PBA Puts All Tournament Activity on Hiatus Due to Coronavirus Pandemic
by Bill Vint | Tuesday, March 17, 1:02 PM
NEW YORK, N.Y. - The Professional Bowlers Association has placed all tournament activities at all levels on hiatus indefinitely due to coronavirus concerns, PBA CEO Colie Edison announced today. Included in the postponements is the start of the 2020 PBA Playoffs which were scheduled to start on April 6.
The announcement, made out of an abundance of preventative caution, means all PBA Tour, PBA50 Tour and PBA Regional tournaments currently scheduled will be put on hiatus as the PBA complies with decisions made nationally and locally in a concerted effort to help avoid “community spread” of the COVID-19 virus. All scheduled events will be re-evaluated in early April.
The PBA postponed the final match play elimination rounds and television finals of the Storm PBA World Series of Bowling XI animal pattern championships (Go Bowling Cheetah, Chameleon and Scorpion Championships) that were scheduled to take place at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, allowing all competitors including several international bowlers to return home before federal airline restrictions took effect.
The PBA World Championship finals were conducted Sunday instead of Wednesday, as originally planned, because the five finalists were on hand in Las Vegas and wanted to complete the 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour’s fourth major championship. Australia’s Jason Belmonte won the event before an audience consisting only of a handful of PBA players, tournament officials, and his own family including wife Kimberly, daughters Aria and Sylvie, and son Hugo who had flown in from Australia to watch. The finals aired live on FS1 and was the network’s most-watched telecast last week.
In addition to PBA’s decision, the United States Bowling Congress indefinitely postponed the USBC Masters that was scheduled for March 23-29 as well as the start of the 2020 USBC Open Championships, a traditional tournament for all USBC members including a number of PBA members who planned to participate.
“This is a completely unforeseen, unprecedented issue of global concern,” Edison said. “The PBA greatly appreciates the understanding and cooperation of its players, business partners, tournament hosts and all other parties impacted as we try to do our part in keeping everyone as safe as we can.”
As circumstances dictate, the PBA will make further announcements regarding the completion of the animal pattern championships, competition points races impacting the postponed PBA League Draft and qualifiers for the 2020 PBA Playoffs.
In the interim, fans can stay engaged with the PBA through its social media outlets (PBA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and PBA on YouTube); by using the PBA App for mobile devices; the PBA Pro Bowling console game, and PBA.com.
FOX Sports also is planning multiple re-broadcasts of the PBA World Championship, PBA Tournament of Champions and Roth-Holman PBA Doubles Championship finals on its FS1 and FS2. Check your local listings for dates and times.