The start date of the 2021 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships has been moved to May 1, and the event will feature a modified schedule to allow for social distancing with one team per pair during competition.

Flexibility in the availability of the South Point Bowling Plaza and on-property South Point Bowling Center, plus the commitment of South Point’s leadership to the success of the tournament, will enable up to 50,000 bowlers to compete in 2021.

The tournament is slated to run for 79 days from May 1 through July 18, and adjustments to the daily squad schedule will enable the entry capacity to remain at more than 9,300 five-player teams. Based on demand, the 2021 Open Championships can be extended to as late as July 31, increasing the potential capacity to nearly 11,000 teams. 

The event originally was scheduled to begin March 6 and conclude July 18.

“We are grateful that our partners at South Point are as committed to the Open Championships as we are and that they were willing to help us find a way to conduct the event while meeting local social distancing guidelines,” USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy said. “We are confident that vaccine distribution in early 2021, along with good planning, will allow our members to return to the lanes and see champions crowned once again.”

Team competition will be held as planned at the 60-lane South Point Bowling Plaza, while all doubles and singles competition will shift to the 64-lane South Point Bowling Center, which previously hosted the Bowlers Journal Championships presented by USBC and team practice sessions during the run of the Open Championships in 2017 and 2019. 

The new location for the Bowlers Journal Championships and practice sessions in 2021 will be announced by Feb. 1, USBC said.

The primary need for the additional lanes for the 2021 Open Championships is because team competition will be limited to one team per pair. The maximum number of teams per day will be approximately 120, and four team squads will be required instead of just two.

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