Pro Bowling and The Professional Bowlers Association

The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) is America's most prestigious sanctioned sports organization. Pro Bowling has allowed the sport of bowling grow in popularity.
Enjoying jackpot bowling

The Professional Bowlers Association includes approximately 3,000 members representing more than 30 countries throughout the world and was founded by Eddie Elias in 1958.

Elias continued support for pro bowling even through financial difficulties. He loved the game so much that he saw the true value of the game becoming a sport.

The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) is a worldwide organization with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, and over 3,000 members worldwide. While the majority of PBA are regional professionals, a small number compete at the national and international levels on the PBA Tour, making it one of the oldest bowling tours in continuous operation.

The PBA Tour, formerly known as the BCA D1 Pro Circuit, was created in 1958 and has been operational since the inaugural 1959 season.


The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) is a worldwide organization dedicated to the professional bowling division and its associated professional sports hall of fame. With thousands of members and millions of fans across the world, it has now attained the same stature as other professional sports.

The PBA is home to the biggest bowling tournaments. These tournaments include the PBA Tour, PBA Regional Tour, and the PBA50 Tour. In 2020, the PBA created two new programs: PBA Jr., which is for elite youth bowlers under 17 years old, and the PBA Pinsiders program, which is for non-tour members to compete in PBA events.

The most common name when you are thinking about bowling is probably the PBA. This is like Bowling Football. There is even a PBA hall of fame.

Generally, the company oversees each scheduled competition and ties up with FOX Sports. The corporate headquarters is located in Chicago, IL.

The Tour

charter members of the seven tournaments

The Professional Bowlers Association is the governing body of ten-pin bowling in the United States and runs the PBA Tour, which is the major professional league for ten-pin bowling. PBA members compete for money, a chance at a sports agent, and television exposure.

The PBA tour slowly built steam as television exposure increased PBA membership and PBA experienced growth in 2010. This is when the PBA announced that it would pay all of the Fall tournaments for the following season, as well as live finals on NBC.

The PBA also supervises competitions between professional bowlers through the following tours, which are governed by Bowlers Corporation.

standard tournaments

PBA Tour major championships

The PBA Tour has five events that have been considered major tournaments over the history of the organization:

  • The USBC Masters
  • The PBA World Championship
  • The Tournament of Champions
  • The U.S. Open
  • The PBA Players Championship

The tour stops for no one with prize money upwards of 30,000 and of course the coveted green jacket.

PBA Players Champions Since 2011

2011 – Jason Belmonte

2013 – Scott Norton

2015 – Parker Bohn III

2016 – Graham Fach

2017 – Jason Belmonte

2018 – Tom Smallwood

2019 – Anthony Simonsen

2020 – Bill O’Neill

2021 – Kyle Troup

Championship Bowling

Prior to the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA)’s inception, bowling was broadcast on television sporadically beginning in the early 1950s. NBC began with an early 1950s special telecast entitled Championship Bowling.

USBC – United States Bowling Congress

The USBC was formed after integrating the ABC (American Bowling Congress), USA Bowling, WIBC (Women International Bowling Congress), and Young American Bowler Association.

In addition, they maintain the certification for leagues, tournaments, alleys, and other equipment, terms and facilities.

The records division keeps track of players’ average performances in leagues versus tournament games. With prize money and continuous aid from the PBA league, tournaments have now found a permanent home.

The 2022 Guaranteed Rate PBA Tournament schedules offer a packed season for the world’s greatest bowlers

During a special PBA 2023 Guaranteed Rate Tour, world bowlers are set to experience a packed schedule. The 64th Professional Bowling Alliance tour begins on January 1st with the first of 13 official matches. This is the most in PBA history.

The PBA Players Championship Finals begin on Saturday, January 29th at 8:30 PM ET on FS1. Watch as Graham Fach (East), Tommy Jones (South), Sean Rash (Midwest), Arturo Quintero (Southwest), and Jason Belmonte (West) battle for the Guaranteed Rate PBA Tour season-opening major championship.

