Saturday, April 26, 2014

2014 USBC Women's Nationals, Reno Convention Center

This past week, I bowled my first USBC Women's National Tournament at the Reno Convention Center. Unlike the less than stellar accommodations in my first women's state tournament (Fresno) in 2012, this is the way tournaments should be done.

My teammates are all longtime bowlers: Kathy, my Monday night teammate, bowled juniors as a kid. She remains friends with many her teammates, who still bowl leagues and tournaments.

Then there's Jan and Wilma. Jan and Wilma bowl with my other Monday night teammate Mark on Thursday nights. Both have bowled for nearly as long as I've been alive.

The biggest highlight in attending this tournament was to see Jan get recognized for her 50th consecutive Women's National tournament (see article on

L to R: Lani, Jan, Wilma, Kathy
Unlike the National Bowling Stadium in downtown Reno, the lanes where we bowled were not a permanent part of the convention center.

For the first time this year in the USBC Women's Championships, bowlers were classified according to average. No handicap scoring was used. Our team bowled in the Emerald division (575-649 combined average). When Kathy and I bowled doubles, we were in Division 4 (290-319 combined average).

As a tournament participant (and being part of Jan's team certainly helped), Kathy and I got a $20 discount toward any purchase in the pro shop and gift store. I got a couple of towels and an ID tag for my 2-ball roller.

Kathy used her discount to buy a new Storm 3-ball roller bag for her son, who needs the bag to carry his bowling balls and shoes for a junior tournament next weekend in Orange County (southern California). He's competing for a spot in the Junior Gold Championship which will be held this July in Buffalo, New York.

It was very, very cool to see my name on the big scoreboard. During doubles, each bowler's home city was listed next to her name. I was never prouder to see "San Francisco, CA" next to mine. Only wish my series had been as big as my name on the scoreboard.

Because this was a weekday trip, Kathy got me a killer Groupon deal at the Grand Sierra Resort, which is near the Reno-Tahoe airport.

For $59, we got a 2-night stay with waived resort fee, free room wi-fi, and 2-day complimentary breakfast buffets for 2.

Like cruise ships, the Grand Sierra features amenities that make it possible that you'd never have to leave the hotel. Within the hotel there's a Starbucks, Johnny Rockets, Round Table Pizza, Port of Subs, a wedding chapel and a pool area called "The Beach".

My absolute favorite amenity: the 24-hour, 50 lane bowling center.

Grand Sierra's 24-hour, 50 lane bowling center

It's definitely my first choice on a future Reno trip -- when I'm not there to bowl in a tournament.

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