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PBA Unveils Schedule, Prize Fund for GEICO World Series of Bowling VII 7/31/2015

RENO, Nev. - This December, Reno's National Bowling Stadium will be the center of the bowling universe as ESPN, Xtra Frame and the best players in the world will converge for a series of the most unique and lucrative events in the sport at the GEICO Professional Bowlers Association World Series of Bowling VII presented by Silver Legacy. WSOB VII will again give players from around the world five fresh opportunities for PBA titles across five diverse PBA lane oil patterns, highlighted by the main event, the PBA World Championship.

The World Series will feature an enhanced prize fund, adjusted tournament formats, live TV and the potential for the largest field in WSOB history. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the National Bowling Stadium's 78 lanes means a full field of
312 and a prize fund that will exceed $760,000. The focal point will be the PBA World Championship, the season's final major championship and its ultimate test of versatility and endurance. The five players who qualify for the live stepladder finals on ESPN on Thursday, Dec. 17, will survive 66 games of qualifying and round-robin match play on five different lane condition challenges.

For the first time, bettors will be able to wager on PBA World Championship results at the host hotel Silver Legacy's MGM Mirage Satellite Race and Sports Book. The finals will be the PBA's first time in live prime time TV since 2001.

"Thursday night, December 17, will be one of the greatest spectacles in the history of the game," PBA Tour CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark said of the 2015 PBA World Championship finals.

The qualifying stages of the P BA World Championship involve nine games each on the PBA's Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion lane conditions. Those stages will again also serve as separate opportunities for players to win PBA Tour titles and prize money. After the nine-game qualifying rounds in the Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion Championships, the top 24 from each pattern will advance to best-of-five- game single-elimination match play rounds (the top eight qualifiers will receive a bye to automatically advance to the second match play round). Match play will reduce the field in each event to four semifinalists. The four ESPN-televised animal pattern finals will include two one-game semifinal matches with the two winners bowling for titles.

Entries open on July 8. The past two World Series have included sold-out fields, each with representatives from 21 countries.

Subscriptions to Xtra Frame, PBA's exclusive online video-streaming service, have reached their all-time highs at each of the past four WSOBs, and the 2014 WSOB's ESPN viewership ratings were up 14 percent cumulatively for the seven shows produced over the previous year. Fans from around the world also have scheduled trips around the WSOB.

Article was posted with permission from Stars & Strikes, America's Bowling Newsmagazine.