The Professional Bowlers Association Hosts Dateworthy Events for Bowlers Who Are Serious About the Sport

Men's Dating

The Professional Bowlers Association Hosts Dateworthy Events for Bowlers Who Are Serious About the Sport

Amber Brooks Amber Brooks
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The Short Version: The Professional Bowlers Association had 33 founding members when it was established in 1958. Today, the organization boasts over 3,000 members in 30 countries. Every year, the PBA takes its most talented players on the road and hosts more than 170 weekend tournaments, including the Go Bowling! PBA Tour. These fan-friendly events give bowling-loving couples a chance to meet the pros they admire and watch them bowl their way to national notoriety. If you want to take your game up a notch, start following the PBA and keep an eye out for events in your area.

Chris Barnes was competing at a collegiate bowling tournament in Portland, Oregon, when he met the woman he would later marry. She was a fellow college bowler who aspired to play professionally. However, Chris and Lynda didn’t hit it off right away.

“I didn’t like him. I thought he was arrogant and full of himself,” Lynda recalled in an interview.

Fortunately, the couple kept bumping into each other at bowling events and tournaments. Chris distinguished himself in the Professional Bowlers Association and was voted Rookie of the Year in 1998. A year later, when Chris and Lynda were both on Team USA, they had the opportunity to get to know each other as teammates. As the bowlers improved their bowling skills, they also developed a close relationship.

Today, Chris and Lynda Barnes are a power couple in the professional bowling world and have been together for over 20 years. They’re married with twin boys in high school.

Chris and Lynda make headlines because of their impressive careers and unlikely love story, but they’re hardly the only couple to find romance at a PBA bowling event. Professional bowlers often run in the same social circles, and their shared passion for bowling creates a solid foundation for friendships and relationships.

“We do find that many of our bowlers date and get married,” said Janay Haggerty, Vice President of Marketing at the PBA. “They have a common interest in bowling and being competitive, so it’s just a natural connection.”

Though bowling may seem like a solitary sport, the PBA has established a global community of bowling professionals and fans by hosting tournaments throughout the year. The association currently has over 3,000 members, and it invites the top 100 players to go on a national tour in the U.S.

The 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour will host 20+ tournaments in Las Vegas, Houston, Chesapeake, and other big cities. Whether you’re looking to turn pro or you simply want to watch the masters in action, you can attend these events (or watch the live broadcasts) to see some great bowling and meet some great people.

You Can Strike Up Conversation in a Competitive Atmosphere

Since its establishment in 1958, the Professional Bowlers Association has built a network of bowlers in over 30 countries worldwide. The organization is headquartered in Chicago, but it hosts events all over the globe. The PBA 2019 world tour has stops in Sweden, Thailand, and China.

A PBA Tour can include anywhere from 100 to 300 bowlers playing against each other to the utter delight of fans. These tournaments give professional bowlers a chance to get to know their fans in the bowling community. Dozens of people show up to cheer the pros on through every strike and spare. The spirit of friendly competition keeps everyone smiling throughout the event.

Photo of the 2019 PBA Oklahoma Open

Jesper Svensson averaged 259 for seven games in the 2019 PBA Oklahoma Open.

“Being able to bowl on tour is a pleasure,” wrote one PBA member in a 2015 review. “Meeting new people, doing autographs, taking pictures with the public, being on TV, and promoting bowling is just a joy for me.”

“The feeling of always having the best company in the industry, the best guys behind you always trying to help out, and also the best fans I could ever ask for behind my back makes it easier to compete on this level,” said Jesper Svensson on his Facebook fan page.

Many PBA members view the tours as the highlight of their careers. In addition to appearing on the Fox Sports channel, they also get to be up close and personal with an adoring public and meet people who share a similar passion for bowling. They give their all to please the crowd and live up to the esteemed reputation of PBA players.

The PBA highlights the talents of its rookies just out of college, and it also honors the longstanding pros who are over 50 but still have a knack for hooking the bowling ball. The PBA50 Tour gives mature competitors a chance to travel and play together in senior-friendly tournaments. This year’s participants include Norm Duke, who has won 40 career PBA Tour titles, and Amleto Monacelli, one of only two foreign players in the PBA Hall of Fame. The other is Mika Koivuniemi.

Of course, you don’t have to play at this elite level to join a PBA tournament. The organization has regional events where members and nonmembers can play. These tournaments take place throughout the year and unite bowlers who want to improve their skills and have fun. Some aim to advance to the national level, while others are content to be part of this fun-loving community.

Televised Tournaments Where Fans Cheer on the Pros

PBA professionals take pride in bringing out their A games for the fans during the national and global tours. These players thrive on the event’s competitive atmosphere, and they can definitely put on a good show for bowlers of all skill levels.

Couples can head to a PBA tournament on a date to get an up-close look at some of the game’s all-time greats. These bowlers enjoy meeting fans, and many will happily sign autographs or answer questions about the sport.

Photo of Fox sports broadcasters at a PBA event

Over 20.9 million viewers have watched a PBA tournament on a Fox Sports channel.

The PBA’s broadcast team also does its part to keep fans informed and entertained. The team’s insights can help new viewers understand what goes on behind the scenes at a PBA tournament and how bowlers perfect their form over years of practice.

“The thing that intrigues me most about covering the PBA is the genuine passion and love of bowling from fans not just in the U.S. but from around the world,” said Kimberly Pressler, a sideline reporter at the PBA’s tours. “They truly are the heart of this sport and I’m honored to be part of the ESPN broadcast crew to showcase this beloved pastime.”

The Professional Bowling Association gets people excited about bowling and ups the caliber of one of America’s most popular hobbies. The events are accessible, yet prestigious. The PBA Tournament of Champions offers the largest prize money: over $100,000 goes to the winner.

Even without the allure of such a big prize, PBA’s professional bowlers always show up to tournaments excited to show off their skills and try for a perfect game. They love the sport, and they love to win, and their passion keeps the organization rolling from one success to another.

The PBA Gets the Ball Rolling & Excites Large Crowds

Chris and Lynda may have thrown a gutter ball during their first meeting, but they eventually got into the zone and fell in love. Their mutual love of the sport brings them together to this day, and their spirited family rivalry keeps things interesting.

The PBA logo

The PBA invites professional bowlers and fans to come together at tournaments.

“We’ve been known to have a side bet or two when we’re out practicing,” Chris said in an interview. They started out as solo players, but now Chris and Lynda play doubles matches with their twin boys, proving that families that bowl together stay together.

The Professional Bowling Association unites passionate players, like Chris and Lynda, who can’t help but be enthusiastic about the opportunity to compete with the best of the best. The organization provides a national stage where talented bowlers can excel. These tours are widely attended and can give fans the chance to enjoy themselves and see the game at its best.

“A lot of bowlers at the collegiate level want to be on a PBA tour one day and play at the highest level,” Janay said. “All of our bowlers are approachable and would tell you the fans come first.”