Live World Championship Telecast, International Field, Return to National Bowling Stadium Among GEICO PBA WSOB Storylines

by Jerry Schneider November 25, 2015 03:43

Reno’s National Bowling Stadium has been home to topflight bowling competition for two decades, but in December, Reno will host a professional international showcase for the first time when the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VII presented by Silver Legacy visits town Dec. 7-19.

The 2015 WSOB lives up to its name as the premier international showcase of professional bowling competition, featuring a field of more than 230 players representing a record 22 countries.

The WSOB will conduct six PBA Tour events, and a special PBA Challenge Finals all to be televised by ESPN.

Live Rolltech PBA World Championship Finals - For the first time in 14 years, a PBA Tour telecast returns to a live prime-time time slot when the Rolltech PBA World Championship finals air live on ESPN on Thursday, Dec. 17 at 4 p.m. (7 p.m. ET).  The World Championship is the fourth and final major of the 2015 season.

An international showcase  – As the premier showcase of international professional bowling competition, the World Series will feature representation from a record 22 countries, including a group of eight players from the People’s Republic of China, representing an emerging market for bowling in the world’s most populous nation. 

The preliminary list of countries represented includes Argentina, Australia, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Colombia, China, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland Japan, Mexico, Philippines, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Venezuela and the United States.

Other ESPN telecasts: In addition to the World Championship, ESPN will tape the finals of five other PBA Tour events on Dec. 18 and 19.  For a list of events and taping times click here:

Is two-handed bowling revolutionizing the sport? Australia’s Jason Belmonte is recognized as the premier two-handed bowler in the world, but he’s far from being the only one. Finland’s Osku Palermaa also has made a mark on the sport with his high-speed, high-rev two-handed technique, and the WSOB will showcase some other emerging two-handed stars: Texas teenager Anthony Simonsen, Swedish teen Jesper Svensson and Southwest Region star Shawn Maldonado. It’s a new way to play the game and it’s a technique that is growing in popularity among youngsters just getting started.

PBA Hall of Famers entered: The field includes six PBA Hall of Famers – Tom Baker, Parker Bohn III, Norm Duke, Amleto Monacelli, Pete Weber and Walter Ray Williams Jr.

Past World Championship winners entered: Dom Barrett (Dec. 2013), Parker Bohn III (Jan. 2013), Osku Palermaa (2012), Tom Smallwood (2009), Walter Ray Williams Jr. (2001, ’03, ’06),  Norm Duke (2008 (2), 2000), Pete Weber (1989, ’98), Tom Baker (2004), Patrick Allen (2005).

Boston Red Sox star Mookie Betts to make PBA debut: Emerging Boston Red Sox outfield star Mookie Betts will make his professional bowling debut during WSOB VII. The Nashville resident was a standout youth bowler and wants to test his bowling skills against the best in the world in Reno where he’ll compete in the four animal pattern events.

“Xtra Frame” provides world-wide exposure for PBA – Xtra Frame, the PBA’s online television channel, will provide approximately 75 hours of live coverage of qualifying and match play rounds during the World Series, providing the PBA with global exposure. The subscription-based webcasting service continues to show steady growth as one element of the PBA’s comprehensive social media presence, which also includes growing audiences on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

World Series to play role in determining Player of the Year – With two major titles won earlier in 2015 (USBC Masters and Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions), Jason Belmonte is the leading contender to win his third consecutive Player of the Year crown. The last player to win three consecutive Player of the Year crowns was PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. who earned the crown in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

The World Series Tour events will conclude the 2015 PBA Tour season. The telecasts will begin airing on consecutive Sundays beginning with the PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Mobile Challenge Game presented by Concrete Software and Sunday, Dec. 20 at 1 p.m. ET. For complete WSOB TV schedule visit

Rolltech PBA World Championship wagering: For the first time bowling fans of legal gambling age will be able to bet on the outcome of the World Championship through sports book venues in Las Vegas and Reno. Reno properties offering World Championship wagering include the Silver Legacy and Circus Circus. Las Vegas properties that will offer World Championship wagering are Aria, Bellagio, Circus Circus, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Mirage, Monte Carlo, New York New York.

