International event helps finish USBC’s run in El Paso

International event helps finish USBC’s run in El Paso

Matt Cannizzaro and Aaron Smith
USBC Communications
Published: July 12, 2015 |


EL PASO, Texas – More than 60 five-player teams from two countries came together at the El Paso Convention Center this weekend to celebrate milestones for two local bowling clubs.

The tournaments, one for men and one for women, were hosted by the Bi-National Friendship Bowling Association and Ladies International Friendship Association and helped bring a close to more than four months of bowling inside the transformed convention center.

The specially constructed 62-lane venue was home to the 2015 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships and Bowlers Journal Championships presented by USBC, which concluded their 127-day run Saturday.

The Bi-National Friendship Bowling Association event featured 42 men’s teams as it celebrated its 50th anniversary, while the Ladies International Friendship Association tournament had 20 women’s teams compete as it recognized its 25th year.

Both associations hold tournaments throughout year, helping promote friendship through the sport of bowling.

“USBC was gracious enough to allow us the unique opportunity to celebrate our milestone anniversaries on the biggest stage in the sport,” said USBC Board member Karl Kielich of El Paso. “We are very appreciative of their generosity in making this happen.”

Bowling clubs from Texas, New Mexico and Mexico packed the lanes in average-based divisions for six team games Saturday and four additional games Sunday to determine the champions based on the 10-game total pinfall.

The top eight individual performers in each division advanced to a final round. In the men’s event, a traditional bracket determined the individual champion, while an elimination format helped decided the winner in the women’s tournament.

The El Paso Convention Center also hosted several special events prior to the March 7 start of the USBC Open Championships, giving a variety of bowlers the opportunity to experience the one-of-a-kind build and Open Championships experience.

The USBC Open Championships Youth and Special Olympics Kick-Off, Price’s Give ‘Em Five High School Bowling City Championships and a Young Women’s Christian Association El Paso del Norte Region event all were held on the championship lanes prior to the ribbon-cutting at the Open Championships.

The Special Olympics National Unified Tournament also celebrated its 25th year alongside the Open Championships in early March.

The deconstruction of venue began as soon as Sunday’s events concluded, and with help from Habitat for Humanity – El Paso, which estimates it will be able to build six residences, all salvageable materials will be used locally. While the initial construction took 64 days to complete, returning the El Paso Convention Center to its pre-tournament condition will take just 10 days.

The 2015 Open Championships marked the tournament’s first visit to El Paso in its 112-year history. The 2016 event will be held at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada.

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