August 5, 2007 19:00
This week, the PBA sat down with Kirk von Krueger, Director of the Denny’s PBA Tour, to discuss the upcoming PBA Women’s Series, a special four event mini-season to take place during the 2007-08 Denny’s PBA Tour season.
The series, sponsored by the United States Bowling Congress (USBC), will feature 16 women who will earn exemptions through the PBA Women’s Tour Trials. The Tour Trials will be held in conjunction with the U.S. Women’s Open, a USBC event, which takes place Aug. 13-18 at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.
The 16 women will compete in four events which will run concurrently with four Denny’s PBA Tour events in November and December. Each event will feature a $10,000 top prize with the finals being televised live on ESPN.
Von Krueger sat down recently to discuss the impact of this series, the first opportunity for women to bowl full time since the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) folded in 2003.
Question: What does the PBA Women’s Series mean for women’s bowling?
Kirk von Krueger (KVK): The return of women’s bowling is long overdue. This series is an important first step for both the bowlers who enjoy competing at the highest level as well as the fans who have followed women’s professional bowling over the years.
Q: What are some of the main reasons women should take advantage of this opportunity?
KVK: The USBC has given women bowlers a wonderful opportunity by first resurrecting the U. S. Women’s Open, and second allowing the Women’s Tour Trials to run at the same time. If the rebirth of women’s professional bowling has any chance of succeeding, we’ve got to rally the troops. That means supporting this initiative at all levels to demonstrate its viability within the industry.
Q: What kind of experiences will the U.S. Women’s Open and Women’s Tour Trials be in August?
KVK: It’s going to be exciting. The U.S. Women’s Open is back after a three-year hiatus and this year will be televised on ESPN. Early round matches will air tape delayed on ESPN while the four finalists will be asked to come back for a live championship round in October. Additionally, there will be excitement surrounding the Tour Trials participants vying for the 16 exempt spots for the PBA Women’s Series. These two tournaments being contested at the same time in Reno’s National Bowling Stadium makes for a great week.
Q: Will the U.S. Women’s Open/Tour Trials format favor a certain type of player?
KVK: This year’s format will test the versatility and skill of each and every participant. Four of the five PBA Experience patterns (Viper, Scorpion, Shark and Chameleon) will be used to provide a variety of lane conditions over four days of qualifying.
Q: What will the atmosphere be like for the four Women’s Series events?
KVK: The Women’s Series events have been incorporated directly into our Denny’s PBA Tour event schedule so our ladies will compete in the same atmosphere that our men compete in on a weekly basis. This includes the live ESPN televised finals on Sunday, which they will participate in as well.
Q: How will the 16 women benefit from bowling the PBA Women’s Series?
KVK: In the long term, this is a potential first step to bringing women’s professional bowling back into the spotlight. Anyone who aspires to bowl on Tour will benefit from this series. In the short term, the series provides a guaranteed payday in four professional events, each with a televised championship live on ESPN.
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