No Shortage of Compelling Storylines for GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI; Catch All the Action on Xtra Frame

by Jerry Schneider October 21, 2014 08:43

The GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI is just three days away and there’s no shortage of storylines for PBA fans.

It’s not too late to sign up for pba’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame and take advantage of the 2015 Xtra Frame season ticket special offer which includes this year’s World Series. Just click on the red banner at the top of the pba.com homepage.

Competition begins Friday (Oct. 24) with the $10,000 winner-take-all All-In Showdown between actor JT “Action” Jackson and PBA star Chris Barnes at 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. local time) to be followed immediately by PBA Challenge match play qualifying involving eight PBA Regional, eight PBA Women’s Regional and eight PBA50 Tour competitors.

Xtra Frame will provide more than 60 hours of live coverage throughout the World Series and PBA Hall of Famer Marshall Holman joins the Xtra Frame announce booth as color commentator during the Tour events.

Finals for World Series events (except the PBA World Championship) will be taped by ESPN on Nov. 1-2 in the South Point’s new Bowling Plaza. If you’re in the area it’s also not too late to attend the tapings.

Admission is free for the television productions but a ticket is still required.  Tickets are available by clicking on http://www.pba.com/Tickets/ or at the South Point Bowling Center.

Here are some of the 2014 storylines:

Full field representing 20 countries: A capacity field of 240 of the world’s greatest professional bowlers representing 20 countries will compete in the premier showcase of bowling competition. 

Among the 20 countries entered include first-time representatives from Belgium, the British Virgin Islands, China and Latvia. The preliminary list of countries represented includes Argentina (1), Australia (5), Belgium (1), Bermuda (2), British Virgin Islands (2), Canada (3), China (6), Colombia (9), Denmark (2), Ecuador (3), England (5), Finland (2), Germany (3), Ireland (1), Japan (5), Latvia (1), Mexico (2), Sweden (8), Venezuela (10) and the United States (168).

ESPN Finals to christen South Point’s new Bowling Plaza: The ESPN-taped finals for the World Series events, which will take place on Nov. 1 and 2, will be the first bowling events conducted in South Point’s new Bowling Plaza.

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

Former Major League Baseball pitcher John Burkett to make PBA World Series debut: Former Major League pitcher John Burkett will make his PBA World Series Tour debut. Burkett, who spent 17 seasons (1987-2003) in the majors with five teams, had a 166-136 career record and made two All-Star Game appearances (1993, 2001). An accomplished bowler with 12 300 games to his credit, he has bowled in PBA events several times, most recently the 2014 PBA Summer Swing in Oklahoma. His best finish in a PBA Tour event was 48th in the Bear Open during the 2014 PBA Summer Swing. Burkett, who turns 50 on Nov. 28, is preparing to bowl on the PBA50 Tour in 2015.

World Series to play role in determining Player of the Year:  With three titles during the 2014 season including two majors (USBC Masters and PBA Tournament of Champions), 2012-13 Player of the Year Jason Belmonte of Australia is the favorite to successfully defend his Player of the Year crown. The last player to win consecutive Player of the Year crowns was PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. who earned the crown in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

Belmonte, who uses the unique two-handed delivery, also has a chance to become the first player in PBA history to win three consecutive major titles in the same season if he can win the PBA World Championship.

New format for PBA World Championship: Normally the PBA World Championship finals are part of the ESPN taping lineup during World Series of Bowling week. While preliminary qualifying to determine the World Championship finalists will continue to be determined through the animal pattern events and match play rounds during the World Series, the five PBA World Championship finalists will return to the South Point on Sunday, Jan. 11 for a live final on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT). 

World Championship will conclude 2014 season: The live telecast of the PBA World Championship will officially conclude the 2014 PBA Tour season. World Series telecasts will air on consecutive Sundays starting with the PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Challenge Mobile Game on Sunday, Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. ET followed by the Viper Championship (Dec. 21), Chameleon Championship (Dec. 28), Scorpion Championship (Jan. 4), PBA World Championship (live on Jan. 11), PBA Challenge (Jan. 18) and World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by PBA (Jan. 25 on ESPN2).

Several women entered: The largest contingent of women bowlers in WSOB history are entered, including the PBA Tour’s only woman winner Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., who won the 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions conducted at the Red Rock Bowling Center in Las Vegas. Among the other women entered are Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif.; 2014 USBC Queens champion Maria Jose Rodriguez, Colombia; Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Diana Zavjalova, Latvia; Yuya Kato, Japan; Natali Rico, Colombia, and Colombia’s Clara Guerrero, who made it to the ESPN finals of the 2013 World Series Cheetah Championship.

