SEATTLE, Wash. – Professional Bowlers Association fans will have an opportunity to play a new PBA Bracket Battle, bowling’s version of “March Madness,” during the Go RVing Match Play Championship March 17-21 at Norwich Bowling and Entertainment Center in Norwich, Conn.
Borrowing from the same tradition millions of Americans follow in filling out their annual NCAA basketball brackets in March, the PBA is creating its own 64-player “pick the winners” contest that will allow bowling fans to try to pick winners of matches from start to finish in the Go RVing Match Play Championship. It’s free to enter and there will be prizes to win.
”March Madness got its name because of the almost magical attachment sports fans develop in following their NCAA brackets,” said PBA Deputy Commissioner Tom Clark. “People who may know very little about some of the teams and players get involved and pay attention to the NCAA basketball finals because of the bracket frenzy.
“The PBA thought it would be great fun to engage bowling fans in the same way,” he continued. “Fans can follow the progress of the players they select on pba.com, living and dying with their picks. The best place to watch each round unfold is pba.com’s live streaming coverage of the event all week on Xtra Frame.”
The PBA version of the bracket game will be hosted and automatically tabulated on pba.com, the PBA’s official website. Prizes will include a bowling pin autographed by all Round of 8 survivors in the Match Play Championship for the PBA Bracket Battle winner, a $100 gift certificate to the online PBA Store for second place, an autographed PBA Tournament of Champions poster for third place, and complimentary one-year subscriptions to pba.com’s Xtra Frame for fourth and fifth places.
The idea is simple: 64 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour competitors will be seeded into the bracket. The top 56 spots will be based upon where players rank in the PBA World Points Ranking list at the conclusion of the Etonic Don Johnson Eliminator March 7 in Columbus, Ohio. Those 56 and their seeding positions will be announced when the bracket game officially goes online on Wednesday, March 10, at noon Eastern.
The 57th seed will go to PBA Senior Tour star Tom Baker of King, N.C., who will join the Go RVing field as a Commissioner’s Exemption. The seven remaining seeds – 58 through 64 – will be awarded to players based upon their finishing position in the Go RVing Tour Qualifying Round on Wednesday, March 17.
Once the entire field is set, fans will select the player they think will win each best-of-seven-game, single-elimination match during the entire Go RVing Match Play Championship. The only matches that will not be best-of-seven will be the semifinal round and championship match, which will be a three-game, total pinfall. The championship match will air live on ESPN on Sunday, March 21, at 1 p.m. Eastern.
Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, won the 2009 Go RVing Match Play Championship, rallying to defeat PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., 772-693.
Scoring for the bracket contest will be one point for correctly picking each winner in the Round of 64 (32 matches, 32 possible points), two points each winner in the Round of 32 (16 matches, 32 possible points), four points for each winner in the Round of 16 (eight matches, 32 possible points), eight points for each winner in the Round of 8 (four matches, 32 possible points), 16 points for each winner in the semifinal, or Round of 4 (two matches, 32 possible points), and another 32 points for selecting the correct winner of the title match. Each contestant also will be asked to predict the three-game series bowled by the winner as a tie-breaker.
Along with the entry form, complete rules will be posted on pba.com. Entries must be submitted by no later than the start of the first Go RVing matches at 11 a.m. Eastern on Thursday, March 18. Provisions will be made for last-minute withdrawals due to injury.
The entire tournament will be covered in depth, live as it happens, on pba.com’s exclusive Xtra Frame video-streaming “bowling channel.” For monthly and annual subscription information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame icon.