We continue to send out PLAAYCOM Cups for completed PLAAY Games projects! The spotlight this month is on the Greater Omaha Tournament of Champions, conducted by Fred Abboud, Ralston, NE, using the Bowling America Congress cards and BOWL-O-RAMA Championship Bowling Game. It really shows the kind of fun that our hobby generates every single day for folks like us all over the world! Here's a recap of the event, in Fred’s own words...
The Bowling America Congress Greater Omaha Tournament of Champions was an eleven match tournament taking place at various bowling locations in my hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Some of the venues are historical, others are still operating today. Omaha has always been a big bowling town, with numerous bowling centers operating over the years.
The participants were the 24 bowler cards included in the Bowl-O-Rama base game. The tournament consisted of a 10 event qualifier, with bowlers trying to earn a spot in the final championship event. The winner of each qualifying event earned a spot in the championship event, with the remaining spots in the championship being determined by total pinfall in all the events. This gave bowlers an incentive not only to try for the win, but also to try to advance as far in each event as they could to build up their total pins.
Each qualifying event consisted of a five-game qualifying round (played using the Quick Play Spectator method), with the top 16 bowlers moving on the match play segment. In match play, bowlers were matched up based on seeding, and bowled a head to head best of seven series (played using the quick play spectator method), with the winner advancing to the next round. After each series, remaining bowlers were re-seeded and bowled another best of seven series. Play continued until there were two bowlers remaining, and they squared off in one final best of seven series to determined the winner of the event (this was played using the full play spectator mode).
The final championship event contained 16 bowlers - there was no qualifying round, but bowlers were seeded based on their performance throughout the tournament and paired into individual best of seven matches (just like in the other events). Play continued until there were only two bowlers left, with the winner taking home the Championship. The championship match took place at Immaculate Conception Church (Yes, there IS a Catholic church in Omaha that has a bowling alley!).
The event handed out two awards: Tournament Champion (Vince Stremic) and Overall Most Pinfall (Bill Correll with a total of 45,379 pins for the tournament—more than 2,000 pins more than the next bowler).
Some highlights from the event...
This was a very fun project and I felt it really captured the essence of tournament bowling. Though I ran my event very different from a normal tournament format, the best of seven match play was very fun and had constant drama and tension ("Can he win to force a seventh game?" "Can he win to avoid the sweep?," etc.). The Championship event (played entirely in full-play spectator format) was super fun, and there were so many times when felt the drama of what was happening (a bowler missing a strike needed to lock someone out, a bowler getting that close strike to close the match, a dominating bowler leaving a freak open frame to allow his opponent to catch up, etc. I've seen many bowling tournaments—I bowled competitively for several years and my uncle was a PBA pro for many years, plus my uncle used to own two bowling alleys in the greater Omaha area—and I watched many PBA and other events in-person. Minus the constant sound of the ball hitting the pins, this felt very real and fun!
I have score sheets for all the Championship tournament matches as well as the final round of each qualifying event. If anyone would like to see them, please let me know. Maybe it will encourage people to play more Bowl-O-Rama (or get the game if they haven't yet).
By the way, if you haven't seen it, the Bowling Genius online score calculator is amazing and really makes score-keeping fast. It also lets you see what the bowlers maximum score is in any given frame, so it is very neat.
Thanks again for this great game!