Top 10 Bowling Tournaments
Competitive bowling has been around for over 100 years, with professional and amateur bowlers participating in tournaments year-round. Read on to learn more about the most popular bowling tournaments worldwide.
What are the Most Popular Bowling Tournaments in the World?
- USBC Masters
- United States Open
- PBA World Championship
- PBA Tournament of Champions
- United States Women’s Open
- WTBA World Championship
- USBC Queens
- Junior Gold Championship
- USBC Senior Championship
- Super Senior Classic
1. USBC Masters
The USBC Masters is a championship tenpin bowling tournament run by the United States Bowling Congress. It was designated one of the four top bowling tournaments in 2000. The tournament started in 1951 as the ABC Masters and became the USBC Masters in 2005. Its double-elimination match is what has made this tournament so popular, along with the history behind the tournament itself. Hundreds compete in this tournament every year, with 15 games of qualifying followed by the top 63 advancing to the double-elimination round for the winner.
2. United States Open
The United States Open tournament is ranked in the top five tournaments for the Professional Bowling Association. This tournament is open to qualifying amateurs and PBA members. It is now considered one of the most difficult bowling tournaments to play in today with the 56 games of qualifying. This tournament has been held every year since 1942 and is home of one of the top players in bowling, Pete Weber, who has won the tournament five times.
3. PBA World Championship
The PBA World Championship is ranked in the top five tournaments for professional bowling. It first started in November 1960 as the First Annual National Championship. If you win the championship, you receive the Earl Anthony Trophy and, as of recently in the 2020 tournament, an extra $100,000. Currently, the format for the PBA Championship is open to any PBA member that also enters the World Series of Bowling. This is different then years previous, where it was not.
4. PBA Tournament of Champions
The PBA Tournament of Champions is in the top five tournaments of the Professional Bowling Association. The 2022 tournament was held in February from the 22 to the 27 in Fairlawn, Ohio. There was a starting field of 66 players with 58 being past PBA champions. The final prize from the 2022 tournament was $100,000 with $322,000 being in the total prize fund. This tournament is held once a year, with Ohio being the main host.
5. United States Women’s Open
This tournament is an annual bowling tournament held for women. It was canceled in 2004 following the Professional Women’s Bowling Association folding, but returned in 2007. In 2012 the tournament was held outdoors in Nevada with the players playing with plastic bowling balls due to the wind and dust. The most recent tournament held in 2021 was in California with 72 entries and a total prize of $283,000.
6. WTBA World Championship
This tournament is different from the others because it is a global event that invites all countries instead of just being limited to one. All countries must be members of the International Bowling Federation in order to participate in the championship. The first tournament was held in 1954 with 58 men participants. The championship is conducted every fourth year. Women participated in the tournament for the first time in the 1963 tournament in Mexico City. There are now both women and men that participate in this tournament every other year.
7. USBC Queens
USBC Queens is an annual tenpin bowling tournament for both professional and amateur female bowlers. It is held by the United States Bowling Congress and is one of the four most popular bowling tournaments for women in the world. All females that enter bowl a total of 15 qualifying games over 3 days. Following that, the top 63 qualifiers move on to the second round. Each match played for this tournament consists of a three-game double-elimination format. This tournament started in 1961 and was known as the WIBC Queens when first starting in 1961.
8. Junior Gold Championship
This tournament is one that is held for youth players. It is for the top youth male and female players to compete in a highly competitive top bowling tournament. This tournament has eight different divisions offered for different age groups that may compete. These divisions include U12 boys and girls up to U20 boys and girls. Boys and girls compete separately in their own divisions against each other, but all compete for the same prize.
9. USBC Senior Championship
The USBC Senior Championship is a tournament for any players that have qualified through their state’s senior tournament. This tournament is not open compared to the other tournaments listed above. You have to qualify through your own state’s senior tournament. The top six finishers from each age group or division competing will then advance to the Advancers Round and bowl three more games following that to determine a winner in each age or division group.
10. Super Senior Classic
The Super Senior Classic Tournament is one that is held for the oldest division of bowlers, specifically USBC members that are age 60 or older. There are typically more than 250 participants in the Super Senior Classic, with most of them being previous winners of other tournaments. It is from June 10-15 and is hosted in Las Vegas. To qualify there are 12 games over a two day period with only one in four players moving on to the second round or the Casher’s Round. The winner of this tournament takes home $8000 dollars.
- PBA Players Championship
- PBA Super Slam Cup
- PBA Tour Finals
- PBA Skill Ball Challenge
- PBA/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles
What is the biggest bowling tournament in the world?
The biggest bowling tournament in the world is the USBC Masters. The USBC Masters is one of professional bowling’s four major tournaments. The top men’s and women’s bowlers in the world compete for the championship title. The field has been growing since the first tournament in 1951, and now includes over 400 bowlers.