WTBA World Tenpin Bowling Championships

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The WTBA World Championships is a global event that invites all countries that are members of the WTBA to participate.

Event details and history[edit]

The event is held every two years and is split into 2 separate tournaments, one for men and one for women. These events are held alternately every year in different countries. Until 2005, the two events were always played at the same time, however, due to the growth of the championships in recent years it was decided to split the event up into separate men's and women's championships.

Players compete for medals in 6 different categories. Every bowler plays 24 games with 6 games in each category. The top 3 in each of the following categories are awarded medals:

  • Singles
  • Doubles
  • Trios
  • Team Event

After the conclusion of these events, the all-events medals are presented to the top 3 bowlers who have accumulated the most pinfall over the 24 games. This category is regarding as the most prestigious medal in world bowling.

The final medals are decided in the Masters category. The Masters event now comprises the top 24 bowlers from the all-events category. Top 24 bowlers bowl 6 games of qualifying with all-events pinfall carried over, with the top 8 after 30 games advancing to the next round. The next round of the masters is a round robin match play with 20 bonus pins for a win and 10 bonus pins for a tie. The top 4 with the highest pinfall total plus bonus pins advance to the semifinals. In the semifinals, the number one seed bowls the fourth seed and the second seed bowls the third seed. Semifinal matches are one game matches. The semifinal losers will share the bronze medal. The finals are a one game match between the semifinal winners to determine the gold and silver medalists.

Format[edit]

The format for the Championships has changed many times throughout its history. In the early years of the championships, men competed in 4 different categories, Doubles, 4 man team, 8 man team and masters. Up until 1963 women did not participate in the event. The first year that women did take part, they competed in 4 different categories, doubles, four person team (European Style), four person team (American Style) and masters. This is the only time the "European Style" has been used in the championships. In the following championships the European style four person team was replaced with the five person team event (American Style) and was used until 1979. Since 1979 both men and women have competed in the same categories that are used in the championships today. The masters event has only recently changed with the onset of the championships splitting into 2 different events. Up until 2005 the top 16 would bowl a 16 game Round Robin with the top 3 bowlers after the 16 games advancing through to a stepladder final. From 2005 to 2011, the masters was played using the matchplay style, best of 5 format. Beginning in 2013, the top 24 men and women in All-Events advanced to the Masters event. All players will bowl six games with the All-Events total carried forward. The top 8 after 30 games advance to seven games of round robin match play where 20 bonus points are awarded for a won match and 10 bonus points for a tied match. The top 4 advance to the semifinals, which is a one game match, 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3. The semifinal losers will earn a bronze medal. The semifinal winners advance to a one game final match to determine gold and silver medals.

Dual pattern format[edit]

Since 2005 the championships have adopted the "dual pattern format" lane conditions, more commonly known as the "short" and "long" lane patterns. The "short" pattern is oiled to approximately 35 feet from the foul line and the "long" oiled to approximately 45 feet from the foul line. Each bowler at the championships will bowl an equal amount of games on the 2 patterns. In the masters, each match is played on alternating lane patterns with the highest seed having the choice of which pattern to start on.

The concept of having 2 different lane patterns is to force the bowlers to be more versatile in the championships. The 2 different lane patterns forces the bowlers to attack each pattern from different angles, using different styles of play, such as ball speed, hand position and ball choice. It has been argued that in previous championships around the world, using 1 pattern for the whole event would suit certain bowlers over others, which was deemed as being unfair. It was agreed that having 2 different lane conditions would be a fairer way of determining the best bowlers at the championships. Many other championships around the world have also adopted this format, such as the Men's and Women's European Championships, the Asian Games, the World Ranking Masters, The Commonwealth Championships and the Asian Championships.

Medal history[edit]

Women's medal table[1][edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States 23 23 21 67
2  South Korea 11 6 8 25
3  Sweden 6 12 8 26
4  Philippines 6 3 2 11
5  Australia 4 6 8 18
6  Finland 4 6 5 15
7  Germany 4 5 5 14
8  Japan 4 4 5 13
9  Malaysia 4 5 3 12
10  Mexico 4 4 4 12
11  Chinese Taipei 4 2 2 8
12  Denmark 3 1 8 12
13  England 3 1 4 8
14  Canada 3 4 0 7
15  Colombia 2 2 3 7
16  Puerto Rico 1 0 2 3
17  China 1 1 0 2
18  Thailand 1 0 1 2
19  Singapore 0 5 3 8
20  Venezuela 0 0 4 4
=21  Austria 0 0 1 1
=21  Belgium 0 0 1 1
=21  France 0 0 1 1
=21  Hong Kong 0 0 1 1
=21  Latvia 0 0 1 1
=21  South Africa 0 0 1 1