Las Vegas’ role in professional bowling history: Las Vegas has hosted PBA events for more than a half-century making its visits there one of the sport’s great traditions. The first PBA Tour event was held at the Showboat Lanes in 1960.

2013 Tour champions return to defend titles: World Series of Bowling V champions who will be returning to defend their titles are Wes Malott (Cheetah Championship), Ryan Ciminelli (Chameleon Championship), Chris Barnes (Viper Championship) Tom Smallwood (Scorpion Championship) and Dom Barrett (PBA World Championship).

World Series events to use ‘blue oil’ lane condition: The Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game, Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion Championship, PBA Challenge and World Bowling Tour finals will be contested on lanes conditioned with blue-dyed oil, introduced at the 2013 World Series to help fans visualize the variations in lane conditions used in professional competition.

PBA50 greats doing double duty: Six of PBA’s all-time greats who compete on both of PBA’s national tours are scheduled to compete. PBA Hall of Famers Walter Ray Williams Jr., Pete Weber, Norm Duke, Tom Baker, Parker Bohn III and Amleto Monacelli - compete on both the PBA Tour and PBA50 Tour. In June, Duke, the PBA50 Tour’s 2014 Player and Rookie of the Year, won the Senior U.S. Open at Las Vegas’ Suncoast Bowling Center and Walter Ray Williams Jr. won the USBC Senior Masters conducted at the South Point.

Busy week for Liz Johnson:  As one of the eight women entered in the World Series, Liz Johnson will have a busy week by competing in the PBA Challenge qualifier, World Series Tour events and the World Bowling Tour Finals.

New PBA Challenge presented International Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum set for ESPN: Each year, the World Series of Bowling introduces a new feature. This year, it’s the PBA Challenge – a made-for-TV special event that will feature four “championship” matches – the PBA Women’s Regional finals, the PBA Regional Finals (for men), the PBA50 Tour Finals and the Teen Masters Grand Championship. The PBA50 Tour, Regional and Women’s Regional finalists will emerge from an eight-game round-robin match play qualifier on Oct. 24 at the South Point Bowling Center.

World Bowling Tour Finals return: The top three men and top three women based on two years of competition around the world will again compete in the World Bowling Tour Finals presented by the PBA in an ESPN-television event set for Sunday, Nov. 2. The top three men will be Finland’s Mika Koivuniemi, defending WBT Men’s winner Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., and Australia’s Jason Belmonte. The top three women will be defending WBT champ Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J.; Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., and Sandra Andersson, Sweden.

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PBA Legend Marshall Holman Joins Xtra Frame Broadcast Booth for GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI

by Jerry Schneider October 16, 2014 05:51

PBA legend Marshall Holman will return to the broadcast booth when he joins the Xtra Frame coverage team for the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI as color commentator, PBA Vice President of Media Dave Schroeder announced today.

The PBA Hall of Famer and 22-time PBA Tour titlist will join Xtra Frame and ESPN play-by-play announcer Mike Jakubowski in the Xtra Frame broadcast booth for live coverage of the Round of 24 blocks of the four animal pattern championships (Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion) that will be conducted Oct. 25-28 at the South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas and the final two rounds of PBA World Championship match play October 29-30.

Holman, a four-time major title winner and 1987 PBA Player of the Year, has extensive experience as a color commentator having previously worked on PBA telecasts for ESPN, ESPN2 and CBS. 

“The concept of the World Series has always intrigued me,” said Holman. “What I hope to accomplish is provide a historical perspective to the sport that has been so good to me while at the same time provide some entertaining commentary for PBA’s growing audience of Xtra Frame subscribers.”

A new Xtra Frame Season Ticket package will provide new subscribers with full coverage of both the 2014 and 2015 World Series of Bowling, and up to 15 months of Xtra Frame access for the price of 12 months’ service. The XF Season Ticket will include more than 60 hours of live coverage of each World Series, and a 24/7 package of more than 300 hours of live “online television” at a subscription price of $64.99. Everyone who enrolls in the XF Season Ticket program by no later November 30 will receive access to Xtra Frame through December 31, 2015, plus a copy of the 2015 PBA Yearbook (an additional $10 bonus value).

In 2015 Xtra Frame subscribers will have access to live coverage of 29 events which includes start-to-finish coverage of seven Xtra Frame-only PBA national tournaments and 10 PBA50 Tour events.

“The PBA and Xtra Frame production team is excited to have one of PBA’s all-time greats joining us for our live coverage of the World Series of Bowling,” Schroeder said. “Marshall will bring his expert analysis, unique perspective and bold personality to our Xtra Frame coverage, enhancing what is already the sport’s premier international professional showcase and providing bowling fans with yet another reason to subscribe to Xtra Frame.”

In addition to the live coverage, World Series rounds will be archived on Xtra Frame for on-demand viewing immediately after each round.

