One of the toughest stretches of the PBA Tour season gets underway next week with the 2019 PBA World Series of Bowling X.
With four PBA Tour titles on the line, including a major, and dozens and dozens of games on the horizon, players will be put to the test over a nearly two-week stretch at Thunderbowl Lanes just outside Detroit in Allen Park, Michigan.
The action begins live on FloBowling with the PBA Cheetah Championship on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. Eastern and continues through a week of television shows, the last of which airs Friday, March 22.
It’s the first World Series of Bowling since 2017, when five titles were awarded. This year, titles will be earned in the PBA Cheetah Championship, PBA Chameleon Championship, PBA Scorpion Championship and PBA World Championship. The PBA Shark Championship is the only event from 2017 that doesn’t return during the WSOB.
Here’s a quick look at each of the events:
PBA Cheetah Championship
Throughout the first week of competition the patterns each day get longer, so it makes sense that the first event is on the shortest pattern for the PBA Cheetah Championship.
The Cheetah pattern clocks in at 33 feet, and in 2017, Jesper Svensson defeated Thomas Larsen, 245-194, to win the title. Sam Cooley finished third, while Jason Belmonte was fourth.
Qualifying for the Cheetah will take place Tuesday with the first round at 12:30 p.m. Eastern and the second round at 6:30 p.m. Each round consists of five games and the top 16 players after 10 games advance to best-of-five match play March 18.
Match play will consist of a Round of 16 at Noon Eastern on March 18 and a Round of 8 at 3 p.m. The four remaining players advance to the televised finals at 8 p.m. that night.
PBA Chameleon Championship
History was made in the PBA Chameleon Championship in 2017 when Liz Johnson became just the second woman to win a PBA Tour title by defeating lefty Anthony Pepe, 220-206, in the title match.
The Chameleon, which is 39 feet, will be the second title awarded this year. In 2017, Wes Malott finished third, while Tom Smallwood was fourth.
The format for the Chameleon is identical to the Cheetah (and the Scorpion) as the first of five games of qualifying gets underway at 12:30 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday. The second round of qualifying will take place at 6:30 p.m.
The top 16 players will bowl the best-of-five match play on March 19 at Noon Eastern and the Round of 8 will occur at 3 p.m. The televised championship round begins at 8 p.m.
PBA Scorpion Championship
In a battle of two of the PBA Tour’s biggest stars, EJ Tackett took down Jason Belmonte, 245-207, to win the PBA Scorpion Championship in 2017.
In addition to Tackett and Belmonte, Brandon Novak and Shawn Maldonado will also look to make another appearance in the Scorpion finals. Novak finished third with Maldonado fourth in 2017.
The Scorpion pattern is 42 feet long and continues the progression of the patterns getting longer each day when the first round of qualifying begins March 14 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern. The second round is at 6:30 p.m.
Just like the Cheetah and Chameleon, the top 16 Scorpion players will bowl best-of-five matches starting at Noon on March 20. The Round of 8 begins at 3 p.m. and the championship round is at 8 p.m.
PBA World Championship
In order to have a shot at the PBA World Championship, the season’s third major, players must perform well on the Cheetah, Chameleon and Scorpion patterns leading up to 10 final games of qualifying on the 43-foot Earl Anthony pattern.
All games carry forward from the animal pattern qualifying and combine with two five-game rounds on March 15 to complete 40 games of qualifying for the PBA World Championship.
The work only gets tougher after that for the 16 players who advance into round-robin match play after qualifying. On March 16, they will bowl two eight-game rounds starting at 9 a.m. Eastern and 3 p.m. to determine the five players who will bowl for the title on March 21 at 8 p.m.
In 2017, Belmonte emerged as the champion by defeating Svensson, 238-225, after surviving an overtime victory against Ryan Ciminelli in the semifinal. Kyle Troup finished fourth and Matt Sanders was fifth.
USA vs. The World
The final event of the week, which is actually taped just before the PBA World Championship show airs live, is the USA vs. The World match, which airs on March 22 at 8 p.m.
Players will qualify for the made-for-television event by their 30-game qualifying totals on the three animal patterns. The top players from the United States will join forces to take on the top international players in a best-of-three Baker competition.
Each side will be coached by a PBA Hall of Famer with Marshall Holman guiding the U.S. side and Amleto Monacelli coaching the international team.
How to watch
All rounds of qualifying and match play throughout the two-week stretch at the World Series of Bowling will be broadcast exclusively on FloBowling.
Starting March 18 and continuing through March 22, bowling fans in the United States will be able to watch five consecutive nights of finals on FS1 starting at 8 p.m. each night. All five broadcasts will also be carried at the same time by FloBowling for international audiences.
What the schedule looks like
Here’s the schedule, all times listed are Eastern:
Tuesday, March 12
12:30 p.m. – Cheetah Qualifying Round 1 (five games)
6:30 p.m. – Cheetah Qualifying Round 2 (five games)
Wednesday, March 13
12:30 p.m. – Chameleon Qualifying Round 1 (five games)
6:30 p.m. – Chameleon Qualifying Round 2 (five games)
Thursday, March 14
12:30 p.m. – Scorpion Qualifying Round 1 (five games)
6:30 p.m. – Scorpion Qualifying Round 2 (five games)
Friday, March 15
12:30 p.m. – World Championship Cashers Qualifying Round 1 (five games)
6:30 p.m. – World Championship Cashers Qualifying Round 2 (five games)
Saturday, March 16
9 a.m. – World Championship Round Robin Match Play Round 1 (eight games)
3 p.m. – World Championship Round Robin Match Play Round 2 (eight games)
Monday, March 18
Noon – Cheetah Round of 16 (best of five)
3 p.m. – Cheetah Round of 8 (best of five)
8 p.m. – Cheetah Championship Round*
Tuesday, March 19
Noon – Chameleon Round of 16 (best of five)
3 p.m. – Chameleon Round of 8 (best of five)
8 p.m. – Chameleon Championship Round*
Wednesday, March 20
Noon – Scorpion Round of 16 (best of five)
3 p.m. – Scorpion Round of 8 (best of five)
8 p.m. – Scorpion Championship Round*
Thursday, March 21
8 p.m. – World Championship Stepladder Finals*
Friday, March 22
8 p.m. – USA vs. The World*
* - FloBowling broadcast only for audiences outside the United States. The archive of the finals will be available for all audiences seven days after it airs live.