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National Bowling Championships begin tomorrow

The Bahamas Bowling Federation (BBF) is set to get its 2019 Bahamas National Bowling Championships rolling tomorrow, March 31, at the Mario’s Bowling and Entertainment Palace on Tonique Williams Darling Highway. Action gets underway at 7 p.m.

The announcement came during a press conference on Thursday at Mario’s Bowling and Entertainment Palace.

The championships will conclude on Sunday, April 14, with the step ladder finals.

There will be five men’s divisions – A, B, C, D and E. For the women, there will be four divisions – A, B, C and D. The BBF will be rewarding the champions in each of those nine divisions.

Sunday night will see the A, B and C men’s divisions and the women’s A and B divisions hit the lanes. The remaining divisions will play on Monday at 7 p.m. Bowlers will be in action on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Registration for the championships closed last night.

There will be three five-game qualifying blocks for the selection of the top 15 men and top 10 women who will advance to Super Saturday’s five-game semi-finals roll-off.

After Super Saturday, the top five men and women’s finalists will compete for the overall national champions on Sunday, April 14, using the step ladder format.

As for the type of lanes, BBF President Tyrone Knowles said, “On Saturday past, we selected the Kegel Sport Middle Road 39 feet oil pattern for the championship games.

“In political terms, this pattern is centrism in nature because of the characteristic that lies between the extremes and both sides – not too far left and not too far right. It is pretty much down the middle. It is a 39-foot pattern that is moderately challenging – it is not too easy nor is it too tough.”

Knowles added that the pattern levels the playing field for all bowlers, and he expects a strike fest and a high scoring event.

Leslia Brice, from Mario’s Bowling, said, “We are very prepared.

“Our technicians have been working on the lanes to keep the lanes in order. We have a service crew that is coming in today and all day tomorrow to ensure that these ladies and gents have a first-class experience while they are on the lanes.”

David Slatter is the defending men’s champion and on the women’s side is Driskell Rolle.

Knowles said that he has seen a rise in male bowlers with a sustained average of 180. In addition, based on statistics from the leagues, there are approximately 27 male bowlers who can hold their own. Knowles predicts that it will be an extremely tough battle in the men’s division.

Though he admitted that Slatter is a good bowler, he said that the gap has been closed.

“Slatter is a very good bowler,” Knowles said.

“He practices more than any other bowler in the country. He has invested a lot into the game but over the last two years in particular, you have seen bowlers have been coming closer and closer to Slatter. Last year, he got away from me by eight pins. It can go anywhere this year.”

Over on the women’s side, Knowles said that Rolle, like Slatter, will face fierce competition from the field.

Yule Hoyte, vice president of the BBF, said he expects it to be one of the best years for the championships.

Knowles is encouraging all bowlers across The Bahamas to take advantage of this opportunity to compete at the highest level and enhance their bowling skills.

According to Knowles, one of the twists this year is that not all of the top bowlers will be in one division. He wants the competition to conform as much to the international format as possible so that bowlers can get accustomed to the format when they play internationally.

The championships will be held in conjunction with Mario’s Bowling along with support of the members of the City Bowling League, the Financial Bowling League, the Bankers Bowling League and the Atlantis Bowling League.

On the international scene, Knowles said Bahamians are climbing up in the rankings in both men and women’s play.

After this competition, the BBF will be sending a men’s team to the 2019 Pan American Bowling Confederation (PABCON) Men’s Championships in Lima, Peru. It is scheduled for April 22-28. It is a qualifying tournament for the 2019 Pan-American Games in July. He expects them to return with good results.

Simba French

Sports Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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