PBA Spare Shots: AFN to Air PBA Telecasts to American’s Military Personnel Around the World

by Bill Vint November 7, 2014 06:21

The American Forces Network, a non-commercial television service made available by the U.S. Department of Defense, will continue to air PBA telecasts to more than a half million active duty, uniformed personnel based in 175 locations around the world, thanks to the renewal of an ongoing agreement with the PBA.

PBA programming will be provided to AFN at no cost, PBA Commissioner Tom Clark announced. The subscription-free cable and satellite television service and can be viewed by U.S. military personnel located on U.S. bases and installations outside of the U.S., including on ships at sea.

“Without the ongoing support of the PBA, other sport leagues and various contributors of televised content in all genres, our nation's troops would not be able to watch quality programming from home while serving their nation abroad,” said AFN spokesman Andy Scott.


Part of the tradition of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling is a pair of PBA Regional tournaments conducted by PBA West Region manager Gary Mage: the South Point All-Regions Open and the PBA West Region’s South Point Member/Non-Member Doubles.

In the All-Regions Open, Jesper Svensson of Sweden, a two-hander who bowls from the left side, defeated two-time PBA Tour winner Thomas Larsen of Denmark, 259-214, in the championship match to win his first PBA Regional title, a $3,000 first prize and eligibility to enter the 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions Feb. 10-15 at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis.

In the semifinals, Svensson, who went 7-0 in match play, defeated Kim Bolleby of Sweden, 300-228, to advance to the championship match and Larsen defeated five-time PBA Tour winner Eric Forkel of Las Vegas, 209-192.

In the doubles championship match, non-member Matt McNeil of Prior Lake, Minn., teamed up with 13-time Tour winner Patrick Allen of Baltimore to defeat non-member Terry Rohrer of Fort Wayne, Ind., and Tour winner Jason Sterner of Riverdale, Ga., 382-376. The winners also went undefeated in match play (7-0) and split the $4,000 first prize.

The tournaments, held on the closing weekend of WSOB VI, drew a singles field of 146 players and doubles field of 59 teams.


An all-star team of PBA stars will represent the United States in the World Men’s Bowling Championships Dec. 6-14 at Zayed Sports City in UAE. Players selected by Team USA head coach Rod Ross and staff are Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas; Mike Fagan, Fort Worth, Texas; Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C.; Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash.; Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., and Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill.

The World Bowling men’s championships, held every fourth year, will include teams from 52 countries bowling for singles, doubles, trios, five-player team, all-events and Masters medals. A number of PBA International members also will compete, representing their home countries. The U.S. led the last Men’s World Championships medal harvest, winning three gold, two silver and three bronze medals.


A reminder: nominations for the 2014 Tony Reyes Community Service award are due soon. The award will be presented to a PBA member in good standing, based upon the extraordinary community service, charitable and/or educational contributions the nominee has made during the 2014 calendar year.

The postmark deadline for nominations will be Wednesday, Nov. 26. Nominees must be current PBA members in good standing. The winner will be selected by a PBA committee and announced along with the 2014 PBA Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award winners early in 2015. Nominations may be submitted by anyone. The nomination form is available on pba.com (http://www.pba.com/Content/images/forms/TonyReyes_App_2014.pdf).


During the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI, the High 5 Gear Selfie contest produced five lucky winners who accumulated the most re-tweets from “selfie” photos taken during the World Series. Each winner had the opportunity to bowl against a PBA star in a one-ball showdown as part of WSOB telecasts, which will be seen on ESPN in the weeks ahead. To avoid spoiling the outcomes in advance, you’re invited to watch the WSOB finals on ESPN on five consecutive Sundays, beginning Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. ET


Three students earned $7,000 in scholarships in the fifth annual Edward G. Elias Bowling Tournament held at the University of Akron Student Union Game Room, honoring the late PBA founder. The annual event, created by Elias’ widow Peggy, is a tribute to the former University of Akron graduate who lettered in basketball, baseball and served as student council president during his college years.


