Japan Professional Bowling Association
|Japan Professional Bowling Association|
|Purpose/focus||Professional sport for ten-pin bowling in Japan, governing body is JBC|
|Membership||Mainly Japanese nationals, but also includes professionals from other countries.|
|President||Hideki Matsuda (松田 秀樹)|
The Japan Professional Bowling Association (日本プロボウリング協会 Nippon Puro Bōringu Kyōkai ) (JPBA) is the major sanctioning body for the sport of professional ten-pin bowling in Japan. The organization was founded by Masaaki Ishikawa (石川雅章 Ishikawa Masaaki ), and was established on January 27, 1967. The JPBA sanctions tournaments and other functions related to professional bowling for both men and women. Its headquarters are located in Tokyo. The current president of the JPBA is Hideki Matsuda.
The Japan Ladies Bowling Club is a sub-organization within the JPBA system, and sponsors women-only tournaments. The JLBC was co-founded by Ritsuko Nakayama and Kayoko Sudo.
 Pro test
Professional bowling in Japan is a licensed profession, very much like passing the bar exam for attorneys or getting a CPA to become an accountant. To become a licensed bowling professional, the candidate must pass a series of skill exams, referred to as the "pro test".
The candidate needs to apply for the pro test. The application is available at the JPBA web site. Once the application has been accepted and the application fee is paid, the candidate will be assigned a number, and then added to the pro test schedule. The pro test is held simultaneously in two regions within Japan: west and east. The region is determined based on the candidate's home prefecture.
The pro test is held every April to May. The pro test is broken into three parts: 1st exam, 2nd exam, and 3rd exam. The 1st and 2nd exams are to test the candidate's bowling skills. Each of the two exams consist of four days at 12 games per day. All candidates participate in the 1st exam. In the 1st exam, the candidate needs to maintain a 190 average (180 for women) for the first 24 games to be allowed to continue to the third and fourth days. The candidate then needs to average a 200 for the first 48 games (190 for women) in order to be allowed to continue to the 2nd exam. At the end of the 2nd exam, the candidate needs to maintain a 200 average for 96 games (190 for women) in order to be allowed continue to the 3rd exam.
The 3rd exam is a written exam, where the candidate demonstrates bowling and procedure knowledge. The questions are scored, and the candidate needs to pass with a score of 60 or better.
Once all the exams are completed successfully, the candidate receives his bowling professional license.
All licensed professionals belonging to the JPBA must wear the JPBA emblem on their bowling shirts when they make public appearances. The emblem is highly regarded in Japan as a symbol of professional bowling. The emblem has been used as props in Japanese television dramas such as Beautiful Challenger (1971) and Golden Bowl (2002).
The emblem displays the classification of a professional. There are two varieties of the emblem. All new members receive the General Class license patch (通常ワッペン) (see image above.) Once a member has averaged 210 or better for 200 games in competition (200 or better for 200 games for women professionals,) he receives a gold-lined version of the insignia, referred to as the Class A permanent license patch (永久Ａ級ライセンスワッペン). As of 2012, 97 men and 88 women are classified as Class A professionals.
 JPBA sanctioned tournaments
- ROUND1 Japan Cup - JPBA and PBA sanctioned annual event.
- ABS Japan Open Bowling Championship
- HANDA CUP All Japan Women's Pro Bowling Championship
- HANDA CUP Philanthropy
- MK Charity Cup
- Hiroshima Open Bowling Tournament
- JLBC PRINCE CUP (women)
- ROUND1 Cup Ladies (women)
- Miyazaki Pro-Am (women)
- Kansai Open (women)
 JPBA events
- Bowling Revolution P-League - Weekly made-for-TV series of tournaments for select women.
- Select members of P-League also participate in the Japanese TV variety show Honoo-no Taiiku-kai TV (炎の体育会TV) in a split making competition with various Japanese tarento.
 Notable JPBA members
As of July 2011, the JPBA membership is made up of 812 males, and 305 females.
- Hiroto Kimura (木村広人)
- Isao Yamamoto (山本勲)
- Masayuki Koyama (小山雅之)
- Nobuaki Takahashi (高橋延明)
- Park Jong-soo
- Ryōta Ichihara (市原竜太)
- Shigenori Sakata (坂田重徳)
- Shota Kawazoe (川添奨太)
- Yoshiki Ōsawa (大澤義樹)
- Aino Kinjō
- Aki Nawa
- Akiko Tanigawa
- Hiromi Matsunaga
- Masami Abe (阿部聖水)
- Masami Hasegawa (長谷川真実)
- Mayumi Yoshida (吉田真由美)
- Mika Sakai
- Mika Sato (佐藤美香)
- Miki Nishimura
- Nachimi Itakura
- Reika Sakai (酒井玲佳)
- Risa Suzuki (鈴木理沙)
- Sanae Mori (森彩奈江)
- Suzuna Miyagi (宮城鈴菜)
- Urara Himeji (姫路麗)
- Wendy Macpherson
- Yuki Yamamoto (山本由紀)
- Yukie Koyama (小山幸恵)
- Yūko Nakatani (中谷優子)
- Yurika Ōyama (大山由里香)