Controversy and bowling rarely are used in the same sentence, but that changes in three weeks.
The PBA Tour moves to Wheat Ridge, Colo., the week after the Masters at Cashman for the first-ever GEICO Plastic Ball Championship.
In the Feb. 18-22 Plastic Ball Championship, each of the 64 players in the main draw will be given two identical, unmarked plastic bowling balls with pancake weight blocks, branded only by the PBA 50th anniversary logo.
Debates in the bowling world rage as to what bowling styles and players will succeed in this radical departure from the usual, generally unlimited equipment rules.
Plastic was the most popular form of bowling ball in the 1970s and early ’80s. Today’s most popular bowling balls are composed of resin shells with exotic weight blocks that enhance a ball’s ability to hook.
The event’s tournament qualifying round will be contested with normal, unlimited technology (as always, equipment must be PBA-product registered).
The 64 players in the main draw will bowl 14 games of qualifying Thursday before the top 32 are set off into brackets for single-elimination, best-of-7 game matches Friday, with the final four remaining competing in the ESPN finals at 10 a.m. on Feb. 22.