For subscription and schedule information click on the Xtra Frame logo on the pba.com homepage.

GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI Xtra Frame Schedule

(All times Eastern)

Friday, Oct. 24

5:15 p.m. – All-In Showdown

5:30 p.m. – PBA Challenge match play

Saturday, Oct. 25

10:40 a.m. – Cheetah A squad qualifying

4:40 p.m. – Cheetah B squad qualifying

10:10 p.m. – Cheetah Round of 24 qualifying

Sunday, Oct. 26

10:40 a.m. – Viper B squad qualifying

4:40 p.m. – Viper A squad qualifying

10:10 p.m. –Viper Round of 24 qualifying

Monday, Oct. 27

10:40 a.m. – Chameleon A squad qualifying

4:40 p.m. – Chameleon B squad qualifying

10:10 p.m. – Chameleon Round of 24 qualifying

Tuesday, Oct. 28

10:40 a.m. – Scorpion B squad qualifying

4:40 p.m. – Scorpion A squad qualifying

10:10 p.m. – Scorpion Round of 24 qualifying

Wednesday, Oct. 29

1:45 p.m. – PBA World Championship Round 1 match play

8:45 p.m. – PBA World Championship Round 2 match play

Thursday, Oct. 30

4:45 p.m. – PBA World Championship Round 3 match play

Friday, Oct. 31

3:15 p.m. – 2015 PBA League draft

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GEICO PBA World of Series of Bowling VI Kicks Off with PBA Challenge Qualifiers at South Point Oct. 24 on Xtra Frame

by Jerry Schneider October 14, 2014 03:29

 

The GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI gets underway Friday, Oct. 24 with live Xtra Frame coverage of the PBA Challenge presented by the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame qualifying rounds that will provide fans with a snapshot of PBA’s diversity and star power competing to make an ESPN show.

The PBA will conduct eight-player, eight-game round-robin match play qualifiers for the PBA50 Tour, PBA Regional and PBA Women’s Regional Tours to determine two finalists in each group who will advance to the PBA Challenge Finals on Nov. 2 in the new South Point Bowling Plaza. The special telecast, which also will include a Teen Masters Grand Championship match and a unique “Knock-Out Round” finale, will be taped for telecast on ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 18, at 3 p.m. ET.

All three PBA Challenge match play qualifiers will be covered live on pba.com’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame on Oct. 24, starting at 5:15 p.m. ET (2:15 PT) from the South Point Bowling Center.

PBA50 Tour qualifier: The field for the PBA50 Tour Finals qualifier will feature the top eight players from the 2014 PBA50 Tour competition points list: two-time PBA50 Player of the Year Walter Ray Williams Jr., four-time PBA50 Player of the Year Tom Baker, 2014 PBA50 Player and Rookie of the Year Norm Duke, 2014 PBA50 Tour winners Pete Weber, Parker Bohn III and Amleto Monacelli, three-time PBA50 Tour winner Harry Sullins and two-time PBA50 Player of the Year Ron Mohr.

Regional Tour qualifier: The field for the Regional Tour qualifier will feature the top points leaders from eight PBA Regions (East, South, Central, Midwest, Southwest, West, Northwest and Japan) as of the Oct. 12 deadline: Ryan Shafer (East), Connor Pickford (South), 2012-13 PBA Rookie of the Year EJ Tackett (Central), Tom Hess (Midwest), Shawn Maldonado (Southwest), David Haynes (West), Josh Blanchard (Northwest) and Pat Nolan (Japan).

Women’s Regional Tour qualifier: The eight PBA Women’s Regional Tour qualifiers will be: Kristina Wendell (East), Christina Hardee (South), Liz Johnson (Central), Amanda Green (Midwest), Clara Guerrero (Southwest), Missy Parkin (West), Lindsay Boomershine (Northwest) and Yuka Tsuchiya (Japan).

The PBA Challenge qualifying events will be part of a new Xtra Frame Season Ticket package which will provide new Xtra Frame subscribers with full coverage of both the 2014 and 2015 World Series of Bowling, and up to 15 months of Xtra Frame access for the price of 12 months’ service. The XF Season Ticket will provide fans with more than 60 hours of live coverage of each World Series, and a 24/7 package of more than 300 hours of live “online television” at a subscription price of $64.99. Everyone who enrolls in the XF Season Ticket program by no later November 30 will receive access to Xtra Frame through December 31, 2015, plus a copy of the 2015 PBA Yearbook (an additional $10 bonus value).

All three PBA qualifying events will be contested on the PBA World Championship lane condition.

The Teen Masters Grand Championship match will feature boys’ division winner Michael Coffey of Melbourne, Florida, bowling girls’ division winner Kelly Skalacki of Coram, New York. The winner will receive a $6,500 scholarship. Coffey and Skalacki earned their berth in the final through Teen Masters qualifiers held over the summer.

