Dick Sanders, the WCST’s owner and director, said Monday that the WCST will divide participants into two age divisions starting next year. Each division will have its own prize fund. One group will include bowlers age 46 to 59, and the other division will include bowlers 60 and over.
The new rules supersede a recent WCST announcement that the tour would limit its tournament players to one 60-and-older division for 2014.
“My contention is this: Basically you need the 50-year-old bowlers to make a tournament,” Sanders said. “But the 60-year-olds won’t play the 50-year-olds. They won’t give the years away. This way anyone who shows up [from the younger division] will be a bonus. It won’t hurt us.”
This year, players as young as 50 have been allowed to compete in most WCST tournaments, but the bulk of the entries come from the 60-and-older bowlers.
Last month Sanders said that the WCST had “500 members in our organization when we started in 1993-94 and now we have 70.”
Only 18 bowlers showed for the WCST’s last tournament, which was held Oct. 5 in Diamond Bar, Calif. Sanders was forced to cancel this past weekend’s tournament in the Orange County city of La Habra, Calif., because only eight bowlers turned in entries.
The WCST has two tournaments left on this year’s schedule. It will host a tournament in three weeks in Las Vegas before staging its final event the first week of December in Laughlin, Nev.
More than 60 bowlers have already indicated their interest to bowl in the Laughlin tournament, Sanders said. Forty-seven bowlers took part in the 2012 Laughlin event. It was won by Don Blatchford of Santa Monica, who rolled a perfect game in the finals en route to winning the Super Senior championship. He earned $1,500.
This year’s Laughlin event will be open to bowlers ages 50 and up. The entry fee is $200.
The WCST has planned 12 tournaments in 2014 – six in Southern California and six in Nevada. Fifteen WCST tournaments are being held this year.
“Next year is a pivotal year,” Sanders said. “If our turnout is poor, we won’t be a club [anymore].”