Men's medal table[2][edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States 28 18 19 65
2  Sweden 19 12 10 41
3  Finland 11 16 13 40
4  England 5 2 4 11
5  Australia 5 1 3 9
6  South Korea 4 7 11 22
7  Chinese Taipei 4 1 2 7
8  Mexico 3 7 7 17
9  Netherlands 3 2 5 10
10  Germany 2 5 8 15
=11  Canada 2 3 1 6
=11  Philippines 2 3 1 6
13  Belgium 2 3 0 5
14  Singapore 2 2 0 4
15  Venezuela 1 3 6 10
16  Norway 1 3 4 8
17  Malaysia 1 2 2 5
18  France 1 1 4 6
19  Colombia 1 1 2 4
20  Puerto Rico 1 1 0 2
21  Qatar 1 0 1 2
22  Japan 0 5 2 7
23  Denmark 0 1 1 2
24  United Arab Emirates 0 0 3 3
=25  Guam 0 0 1 1
=25  Italy 0 0 1 1
=25  Kuwait 0 0 1 1

Medal winners[edit]

Please see List of WTBA World Tenpin Bowling Championships medalists.

World Championship Records[edit]

Men[edit]

Category Record Player Country Event Year/Venue
Individual Records
Individual Game 300 Rick Steelsmith  United States Trios 1987, Helsinki, Finland Finland
Rolando Sebelen Sr.  Dominican Republic Doubles 1999, Abu Dhabi, UAE United Arab Emirates
Steve Thornton  England Doubles
Andres Gomez  Colombia Doubles
Ahmed Shaheen  Qatar Trios
Amedeo Spada  Italy Singles 2003, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Malaysia
Anders Öhman  Sweden Doubles
Darren Cundy  England Team
Kimmo Lehtonen  Finland (Make-up) Team
Martin Larsen  Sweden Round Robin
Antonis Evaggelidis  Greece Trios 2006, Busan, South Korea South Korea
Bill Hoffman  United States Team
Biboy Rivera  Philippines Masters Final
Pasi Uotila  Finland Singles 2010, Munich, Germany Germany
Chris Barnes  United States Singles
Bodo Konieczny  Germany Singles 2013, Henderson, USA United States
Luis Eduardo Rovaina  Venezuela Singles
Bill O'Neill  United States Singles
Chris Barnes  United States Doubles
Park Jong-Woo  South Korea Doubles
Tore Torgersen  Norway Trios
Achim Grabowski  Germany Team
Hareb Al Mansoori  UAE Team
Ricardo Lecuona  Mexico Team
Individual 3 Game Series 826 Kimmo Lehtonen  Finland Singles 1999, Abu Dhabi, UAE United Arab Emirates
Individual 6 Game Series 1541 Jason Belmonte  Australia Doubles 2006, Busan, South Korea South Korea
Individual 24 Game All-Events 5635 Tore Torgersen  Norway 1999, Abu Dhabi, UAE United Arab Emirates
Singles Records
Singles - 1 Game 300 Amedeo Spada  Italy 2003, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Malaysia
Pasi Uotila  Finland 2010, Munich, Germany Germany
Chris Barnes  United States
Bodo Konieczny  Germany 2013, Henderson, USA United States
Luis Eduardo Rovaina  Venezuela
Bill O'Neill  United States
Singles - 3 Games 826 Kimmo Lehtonen  Finland 1999, Abu Dhabi, UAE United Arab Emirates
Singles - 6 Games 1524 Remy Ong  Singapore 2006, Busan, South Korea South Korea
Doubles Records
Doubles - 1 Game 599 Jaime Monroy
Andres Gomez
 Colombia 1999, Abu Dhabi, UAE United Arab Emirates
Doubles - 3 Games 1514 Tomas Leandersson
Anders Öhman
 Sweden 2003, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Malaysia
Doubles - 6 Games 2906 Tomas Leandersson
Anders Öhman
 Sweden 2003, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Malaysia
Trios Records
Trios - 1 Game 778 Antti-Pekka Lax
Lasse Lintilä
Ari Halme
 Finland 1999, Abu Dhabi, UAE United Arab Emirates
Trios - 3 Games 2196 Bill O'Neill
Chris Barnes
Tommy Jones
 United States 2010, Munich, Germany Germany
Trios - 6 Games 4101 Bill O'Neill
Tommy Jones
Chris Barnes
 United States 2013, Henderson, USA United States
Team Records
Team - 1 Game 1309 Mario Quintero
Luis Kassian
Ricardo Lecuona
Roberto Silva
Alejandro Cruz
 Mexico 2013, Henderson, USA United States
Team - 3 Games 3561 Choi Bok-Eum
Hong Hae-Sol
Choi Ki-Bong
Jang Dong-Chul
Kim Tae-Young
 South Korea 2008, Bangkok, Thailand Thailand
Team - 6 Games 6618 Scott Pohl
Ronnie Sparks
David Haynes
Rhino Page
Bill Hoffman
 United States 2006, Busan, South Korea South Korea

Women[edit]

