Behind the Scenes at the 2018 PWBA US Women’s Open in Orlando

b41636_cb3e2197d41d411bb9df53cf1fc0ca37~mv2Advertisement graphics courtesy by PWBA

Written by Nathan Wertheimer

Many people think it is an easy task to produce a tournament stop. It is not so because there is a large crew of people who make it possible. This year’s PWBA US Women’s Open is being held at Boardwalk Bowl in East Orlando and will return in 2019 too.

This year’s event host is Boardwalk Bowl. It takes many hours to clean and maintain these bowling lanes. While this tournament is going on, the friendly staff is assisting on the needs for this tournament.

Before the tournament even starts, it is scheduled a few years in advance. It takes time to get sponsors and to organize a live television broadcast. This year’s tour stop will broadcast live on CBS Sports Network on Saturday, June 30, 2018, from 5pm – 7pm. It is only a two hour telecast featuring the semi-final and final championship game. The satellite truck doesn’t arrive until a few days for the championship game. Without this truck the broadcast could not take place.

To get the word out about this tournament, the PWBA Tour Public Relations Manager is doing a lot of thing behind the scenes. He directs player interviews for the camera, produces an on-line show along with posting on social media too. Plus, there are many other responsibilities too. For updates on this tournament please visit www.xtremeframe.tv. Some of the hash tag used on social media are #gobowling , #AFutureForThe Sport, #USWomensOpen, #DoSomethingMajor, @boardwalkbowlfl

The television broadcast crew has to set-up the lighting, cameras, microphones, and much more a few days before going live. Everything must go smooth for the telecast. They only get one chance to make it right. Even the consoles and some of the furniture are removed to make room for the bleaches around the four bowling lanes.

Another thing the general public doesn’t see is the 63’ PWBA Pro Shop trailer. Plus, there are two other trailers beside this one for the PBA Men’s Tour and for the Senior PBA Men’s Tour. They all look the same with the signage on the outside. This trailer is stocked with various new brand name bowling balls. They have weights ranging from 14-16 pound balls along with various colors too. This is where the ladies get their bowling balls from when they are on the tour. These ladies do have to pay for the drilling of the holes on the bowling ball. However, their sponsor pays for most of the bowling balls they use. The cost for drilling on the bowling ball is $40 per ball. Many of these bowling balls may be used one time or for the entire tournament only. At the end of the tournament many of the players give out their bowling balls are given out to the community.

The PWBA brings in a team of people for this tournament on-site. Everything is organized to run smoothly. They do everything from accounting, recording the player games scores, paying the bowlers, and much more.

Many lady professional bowlers live an exciting life of out on tour. The bowling tournament sets-up a locker room where the ladies can store and polish their bowling balls. They can store up to eight bowling balls in the locker room at one time. Most ladies carry 8-16 bowling balls per tournament. After the tournament, some pro bowlers giveaway their bowling balls.

Many bowling fans wonder what the bowling lane conditions are going to be like. These conditions will change over the day going from wet to dry. The bowling center will have three different lane conditions, which are fresh (very heavy oil), burn (combination of oil and dry), and double burn (very dry lanes). The lady bowlers must make adjustments from game to game. The tournament officials direct the lane conditions for all of the games. All bowling games are sanctioned by USBC.

One will see a total of 108 lady pro bowlers practicing and qualifying for this tournament. Not everyone was invited to this tournament. It was by invitation only. It is a real honor for these ladies to be chosen for this major tournament. These ladies will be bowling 8 games a day for this tournament.

During the practice round on the first day of this tournament one will see the lady pro bowlers tuning up their skills. Many of them have quite a few bowling balls lying on the floor by the seating area.

For those in the media, there are restrictions while on assignment. This tournament is open to all media outlets to cover, which must be approved by the PWBA. The best time for Photojournalists to capture great images is during the practice round. Photojournalists are not allowed to photograph on the lanes during qualifying because of the distraction. However, photographers can shoot in the back of the house on a step stool to get some the player reaction after the play.

For me this was an exciting event for me to cover because I was a huge professional bowling fan. I knew a few players, but mostly many of them were new to me. I recommend anyone interested in bowling in the Orlando area to come down and support these lady professional bowlers. One might event get some bowling tips from them.

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