LAS VEGAS – The PBA has postponed the three animal pattern events at the 2020 PBA World Series of Bowling but will continue with the stepladder of the PBA World Championship on Sunday.
Concerns over coronavirus had already forced the PBA to previously announce all shows would occur without spectators. On Friday afternoon, they held a meeting with players and decided to postpone the Cheetah, Chameleon and Scorpion match play and stepladders until a yet-to-be-decided date.
The five players who made the stepladder finals of the PBA World Championship met separately with the PBA and agreed to complete that event on Sunday. The show will take place at 1:30 p.m. Eastern live on FS1 (United States) and FloBowling (international).
Jason Belmonte, EJ Tackett, Anthony Simonsen, Francois Lavoie and Chris Via will bowl for the season’s fourth major title without spectators present at the South Point Bowling Plaza.
The PBA also announced increase prize money for the stepladder with $150,000 going to the winner instead of $100,000. Second place will pay $70,000, third place $40,000, fourth place $30,000 and fifth place $20,000.
Disruption to international travel seemed to be a primary driver of the changes Friday with international players potentially having difficulty getting back home had the events continued as scheduled.
The PBA said the three standard-title animal pattern events will be contested at a future date, although no details are available yet.
Next, the PBA must decide how this impacts the upcoming PBA Playoffs. With the three animal pattern events and the upcoming USBC Masters postponed, the schedule has been upended and the opportunity for players to earn points has been cut short.
The Playoffs are scheduled to get underway April 6 with the Round of 24, but the PBA has not announced any changes as of yet. It seems likely, however, that some sort of adjustment will need to be made, especially if disruptions to international travel remain in effect.
Additionally, the PBA League Draft, which was scheduled for Sunday, has been postponed.