Let's Roll! Planet Bowl Named Bowling Venue for TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games

Facility to host 48 top women's and men's bowlers in singles and doubles competition

TORONTO, Dec. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - The best strokers, crankers and tweeners in the Americas and Caribbean will be rolling for gold down the lanes at Toronto's Planet Bowl in the summer of 2015.

Known as the Pan Am Bowling Centre during the Games, the facility will host 48 athletes from up to 20 countries competing in individual and team competitions. The location is part of the Etobicoke cluster for the Games with aquatics training and BMX competitions nearby.

"Elite bowling is an amazing sport to watch," said Ian Troop, chief executive officer of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015).

"Almost everyone has tried bowling and knows how hard it is to get that elusive strike," he said. "These athletes make it look easy. It'll be a great community atmosphere as we cheer them on to victory in 2015."

John Chapman, manager of Planet Bowl and a senior member of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA), added: "We're incredibly excited to host the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am bowling tournament. This is a wonderful opportunity for our facility to host an international competition and to join together in the community celebration when the Games come to Toronto and Canada in the summer of 2015!"

Tenpin bowling was introduced as a demonstration sport at the 1983 Pan Am Games. It was first contested as part of the official sport program in 1991. It is one of eight non-Olympic sports contested at the Games. The United States has dominated the sport with 20 gold medals, followed by Mexico and Canada in the overall medals standings.

Canadian bowlers who have struck Pan Am gold include: Bill Rowe (men's singles) 1995; Catharine Willis (women's singles) 1995; and Sandy Lowe, Anne Saasto, Debbie Ship and Catharine Willis (women's team) 1995.

In 2011, Canada won two medals in the women's individual competition, thanks to Jennifer Park (silver) and Caroline Lagrange (bronze).

Last week, Lagrange won her second Bowling World Cup after defeating Cherie Tan of Singapore at the competition in Siberia. Aumi Guerra of the Dominican Republic, a two-time World Cup champion and 2007 Pan Am Games bronze medallist, finished third.

"Hosting the 2015 Games offers an exciting opportunity for Canada's athletes to compete at home in front of friends and family," said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). "Our Government is proud to support the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games and encourages Canadians to get to know our country's top bowlers better as we welcome the best players from the Americas and Caribbean."

Planet Bowl's 48 lanes meet the standards set by the International Federation of Bowlers (FIQ) and the Pan American Bowling Confederation (PABCON), which oversees national federations in the region.

Previously, the alley hosted the Ontario final World Cup trials, 2007 Canadian national finals of the Bowling World Cup and 2006 Canadian team trials. In May 2014, it will be hosting the 2014 Canadian team trials, which determine the Canadian bowlers for the 2015 Pan Am Games.

"As a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities, bowling offers an opportunity to encourage communities to come together and lead more healthy, active lives," said Michael Chan, Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan /Parapan American Games.  "As we prepare for the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, we are proud to support our local athletes, including our internationally top-ranked Canadian bowling team, as they compete on home soil."

Toronto City Councillor Mark Grimes (Ward 6 Etobicoke-Lakeshore), The City's Pan Am Games Champion, added: "As the Host City of the Games, Toronto is excited to add bowling to its roster of sports competitions we'll be hosting in 2015. Toronto and Canada have a wealth of amateur bowling talent and success in this sport on the international stage. It will be great to bring those two elements together in 2015."

Did You Know?
A game of tenpin bowling consists of 10 frames. A player delivers two balls in each frame unless a strike is scored.

All bowling lanes are oiled, which causes balls to slide on the slick surface and hook when they hit dry patches.

At the elite competition level, complicated oil patterns are laid down digitally by machines, testing bowlers who must adjust their strategies and methods to find the optimal entry into the pocket between the 1 and 3 pins (or 1 and 2 pins if they are a leftie) for a strike.

The oil patterns are named after animals such as the bear, scorpion, badger, wolf, viper, cheetah, chameleon and shark.

For the singles competition at the Pan Am Games, each bowler will roll 12 qualifying games (in two six-game blocks with different oil patterns). The top 16 men and women will be seeded for head-to-head three-game matches. The winners will continue to advance until the finals. The losers of each semi-final match will receive a bronze medal, resulting in one gold, one silver and two bronze.

For the team competition, each bowler will roll six games on one oil pattern and six games on another pattern. Winners are determined by the total combined scores for both bowlers on a national team.

About TO2015
The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) is tasked with the responsibility of planning, managing and delivering the Games. Its mission is to ignite the spirit through a celebration of sport and culture. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10−26 and the Parapan American Games August 7-14.

The 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, as well as other partners and sponsors. CIBC is the Lead Partner of the Games.

For more information about the Games, please visit TORONTO2015.org.

SOURCE: Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

For further information:

Sylvia Kavanagh
Senior Manager, Media Relations

John Chapman
Planet Bowl

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Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

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