ARLINGTON, Texas - When the 2012 United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials take place next week, Shannon Pluhowsky of Kettering, Ohio, and Scott Boyle of Salida, Calif., will not only have to take on a tough field to successfully defend their 2011 titles, but they also will face a new points system to determine the champions.
Standings for the Team USA Trials now will be based on a points system rather than total pinfall for the 28-game, four-day event, which will be held at Texas Station's Texas Star Lanes in North Las Vegas, Nev., starting Tuesday. All rounds will be broadcast live on BowlTV.
"I think it's an interesting change," said Pluhowsky, who already has been selected to join Team USA in 2012. "It definitely means you will have to stay consistently good all four days."
The unique way of determining automatic qualifiers for Team USA as well as the Team USA Trials champions will reward consistency and versatility. In each of the four rounds, players will be given points based on their finishing position in that day's round. For example, if a bowler finishes first, they will receive one point. Second place receives two points, third place receives three points and so forth.
The top man and top woman with the fewest total points after the four rounds will be declared the Team USA Trials champion. The top three men and top three women in the standings will earn automatic spots on Team USA for 2012.
The champions also earn automatic spots to represent the United States at the QubicaAMF World Cup, a perk Boyle said sweetens winning the event.
"It's definitely going to make it much more sweeter knowing that if you win you will get to represent your country in a major international tournament," Boyle said. "I'm looking forward to the chance to defend my title, and hopefully I can be the one to bowl in the World Cup in 2012."
In addition to the automatic spots on Team USA, the National Selection Committee, which is led by Team USA head coach Rod Ross, will select two men and two women as at-large selections to Team USA.
A total of eight Junior Team USA spots - four boys and four girls - also will be available. The top two boys and top two girls in the final points standings will earn automatic spots, while two boys and two girls spots will be at-large selections taken from either the Team USA Trials field or the finals field from the USBC Junior Gold Championships held in July 2011. All bowlers 20 and under as of Jan. 1, 2012 are eligible for Junior Team USA.
All four rounds of the Team USA Trials will be broadcast on BowlTV, which can be found at YouTube.com/BowlTV. Results and stories for the event will be available on BOWL.com.