Men and women competed in separate divisions. Each division consisted of 84 players - 45 local bowlers (15 each from three pre-qualifying tournament), the top 16 of the international trials (Feb. 7 and 8), as well as 23 seeded and invited players.
All 84 men and 84 women bowled nine games of qualifying divided into three blocks of three games. Based on the nine-game total, the top 24 men and the top 24 women advanced to the semifinals.
Those 24 bowled another two three-game blocks on Friday with the pinfall from the qualifying being carried forward. The top 9 men and the top 9 women with the highest 15-game total qualified for the TV Finals.
The top three in each division advanced straight to the TV stepladder finals on Saturday, while bowlers seeded fourth to ninth determined the No. 4 seed for the stepladder in a single-game shoot-out match.
In the TV stepladder finals, which were broadcasted nationwide by NHK Global Media Services, Inc., were staged on specially constructed lanes in Diamond Hall on the second floor of the building.
In the stepladder, the No. 4 seed bowled the No. 3 seed. The winner of the single-game match took on the No. 2 seed for the right to bowl the No. 1 seed for the title.
The prize money for each division was the same, with the men's and women’s winner each taking 6 million Yen or more than US$77,000, with US$38,500 and US$19,250 going to the second and third place finishers, respectively.
Photos courtesy of Hero Noda.