In 1987, Medford Lanes proprietor Roy Rider created the Southern Oregon All Stars scratch bowling tournament series for competitive bowlers in the Southern Oregon region. Initially, the organization bowled tournaments in Medford, Roseburg, Grants Pass, North Bend and Myrtle Creek. The tournament association generally saw fields in the 50-60 entry range in the beginning, before drawing over 100 competitors to events regularly throughout the early to mid 90’s.
Over the years the geographical reach for the organization has expanded to host tournaments in Bend, Klamath Falls, Eugene, and Redding, California. The bowlers that compete each month come from areas that include the I-5 corridor in Oregon, the Oregon coast, and Northern California spanning as far East as Bend & Lakeview. In the 2018-2019 season, an average of 83 competitors took part in the each of the monthly tournaments.
Around 2010 the organization changed its name to the Southern Oregon Bowling Association (SOBA), the name we carry to this day.
These days we are an organization made up of member and non-member scratch bowlers, with yearly membership around approximately 150 bowlers.
We schedule eight tournaments each season, with our current schedule running from September through May.
The ninth tournament of our season is an invitational tournament known as our Grand Finals, which is open only to the top 16 bowlers from the season points standings, as well as 8 bowlers that come out of a qualifier to complete our elite 24 bowler field. The Grand Finals regularly has a prize fund of over $7500, with past prize funds being over $10,000 in some seasons. The qualifier into our Grand Finals tournament comes from a field of bowlers that bowled at least 5 of our monthly tournaments that did not finish in the top 16 in our yearly point standings. This tournament is a showcase of those who performed the best over the course of the season as determined by the season long points list.
You can see our list of past SOBA tournament champions here.