Mookie Betts, Jimmie Allen to participate in 2023 U.S. Open in Indianapolis

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America has awarded Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts an exemption into the main field at the 2023 U.S. Open, which will be contested at Royal Pin Woodland (formerly Woodland Bowl) in Indianapolis Jan. 29 – Feb. 5, 2023.

Country music superstar Jimmie Allen will participate in the event’s pre-tournament qualifier (PTQ) after being forced to decline his exemption in order to perform at this year’s Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 1.

Betts and Allen have served as advocates and ambassadors for the sport of bowling for many years, and both still compete in high level events across the country as much as their busy schedules will allow.

Last summer, Allen took part in the 2022 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships, which was contested at the South Point Bowling Plaza inside South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas from March 12 – July 18, 2022.

The Open Championships is USBC’s flagship tournament, an event that has brought thousands of teams to various host cities across the country 118 times since 1901.

Betts, meanwhile, has consistently been an ardent supporter of both USBC and Professional Bowlers Association tournaments. The Dodgers’ all-star outfielder has maintained an average of right around  200 during 11 career PBA events.

Betts grabbed headlines in 2017 when he recorded a perfect game during qualifying-round action at PBA World Series of Bowling IX at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada.

It’s hard to predict whether or not Betts will achieve similar success at the 2023 U.S. Open; nevertheless, scores aside, he’s just excited and grateful for being granted the opportunity to compete in Indianapolis.

“I’ve always enjoyed competing alongside the PBA pros and the other top bowlers in the world. Getting to do so at a major championship with the history and prestige of the U.S. Open is going to make that even more special,” Betts said. “I’m grateful to BPAA for giving me this opportunity, and I’m going to try to make the most of it.”

Allen was disappointed about having to decline his exemption into the main field; nevertheless, he plans to make the most of his opportunity to compete in this year’s U.S. Open PTQ.

“I regret not being able to bowl in the U.S. Open, but I’m still looking forward to the PTQ. It’s always an amazing experience when you get to watch the best of the best at work. It doesn’t matter whether it’s on a stage, in a stadium or on the lanes,” Allen said. “By bowling the PTQ, I won’t just be watching the best; I’ll be on the lanes bowling with them. I never thought that I’d get the chance to do something like this, so I’m very grateful.”

Given all the positive attention and support that both Betts and Allen have helped create for bowling over the years, BPAA Executive Director Frank DeSocio thinks the exemptions are well deserved.

“Mookie Betts and Jimmie Allen are strong bowlers and tremendous ambassadors, and the work that they’ve done has benefitted the sport of bowling and bowlers all across the country for many years now,” DeSocio said. “The BPAA is proud to reward them with the opportunity to be a part of the 2023 U.S. Open, and we know that the decision to do so is going to be among the many reasons why this year’s tournament is one that competitors and fans will never forget.”

Even without Betts’ and Allen’s participation, this year’s tournament will be unlike any other in U.S. Open history.

The 2023 U.S. Open will feature a pair of television shows with a major title and $100,000 top prize being awarded live on FOX.

The arrangement for the 2023 event came together through cooperation between the PBA, BPAA and USBC.

To allow for the additional TV exposure, the event will have slight adjustments made to its traditional format.

At the U.S. Open, the removal of the fourth qualifying round will allow for a nine-player stepladder over two days, giving on-site fans and the national TV audience even more great bowling action to take in from Royal Pin Woodland, which owns the distinction of being the only center to have hosted every PBA major championship.

The first show, which will air live on FS1 on Feb. 4, will feature the No. 5 through No. 9 seeds in a traditional stepladder format. The advancer will join the top four seeds for the second stepladder Feb. 5 on FOX.

The 2023 event still will feature three eight-game qualifying rounds, but now the field will be cut to the top 24 athletes for round-robin match play after Round 3. Recent editions of the U.S. Open cut to the top 36 athletes after Round 3 with an additional eight-game round determining the top 24 for round-robin match play.

For 2023, 48-game totals, including bonus pins for each win in match play, will determine the nine finalists. Historically, the U.S. Open has featured 56 games.

U.S. Open competitors will battle some of the most challenging lane conditions in the sport while vying for a PBA major title, a spot in the tournament's long and storied history and the chance to wear the green jacket awarded to the winner.

Anthony Simonsen of Las Vegas is the defending champion at the U.S. Open and is a four-time major champion on the PBA Tour.

All rounds of qualifying and match play at the 2023 U.S. Open at Royal Pin Woodland will be streamed live on BowlTV.

The 2023 event marks the third time Woodland has hosted the U.S. Open, and the famed center is scheduled to host the tournament in 2024 and 2025 as well.

In addition to its history with the U.S. Open, including both the men's and women's event in 1996 (qualifying and match play, before the finals took place at Market Square Arena), Woodland has hosted countless PBA Tour stops and previous editions of the USBC Masters and Junior Gold Championships.

To learn more about this year's tournament, visit the 2023 U.S. Open information page