The PBA Players Championship presented by Snickers marks the PBA’s grand return to Bowlero North Brunswick, formerly known as Carolier Lanes. This will be the final major of the 2023 Guaranteed Rate PBA Tour.

The iconic venue returns as host for the first time in nine years. It’s where a crestfallen Mika Koivuniemi crumbled to the lanes after losing the U.S. Open, Jason Belmonte won back-to-back USBC Masters titles and Pete Weber uttered the most famous eight words in bowling history.

Over the next two weeks, 128 players will compose their own stories in pursuit of the $100,000 top prize. Here’s what you need to know:

Players to Watch

The fifth and final berth in the PBA Super Slam Cup is up for grabs. EJ Tackett, Jason Belmonte and Anthony Simonsen secured their spots with major titles in 2023, while Jakob Butturff earned his position as the highest finishing non-champion at the PBA World Championship presented by Pabst Blue Ribbon.

As the season’s ultimate major championship, this also represents players’ best opportunity to bolster their Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year award case.

A title for Tackett, which would be his third major and sixth overall title of the season, ostensibly wraps up the race. However, as Tackett noted himself, a Simonsen or Belmonte victory could change the tide entering the final few events of the season.

In the Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year race, Cortez Schenck tops the freshman in points. A handful of rookies lie within about 1,000 points of the 24-year-old, meaning one player could separate themselves from the pack with a stellar performance at the Players Championship.


Much has changed since the last time the PBA Tour visited the Garden State in February 2014.

Jimmy Fallon began hosting The Tonight Show that month, while the series finale of How I Met Your Mother aired one month later. Apple released the iPhone 6 and announced plans for the Apple Watch that fall.

Bowling-wise, dozens of the game’s most accomplished and popular players had yet to reach the Tour.

AJ Johnson, Chris Via, Marshall Kent, Kyle Sherman, Darren Tang, François Lavoie, Andrew Anderson and Graham Fach excelled at the college ranks, each finishing with a top-11 average in the nation in 2013-14. Jakob Butturff, Michael Tang, Nick Pate and Matt Sanders, among other future PBA players, were also chasing the Helmer Cup as student-athletes.

And yet, much has remained the same over the past nine years.

The title match of the 2014 USBC Masters, the last title awarded at Bowlero North Brunswick, featured the same two players as last week’s PBA World Championship. Belmonte, then 30, climbed the stepladder to defeat 21-year-old Tackett.

This week, Bill O’Neill competes close to his eastern Pennsylvania home, as will New Jersey legend Parker Bohn III. His protégé, Matt Russo, was in high school in 2014; this marks Russo’s first PBA Tour competition in his native state.


The 128-player field will bowl 24 games of qualifying (four six-game rounds) before a cut to the top third of the field. Players will compete on two patterns: 39-foot Carter for the first two rounds of qualifying and 45-foot Weber for the final two.

The remainder of the tournament will feature a dual-pattern format. Following the first cut, the field will be whittled down to 12 TV finalists across four additional six-game advancer rounds.

The top four players after all 48 games of qualifying earn byes in the televised bracket, while top 12 players advance to the televised bracket. The No. 5-12 seeds compete on Saturday, May 7.

The first round of the bracket features single-game matches, while the Round of Eight and Round of Four will be Race-to-Two matches. The championship, airing live Sunday, May 14 on FOX, will be a best-of-five match.

Tournament Schedule

All times are listed in Eastern time. The full schedule is available here.

Tuesday, May 2 | BowlTV
11 a.m. — Qualifying Round 1 (six games)
5 p.m. — Qualifying Round 2 (six games)

Wednesday, May 3 | BowlTV
11 a.m. — Qualifying Round 3 (six games)
5 p.m. — Qualifying Round 4 (six games)

Thursday, May 4 | BowlTV
11 a.m. — Advancers Round 1 (six games)
5 p.m. — Advancers Round 2 (six games)

Friday, May 5 | BowlTV
11 a.m. — Top-24 Round (six games)
5:30 p.m. — Top-18 Round (six games)

Saturday, May 6 | FS1
10 p.m. — Round of 12 (single-game matches)
Tickets for the 4 p.m. taping are available here.

Sunday, May 7 | FS1
Noon — Round of Eight (Race-to-Two matches)
4 p.m. — Round of Eight (Race-to-Two matches)
Tickets for the shows are available here.

Saturday, May 13 | FS1
12:30 p.m. — Round of Four (Race-to-Two matches)
Sold out.

Sunday, May 14 | FOX
1 p.m. — Championship Round (Best-of-Five match)
Sold out.

More information on the tournament is available here.