With PBA WSOB VI over, PBA Regional activity will be back into full-speed action in November, beginning with a Nov. 7-9 schedule that includes the PBA Village Lanes South Open in Gloucester, Va.; the PBA50 Victory Lanes Midwest/Central Open in Kankakee, Ill.; the Colorado Springs Harmony Bowl Southwest Open presented by Budweiser; Doug Kent’s Upstate New York Over/Under Doubles at Rose Bowl Lanes in Newark, N.Y., and the PBA Japan Women’s and Scorpion Opens at Higashiyamato Grand Bowl.

The Nov. 14-16 schedule includes the PBA50 Liberty Lanes South Open in Gastonia, N.C.; the Go Bowl Northwest Doubles (a reduced entry fee tournament) in Pasco, Wash., and the Pro Bowl West Central/Midwest Cheetah Classic (a one-day reduced entry fee event) in Ft. Wayne, Ind.

On the Nov. 21-23 schedule are the PBA50 Bryan’s Bowling Center Eastern Open presented by The Insurance Market in Laurel, Del.; the PBA50 Dick’s Pro Shop Northwest/West Open at Linn Lanes in Lebanon, Ore.; the Dallas Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeons Southwest Open at Brunswick Zone in Watauga, Texas, and the PBA50 Shore Lanes Merritt Island Open presented by Storm and Sill’s Pro Shop at Shore Lanes in Merritt Island, Fla.

Thanksgiving weekend includes the Beaumont Southwest Open at Crossroads Bowling Center in Beaumont, Texas, and the La-Z-Boy/Monroe Sport Center Central Challenge for non-titlists in Monroe, Mich.

For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area.


● PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber will be inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame tonight in St. Charles, Mo., joining his legendary father Dick Weber among the elite Missouri sports figures who share the honor. It’s third major hall of fame, including the PBA and USBC halls, to honor the father-son duo.

● Detroit’s Aleta Sill, the first career millionaire in women’s professional bowling, will be inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame on February 12 in Detroit along with newly-retired New York Yankees star Derek Jeter and Michigan coaching legend Tom Izzo. Other stars who will be inducted the same night include ex-Detroit Red Wings hockey stars Mike Modano and Sergei Fedorov, former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin, Olympic swimming gold medalist Sheila Taormina, and ex-Detroit Lions defensive tackle Doug English.

● PBA television broadcasting legend Chris Schenkel will be inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame on Sunday, Dec. 16, at the New York Hilton.

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PBA Spare Shots: Battle for PBA Regional, Women’s Regional Berths in WSOB Almost Over

by Bill Vint October 2, 2014 03:09

The battles for eight PBA Regional, eight PBA Women’s Regional and eight PBA50 Tour berths in the PBA World Series of Bowling VI is almost over with the Sunday, Oct. 12, qualifying deadline rapidly approaching.

In each case, eight players will earn paid entries into the World Series and they will compete in eight-game round-robin match play events on Friday, Oct. 24, at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas to determine the top two individuals who will advance to the new PBA Challenge Finals which will be contested on Sunday, Nov. 2, at 10:30 a.m. PT for delayed telecast on ESPN. All three match play qualifying events will be covered simultaneously live on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel, starting at 2:30 p.m. PT (5:30 p.m. ET).

The fourth PBA Challenge Finals match will pit 2014 Teen Masters boys’ champion Michael Coffey of Melbourne, Fla., against girls’ champion Kelly Skalacki of Coram, N.Y., for the Teen Masters Grand Championship.

The PBA Challenge telecast will conclude with a special Knockout Bonus Round in which the four winners will each bowl one shot, with the lowest score per round eliminated until a champion remains.

In the season-long PBA Regional Finals points races, seven of eight berths are already decided. Regional points winners are: Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y. (East Region); Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C. (South); Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa (Midwest Region); Shawn Maldonado, Houston, Texas (Southwest); David Haynes, Las Vegas (West); Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz. (Northwest), and Pat Nolan (Japan).

The Central Region berth will be decided this weekend in the PBA Fishing & Hunting USA Central Open at Northway Lanes in Muskegon, Mich. E.J. Tackett of Huntington, Ind., will take a 3,600-point lead over Eugene McCune of Munster, Ind., into the region’s final qualifying event.

In the new PBA Women’s Regional competition, points winners already confirmed are: Kristina Wendell, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (East); Christina Hardee, Mt. Dora, Fla. (South); Clara Guerrero, Pflugerville, Texas/Colombia (Southwest); and Yuka Tsuchiya (Japan).