Category Record Player Country Event Year/Venue
Individual Records
Individual Game 300 Cha Mi-Jung  South Korea Trios 1999, Abu Dhabi, UAE United Arab Emirates
Kim Yeau-Jin  South Korea Doubles 2007, Monterrey, Mexico Mexico
Kirsten Penny  England Team
María Rodríguez  Colombia Doubles 2009, Las Vegas, USA United States
Kelly Kulick  United States Singles 2011, Hong Kong Hong Kong, China
Caroline Lagrange  Canada Trios
Shannon O'Keefe  United States Trios
Britt Brøndsted  Denmark Team
Shayna Ng  Singapore Masters 1st Round
Shannon Pluhowsky  United States Masters Finals
Kelly Kulick  United States Doubles Semifinals 2013, Henderson, USA United States
Individual 3 Game Series 812 Jacqueline Sijore  Malaysia Singles 2011, Hong Kong Hong Kong, China
Individual 6 Game Series 1601 Shayna Ng  Singapore Singles 2011, Hong Kong Hong Kong, China
Individual 24 Game All-Events 5744 Mai Ginge Jensen  Denmark 2011, Hong Kong Hong Kong, China
Singles Records
Singles - 1 Game 300 Kelly Kulick  United States 2011, Hong Kong Hong Kong, China
Singles - 3 Games 812 Jacqueline Sijore  Malaysia 2011, Hong Kong Hong Kong, China
Singles - 6 Games 1601 Shayna Ng  Singapore 2011, Hong Kong Hong Kong, China
Doubles Records
Doubles - 1 Game 556 Carolyn Dorin-Ballard
Kelly Kulick
 United States 2011, Hong Kong Hong Kong, China
Doubles - 3 Games 1536 Carolyn Dorin-Ballard
Kelly Kulick
 United States 2011, Hong Kong Hong Kong, China
Doubles - 6 Games 2901 Carolyn Dorin-Ballard
Kelly Kulick
 United States 2011, Hong Kong Hong Kong, China
Trios Records
Trios - 1 Game 802 Stefanie Nation
Shannon Pluhowsky
Shannon O'Keefe
 United States 2011, Hong Kong Hong Kong, China
Trios - 3 Games 2165 Esther Cheah
Zandra Aziela
Jacqueline Sijore
 Malaysia 2011, Hong Kong Hong Kong, China
Trios - 6 Games 4232 Hwang Sun-Ok
Jeon Eun-Hee
Son Yun-Hee
 South Korea 2011, Hong Kong Hong Kong, China
Team Records
Team - 1 Game 1262 Nadine Geisler
Vanessa Timter
Juliane Rieger
Birgit Pöppler
Patricia Luoto
 Germany 2011, Hong Kong Hong Kong, China
Team - 3 Games 3491 Stefanie Nation
Missy Parkin
Shannon O'Keefe
Kelly Kulick
Liz Johnson
 United States 2013, Henderson, USA United States
Team - 6 Games 6750 Nadine Geisler
Vanessa Timter
Juliane Rieger
Janine Ribguth
Birgit Pöppler
Patricia Luoto
 Germany 2011, Hong Kong Hong Kong, China

Previous & future championships[edit]

From 2005 the men's and women's Championships have been held as separate events on alternating years. 2013 sees a return of the combined world championships, the first since 2003. The combined world championships will be held every four years starting with the 2013 edition. WTBA has also announced that Abu Dhabi will host the men's world championships in 2014 (the last was in 2010) and the women's world championships in 2015 (the last was in 2011).

A new event, WTBA World Singles Championships for men and women, was held for the first time in Limassol, Cyprus from September 18-26, 2012 and will be held every four years, the next edition scheduled in 2016. With this new event, WTBA will stage a world championship event every year.

Year City Country Women Men Total
1954 Helsinki  Finland - 58 58
1955 Essen  West Germany - 64 64
1958 Helsingborg  Sweden - 99 99
1960 Hamburg  West Germany - 102 102
1963 Mexico City  Mexico 45 132 177
1967 Malmö  Sweden 84 161 225
1971 Milwaukee  United States 103 268 371
1975 London  England 152 271 423
1979 Manila  Philippines 146 175 321
1983 Caracas  Venezuela 175 206 381
1987 Helsinki  Finland 196 230 426
1991 Singapore  Singapore 196 280 476
1995 Reno  United States 253 358 611
1999 Abu Dhabi  United Arab Emirates 255 345 600
2003 Kuala Lumpur  Malaysia 234 348 582
2005 Aalborg  Denmark 216 - 216
2006 Busan  South Korea - 247 247
2007 Monterrey  Mexico 227 - 227
2008 Bangkok  Thailand - 333 333
2009 Las Vegas  United States 228 - 228
2010 Munich  Germany - 356 356
2011 Hong Kong  Hong Kong 171 - 171
2013 Henderson  United States 212 216 428
2014 Abu Dhabi  United Arab Emirates -
2015 Abu Dhabi  United Arab Emirates -

Coming WTBA Events

External links[edit]