PBA Players Championship

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The PBA Players Championship is one of five major tournaments on the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour. It is one of three PBA Tour major events that are open only to PBA members. (The U.S. Open and USBC Masters allow qualifying amateurs to enter.)

Tournament history[edit]

The tournament began as the PBA Touring Players Championship in 1983 and ran every PBA Tour season through 2000. There were no Players Championship events under any name from 2001 to 2010. After the tournament returned to major status in the 2016 season, the PBA voted to retroactively award major titles to the winners of the three previous Players Championship events that decade (2011, 2013, 2015), stating the tournament "is a members-only event, and includes all of the elements of a major."[1]

Through 2020, the tournament included a maximum starting field of 92 PBA players. The top PBA members in earnings from the previous season had entry priority over the general membership, and could fill up to 82 spots. The remaining 10 spots in the starting field are filled from a ten-game pre-tournament qualifier (PTQ). The tournament format has changed over the years. The format through 2020 included 42 games of qualifying: three rounds of six games each to determine the top 24 for match play, followed by three match play rounds of eight games each. All pins from the initial 18 games carry over into the match play round, with the match play rounds adding 30 bonus pins per victory to the total pinfall in the round. The field was then cut to the top five for the televised stepladder finals.[2]

There is no set oil pattern. The 2018 Players Championship used the 44-foot Carmen Salvino oil pattern,[3] while the 2019 event used the 45-foot Dragon pattern.[4] The 2020 event featured the 38-foot Wayne Webb oil pattern, named after the PBA Hall of Famer whose bowling center in Columbus, Ohio has hosted this tournament from 2016 through 2020.[5]

Revamp in 2021[edit]

The PBA announced a revamped Players Championship for the 2021 season that opens up the event to the broader PBA membership. Five Regional events are hosted first. After 28 qualifying games (7 games on each of four oil patterns), each Region holds its own stepladder finals broadcast. The five Regional winners then compete in the televised tournament finals.[6] The five finals participants bowl a three-game set the day before the broadcast to determine seeding for the stepladder.

The Regional concept was introduced, in part, due to travel restrictions that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, and allow most PBA professionals to compete in safe events closer to home.

The 2021 PBA Players Championship featured a $1 million prize fund, with a PBA record-tying $250,000 first place prize.[6]

PBA Players Championship winners[edit]

2022 Event[edit]

The 2022 PBA Players Championship began with Regional qualifying on January 14–16 in five locations, followed by five Regional finals held January 21–23 in Euless, Texas. The televised championship finals were held on January 29, also in Euless, following a three-game seeding round earlier that day. The tournament had 326 total entries and a $565,300 prize fund, with a $100,000 top prize.

A five-player stepladder format was used for the live televised finals on January 29. Jason Belmonte won from the #2 seed position, defeating #1 seed Sean Rash in the final match. This marked Belmonte's record-increasing 14th major tournament win and 26th PBA title overall.

Match #1 Match #2 Match #3 Championship Match
1 Sean Rash 202
2 Jason Belmonte 210
2 Jason Belmonte
3 Arturo Quintero
3 Arturo Quintero 248
4 Tommy Jones 219 5 Graham Fach 204
5 Graham Fach 279

Final Standings:
1. Jason Belmonte (Orange, New South Wales, Australia) – $100,000
2. Sean Rash (Montgomery, Illinois) – $60,000
3. Arturo Quintero (Mexico City, Mexico) – $45,000
4. Graham Fach (Guelph, Ontario, Canada) – $35,000
5. Tommy Jones (Simpsonville, South Carolina) – $30,000

Past Champions[edit]

Listing of all champions dating back to the inaugural 1983 Touring Players Championship.

  • 2014: Not held
  • 2012: Not held
  • Not held 2001–2010


  1. ^ Vint, Bill (15 February 2016). "Barbasol PBA Players Championship Returns to Major Title Status; Belmonte, Norton, Bohn Earn Retroactive Majors". PBA.com. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  2. ^ Schneider, Jerry (14 February 2019). "Belmonte Recovers From Slow Start in First Match Play Round to Regain Lead in PBA Players Championship". PBA.com. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  3. ^ "PBA Unveils Revamped Library of 16 Lane Oiling Patterns for 2018 PBA Tour". BowlingDigital.com. September 28, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  4. ^ "2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour Schedule". PBA.com. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  5. ^ Vint, Bill (August 29, 2016). "PBA, Barbasol Sign Two-Year Agreement to Keep Barbasol PBA Players Championship in Columbus". pba.com. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Dziomba, D. (December 9, 2020). "PBA ANNOUNCES FIRST EVENT OF 2021 TOUR SEASON". pba.com. Retrieved December 9, 2020.

External links[edit]

All Time Touring Players Championship Winners