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51,261 Bowlers to Compete in 3-Month Tournament

Times Staff Writer

The Women’s International Bowling Congress Championship tournament will start a three-month Orange County competition that will eventually involve 51,261 bowlers at 7 tonight at Tustin Lanes.

Between today and July 1, the WIBC bowlers will post some impressive numbers.

The number of competitors will be second only to the 1983 WIBC tournament at Las Vegas, where 75,000 participated.

Besides knocking down about 43 million pins, the bowlers will be competing for $1 million in prize money, according to WIBC figures.

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Competition will be held in singles, doubles and five-women teams. The prize money in each division is based on the number of entries.

The tournament’s feature event, for bowlers with an average of 171 or better, will include two, four-game qualifying rounds. The top 63 will then advance to a double-elimination round, and the final five will participate in a TV format step-ladder draw.

Besides the WIBC tournament, the Women’s National Intercollegiate Championships, beginning Monday, and the 26th annual Queens Tournament from May 13-17, will be held at the New Kona Lanes in Costa Mesa, where much of the regular tournament play will roll. All events are part of the overall competition.

Singles and doubles play begins Friday morning at New Kona Lanes, but the team event will begin at Tustin Lanes after tonight’s opening ceremonies. Marge Higley of Orange, who will participating in her 51st straight tournament, will roll the first ball.

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The team event, beginning with 28 teams from Beckman Instruments’ three corporate leagues, will begin play with 9,812 other five-woman squads to follow.


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