PBA Tour rookies in the spotlight as well: 2015 may be producing the best crop of “rookies” the PBA has seen in years. Among the top contenders for Rookie of the Year honors are: 18-year-old Anthony Simonsen of Princeton, Texas; collegiate star A.J. Johnson of Oswego, Ill.; USBC Open Championships record-setter Matt McNiel of Prior Lake, Minn., and Jakob Butturff of Chandler, Ariz.

Six women entered: Women entered include: Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif.; Elise Bolton, Merritt Island, Fla.; Liz Kuhlkin, Rotterdam, N.Y.; April Lord-Wittig, Steilacom, Wash.; Inngellimar Beasley, Venezuela, and Yuka Tsuchiya, Japan.

PBA Challenge Finals highlight other aspects of PBA: The PBA created the “PBA Challenge Finals” two years ago to provide a national showcase for other aspects of PBA competition – PBA Regionals, PBA Women’s Regionals, the PBA50 Tour and youth bowlers via the Teen Masters. The PBA Regional and renamed PWBA-PBA Women’s Regional program invites the top player in competition points from each of the PBA’s eight regions to bowl a qualifying event for two berths in the ESPN-televised finals. The PBA50 Tour’s top eight players also bowl a qualifying event with the top two meeting in the ESPN finals event, and the Teen Masters boys’ and girls’ high school champions round out the PBA Challenge Finals field for the title as Teen Masters Grand Champion.

Reno’s role in professional bowling history – Reno has hosted topflight bowling competition since 1977 when the Reno-Sparks Convention Center was the host of the American Bowling Congress (USBC) Championships Tournament. Since then, Reno has hosted many PBA and USBC events which have been some of the biggest bowling events in history.

PBA Tour events include “animal pattern” lane conditions – Four of the World Series events – the Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion Championship – are names applied to specific PBA lane conditioning patterns. Each different lane condition requires players to be on top of their games in making the right lane and equipment adjustments to be successful. The ability to excel on all four lane conditioning challenges will ultimately determine the PBA World Championship winner.

Each lane condition for World Series ESPN telecasts will feature the “blue oil” lane conditioner to give fans a unique visual reference of what players must navigate when competing in the finals.

2014 Tour champions return to defend titles – Three World Series of Bowling VI champions who will be returning to defend their titles are Anthony Pepe (Cheetah Championship), DJ Archer (Chameleon Championship) and Michael Haugen Jr. (Scorpion Championship). Mika Koivuniemi (Viper Championship) and Mike Fagan (PBA World Championship) are semi-active this season and are not entered. Koivuniemi, who has experienced chronic back issues, currently is coaching the United Arab Emirates national team and Fagan has returned to school in pursuit of a master’s degree.

Admission tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door - .  For ticket information click on

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PBA50 Tour Adds Treasure Island Resort & Casino PBA50 World Championship to 2016 Schedule as Third Major

by Jerry Schneider November 24, 2015 04:51

The PBA has announced a 13-tournament PBA50 Tour schedule for 2016 which includes a new PBA50 World Championship as a third major championship.

The Treasure Island Resort & Casino PBA50 World Championship presented by Storm and hosted by Island Xtreme Bowl in Welch, Minn., will join the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open and USBC Senior Masters as major championships for players 50 years of age and older.

Island Xtreme Bowl has hosted the Treasure Island Resort & Casino Open as a standard PBA50 Tour event the past three seasons, but has worked with the PBA in recent months to enhance the event to “major” status. The 2016 event will be conducted July 17-23.

The new PBA50 World Championship will be a scaled-down version of the PBA World Championship, providing a test of versatility and endurance by employing qualifying, match play and stepladder final stages on the PBA’s Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion lane conditions. Each of the three animal pattern stages also will award prize money and a PBA50 regional title. Combined qualifying pinfall totals for the three animal pattern stages will determine the match play finalists for the PBA50 World Championship, leading up to a five-player stepladder final. 

