The PBA Tour’s 66th season commences with the PBA Players Championship presented by Snickers this week at Bowlero Northrock in Wichita, Kan.

The 88-player field will compete for the first title of the season, a major championship, and the $100,000 top prize.

Qualifying begins on Wednesday. All rounds of qualifying and match play will be livestreamed on BowlTV.

Tickets are available for the televised finals of the PBA Players Championship presented by Snickers and PBA Jr. National Championship here.

Here’s what you need to know:


For the third time in the past four seasons, the season will begin with the PBA Players Championship presented by Snickers.

Kyle Troup won the Players Championship in 2021, followed by Jason Belmonte in 2022. Both players went on to win Player of the Year in that same season.

Ditto for EJ Tackett, who won the season-opening U.S. Open in 2023. So much for the old adage: It’s not how you start that’s important. It’s how you finish.

Speaking of Belmonte and Tackett… the two superstars, along with Anthony Simonsen, figure to be in title contention this week; the Players Championship is a major, after all.

No player has been better in the Players Championship than Belmonte, who owns a record three Players Championship titles.

No player was better at Bowlero Northrock last year than Simonsen, who earned the top seed and won the PBA Wichita Classic.

And no player was better, period, last year than Tackett. He won five titles, including two majors, earned the top seed in four of five majors, and brought home Player of the Year honors.

Since Simonsen’s rookie season in 2015, 43 major championships have been contested. At least one member of the trio has finished top five in 35 of those events. That’s a percentage of 92.11% — on par with the success of the Philadelphia Eagles’ infamous “tush push.”

Over that stretch, the title matches of eight majors have been between two of Belmonte, Simonsen and Tackett, which is the same number of majors in which none of the three earned a top-five finish.

The acumen of those three is far from breaking news, and there’s a whole crop of rising stars, relentless competitors and grizzled veterans hungry to break into the elite tier.

Players to Watch

Defending champion Kevin McCune made history at this event last season. His win made the McCune's the first family to have three generations of PBA Tour champions, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Don, and father, Eugene.

Kevin may be the lone McCune with a major title to his name, but he's still got work to do to catch his elders in total titles. 

Packy Hanrahan, one of four players to capture his first career PBA Tour title last season, headlines the litany of players with Wichita ties. Hanrahan competed at Wichita State from 2013-2017 and now lives in town.

The number of former Shockers competing this week could start a pair of PBA Elite League teams. Hanrahan, Sean Rash, Chris Barnes, François Lavoie, Jake Peters, Kris Prather, Mitch Hupé, AJ Chapman, Joe Grondin and Wesley Low Jr., among others, all donned the black and yellow.

Additionally, four current members of the defending national champion Wichita State Shockers — Spencer Robarge, Ryan Barnes, Brandon Bonta and TJ Rock — were granted a commissioner’s exemption to compete in the pre-tournament qualifier. All four advanced through the pre-tournament qualifier to make the main field.

Robarge made the finals of the 2021 USBC Masters while in high school; Bonta nearly made the contender’s round last season, falling to Kyle Sherman in the penultimate match before the televised round.

Also advancing through the PTQ field was Cortez Schenck, the reigning Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year. Schenck shot 300 the first game of the PTQ.

AJ Johnson reached a low point during the PBA Wichita Classic last season, but after finally breaking through with a win at the Storm Lucky Larsen Masters, a vindicated Johnson returns to Wichita with a new perspective.

Several top touring players hoping for bounce-back campaigns in 2024 after dealing with injuries a year ago include Prather (forearm), Rash (back), Kyle Sherman (shoulder and hip) and Darren Tang (arm).

Tang heads into Wichita in midseason form after winning Team USA Trials last week in Las Vegas.

While Chris Via and Jesper Svensson each did not win a title last season, their statistics indicate they weren’t far from the top tier. Svensson ranked fifth with 11 top-24 finishes, while Via finished seventh in points and threw the fourth-most strikes of any player in 2023.


Qualifying gets underway at 11 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday at Bowlero Northrock in Wichita, Kan. Four six-game rounds will determine the 24 players advancing to round-robin match play.

All qualifying and match play rounds will be livestreamed on BowlTV.

After all 48 games are complete, the top five players will advance to the stepladder finals. The championship round will air at 5 p.m. ET on Monday, Jan. 15 on FOX.

Tickets for the televised finals are available here.

The tournament will be contested on the 38-foot Wayne Webb oil pattern.

Tournament Schedule

All times Eastern

Bowlero Northrock | Wichita, Kan.

Tuesday, Jan. 9
10 a.m. — Pre-tournament qualifier (seven games)
4 p.m. — Practice
7 p.m. — PBA Elite League (Rounds 1-2)

Wednesday, Jan. 10
11 a.m. — Qualifying Round 1 (six games)
7 p.m. — Qualifying Round 2 (six games)

Thursday, Jan. 11
11 a.m. — Qualifying Round 3 (six games)
7 p.m. — Qualifying Round 4 (six games)
Cut to top 24 for round-robin match play

Friday, Jan. 12
11 a.m. — Match Play Round 1 (eight games)
7 p.m. — Match Play Round 2 (eight games)

Saturday, Jan. 13
11 a.m. — Match Play Round 3 (eight games)
Cut to top five for stepladder finals

Monday, Jan. 15
5 p.m. — Stepladder finals