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Dave Walsh: Four-person teams catching on with USBC

Feb. 09, 2013 @ 11:00 PM

For the first time in its history, the 2013 Huntington USBC Championships had four-person teams in team event.

That format is going national. The USBC Women's Championships will shift to four-player teams in 2014 along with new divisions and a new format.

Teams will be divided into four divisions based on their combined averages, and there will be six average-based divisions for doubles, singles and all-events. The 2014 event will be held on 44 specially-constructed lanes inside the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nev.

"Bowlers have told us they want four-woman teams," Brian Lewis, USBC's Managing Director of Tournaments, told Matt Cannizzaro of USBC Communications. "Four-player teams will make it easier for teams to travel as a group and set up pairings for doubles. While this is a change from tradition, it clearly is something our bowlers want, and we hope the new format will help lead to a new generation trying the event."

Here is a look at the new divisions for the 2014 Women's Championships:

Team Divisions (based on the combined average of all four bowlers): Diamond (725 and above), Ruby (650-724), Emerald (575-649) and Sapphire (574 and below).

Doubles Divisions (based on the combined average of the two bowlers): Division 1 (380 and above), Division 2 (350-379), Division 3 (320-349), Division 4 (290-319), Division 5 (260-289) and Division 6 (259 and below).

Singles and All-Events Divisions: Division 1 (190 and above), Division 2 (175-189), Division 3 (160-174), Division 4 (145-159), Division 5 (130-144) and Division 6 (129 and below).

The Women's Championships also will have a new price structure in 2014. The entry fee for a bowler to compete in team, doubles, singles and all-events will be $140 ($44 per event and an optional $8 for all-events). Entering by mail, fax or phone will require an additional $10 processing fee per team and $10 for each doubles/singles set. Registration for the 2014 Women's Championships will begin April 1.

CLOSE CALL: Ben Davis of Ashland and Al Brooks of Bluefield, W.Va., just missed cashing in the PBA Central Legend Lanes Regular/Senior Doubles Classic held Jan. 25-27 at Legend Lanes in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. In the eight-game qualifier, Davis shot 1,827 and Brooks 1,744 for a 3,571 total. It took a 3,597 total to get the last cash spot ($800). No. 2 qualifiers Bob Learn Jr. and Mike Shady won the title and $4,000.

BOWLING BENEFIT: The first Barboursville Bloodhounds No-Tap Handicap Bowling Tournament & Bowl-A-Thon will be March 3 at Colonial Lanes. Festivities will start at noon. Entry fee is $25 and cash prizes for top five.

For people just wanting to bowl, open bowling is $10 per person and includes 3 games and shoe rental with proceeds going directly to K-9 "Gus." of the Barboursville Police Department. There will be cash brackets, raffles and door prizes throughout the event. One prize is a trip for two to Hawaii courtesy of Colonial Lanes.

All proceeds will go directly to K-9 "Gus." Sign up at Colonial Lanes or call Sean Moore at 304 429-9400 or Tim Corbett at 304 416-1080.

500 CLUB TOURNAMENT: The Huntington 500 Club's City Tournament will be March 10 at Colonial Lanes. Bowling starts at 1:30 p.m. Entry forms at Colonial and Strike Zone. Call Judy Keith at 304-529-3479 or Joan Hopkins at 304-429-6175.

HARDWICK/BARNES WIN: In one of the highest scoring televised Baker format doubles title matches in PBA history, comedian and podcast innovator Chris Hardwick and 14-time Tour winner Chris Barnes defeated actor/comedian Kevin Hart and four-time PBA Tour titleist Bill O'Neill, 270-267, to win the Chris Paul PBA League All-Stars tournament. Hardwick and Barnes combined for the last nine strikes in the title match to edge Hart and O'Neill for the win.

O'Neill could have sewn up the match with a strike on the second ball in the 10th frame, but left a 10 pin. Hardwick is the son of PBA Hall of Famer Billy Hardwick. Barnes, one of six PBA triple crown winners, struck on all of his shots including all three in the 10th frame to win the match. The 2013 fundraiser benefits NBA star Chris Paul's CP3 Foundation. Complete results available at PBATour.com.

The PBA League Round 2 and Carmen Salvino Classic finals will air on ESPN at 1 p.m. Sunday. Andres Gomez will meet D.J. Archer in the Salvino title match.

David Walsh is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or dwalsh@herald-dispatch.com.

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