The Senior U.S. Open presented by 900 Global will again be hosted by the Suncoast Hotel, Casino and Bowling Center in Las Vegas May 29-June 3 and the USBC Senior Masters moves to Sam’s Town Bowling Center in Las Vegas June 19-25.

PBA50 Tour events will again be webcast live on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. Details regarding the Xtra Frame schedule will be announced later.

For the fourth consecutive year, the season begins with the PBA50 Pasco County Florida Open at Lane Glo Bowl in New Port Richey, Fla., and concludes with the PBA50 Pro Bowl West Championship presented by Ebonite Aug. 6-9 and the PBA60 Dick Weber Championship Aug. 11-13 – both at Pro Bowl West in Fort Wayne, Ind. Only players 60 years of age and older will be eligible to enter the Dick Weber Championship.

Also returning to the 2016 schedule will be events in The Villages, Fla.; Mooresville, N.C.; Farmingdale, N.Y.; Fountain Valley, Calif.; Brentwood, Calif., and Hammond, Ind. New to the schedule will be the PBA50 Dave Small’s Championship Lanes Classic in Anderson, Ind., in late summer.

Among the players who may debut as PBA50 rookies in 2016 are four-time Tour winner Dennis Horan Jr. and one-time winner Mike Shady. PBA Tour title-winners turning 50 later in 2016 who will be eligible in 2017 are five-time PBA Tour titlist Ryan Shafer, four-time Tour winner Michael Haugen Jr. and one-time Tour winner Brian Kretzer.

PBA will begin taking entries for PBA50 Tour events beginning Feb. 1, 2016.


April 16-19 – PBA50 Pasco County Open, Lane Glo Bowl, New Port Richey, Fla.

April 23-26 – PBA50 Sun Bowl in The Villages presented by Radical, Spanish Springs Lanes, The Villages, Fla.

May 1-4 – PBA50 Mooresville Open presented by Columbia 300, George Pappas Victory Lanes, Mooresville, N.C.

May 7-10 – PBA50 Johnny Petraglia BVL Open presented by Brunswick, Farmingdale Lanes, Farmingdale, N.Y.

May 29-June 3 – Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open presented by 900 Global, Suncoast Bowling Center, Las Vegas (major)

June 5-8 – PBA50 Fountain Valley Open presented by Track, Fountain Bowl, Fountain Valley, Calif.

June 12-15 – PBA Northern California Classic presented by MOTIV, Harvest Park Bowl, Brentwood, Calif.

June 19-25 – USBC Senior Masters, Sam’s Town Bowling Center, Las Vegas (major).

July 17-23 – PBA50 Treasure Island Resort & Casino PBA World Championship presented by Storm, Island Xtreme Bowl, Welch, Minn. (major).

July 25-28 – PBA50 South Shore Open presented by DV8, Olympia Lanes, Hammond, Ind.

July 31-Aug. 3 – PBA50 Dave Small’s Championship Lanes Classic presented by Roto Grip, Dave Small’s Championship Lanes, Anderson, Ind.

Aug. 6-9 -- PBA50 Pro Bowl West Championship presented by Ebonite, Pro Bowl West, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Aug. 11-13 – PBA60 Dick Weber National Championship presented by Hammer, Pro Bowl West, Fort Wayne, Ind.

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Place Your Bets: Reno/Las Vegas Properties to Offer Fans the Opportunity to Wager on Rolltech PBA World Championship

by Jerry Schneider November 17, 2015 09:05

For the first time, bowling fans of legal gambling age will be able to wager on the outcome of the 2015 Rolltech PBA World Championship through sports book venues in Las Vegas and Reno.

The crown jewel of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VII presented by Silver Legacy will be the season’s final major championship and it will include the first live prime-time telecast of a PBA Tour event in 14 years when the stepladder finals get underway at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. local time) on ESPN Thursday, Dec. 17 at Reno’s National Bowling Stadium.

