It appears there will be a new wrinkle in this year’s Peoria River City 50+ Handicap Tournament, scheduled for the first week in October at Mount Hawley Bowl.


Rather than having different age groups for both men and women who are at least 50 years of age by the start of the tournament, there will be divisions based on averages in this year’s event.


In singles, the singles divisions, the A division will be for 160 average and below, B will be for bowlers averaging between 161 and 199, and C will be for bowlers averaging 200 and above. In doubles, A division will be for teams averaging a combined 320 and below, B between 321 and 399, and C 400 and above.


There also will be a mixed doubles division with the same breakdown as the regular doubles event.


Entry fee will be $25 per person, per event, and squad times are set for 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Oct. 3, and at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Oct. 4. Handicap will be 90 percent of 225.


Prior to this year’s tournament, the divisions were assigned according to a bowler’s age. Class A was for bowlers age 70 and older, B for bowlers between the ages of 65-69, C 60-64, D 55-59 and E 50-54.


"The main reason we changed this year is because we noticed that a lot of the age groups only had like two or three bowlers in it, especially on the women’s side," said Jennifer Mauerman, a member of the Peoria association’s board of directors and a member of the tournament committee that made the changes. "So, as far as the prize fund went, they were barely getting back what they spent.


"So, it was more or less decided to go to an average-based event. And we do have some 50-and-over members on that committee that helped us decide a decent average breakdown."


The one thing that will remain the same for the age divisions will be the award for the all-events winners in each bracket.


"The all-events is still going to be broken down by age group, since we send them to state," Mauerman said.


There will be no charge to the area seniors for all events, but because of the age breakdown for all events, bowlers need to mark down their age on the tournament entry form.


JUST MADE IT


When I first saw the rules for this year’s senior event, I didn’t think I would qualify to bowl in it unless I wanted to bowl scratch.


According to the rules, a bowler must use his or h er highest USBC certified average (winter or summer) for the 2019-20 season, with a minimum of 21 games.


I did not bowl in a league last season, but did sub a few times at Mt. Hawley Bowl and at Landmark Lanes.


But because of the COVID shutdown, I ended up with only 12 games in the books. That’s not enough to qualify for the tournament.


The second average rule, however, states that if a bowler doesn’t have a 21-game average from the previous season, he or she can use their current USBC certified average, with a minimum of 15 games, by providing a league standing sheet.


I do bowl in the Saturday Night Mixed league at Mt. Hawley, and am in the process of establishing an average.


But, because the league took the night off on the Saturday before Labor Day, it looked like I was going to come up short, with only 12 games by the start of the senior event.


We do bowl on the night of the first day of the tournament, on Oct. 3. So that will qualify me to bowl on the Sunday squads, providing I can show a 15-game average from that league.


I hope there is a good turnout for the event, and the area seniors support it. I’m just glad that I will be able to bowl in it again. That should be fun.


SENIOR STATE


The 42nd Annual Illinois State Senior Tournament will be held at Bel Air Bowl in Belleville on the weekends of Oct. 24-25, Oct. 31-Nov. 1, and Nov. 7-8.


Squad times are scheduled for noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturdays, and 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. on Sundays.


Entry fee will be $25, plus $2 for optional all events, and handicap will be 100 percent of 220. So, scores could be pretty high.


Johnny Campos is the Journal Star bowling columnist. He can be reached at 686-3214 or jcampos@pjstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @JohnnyCampos59.