(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) As Oman gears up to host its first major regional level bowling event later this month, the Oman Bowling Committee (OBC) on Sunday announced the details of the 2013 GCC Bowling Championship for men that will be held at the Oman Bowling Centre in Al Khuwayr from December 22-29.
At the press meet, the OBC also launched the logo of the competition in which all six GCC nations will vie for top honours across five categories - single, double, triple, masters and team.
The tournament will be inaugurated by H E Sheikh Saad al Saadi, the Minister of Sports Affairs, during the opening ceremony that will be held on December 23.
H E Sheikh Rashad al Hinai, the Undersecretary at the Ministry of Sports Affairs, will preside over the closing ceremony on December 29.
Said Rashid al Qatabi, the OBC chairman, told Muscat Daily, ''This is the first time Oman is hosting a major bowling event. It will help spread awareness about the sport in the country. Although the OBC is just a year old, we have been able to organise more than 15 local tournaments in 2013 for professional players. We hosted many other events as well to find and encourage new talent. This, in turn, has given us the confidence to organise this major event.''
The OBC had initially tried to include women's events as well in the coming GCC meet, but it had to scrap the idea because the existing size of the bowling arena at Al Khuwayr isn't big enough.
Qatabi said, ''We have always promoted women's bowling teams - at the school, university and national levels. But unfortunately, we have just ten lanes (bowling alleys) at the Oman Bowling Centre. This makes it difficult to accommodate so many players for so many events in such a short span of time.
''The coming tournament will see matches being played daily over a 12-hour stretch, from 9am-9pm. Now, to conduct both men's and women's events in that time span, we would require at least 16 lanes.''
The OBC, however, is currently constructing an 18-lane bowling centre in Al Hail. It is also looking to train young players in the coming months and wants to host the 2015 Arab Championship.
Meanwhile, the home team seems to be ready for the big event, with Oman coach Jun Trasporto, who took charge earlier this year, having picked his six-member team.
It includes Moosa al Maimani, Ismail al Zadjali, Ghalib al Busaidi, Mohammed al Hashmi, Hassan al Kharusi and Mahmood al Hadidi.
Trasporto said, ''Our team will face tough competition from UAE, which is the current GCC champion. But our boys have definitely improved over the course of the year.''
The Canadian added, ''It is difficult to begin from scratch. After participating in international events in UAE and South Korea, they have realised there is a lot to learn. They have definitely stepped up their commitment level and have improve