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      August 24, 2001:

-PWBA Obtains Licensing Rights To Women's U.S. Open

08/24/2001 - PWBA
      Rockford, Ill - The Professional Women's Bowling Association (PWBA) and the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America (BPAA) announced today that the BPAA has agreed to license the rights for the Women's U.S. Open to the PWBA for the year 2001, with future years to be negotiated at a later date.

      Jan Schmidt, Director of Marketing, PWBA, noted that as a part of PWBA's negotiation with BPAA, BPAA will make a substantial contribution to the tournament prize fund for 2001.

      Schmidt also announced that PWBA and ESPN have reached an agreement to air the finals of the December 1-9, 2001 Women's U.S. Open live on ESPN TV Sunday, December 9, from 2:30 - 4 p.m. est. The broadcast will immediately follow the TV finals of the Men's U.S. Open, also airing on ESPN.

      "It's great to have a broadcast partner like ESPN that recognizes the importance of women's sports and is willing to give the Women's U.S. Open the same high quality air-time that they have provided for the Men's U.S. Open," Schmidt commented.

      "This is terrific news for women's bowling and for our athletes, " said Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, president of the PWBA Players Association. "We've gained the rights to license and package one of our 'Triple Crown' events, and now we can build that into a centerpiece event for all women bowlers, professional and amateurs, from the United States and around the world. I know there are many talented athletes in our sport who are going to jump at the chance to compete in the event this year."

      BPAA Chief Executive Officer Jack Kelly stated, "BPAA is excited to help continue the long heritage of the U.S. Open by hosting a champions dinner and presenting the 2001 winner with the traditional trophy and green jacket."

      Details as to location of the Women's U.S. Open and the total prize fund will be announced in the near future. Schmidt added that several bowling proprietors have contacted PWBA about hosting the event and major U.S. corporations have expressed interest in assuming a sponsorship role, but that negotiations are in the preliminary stages on all fronts.

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-ABC/WIBC National Mixed Championships Ceases Operations

08/24/2001 - Bowling Newsline
      Greendale, Wis.- After an 11-year run the American Bowling Congress and the Women's International Bowling Congress National Mixed Championships will cease future operations.

      A decrease in participation and interest over the past three years led to the eventual cancellation of the ABC/WIBC National Mixed Championships.

      "We have tried new ways to revamp the ABC/WIBC National Mixed Championships but participation in the event has been declining for the past few years," WIBC Executive Director Roseann Kuhn said. "We hope to refocus our efforts into improved WIBC programs and customer service."

      The ABC/WIBC National Mixed Championships began 1991 in St. Louis as a way to incorporate more than 49,000 sanctioned ABC and WIBC mixed leagues and bring those bowlers to an event they could bowl together. The National Mixed Championships was designed as a handicap tournament designed to attract bowlers of all skill levels.

      In 1999, the ABC/WIBC National Mixed Championships was renamed the Festival of Bowling in hopes of revitalizing the event. In 2001 the tournament returned to the familiar National Mixed Championships event and moved to Las Vegas after spending three years at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.

      The ABC/WIBC National Mixed Championships peaked in 1996, attracting 1933 teams to the National Bowling Stadium.

      In 1999 entries began to decrease and by 2001 the number of entries could not support the continuation of the tournament. After exhausting all possible ideas to go forth with the National Mixed Championships, ABC and WIBC came to the decision to discontinue the event.

      "Unfortunately the event hasn't taken off," ABC Assistant Executive Director Jack Mordini said. "We felt the resources used to run the event could be allocated elsewhere to better serve our members."

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