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      June 12, 2001:

-PWBA Adopts New Amateur Participation Guidelines

06/12/2001 - PWBA
      ROCKFORD, Ill. - Top women amateur bowlers may compete and cash in Professional Women's Bowling Association national tournaments on a limited basis under a new eligibility policy, PWBA President John Falzone announced today.

      Effective immediately and applying for the remainder of 2001, a woman bowler who meets the minimum average guidelines for PWBA membership at the regional level (a 180 average for at least 66 league games in each of the two previous league seasons) and satisfies all attendant provisions mandated by the PWBA (e.g., applicants under the age of 18 must submit parental consent in writing to compete) may participate in any PWBA national tournament except for the Hammer Players Championship and the PWBA Invitational. In addition, she may cash in up to three national PWBA tournaments in each calendar year before being required to join the PWBA as either a regional or national member or forego the privilege of participating in additional tournaments that year. The WIBC Queens Championship, the BPAA U.S. Open, and any PWBA national doubles tournaments will not count toward the three-cash limit.

      The new provisions do not affect the rule regarding participation in PWBA regional tournaments, where amateurs may keep any prize money they earn. They also do not affect rule XXII (A)(2(a) regarding Rookie of the Year consideration, whereby any bowler who bowls in four or more PWBA tournaments during her life, whether as an amateur or as a PWBA member, becomes ineligible for that award.

      "Our members felt that our previous rule had proved to be too restrictive, and that some very good amateur bowlers who had the potential to compete on the tour were staying away because it wasn't financially feasible for them to 'test the waters' first," Falzone said. "It's never been our intention to discourage talented amateurs from joining the PWBA, and we're hopeful that this rules change encourages more of them to compete with and join the greatest women bowlers in the world."

      Amateurs will be required to pay a higher entry fee than members. They will also be required to attend the orientation meeting as scheduled by the PWBA Tournament Director prior to competing in their first national tournament.

      Falzone also announced a rules modification concerning PWBA regional players' participation in national tournaments. Previously, a regional member could bowl in a maximum of three national tournaments a year. Under the revision, regional members may now bowl in more than three national events per year (except the Hammer Players Championship), but for the fourth and every tournament thereafter, the entry fee will increase to the amateur fee. In lieu of paying the higher entry fee, regional players may opt to upgrade their membership status to national level provided they meet national membership eligibility requirements.

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