Brenda Edwards and John Janawicz not only will look to defend their titles at the 2011 United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials starting next week, they also will look to keep their highly coveted spots on Team USA.
The pair of amateur bowlers will take on a field of nearly 180 men and women looking to capture spots on Team USA at the 2011 USBC Team USA Trials, which will be held Jan. 2-7 at Sunset Station's Strike Zone Bowling Center in Henderson, Nev. Fans can watch live streaming of the event on BOWL.com for free starting Tuesday at Noon Eastern.
"I never lose sight of the honor it is to be a member of Team USA, and this is the one event that can guarantee you a spot on the team," said Edwards, who won the 2010 title by averaging 219.1. "That makes it my most important tournament of the year. Beyond that, I love a challenge. Every year there is a new field and new patterns to attack. With four days of different patterns, and nine games on each, this sixth-grade teacher definitely considers that a challenge."
Janawicz, who averaged 226.8 last year and edged Mike Fagan by three pins to win the title, also is looking forward to the long format of the event.
"Personally, the format is what I really like about the Team USA Trials," Janawicz said. "There are hardly any tournaments where you can bowl that many games on that many patterns for your entry fee, and I've always felt the best bowlers will finish near the top the more games you bowl."
Any USBC member is eligible to compete in the event and a total of 10 spots (five men and five women) on Team USA will be up for grabs. In addition, eight bowlers (four boys and four girls) will earn spots on Junior Team USA.
The top three men and top three women finishers at the Team USA Trials after 36 games will earn automatic spots on Team USA, while the National Selection Committee will pick two additional men and two additional women to join the team.
Those players will join the six men and seven women, made up of current exempt players on the PBA Tour and former Team USA and professional women bowlers, who were recently selected to create the base of Team USA 2011.
Three players who already have been selected for the 2011 team will take part in the Team USA Trials as a way to keep sharp. Walter Ray Williams Jr., Liz Johnson and Shannon Pluhowsky will compete and are eligible to win the title. However, should they finish at the top of the standings, the next player down would earn the automatic spot on Team USA.
USBC Youth members also may participate in the Trials, and in addition to competing for spots on Team USA, there will be spots on Junior Team USA 2011 up for grabs.
The top two male and top two female competitors who are 20 years old or younger before Jan. 1, 2011 will earn automatic spots on Junior Team USA 2011, regardless if they enter the event as USBC Youth or Adult members. The National Selection Committee will select two additional boys and two additional girls to join the team. The National Selection Committee will select from players who either competed in the Team USA Trials or who advanced to the match-play portion of the USBC Junior Gold Championships, which were held in July in Indianapolis.