The Hoinke Classic originated in 1943 during World War II when Mr. Erwin C. Hoinke, Sr., and Mr. Clarence Stegner involved themselves in a patriotic endeavor to assist the cause of the United States and also promote interest in bowling. The prizes during these early years were War Bonds and Stamps.
During this period the tournament was a Singles and Doubles Classic for bowlers averaging 182 and under. Mr. Stegner donated the First Prize of a $1,000.00 War Bond each year.
The Singles format as it is today started in 1950 with 532 entries and a $1,000.00 First Prize. Mr. Hoinke, well known in the bowling business, gave great credibility to the tournament and through his persistent efforts, a steady growth in entries and prize money evolved.
In 1960 a Team event was introduced with a First Prize of $1,500.00 and 416 entries. In 1980 there were 6,146 entries and a First Prize of $40.000.00. With both the Singles and Team events growing each year, additional lanes were made available when the Singles event moved to its present location at Western Bowl. In 1965 the Doubles event was started with 1915 entries and a First Prize of $2,000.00. The great popularity of this event produced 14,920 entries in 1980 and a First Prize of $30,000.00.
In 1970 "old Hoinke Lanes" was phased out and all three events were conducted at the present location. The larger facility made it possible to accommodate many more bowlers and a steady pattern of continued growth followed.
Bowlers have been attracted to the Classic from near and far. The Big Money prizes strike hard at the competitive and gambling instincts of both the scratch and handicap bowlers.
Growth over the past 50 years has resulted in 22 consecutive payoffs of over $1,000,000.00. Participants, both men and women, come from all over the world to Cincinnati to enjoy the competition. To equalize lower average bowlers, the bowler receives additional pins which are added to their total score. Whomever knocks down the most pins plus their handicap pins is the winner. Everyone has a chance in the Hoinke Classic as proven by Canadian Toni Schroeder. When this petite, 130 pound, 5'3" lady who averages 160 used a 12 1/2# ball to win the $50,000.00 First Prize check in 1980.
The Hoinke Classic is sanctioned by the United States Bowling Congress. For additional information, call 1-800-543-4010 or 1-513-574-2200, or write the Hoinke Classic, 6383 Glenway Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45211