ARLINGTON, Texas - The first half of the 2021 Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour season was filled with amazing stories, historic performances and the emergence of new stars, and the action is set to resume this week for the next swing on the schedule.
The Professional Bowlers Association/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles event will get things underway from July 29 - Aug. 1 at Houston's Copperfield Bowl and be followed by the PWBA Summer Classic Series from Aug. 2-10 at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington.
The PWBA Tour then will head to the Pacific Northwest for the PWBA Spokane Open at Lilac Lanes & Casino in Spokane, Washington, from Aug. 19-21, before competition in August concludes with the U.S. Women's Open, the final major of the 2021 season.
The U.S. Women's Open will take place at Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park, California, from Aug. 24-31.
For the final events on the 2021 schedule, the PWBA Tour will return to the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada, and the 78-lane venue will host the PWBA Fall Classic Series from Oct. 24-30. The NBS also hosted the United States Bowling Congress Queens in May.
The 2021 PBA/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles will begin with the event's official practice sessions Thursday, before competition gets underway Friday with the first of four qualifying squads, beginning at 9 a.m. Eastern.
Each mixed doubles team will bowl seven qualifying games to determine which teams advance to Sunday's semifinal round, which will feature five additional games. The top eight teams will advance to round-robin match play, with total pinfall, including bonus pins, determining this year's champions.
PWBA Tour champion Amanda Greene of Romney, West Virginia, and Kyle Sherman of O'Fallon, Missouri, won the 2019 event.
The Summer Classic Series will feature three national tour stops and one regional tournament during the event's nine-day run at the home of Team USA. The national events will include the PWBA Go Bowling Classic (Aug. 3-5), PWBA International Bowling Campus Classic (Aug. 6-7) and PWBA BowlTV Classic (Aug. 9-10).
The PWBA Dallas/Fort Worth Regional will take place Aug. 8.
The Summer Classic Series field will be limited to 56 players, with athletes in the top 48 on the season-long points list receiving an invitation to the main event. One exemption from the USBC and Bowling Proprietors' Association of America also was granted into the main event for the Summer Classic Series - Junior Team USA member Jillian Martin of Stow, Ohio.
Martin, a 17-year-old right-hander, put together a memorable run at the PWBA Kickoff Classic Series in January to start the 2021 season, posting second- and third-place finishes in three events. She recently finished as the top qualifier in the 18-and-under division at the 2021 Junior Gold Championships in Indianapolis.
The final seven spots at the Summer Classic Series will be filled through an on-site pre-tournament qualifier Aug. 2. The qualifying event will include nine games.
All 56 players will compete at the Go Bowling Classic and International Bowling Campus Classic. Both events will feature nine games of qualifying, before the top 12 players advance to round-robin match play. After 12 games of match play, the top four bowlers will advance to the stepladder finals, based on total pinfall and bonus pins for each victory in match play.
The BowlTV Classic will feature the top 24 players from the Go Bowling Classic and International Bowling Campus Classic, based on 18-game qualifying totals. Total pinfall will drop at the start of the BowlTV Classic, and the 24 advancers will bowl 24 games of round-robin match play to determine the five bowlers for the stepladder finals, based on total pinfall and bonus pins.
The Dallas/Fort Worth Regional will feature an eight-game qualifying block, with the top four players, based on total pinfall, advancing to the stepladder finals.
Each of the stepladder finals will air live at 9 p.m. Eastern on BowlTV.com. The dates of the stepladder finals are Aug. 5 (Go Bowling Classic), Aug. 7 (International Bowling Campus Classic), Aug. 8 (Dallas/Fort Worth Regional) and Aug. 10 (BowlTV Classic).
The three national events at the Summer Classic Series will further develop the tightly contested race for the PWBA Player of the Year and PWBA Rookie of the Year awards for the 2021 season.
Both awards are determined at the end of the season and based on the season-long points list.
Julia Bond of Aurora, Illinois, has maintained the lead in points (84,075) since winning her second title of the 2021 season at the USBC Queens, but three players have been keeping pace and are in position to make a run at the top of the list during the next swing.
Two-time reigning PWBA Player of the Year Shannon O'Keefe of Shiloh, Illinois, is second in points with 80,850. The 14-time titlist has claimed one title this season and made the championship round in each of her last three events.
Missy Parkin of Laguna Hills, California, is in third place with 75,625. She has made four championship-round appearances and has three runner-up finishes in 2021.
Ukraine's Dasha Kovalova is just a few points behind Parkin at 75,610. She captured her second title of the 2021 season last month at the PWBA Louisville Open, where she successfully defended her title.
Breanna Clemmer of Clover, South Carolina, and Stephanie Zavala of Downey, California, have created some distance between themselves and the rest of the talented 2021 rookie class on tour through the first 11 events.
Clemmer currently leads the rookie-of-the-year standings with 48,825, and Zavala sits in second with 45,900. Caitlyn Johnson of Beaumont, Texas, is third with 36,210.
Clemmer has made her run after recording four consecutive top-10 finishes in May and June, including back-to-back third-place finishes at the PWBA BVL Open and PWBA Albany Open.
Zavala won two titles in her first five events as a professional, capturing the wins at the PWBA Greater Cleveland Open and Albany Open.