Unresolved heading into their final Central Region qualifying event in Muskegon this weekend, Shannon Pluhowsky of Kettering, Ohio, holds a 6,300-point lead over Jessica Stephens of Greenwood, Ind., and a 6,500-point lead over Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y. In the Midwest Region, Amanda Greene of Romney, W.Va., will take a modest 300-point edge over Kayla Stram of Grand Rapids, Minn., into this weekend’s Calvert’s Express Auto Midwest/Southwest Open at Aaron’s Family Fun Center in Belton, Mo. The women’s field will be finalized on Oct. 12 in the PBA Battle at Black Oak Casino West Open in Tuolumne, Calif. Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif. (West), and Lindsay Boomershine, Brigham City, Utah (Northwest) have big leads, but haven’t clinched their berths.

The PBA50 Tour field of eight was settled at the conclusion of the senior tour’s 2014 season. The top eight in competition points who will bowl in Las Vegas are: Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla.; Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo.; Tom Baker, King, N.C.; Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla.; Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J.; Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela; Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich., and Ron Mohr, Las Vegas.


MOTIV, PBA Product Registered Company and promotional partner, has announced it will give away several high-performance bowling balls in a series of promotions in partnership with the PBA World Series of Bowling VI and PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel.

● During the preliminary rounds of WSOB VI at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas, Oct. 25-Oct. 30, MOTIV will give away one bowling ball each day (a total of six balls) to new Xtra Frame subscribers. To be eligible for the daily random drawings, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link for subscription information. New subscribers who sign up between now and Oct. 24 will be eligible. Subscriptions are available for $7.99 for one month or $64.99 for a full year.

● During the WSOB VI ESPN television finals Nov. 1-2 in the new South Point Bowling Plaza, spectators on hand will be eligible to win a free MOTIV ball. One ball will be given away each day of the television finals. There is no admission charge to attend the ESPN finals, but spectators must obtain a ticket either on-site at South Point Bowling Center, or by visiting pba.com (http://www.pba.com/Tickets/). A limited number of tickets will be available for each event on a first-come basis.

● Following the World Series, MOTIV will give away one free bowling ball each month to a new Xtra Frame subscriber. The November winner will receive a new MOTIV Jackal ball.


Mike Bailey from Allen, Texas, de-railed Tyler Jensen’s bid for back-to-back titles, 257-162, and won $2,500 along with his third PBA Regional title Sunday in the inaugural PBA Tomball Southwest Open at Tomball Bowl in Tomball, Texas.

Jensen, who won the previous week in Odessa, Texas, advanced to the finals by defeating Colombia native Clara Guerrero, who resides in Pflugerville, Texas, 2-0, in the Round of 12; Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, in the Round of 8, 2-0, and Anthony Simonsen of Mesquite, Texas, 277-191, in the semifinal round. With her 12th-place finish, earning $625 in the final PBA Women’s Southwest Regional qualifying event, Guerrero locked up a berth in the PBA Women’s Regional finals along with a paid entry into the PBA World Series of Bowling VI at South Point in Las Vegas, Oct. 24-Nov. 2. Kimi Davidson of Azle, Texas, also cashed, finishing 17th for $460.

Mike Moore of Oviedo, Fla., and non-member partner Shawn Naumann of Orlando won seven of their 10 matches and finished with an 18-game total of 8,292 pins to win the $4,000 first prize in the PBA South Region Member/Non-Member Doubles at Break Point Alley Bowling Center in Tavares, Fla., Sunday.

Moore and Naumann defeated Jason Couch and Doug Becker, both of Clermont, Fla., by 163 pins to claim the title.

Chad Lusche of Arvada, Colo., climbed the stepladder from bottom to top, defeating Blake DeMore of Springfield, Mo., 217-186, in the final match to win $2,500 and his first PBA title in the Midcontinent Communications Midwest Region Open at Empire Bowl in Sioux Falls, S.D., Sunday.

Lusche started his climb with a 277-201 victory over amateur Jason Polreis of Sioux Falls, 277-201; defeated Dave Dentlinger of Adel, Iowa, 227-213, and eliminated amateur Russ Oviate of Sioux Falls, 268-214, to advance to the championship match.

