Online Staff Report
All eyes of the bowling world will be on the Rockford region from July 19 to 25 when it hosts three Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America (BPAA) championship events and an interactive Women’s Pro-Am.
The 39th Annual International Family Tournament is July 19-21 at Don Carter Lanes, while the BPAA Women’s All-Star Tournament and the Women’s Senior U.S. Open presented by Storm is July 21-25 at The Cherry Bowl.
July 19-20, residents and visitors alike can participate in one of four scheduled Pro-Ams, where entrants will mingle and bowl with the best women’s bowlers in the world.
The 2014 International Family Tournament (IFT) is a national finals event that features seven divisions of competition, including youth/parent, teen/parent, youth/adult, teen/teen, youth/youth, youth/teen, and teen/adult. The 2014 IFT is also the only sporting event in the U.S. where parent/child teams compete for an international championship and $70,000 in scholarship awards. Admission to the 2014 IFT is free to the public.
The 2014 BPAA Women’s All-Star Tournament is open to any USBC female member, while the Women’s Senior U.S. Open is open to any USBC female members 50 years or older. The top women’s bowlers will compete for a $20,000 first-place prize at the All-Star Tournament and a $3,000 first-place prize at the Women’s Senior U.S. Open. These tournaments will feature renowned women’s bowlers, including Diandra Asbaty, Brittni Hamilton, Liz Johnson, Kelly Kulick, Danielle McEwan, Wendy Macpherson, Shannon O’Keefe and Shannon Pluhowsky. Admission is $5 July 21-23 and $10 July 24-25 (free to 16 and younger and all high school bowlers).
“We are excited to have both women’s tournaments at one location this year,” said BPAA Tournament Chairman John Losito. “Bowling fans will have a lot to see when they step into The Cherry Bowl to watch the competition. These women are truly among the best in the country.”
The four Celebrity Pro-Ams provide fans the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and compete with the best in the world. Pro-Am play is scheduled for 1, 4 and 7 p.m. on July 19, and 1:30 p.m. on July 20. For more information or to enter a Pro-Am, visit http://www.bowlproam.com/.
In addition to the exciting competitions, contestants are treated to opening and closing banquets, a Family Fun Night at Magic Waters, plus a Q&A and autograph session. Together, participants, coaches and fans who travel to the region for these championship events will fill approximately 1,200 room nights and spend more than $225,000 while in town.
John Groh, president and CEO of the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, said: “The Rockford region remains a popular destination for sports tournaments because of the quality of our sports facilities. John Sommer and his staff at Don Carter Lanes and The Cherry Bowl are fantastic partners, and it has been our honor to work alongside them to bring these championship events to our region. I know our hospitality partners will do all they can to ensure the players and spectators have a great experience in Rockford and look forward to returning in future years.”
For schedules and other information about the three BPAA championship events, visit http://www.bpaa.com/Tournaments.
Posted July 18, 2014