WTBA World Tenpin Bowling Championships
The World Tenpin Bowling Championships is a global event that invites all countries that are members of the World Bowling to participate.
Event details and history
The event is held every two years and is split into two 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 six different categories. Every bowler plays 24 games with six games in each category. The top three in each of the following categories are awarded medals:
- Team Event
After the conclusion of these events, the all-events medals are presented to the top three bowlers who have accumulated the most pinfall over the 24 games. This category is regarded as the most prestigious medal in world bowling.[according to whom?]
The final medals are decided in the Masters category. The Masters event now comprises the top 24 bowlers from the all-events category, who bowl six 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.
The format for the championships has changed many times throughout its history. In the early years of the championships, men competed in four 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
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 two different lane patterns is to force the bowlers to be more versatile in the championships. The two different lane patterns force 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.
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World Championship Records
Previous and future championships
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From 2005 the Men's and Women's Championships have been held as separate events in alternating years. 2013 saw 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. World Bowling has announced that Kuwait City will host the combined World Championships in 2017, Hong Kong to host the Men's World Championships in 2018, and Las Vegas to host the Women's World Championships in 2019.
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 subsequently every four years. With this new event, WTBA will stage a world championship event every year.