Harry Sullins of Chesterfield Township, Mich., defeated Dale Csuhta of Wadsworth, Ohio, by 77 pins to win the PBA50 Mel Westrich Memorial Central/Midwest Open presented by Storm at Delphos Recreation Center in Delphos, Ohio, Sunday.

Sullins finished with a 6-5-1 match play record and a total of 4,522 pins for 20 games, including match play bonus pins, to claim his second Central Region title of the year, his 28th overall Regional title, and the $1,400 first prize.

Michael Haugen Jr. of Phoenix posted an 8-2 match play record and an 18-game total of 4,060 pins Sunday to win his 18th PBA Regional title in the PBA Fog City West Open presented by Roto Grip at Classic Lanes in Daly City, Calif. Scott Norton of Mission Viejo, Calif., was second, 243 pins behind.

In the companion PBA50 tournament, Noel Vazquez of Sacramento, California, went 5-3 and knocked down 3,495 total pins for 16 games to top Tracy Teeters of Albany, Oregon, for his sixth PBA50 West Region title and $1,200. Teeters had 3,392 pins, 103 pins out of first place.

Joe Paluszek of Bensalem, Pa., defeated Matt O’Grady of South Amboy, N.J., by 24 pins and Dave Knight Jr. of Folcroft, Pa., by 37 pins to win the PBA Pavlinko Pro Shops Re-entry Classic at Brunswick Zone Turnersville, N.J., Sunday. In the “elimination format” championship match, Paluszek rolled a 248 game to win over O’Grady’s 224 and Knight’s 211 to earn $1,500 and his fourth regional title.

The one-day re-entry tournament involved a five-game qualifying round for all players, followed by a three-game re-entry squad and a one-game “desperado” squad which allowed players multiple chances to advance to the 13-player elimination rounds. The first one-game elimination round eliminated the seven lowest scores and the second elimination round reduced the field of six to three finalists.

● October will be a busy month of PBA Regional competition as players prepare for the PBA World Series of Bowling VI at South Point in Las Vegas, Oct. 24-Nov. 2. The Oct. 3-5 weekend’s regional calendar includes the PBA Maple City Dodge Eastern Open at Maple City Bowl in Hornell, N.Y.; the PBA Calvert’s Express Auto Midwest/Southwest Open at Aaron’s Family Fun Center in Belton, Mo.; a PBA50 Junction City Bowl Southwest/Midwest Open doubleheader in Junction City, Kan., and the PBA Fishing & Hunting USA Central Open – one-day reduced entry fee event – at Northway Lanes in Muskegon, Mich. The Belton, Mo., and Muskegon, Mich., tournaments are the final PBA Women’s Regional qualifying events for the Midwest and Central Regions, respectively.

The Oct. 10-12 PBA Regional calendar includes the PBA50 Centre Lanes Senior/Super Senior Doubles in North Canton, Ohio; the PBA50 Shreveport Southwest Open at All Star Lanes in Shreveport, La.; the PBA50 Dover Eastern Open at Brunswick Doverama in Dover, N.J.; and the PBA and PBA50 Thunderbowl Midwest Opens in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which also will include the PBA/PBA50 Thunderbowl Baker Team Classic. The Tuolumne, Calif., tournament will be the PBA West and Northwest Regions’ final PBA Women’s Regional qualifier.

The weekend prior to the start of the WSOB VI (Oct. 17-19) will include the PBA Young & Pratt Southwest Open at Dart Bowl in Austin, Texas; the PBA Kokomo Central Shootout presented by Security Federal Savings Bank – a one-day, reduced entry fee event on Sunday, Oct. 19, with live coverage on Xtra Frame – at Heritage Lanes in Kokomo, Ind.; the Franklin South Open at Franklin Bowling Center in Franklin, Va.; and the PBA Sands Regency West/Northwest Challenge and Sands Regency West/Northwest Re-Entry Open at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.

October’s schedule concludes with the traditional South Point All Regions Open and the South Point Member/Non-Member Doubles at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas, Oct. 31-Nov. 2.

For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area.


● News for the PBA60 set. PBA Hall of Famer Tom Baker of King, N.C., joined the club on Sept. 12, and inactive as a competitor or not, PBA Hall of Famer Marshall Holman of Medford, Ore., reached PBA60 eligibility on Monday, Sept. 29.

