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USBC Storm Mixed Team Challenge Returns

One of the most exciting tournament formats in bowling today returns on November 7th when the USBC Storm Mixed Team Challenge comes to Nortel Lanes in Monroe, Mich. The tournament, which consists of three traditional team-style games followed by a ten-game block of Baker format competition, remains popular for its unique emphasis on teamwork.

"I can't describe it. I love the tournament," said Roy Harker after captaining his winning 'Golf 'N Bowl' team to victory at Pacific Lanes in Tacoma, Wash. earlier this year. "The format is exhilarating and you're drained when you're done."

"It was fun. I have never bowled a format like that, where you bowl three games and then 10 games in the baker style," added Jennifer Evans, the league coordinator at Pacific Lanes who herself participated in the event. "I had a blast, and I have been bowling for 25 years. I'm totally psyched about it coming back again."

But the tournament's appeal extends well beyond seasoned tournament bowlers. George Williams, who found bowling amid a search for something that might take his mind off of his difficult work with New York City's Department of Homeless Services, took a team to JIB Lanes in Flushing, N.Y. that consisted of three bowlers who had never participated in a tournament in their lives and showed up at the bowling center fresh off of the night shift at their jobs.

"You don't know how surprised I was," Williams said after his team of tournament novices went on to victory at the event. "I was with people who were bowling in their first tournament, so I thought fifth or sixth would be very nice."

Total pins from both rounds - the traditional team qualifying and the ten-game block of Baker-format competition - determine the champion. The tournament uses a 90 percent handicap of 900 (combined average for four players). All teams must have at least one woman player with any combination of men and women allowed, and a minimum of one in six teams cash in each event. The tournament's handicap scoring system gives bowlers of all skill levels a chance to win.

Everyone from veteran bowlers who spent years in the Professional Bowlers Association to local bowlers who, like the wife of Norm Palomares, captain of the winning team at the most recent Mixed Team Challenge event at Concord, Calif.'s Diablo Lanes, "is a 150-average bowler."

Entries always go fast for this popular tournament, so don't miss your chance to be a part of the action when the USBC Storm Mixed Team Challenge comes to a center near you. For more information on the 2009-2010 USBC Storm Mixed Team Challenge series, visit the tournament's page where you will find everything from schedules, past winners, entry forms and more.

*By Gianmarc Manzione