Dick Sanders, the tour’s owner and director, said Friday that the new format will be used at Buena Lanes in Ventura on Aug. 16.
“It’ll be like the [United States Bowling Congress] Masters [tournament],” Sanders said. “But instead of 64 making the finals, we’ll have eight. It’ll be a smaller version of the Masters.
“I think it will be a lot of fun. We’ve never had that [format] before.”
The tour is in its 22nd season and will be staging 12 tournaments in 2014. Six are in California and six in Nevada. The next one is scheduled for La Habra on April 26.
Sanders has been grappling with ways to beef up tournament entries and so far this year the number of bowlers has shown a marked improvement since last year.
Forty bowlers took part in the tour’s first event of the year in January in Montclair, Calif. Thirty-two competed in February in San Bernardino, Calif., and 38 bowled in the tour’s last event – on March 8 in Las Vegas.
Sanders has settled this year on a 60-years-and-older, one-day format for his events. Although the entries have represented a solid start for the tour, Sanders is still trying to attract bowlers.
He’s offering a limited-time, $20 discount for bowlers who are seeking tournament membership for this year. So the fee will be $40.
“Our entries are down 40% in three years,” Sanders said. “I’m hoping it will pick up with the one-day format.”
Several bowlers have expressed hope that the tournament will lower its age eligibility for some events so they can bowl.
But Sanders said he doubts that will happen this year because there just aren’t enough of the age 50-60 group to make a difference.
Still, Sanders said he is thankful for those younger bowlers who have taken part in his tournaments.
“Guys like John Englehart and Joe McBride have been supportive of us,” he said. “We had seven or eight of them who were supportive of us all [last] year. And they were all exceptional bowlers. But they just weren’t enough.”
And Sanders added: “We’re closing in on a four-million [dollar] payoff and that’s really good in 22 years.”
For more information, contact Sanders at 760-363-6064.