Article Contents

  • 1. Oil pattern / live stream broadcasts
  • 2. Difficulty / scoring pace
  • 3. Side events / practice sessions
  • 4. Bowling ball choices
  • 5. Closing thoughts

The USBC Open Championships is one of the most exciting events of the year for anyone that gets the chance to participate. With its prestigious history, the stadium or convention center setting, the demanding lane pattern, and the fact that you only get one shot at it each year, it is easy to see why this tournament is held in such high regard by players across the country.

Just before we started team event, I told my teammates, “The first time I come to bowl this and don’t have butterflies in the pit of my stomach, I’ll know it is time to retire from the game.”

This year’s USBC Open Championships, held at the South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, Nevada, has been one of the most talked about events in recent memory. Whether it be the new average-based divisions, the inclusion of PBA members, the discontinuation of the live stream broadcasts, not releasing the lane patterns prior to the start of competition, or even the distance between the entrance of the building and the actual tournament facility, there are plenty of hot-button issues clouding the 2017 event.

Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with several established bowlers, all of whom have already taken their crack at winning the illustrious USBC eagle this year. As I pooled their thoughts, some trends emerged on what they saw and what they would have done differently if they could turn back the clock and bowl their events again.

Oil pattern / live stream broadcasts

The number one topic on everyone’s mind was the USBC’s decision to not release the oil pattern information to this year’s competitors. While the majority of the people I spoke with understand the reason this decision was made, some were not sure the tactic actually accomplished the mission at hand.

Related to the oil pattern decision was the decision to eliminate the live stream broadcasts. I thoroughly enjoyed the live stream events. They not only gave us a sneak peek at the conditions, but I believe that any chance you have to broadcast live bowling and draw in fans is a win for the industry. The ...

Chris Hester

About Chris Hester

Chris Hester is a lifelong competitive bowler from the Louisville, Kentucky area. He was a two-time All-American on the Morehead State University bowling team and he competes today in many of the top amateur events throughout the Midwest. Chris is currently the Staff Manager for Ebonite International, where he provides support to Ebonite's international amateur staff and collegiate programs.