Photo by Karla Rivera

The 2019 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships will begin its 122-day run Saturday, March 9, as the first of more than 10,000 teams (more than 50,000 bowlers) take to the lanes at the South Point Bowling Plaza located at 9777 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

On Saturday, at approximately 6 p.m., the USBC Open Championships will kick off with a ribbon-cutting, Mass Ball Shot Ceremony and the tournament’s opening squad. During the Mass Ball Shot, one bowler on each lane will roll a ball at the same time. Two bowlers on each team will have the chance to participate.

The festivities will include local performers, a few words from bowling and local dignitaries and the tournament’s official first ball, thrown out by “Joe Bowler,” a bowler randomly selected from the teams bowling on the opening squad. The Joe Bowler selection will take place in the squad room next to the lanes between 5:15-5:45 p.m.

The 2019 team-event march out song will be revealed, and the bowlers will march to the lanes at approximately 6 p.m.

Guests will include South Point owner Michael Gaughan, South Point Director of Bowling Operations Mike Monyak, South Point Director of Hotel Operations Shelly Essex, Las Vegas Events President Pat Christenson, LVE Vice President of Marketing and Communications Michael Mack, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority Director of Sports Marketing and Events Lisa Motley and USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy.

There will be interview opportunities with Murphy and Open Championships Tournament Manager Duane Hagen by request. There also will be video and photo opportunities during the ceremonies.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for approximately 6:40 p.m., the ceremonial first ball is scheduled for 6:50 p.m. and the Mass Ball Shot will be just before 7 p.m. Practice for the bowlers on the opening squad will be at 7:05 p.m. and the squad will begin bowling for score at 7:15 p.m.

The 2019 event will mark the tournament’s fourth visit to Las Vegas, with previous trips coming in 1986, 2009 and 2017. The first two events were held in custom-built venues inside Cashman Center, while the 2017 tournament made its first stop at the new South Point Bowling Plaza.

The 2019 Open Championships will run daily from 7 a.m. until 3 a.m. and conclude on July 8. There will be some shorter days early in the tournament, so please confirm squad times if interested in coming out to cover the competition.

Also running from March until July will be the 73rd Bowlers Journal Championships presented by USBC, a special side event and additional competitive opportunity for tournament bowlers. The Bowlers Journal Championships will be held daily at the nearby South Point Bowling Center.


Prior to the start of the Open Championships, the South Point Bowling Plaza will play host to the Special Olympics National Unified Tournament on March 6-7.

The relationship between the two events began in 1991, and they have shared the biggest stage in bowling every year since.

National Unified Competitors will bowl team event March 6 and doubles March 7. Competition is scheduled from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day, with award ceremonies traditionally held after each squad.

For more information on the USBC Open Championships, visit BOWL.com/OpenChamp.

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