Reno properties offering World Championship wagering include the Silver Legacy and Circus Circus. Las Vegas properties offering World Championship wagering are the Aria, Bellagio, Circus Circus, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Mirage, Monte Carlo and New York New York. Wagers may be placed in person at any of the properties’ sports book locations. PBA staff, contractors and World Series participants (members and non-members) are prohibited from making wagers on the event.

The focal point of the World Championship will be the PBA Tour’s ultimate test of versatility and endurance, both physical and mental. The five players who qualify for the ESPN stepladder finals will survive a total of 66 games of qualifying and round-robin match play bowled on the PBA’s Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon, Scorpion and World Championship lane conditions between Dec 8-13.

The opening line odds for wagering on the World Championship are as follows, as of Nov. 17. The odds were established by Jay Rood, Vice President of Race and Sports for MGM Resorts International based on performances in past PBA World Championships and PBA Tour competition in recent years. Based on that information, Rood has established Australia’s Jason Belmonte, the winner of four major titles over the past two years, as a 7/2 favorite in the opening line followed by Bill O’Neill at 9/2, Wes Malott at 5/1 and Sean Rash at 7/1. Rood also has established Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts, who will be bowling PBA competition for the first time, as a 200/1 longshot.

The opening line includes:

Jason Belmonte 7/2
Bill O’Neill 9/2
Wes Malott 5/1
Sean Rash 7/1
Osku Palermaa 10/1
Ryan Ciminelli 10/1
Rhino Page 15/1
Dom Barrett 15/1
Parker Bohn III 15/1
Choi Bok-Eum 20/1
Pete Weber 20/1
EJ Tackett 20/1
Ronnie Russell 20/1
Tommy Jones 25/1
Norm Duke 30/1
Tom Daugherty 35/1
Shawn Maldonado 35/1
Stuart Williams 40/1
Anthony Pepe 40/1
Walter Ray Williams Jr. 50/1
Tom Smallwood 50/1
Josh Blanchard 50/1
Scott Norton 50/1
Mookie Betts 200/1
Field 3/1

Between the time match play concludes on Dec. 13 and before the stepladder finals begin at 4 p.m. PT on Dec. 17, MGM Resorts International will post a new line so that wagers can be placed for the five players who qualify for the stepladder finals.

Bowling fans can keep tabs on all the action leading up to the stepladder finals by watching live comprehensive coverage of all preliminary rounds via PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. For subscription information, visit and click on the Xtra Frame link.

ESPN telecast tickets for the World Championship are $10 and $20. All tickets, which can be purchased in advance through the “tickets” link on or at the door, are general admission.

While a first for the World Championship, it is not the first time wagering has been offered on PBA events. The Red Rock Bowling Center and former Showboat Lanes in Las Vegas have offered wagering on PBA events in the past.

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Ryan Ciminelli Wins U.S. Open for First Major Title

by Jerry Schneider November 8, 2015 09:11

By Terry Bigham, USBC Communications

Top qualifier Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, New York, captured his first major title by winning the final match at the Bowlmor AMF U.S. Open on Sunday.

Ciminelli, who led the field by 461 pins to earn the top spot in the stepladder finals, held off Dom Barrett of Colchester, England, 236-223, in the title match at AMF Garland Lanes.

“I thought I would get a major eventually in my career, but never in a million years did I think it would be the U.S. Open, especially the first one,” said Ciminelli, who was making his fifth TV show appearance in a major. “I said it before and I’ll say it again, I just don’t believe it.”

Holding a four-pin lead heading into the final frame, Ciminelli, who notched his fourth career PBA Tour title, knew he needed the first two strikes to close out Barrett, the No. 4 seed who had won three matches to reach the final.

“I was just focused on one shot at a time, not looking at the eagle, not looking at the jacket, and just bowling the best game I could bowl,” said Ciminelli, the only left-hander in the field to reach the 24-player cut to match play. “When I needed those two in the 10th to lock him out, I knew I couldn’t give him a chance. Both of our looks were good and then I would have had to rely on a bad break or something. I wasn’t OK with that. I wanted to win on the approach and not sitting down.”

