New practice schedule, lower costs enhance experience at 2017 OC Matt Cannizzaro December 20, 2016 ARLINGTON, Texas - Bowlers at the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships will have more opportunity to prepare for their time on the biggest stage in bowling as the on-site practice lanes will have increased availability and lower costs.The practice lanes, which will give all competitors the chance to bowl on the team oil pattern before taking their shots at an Eagle trophy, will be located in the South Point Bowling Center, while all USBC Open Championships competition will take place at the nearby South Point Bowling Plaza.The practice lanes will be available by reservation at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, with a recently added 10 p.m. time slot offering more than two dozen additional lanes for those looking to take advantage of Las Vegas' 24-hour reputation.Availability will be limited to the 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. shifts on Thursdays and just the 10 p.m. slot on Saturdays.The cost for an hour on the practice lanes in 2017 will be $100 for a pair (up to 10 bowlers) or $50 for one lane (up to five bowlers). "Enhancing the integrity of the tournament and leveling the playing field has driven all of the changes for the 2017 Open Championships," USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy said. "Providing flexible times to practice on the tournament pattern at a lower price, inside the host property, is another step to improve fairness."The Bowlers Journal Championships presented by USBC, which will celebrate its 71st year alongside the Open Championships, also will be held at the South Point Bowling Center and follow the same squad schedule as the team practice sessions.The Bowlers Journal again will give bowlers a first-hand look at the fresh doubles and singles oil pattern used at the Open Championships - using the same oil and model of Kegel lane machine - and feature doubles and singles categories for bowlers of all skill levels.Reservations for team practice sessions will be accepted beginning in February. Details will be posted on BOWL.com.Get the VIP treatment in Las VegasRoll into the 2017 USBC Open Championships in style, decked out in a limited-edition VIP jersey, just one piece of the VIP package available this year in Las Vegas.The Open Championships VIP program returns for the sixth year and is designed to bring competitors all the great aspects of the storied tournament in one convenient package.The 2017 VIP package includes a membership credential, VIP locker access at the South Point Bowling Plaza, photo and video discount package and Bowling Ball Express discount. VIPs also receive a singles entry into the Bowlers Journal Championships and a team practice session for up to 10 people. Both will take place at the South Point Bowling Center.VIPs also will receive a singles entry into The Forty Frame Game, which is being run at nearby Silver Nugget Casino and Bowling Center. Bowlers can become VIPs in 2017 for $229.95.The cost does not include entry fees for the Open Championships, but the VIP lockers feature unlimited in-and-out privileges, and each bowler's first Bowlers Journal singles entry each year comes with a one-year subscription to Bowlers Journal International. Because certain portions of the VIP program must be scheduled, bowlers are asked to purchase VIP memberships at least 30 days prior to their competition dates.VIP registration for the 2017 Open Championships will begin later this month.Captain's Club returns in 2017Seeing happy and successful bowlers on the lanes is a great reward enjoyed by team captains at the Open Championships, but captains with six or more teams in 2017 will earn entrance into the Captain's Club. Designed to reward captains for their hard work, Captain's Club benefits include a premium USBC Captain's Club windbreaker, two-ball tote, mini padfolio and stylus pen, locker access inside the tournament venue, a commemorative photo package, $50 Bowling Ball Express discount ($25 each way), restaurant gift certificate and a singles entry into The Forty Frame Game.The Captain's Club also is available for the USBC Women's Championships, and there's still time to add more teams to take advantage of the terrific benefits.