The Southern Oregon Bowling Association (SOBA) is an annual tour of scratch bowling tournaments hosted at a variety of locations throughout Southwestern Oregon.
Back in the 80’s and 90’s this organization was known as the Southern Oregon All Stars.
SOBA hosts one tournament per month from from Late August through early mid March. Participants in these tournaments accumulate points based on their results that build over the course of the season.
You can bowl in these tournaments as a guest or a regular member.
Members generate points in each tournament they bowl and those that bowl in enough events throughout the year (and generate enough points) have a shot at bowling in the Grand Finals, an invitation only event at the end of the year.
The top 16 points winners are seeded straight into the Grand Finals which is typically held in April and the remaining eligible bowlers have to bowl for ther remaining 8-spots.
The Grand Finals is a 2-day event where bowlers play 16-games of match play and everyone on the top 24 wins money.
The SOBA events are usually well attended, usually drawing 70-90 entries per tournament and entries have been trending upwards in recent years too reaching capacity in many events.
On each tour stop bowlers typically bowl on variations of a house shot or some recreational pattern however 2-3 stops per year are contested on sport or challenge patterns with much lower ratios.
Advance pattern information for each event is not usually released prior to the weekend that each event is held.
Common tour stops include tournaments in the following:
- Hanscam’s Bowl, Klamath Falls, OR
- Epicenter Bowl, Klamath Falls, OR
- Lava Lanes, Bend, OR
- Lava Lanes, Medford, OR
- Caveman Bowl, Grants Pass, OR
- Ten Down Bowling Center, Roseburg, OR
- Emerald Lanes, Eugene OR
- North Bend Lanes, North Bend, OR
You can learn more about The SOBA bowling tournaments of south Oregon on their main website: http://www.thesoba.com/ or on their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Southern-Oregon-Bowlers-Association-104298426295141/
SOBA bowling tournaments are purposfully designed to give competitive bowlers in a wide geographic area a place to compete without having to force bowlers to drive 4-5 hours into a metropolitan area.
Events are usually competitive but casual in nature and many bowlers treat SOBA events as a monthly get-together among friends.
Over the years SOBA events have served a dual purpose as fund raisers for various charitable causes and they sometimes are organized around non-bowling events just for the fun of it.
Youth bowlers are eligible to bowl in SOBA bowling events and all prize monies awarded go right into their youth SMART accounts.
Their are additional prize incentives for senior and super senior bowlers as well as women bowlers.
Brackets are normally run on site with occasional pot games and series’ held as an optional buy in.
The vast majority of SOBA tournaments are 5-game qualifying blocks cutting to the top 24 for matchplay. Scores in the qualifying round frequently impact seeding in matchplay but don’t usually rollover.
Final rounds of each tournament can vary from event to event but more often than not the finals are formatted as a stepladder where the winner of seeds 5, 4, and 3 plays the 2nd seed with the winner of that match playing the number one seed.
Every summer the full schedule for the year to come is released but usually the first tournament of the year is around the 20th of August and every tournament thereafter is held around the 2nd weekend of the month.
Again, check the SOBA website for compete details, bylaws, and contact information for board members.
This organization is more than 30-years old so it’s pretty well established and respected in the Southern Oregon bowling community.