It was Ciminelli’s second consecutive Tour win having won the Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open two weeks ago.

Barrett had taken out the defending champion and two hall of famers to reach the title match.

“I bowled really well this week and almost made the most of it,” Barrett said. “Ryan is a very deserving champion. He ran away with the lead and he did deserve to win.”

In the semifinal match, Barrett slipped past five-time U.S. Open champion Pete Weber of St. Ann, Missouri, 218-200. After failing to convert a 3-4 split in the sixth, Weber struck in the seventh and eighth to have a chance but then left back-to-back 10 pins.

Barrett topped defending champion Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, in the opening match, 221-217, and was on the ropes against two-time U.S. Open winner Norm Duke of Clermont, Florida, in the second match.

Duke, needing two strikes to close out Barrett in the 10th, struck on his first shot but then left the 10 pin on his second. Barrett stepped up and fired three strikes in the final frame for a 259-255 victory.

“I was just trying to figure out the lanes and make good shots,” Barrett said. “That setup in the 10th against Norm to strike out was one of my better frames. I bowled solid, had a good idea what I was doing. It was one of my better TV shows.”

The starting field of 275 bowlers at the 2015 U.S. Open completed 24 qualifying games over three days before the field was cut to the top 92. The 32-game pinfall totals determined the 24 players for the 24 games of match play. After 24 games of match play, the top five advanced to the finals.


At AMF Garland Lanes, Garland, Texas

Sunday’s results

Final standings

1, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y. (one game), $50,000

2, Dominic Barrett, Colchester, England (four games), $25,000

3, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo. (one game), $15,000

4, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla. (one game), $10,000

5, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas (one game), $8,000

Stepladder results

Match One – Barrett def. Malott, 221-217

Match Two – Barrett def. Duke, 259-255

Semifinal – Barrett def. Weber, 218-200

Championship – Ciminelli def. Barrett, 236-223

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Ciminelli, Weber, Duke, Barrett, Malott Advance to U.S. Open Finals

by Jerry Schneider November 7, 2015 17:11

By Terry Bigham, USBC Communications

Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, New York, continued his strong run at the 2015 Bowlmor AMF U.S. Open on Saturday, leading the field by 461 pins to earn his fifth TV appearance in a major tournament.

Ciminelli earned the top qualifying spot for Sunday’s TV finals with a 13,445 pinfall total for 56 games, including bonus pins, to outdistance USBC and PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber of St. Ann, Missouri.

Sunday’s stepladder finals will be televised live on CBS Sports Network starting a 1 p.m. (Eastern). The winner will take home the top prize of $50,000.

“If you would have told me that I would ever in my life lead the U.S. Open into the show, I would have told you that you were crazy,” Ciminelli said. “It’s just not that tournament for me, it hasn’t been for the nine years I’ve been out here. But everything went right, things fell into place.

“What I’ve accomplished might sink in over the next week or so, but for right now I’m just going to put that aside and focus on one match.”

Dom Barrett of Colchester, England, qualified third followed by two-time U.S. Open winner Norm Duke of Clermont, Florida. Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, who won the U.S. Open the last time it was held in 2013, will have the opportunity to defend his title on the TV show.

“As far as defending the title, obviously that’s one of the things we all want to be able to do and not only that but to do it close to home,” said Malott, who rolled a perfect game Saturday. “I have a feeling a lot of family and friends will make the trip to come and see it.”

Weber, who already has the record for most U.S. Open titles with five, would pass Earl Anthony for most major titles if he wins Sunday. Weber and Anthony each have 10 major titles.

“When I am out here just bowling I try not to think about that because I don’t need to put any more pressure on myself,” Weber said. “It would be great to go around Earl in major titles. It’s Earl Anthony … come on.”

The starting field of 275 bowlers at the 2015 U.S. Open completed 24 qualifying games over three days, before the field was cut to the top 92. The 32-game pinfall totals determined the 24 players for the 24 games of match play.

For complete match play results visit

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