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PBA Status Bowler Money vs. Professional “Amateur” Bowler Earnings & Money

While doing a little research online, I recently ran across an article that said that many “amateur” status bowlers make more money than a lot of the PBA professionals.

In fact, an article from Bowling Digest reads -

The term "amateur” is a misnomer (an error in naming something) when it comes to many amateur bowlers. “Professional bowlers” are usually distinguished as card-carrying members of the PBA. Yet there are countless “pro” bowlers disguised as “amateurs” who earn more money than players on the PBA tour.

Example: Tim Mack, an amateur bowler, earns in excess of $100,000 yearly. He is a dominating force in megabucks tournaments, and although he has yet to annex a title in either the high-roller or eliminator games, he is perhaps the leading money winner in sweepers and brackets year in and year out. In addition, Mack has established his reputation as the top performer on the international scene. Two others, Tore Torgerson of Norway and Tomas Leanderson of Sweden, also are amateurs who earn $100,000 to $200,000 per year.

Since some of you do enter some of the bigger bowling tournaments, and win money locally & regionally (every week), what is your own “take” or opinion about this?

Tags: amateur, bowler, bowling, earnings, money, pba, tour, tournament

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Bowling is one of those exceptions, because of marketabilty and ease of participation. Take golf for example. $600 is the most you can win in cash and prizes at a tournament to stay amateur status. As with bowling, pot games get really high. But think of it this way. Amateur is a job where you get paid under the table with no company benefits and no don't have to pay taxes. Think of pro as the job where you are paid legit but if you add up all the perks. And benefits you are making some money if you look at it that way. Keep in mind free balls, drilling, sponsors. I think Chris Barnes signed the first million dollar sponsorship deal couple years back. That's where the money is. More sponosors, more money, more of the great amateur bowlers will make the commitment.
Was just looking at the qualifying scores for the pba guess who is number 12 right now after 2 games? Tim Mack.
Also a lot of amateur tournaments have where you have to be two years removed from being a pro to participate. They also have sponsor bonuses for bowling 7 in a row and perfect games on t.v. Which range from 10-50 thousand.
Sorry to tell you this but to bowl in the High a Rollers you can never have had a PBA card. Also alot of amatuer tournament will require you to not have had a card in the last 5 years. One miss conception you may have is that amatuer don't pay taxes on their bowling. That is untrue. If you make over $500 in a tournament they have a right to report it. Alot of tournaments don't but the High Rollers do. I have a friend who won over $25k out there some years back and forgot to claim it and now he's paying alot of back money to the IRS. That's somewhere you don't want to be. You have to make sure that you keep your ball and traveling expenses receipt to right off alot of the money you won in big tournaments. There's alot of money to be won as an amatuer but to win the big money at the Pro level you have to consistantly be in the top 15. Think about it there are over 800 Professional bowlers but you only hear about the ones that's making money not spending when you consider bowling and rooming expenses for the year.
Well Chase for me I term myself as a "Non Member" and I think that, that is the perfect term for someone like me. I too bowl for a living and aside from my coaching money, I survive on local tournaments and pot games and brackets and to say I am an amateur I think would be misrepresenting myself and my skill level. But by the same token, I have been to two "Regionals" and did not cash. and it is my goal to be a pro player but until I cash I will stay a non-member. As far as making more money than a pro.....I guess it is entirely possible if you are lucky and live in a good area with plenty of money tourneys and leagues....In my own area I don't make that much but I do pay the bills.
So, a in a city like Dayton, or a lot of the midwest cities, or down in Florida... a non-pro bowler could actually make a decent amount of money every year without ever joining the PBA...right?
Yea just look at where all the tournaments are at. Especially look at the honor scores and things of that nature with a lot of it being from the midwest. With lots of tournys and bracket money. Look at the uba down in fla every month
I want to correct a couple of errors here...the High Roller does allow you to bowl if you've been a member. Your card has to have been inactive for at least three years. I dropped my card in 2004 and bowled the Roller in 2007.

Let's look at this objectively regarding money. If you make $100,000 on tour, you're going to pay about 39% in taxes....have to find your own insurances....and also pay a ton in expenses each week (about $1,000 per week x 22 weeks). It's really not that much money when you think about it for being one of the best on the planet at your craft.

There is some money in endorsements, but not really that much. Barnes deal was 7 figures, but it was stretched over many years. Most incentives for making shows and winning with certain equipment are a couple of thousand dollars.

Most of the guys that are out there do it out of love....not for the fortune.
With the economy like it is, its hard to do anything for the love nowadays
I have to agree with Randy. Most of the guys on tour do it for the LOVE of the game.
The more and more I research the PBA tour, and also the regional PBA (south)... it appears as if the pro bowling thing...or at least the "PBA thing" is not exactly a great way to make a living.

I just checked the 09/10 PBA Tour schedule...and I don't even see what PBA bowlers do in October, November, and most of December etc...

Aug. 30 - Sep. 4, 2009 PBA World Championship Allen Park, MI

?????? ...

Dec. 7 - 13, 2009 Pepsi Red, White and Blue Open presented by the USBC Wichita, KS

?????? ...
?????? ...

Jan. 4 - 10, 2010 Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles Medford, OR
Jan. 12 - 17, 2010 Earl Anthony Memorial Dublin, CA
Jan. 19 - 24, 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions Las Vegas, NV
Jan. 26 - 31, 2010 Dick Weber Open Fountain Valley, CA
Feb. 7 - 7, 2010 Chris Paul PBA Celebrity Invitational Winston-Salem, NC
Feb. 9 - 14, 2010 USBC Masters Reno, NV
Feb. 17 - 21, 2010 Gemini Championship Wheat Ridge, CO
Feb. 21 - 28, 2010 67th Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open Indianapolis, IN
Mar. 1 - 7, 2010 Don Johnson Eliminator Columbus, OH
Mar. 17 - 21, 2010 PBA Match Play Championship Norwich, CT
Mar. 24 - 28, 2010 Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship West Babylon, NY
Mar. 29 - Apr. 4, 2010 Lumber Liquidators Marathon Open Baltimore, MD

And if the in-between time is spent at a PBA regional... am I supposed to believe that all of the these guys are traveling somewhere to go and spend $500+ (entry/hotel/travel)...just to try and win $2500..And that's if they come in 1st????

Can someone who knows explain this to me? (Please)

I ask this because... well, I have a very hard time trying to explain to anyone I know (with a little extra $) why they might consider sponsoring a bowler on the PBA tour.


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