaters Open, March 2003
  • 42, Bryon Smith, USBC Masters, January 2003
  • 43, Kurt Pilon, Peoria Open, September 2001
  • 44, Dave Wodka, Greater Detroit Open, October 1999
  • 45, Chris Warren, Florida Open, February 1992
  • 46, Brian Voss, PBA Mixed Doubles, February 2010
  • 47, Robert Smith, Windy City Classic, November 2007
  • 48, Doug Kent, PBA World Championship, March 2007
  • In the event any of the above players decline their invitations, the players below would become eligible in order:
  • 50, Mike Mineman, Bayer Classic, February 2007
  • 51, Tony Reyes, Motor City Classic, January 2006
  • 52, Chris Collins, Pepsi Championship, March 2006
  • 53, Brian Himmler, Earl Anthony Memorial, January 2006


TOC champions who are eligible to enter if they elect to do so include:

  • Patrick Healey Jr., Bahrain (2003)
  • Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla. (1999, 2000, 2002)
  • Bryan Goebel, Shawnee, Kan. (1998)
  • John Gant, Elkhorn, Neb. (1997)
  • Dave D’Entremont, Middleburg Heights, Ohio (1996)
  • Mike Aulby, Carmel, Ind. (1995)
  • George Branham III, Indianapolis (1993)
  • Marc McDowell, Madison, Wis. (1992)
  • David Ozio, Beaumont, Texas (1991)
  • Dave Ferraro, Kingston, N.Y. (1990)
  • Del Ballard Jr., Keller, Texas (1989)
  • Mark Williams, Beaumont, Texas (1985, 1988)
  • Marshall Holman, Medford, Ore. (1976, 1986)
  • Mike Durbin, Trophy Club, Texas (1972, 1982, 1984)
  • Joe Berardi, Wellington, Fla. (1983)
  • Steve Cook, Granite Bay, Calif. (1981)
  • Wayne Webb, Columbus, Ohio (1980)
  • George Pappas, Charlotte, N.C. (1979)
  • Mike Berlin, Muscatine, Iowa (1977)
  • Dave Davis, Murphy, N.C. (1968, 1975)
  • Jim Godman, Lorain, Ohio (1969, 1973)
  • Johnny Petraglia, Jackson, N.J. (1971)
  • Jim Stefanich, Joliet, Ill. (1967)
  • Wayne Zahn, Tempe, Ariz. (1966)
  • Billy Hardwick, Memphis, Tenn. (1965)