Who will make it to the national championship finals?… I guess we will see.

Players can battle for titles until the end of April. 16 players with the highest scores in each tournament will be invited to the Playoffs.

All matches in the PBA playoff eliminations bracket will have television appearances, with final matches at FOX Broadcast Channel on Sunday, May 15. Kyle Troup, from Taylorsville, North Carolina, is the defending champion in the PBA Playoff.

This will truly be a tournament of champions.

Who won the PBA Tournament of Champions 2021?

For the eighth time in his career, Anthony Simonsen won the PBA Tour Finals. The event was held at Allen Park, Michigan. Anthony Simonsen claimed his eighth career Guaranteed Rate PBA Tour crown with a 2-1 victory over Kyle Troup to win the 2021 PBA Tour Finals.

PBA50 Tour

The PBA50 Tour is set up like the PBA Tour, but it allows PBA members 50 years and older to compete in their own events. There are also Regional events on the PBA50 Tour.

To join the PBA senior tour, you need to be at least 50 years of age. The First seniors championship was held decades ago in 1981 at Don Carter’s All-Star Lanes in Harvey, Louisiana.

When the Professional Bowlers Association launched the Seniors Championship in 1981, it was able to attract old-time bowlers aged 50 and up.

The four PBA senior tour championships had previously been held in las vegas.

PWBA – Professional Women’s Bowling Association

The Professional Women’s Bowling Association was formed in 1960 by a group of professional female bowlers. The Ladies’ Professional Bowlers Association (LPBA) was formed after some of the players departed the PWBA in 1974.

In 1978, the two organizations officially remerged as the Women’s Professional Bowlers Association (WPBA). Summer, a bowling center owner in Rockford, Illinois, began the Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour (LPBT), a for-profit organization, in 1981 to promote the women’s tour after the WPBA dissolved.

The LPBT took the PWBA name and a new logo in 1998. The PWBA Tour folded in the fall of 2003 before the conclusion of its 2003 season, largely due to decreasing interest in sponsoring women’s bowling.

The Women’s International Bowling Congress (WIBC) then took over the PWBA’s rights and assets. This gave the WIBC ownership of the PWBA name, trademark, logo, website domain (, as well as all previous records.

In 2005, the WIBC merged with the American Bowling Congress (ABC), Young American Bowling Alliance (YABA), and USA Bowling to form the United States Bowling Congress (USBC).

How Much Do Pro bowlers make?

The average yearly earnings or annual incomes for PBA-affiliated bowlers are usually $45,000 to $50,000 with sponsor obligations not included. The typical top pro bowler, on the other hand, makes between $250,000 and $300,000 a year. Only your skills are limited in the PBA league.

How Do You Become a Pro Bowler?

The PBA is the most prominent professional bowling league in the United States. There are three ways a bowler can join the PBA, according to their website at the time of this article’s publication:

  • As a non-member, you may cash in a PBA regional tournament.
  • Have a 200 average or better for the most recent league season with at least 36 games bowled.
  • Have 36 or more games bowled in a PBA experience league or a USBC sponsored bowling league with an average of 190.

You don’t have to be a PBA member in order to join a tournament, but your options will be far more limited if you do not.

Who recently bought PBA?

In September 2019, Bowlero Corporation, the world’s largest owner-operator of bowling centers re-owned the PBA, establishing itself as the first media organization in the sport.

Does Bowlero own the PBA?

Bowlero Corporation is a subsidiary of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) in November 2021. The American Bowling Center has Bowlero Lanes and Bowlmor Lanes as its main brands. Legacy AMF Bowling is the primary bowmaking brand. Bowlero adds value to bowling by providing real value.

With as much money as they spent to acquire the PBA, we hope they have some left for tournaments and live tv finals.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a little off the top to help me keep this website running. 

One Response

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