As the coronavirus crisis grips the nation, bowling is, understandably, starting to shut down across the country.
Bowling centers are shutting their doors and leagues and tournaments are either being postponed or canceled.
In news just out Tuesday afternoon, Bowlero, the largest operator of bowling centers in the country, said it is closing all of its centers for the next 15 days.
In a statement released on social media, Bowlero said: “We love to bowl. And we love it when you bowl with us. But your safety is – and will always be – our top priority. That’s why, beginning today, we’ll be closing for the next 15 days in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Please be advised that all locations will be temporarily closed due to COVID-19. We appreciate your understanding as we work to keep both our guests and staff safe during this time. pic.twitter.com/5yZv0mSOHy— Bowlero Corporation (@BowleroCorp) March 17, 2020
The impact is being felt at every level of the sport. The PBA Tour was forced to cut short the World Series of Bowling, postponing the Cheetah, Chameleon and Scorpion Championships. The season’s final major, the USBC Masters, has also been postponed.
The PBA did elect to move forward with the stepladder finals of the PBA World Championship with a live show on Sunday. That broadcast on FS1 ended up bringing in an audience of 397,000, according to ShowBuzzDaily.
In FloBowling’s latest podcast, color commentator Randy Pedersen explains what the event was like considering no spectators were allowed in attendance.
In an announcement Tuesday afternoon, the PBA said it "has placed all tournament activities at all levels on hiatus indefinitely due to coronavirus concerns."
Among the events postponed is the start of the PBA Playoffs on April 6. The PBA said all other scheduled events will be re-evaluated in early April. There was no specific information about the upcoming PBA50 Tour announced.
The Professional Women’s Bowling Association announced Monday that it was postponing the start of its tour indefinitely due to the crisis. The PWBA Tour had been slated to start April 23 in Tucson, Arizona.
On the state level, many state associations have announced the cancelation or postponement of state tournaments. Local leagues and tournaments are also starting to shut down across the country.
If you were planning to bowl leagues or tournaments, you’d be wise to check the status before heading out to compete.