PBA Women's Series
The PBA Women's Series was a mini-tour for female professional bowlers. It was started in 2007 as a way to bring women's bowling back to television after the Professional Women's Bowling Association (PWBA) disbanded in 2003. Sponsored by the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) and its website bowl.com, it ran concurrently with several stops on the Professional Bowlers Association's men's tour.
After the PWBA folded, female bowlers have had very few national venues in which to bowl, other than the USBC Queens event. A few female bowlers, including Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Liz Johnson and Kelly Kulick, began competing on the "men's" PBA Tour with limited success. The U.S. Women's Open was resurrected by the USBC in 2007, and it also spawned the creation of the women's series. The trial series featured four events in the early weeks of the 2007-08 PBA season.
The 2007 winners were:
- Carolyn Dorin-Ballard - Motor City Classic
- Shannon Pluhowsky - Etonic Championship
- Joy Esterson - Lake County Indiana Classic
- Diandra Asbaty - Great Lakes Classic
The series was expanded to eight events in each of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, but was not continued into the 2010-11 season.
2008-09 Women's Series
The PBA Women's Series continued in the 2008-09 season with seven events. The 2008-09 format was similar to that used in 2007-08, with two televised finalists advancing from a field of sixteen qualifiers in five of the events. One event featured a qualifying round of 32, with the top two advancing. The final televised event was a mixed doubles tournament, where 16 Women's Series bowlers were paired with 16 male PBA bowlers following separate qualifying rounds for each. The top five doubles teams competed in a "Baker style" stepladder final (male and female bowlers alternate frames during each game).
2008-09 Women's Series Participants and Results
The four 2007 Women's Series winners were automatically entered into the qualifying field for each week of the 2008-09 series. Complimenting them were twelve entrants from the PBA Women's Series Trials that were held in conjunction with the U.S. Women's Open. The 2008 U.S. Women's Open took place July 31 - August 6 at Brunswick Zone XL Lanes in Romeoville, IL, where Kim Terrell-Kearney was crowned U.S. Women's Open champion. (Terrell-Kearney declined the opportunity to compete in the Women's Series.)
While the U.S. Women's Open itself required a $250 entry fee, those who wanted a chance to qualify for the PBA Women's Series had to pay an additional $750. Those who qualified were also required to become PBA members, if they were not already.
The results of the 2008-09 PBA Women's Series are as follows:
- November 2, 2008 (Omaha, NE; Winner: Stefanie Nation)
- November 16, 2008 (Taylor, MI; Winner: Michelle Feldman)
- November 30, 2008 (Vernon Hills, IL; Winner: Michelle Feldman)
- December 7, 2008 (Cheektowaga, NY; Winner: Carolyn Dorin-Ballard)
- December 14, 2008 (Baltimore, MD; Winner: Jodi Woessner)
- January 18, 2009 (Medford, OR; Winner: Wendy Macpherson+)
- February 1, 2009 (Reno, NV—taped mixed doubles event contested January 4–6, pairing PBA Women's Series bowlers with male PBA professionals; Winners: Liz Johnson and Norm Duke)
- April 12, 2009 (Orlando, FL—PBA Women's Series Showdown; special event featuring all five 2008-09 singles winners, plus Missy Bellinder; Winner: Carolyn Dorin-Ballard)
+Made field of 16 as an alternate.
2009-10 Women's Series
The 2009-10 PBA Women's Series Tour Trials were held in conjunction with the Women's U.S. Open, August 3–9 in Las Vegas, NV. The PBA announced that the fields for at least the first five 2009-10 PBA Women's Series events (all held August 15-September 4 at the PBA World Series of Bowling in Allen Park, MI) would increase from 16 to 20. Two additional spots were up for grabs at the women's Tour Trials, while the other two come from a Tour Qualifying Round (TQR) in each event.
Each event at the World Series of Bowling had the final round taped September 5–6 for ESPN broadcasts in October–December, 2009. This included the finals for the Women's PBA World Championship event, broadcast October 25, 2009 in conjunction with the finals of the Senior PBA World Championship.
Scheduled TV finals air dates for the 2009-10 PBA Women's Series (with results) are as follows:
- October 25: PBA Women's World Championship (Allen Park, MI); Winner: Kelly Kulick
- November 15: Viper Championship (Allen Park, MI); Winner: Liz Johnson
- November 22: Chameleon Championship (Allen Park, MI); Winner: Shannon Pluhowsky
- November 29: Scorpion Championship (Allen Park, MI); Winner: Shannon Pluhowsky
- December 6: Shark Championship (Allen Park, MI); Winner: Kelly Kulick
- January 17: Earl Anthony Memorial (Dublin, CA); Winner: Stefanie Nation
- February 21: Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles Championship (Wheat Ridge, CO); Winners: Diandra Asbaty and Brian Voss
- April 18: PBA Women's Series Showdown (Arlington, TX); Winner: Michelle Feldman
- PBA Editor (2008-04-07). "Women's Series to Return in 2008-09 | Professional Bowlers Association". Pba.com. Retrieved 2014-01-12.
- "PBA Unveils 2008-09 Denny's PBA Tour Schedule," article at www.pba.com, June 23, 2008
- "FAQs for PBA World Series of Bowling." Article at pba.com/worldseries