The PBA Challenge telecast will conclude with the special Knock-Out Round, where the four match winners will roll one ball per round, with the lowest score eliminated until one player remains.

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Promotions Enhance TV Finals Experience for Fans Attending GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI

by Jerry Schneider September 26, 2014 02:41

 

Fans attending the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling ESPN TV Finals tapings Nov. 1-2 at the new South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas will be able to take advantage of several promotions to enhance their spectator experience.

The PBA Bowling Challenge will award a lucky fan before each ESPN telecast the opportunity to take on a PBA Pro on the championship pair in a one-ball shootout which will be aired as part of the show on ESPN. If the fan outscores the pro, the fan wins the pro’s ball plus a custom-made High 5 jersey.

Here’s how it works:

1. Bowling fans should visit the High 5 Gear Selfie Station in the South Point’s Bowling Center all week during the WSOB preliminary rounds Oct. 24-31. The selfies can be taken during the preliminary rounds at the South Point Bowling Center anytime.

2. Snap a selfie.

3. Tag it #High5GearWSOB.

4. Tweet it.

5. Tell your Twitter followers to retweet it.

6. The person with the most retweets from their account will win the chance to bowl with a pro on TV, one shot before each show.

7. A PBA representative will contact winners either in-person or through Twitter and to notify them what shows they will be bowling on.

8. The winner should bring their own ball and shoes to the taping.

9. If the fan beats the pro, they win a bowling ball from the pro and a custom made High 5 jersey.

Picture With the Winner promotion will enable fans who show their creativity by making a cool sign, to have their picture taken holding the championship trophy with the winner during the awards presentation after each ESPN show.  The most creative sign as determined by a PBA staffer will be the winner.

Craziest Fan Costume Contest - Fans can celebrate the Halloween weekend by wearing their wildest costume to the ESPN telecasts. Those who wear a costume will be seated in a special section during the telecasts. The winning costume each day gets a $25 PBA merchandise certificate.

PBA Hat - The first 80 fans through the doors for the Sunday Nov. 2 tapings receive an official PBA baseball cap.

Free Admission - Probably the best promotion of all is free admission for all ESPN tapings. Bowling fans can witness more than 8 hours of competition featuring the best bowlers in the world. Tickets are available on a first-come basis by clicking on http://www.pba.com/tickets/ or on site at the South Point Bowling Center.

GEICO PBA World of Series ESPN TV Taping Schedule

South Point Bowling Plaza, Las Vegas

Saturday, Nov. 1

Noon: PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game

2 p.m.: PBA Viper Championship

4:45 p.m.: PBA Chameleon Championship

6:30 p.m.: PBA Scorpion Championship

Sunday, Nov. 2

11 a.m.: PBA Challenge Presented by the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame

2:45 p.m.: WBT Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by PBA

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Fellow Players Elect Chris Keane as 2014 PBA50 Dick Weber Sportsmanship Award Winner

by Jerry Schneider September 18, 2014 02:33

Veteran PBA50 Tour player Chris Keane of Cape Coral, Florida has been selected as the Dick Weber Sportsmanship Award winner for the 2014 PBA50 Tour season in voting by his fellow competitors.

Keane, 56, has been competing on the PBA50 Tour for four seasons. He has a career-high finish of 12th which came in the 2012 PBA50 Northern California Classic and had three top-20 finishes in 2014, including a best of 14th which also came in the Northern California Classic.

“I’m very honored and proud that my fellow bowlers would think of me that way,” said Keane. “You can’t help but enjoy yourself and have fun (on the PBA50 Tour), so I guess that attitude was reflected to the other bowlers.”

Keane seized the opportunity to bowl full-time on the PBA50 Tour after selling his car wash and auto repair business several years ago.

“I was a serious league and tournament bowler and it became something of a goal and challenge to see if I could bowl against some of the greats of the game,” he said. “I consider myself very fortunate to be able to spend so much time doing something that is this much fun. I just enjoy the whole experience.”

Also nominated for the award were Bill McCorkle, Patrick King, Sammy Ventura, Parker Bohn III and Amleto Monacelli.

Other 2014 PBA50 Tour award winners were Norm Duke, who earned PBA50 Tour Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors and Johnny Petraglia who earned PBA60 Player of the Year. Player of the Year awards were based on competition points. Recipients will receive their awards during a presentation at the 2015 PBA Senior U.S. Open next June in Las Vegas.

The Dick Weber Sportsmanship Award is named in honor of the PBA legend who won 30 PBA Tour and six PBA50 Tour titles during his Hall of Fame career, and was considered one of the sport’s greatest ambassadors.

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