Bowlers must average at least a 200 score over 36 games or 190 over 36 games within a league certified by the U.S. Bowling Congress to join the Professional Bowlers Association. Another qualification option is to win money within the PBA's regional tournaments, PBA Tour qualifying rounds or PBA open tournaments.
Bowlers who qualify to join the Professional Bowlers Association have several membership options. A standard membership, which costs $144 a year, as of 2015, allows members to compete in three PBA Regional Tour events and one PBA Tour or PBA50 Tour event with discounted entry fees. PGA50 covers bowlers 50 years of age and older.
Full membership costs $300 a year. Members receive the same benefits as standard members and the ability to bowl in an unlimited number of eligible tournaments.
PBA24 covers bowlers age 18 to 24 with a $49 yearly fee. Members are eligible to compete in three PBA Regional Tour events, one PBA Tour event and certain PBA Tour open-field tournaments.
Members of the World Tenpin Bowling Association are eligible to join the PBA for a $99 yearly fee. They must upgrade to full PBA membership if they win a PBA Tour event. Members are eligible to bowl in three PBA Regional Tour and one PBA Tour events as well as certain PBA Tour open-field tournaments and the World Series of Bowling.