● Xtra Frame’s next live event will be the PBA Kokomo Central Shootout presented by Security Federal Savings Bank on Sunday, Oct. 19, starting at 9 a.m. ET and continuing until conclusion. The one-day, reduced entry fee event will be hosted by Heritage Lanes in Kokomo, Ind.

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Ryogo Tsurumi Wins PBA Japan’s Viper Open Title

by Bill Vint September 17, 2014 08:47

SAGAMIHARA, Japan – Ryogo Tsurumi of Kanagawa slipped past Makoto Kawakami of Tochigi, 172-169, to win the PBA Japan Region’s Viper Open Monday at Sagami Fast Lane, ending a streak of four consecutive victories in PBA Japan Region competition by Yuka Tsuchiya.

Tsurumi, who earned 400,000 Yen (roughly $3,950 in U.S. dollars), advanced to the championship match by defeating Takuya Miyazawa of Chiba, 173-161, in the Round of 8, and Masakazu Suzuki of Kanagawa, 189-143, in the semifinal round. The tournament, which was conducted on the PBA Viper lane conditioning pattern, drew a field of 127 men and women.

Tsuchiya, who had swept the women’s and open regional titles on the PBA’s Cheetah and Chameleon patterns earlier in the summer, finished in 30th place in the Viper Open.

The PBA Japan Region has two tournaments remaining scheduled in its inaugural season in 2014: the Women’s Scorpion and Scorpion Open tournaments Nov. 8-9 at Higashiyamoto Grand Bowl in Tokyo.

The men’s and women’s points leaders from the PBA Japan Region will be among the top regional players invited to participate in the PBA Regional and PBA Women’s Regional finals and the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI Oct. 24-Nov. 2 at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas. Tsuchiya has won the women’s berth and has accepted her invitation; the men’s representative has not yet been confirmed.


Sagami Fast Lane, Sagamiraha, Japan, Monday, Sept. 15

(Prize money converted from Japanese yen to U.S. dollar equivalent)

Championship: Ryogo Tsurumi, Kanagawa ($3,950), def. Makoto Kawakami, Tochigi ($1,974), 172-169.

Semifinal Round (losers earned $987): Tsurumi def. Masakazu Suzuki, Kanagawa, 189-143. Kawakami def. Seimiya Hiroyuki, 211-176.

Round of 8 (losers earned $493): Tsurumi def. Takuya Miyazawa, Chiba, 173-161. Suzuki def. Kosuke Shirai, Aichi, 155-151. Kawakami def. Kenji Tamura, Tokyo, 214-179. Hiroyuki def. Ken Sakamaki, Tokyo, 223-181.

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New DHC PBA Japan Invitational Adds to PBA World Series’ International Impact

by Bill Vint September 12, 2014 02:27

CHICAGO – The Professional Bowlers Association’s World Series of Bowling VI, along with its new relationships with the bowling community in Japan, have combined to create a new PBA DHC Japan Invitational tournament in January that will be an important event in the international bowling community that also will kick off the PBA’s 2015 Tour schedule.

The DHC PBA Japan Invitational, a PBA Tour title event, will feature an elite field of players who will qualify during the PBA World Series of Bowling VI Oct. 24-Nov. 2 at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas, along with an elite field of 16 Japanese players. The DHC Invitational – the first international PBA Tour event to be covered start-to-finish live on PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame – will take place Jan. 15-18 at Tokyo Port Bowl in Japan, and will feature a series of pro-am and exhibition matches in addition to the main event.

The DHC tournament is an extension of the PBA’s work with Japan Bowling Promotions that earlier in the year helped create the PBA Japan Regional program. The new regional program will be included in the qualifying process for Japanese players earning berths into the elite field of players who will bowl in January.

The DHC Invitational field will include a field of 16 international players and 16 Japanese players competing for shares of a $215,000 prize fund, which includes a $47,000 first prize, and a PBA Tour title. The international field will include 12 qualifiers from the PBA World Championship during WSOB VI based upon a combined 28 qualifying games in the PBA Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion Championships, plus 24 games of match play (11 men plus the highest woman qualifier if she is not among the 12 leading qualifiers). The four additional international players will include three PBA members plus one Korean PBA player invited by DHC.

The Japanese contingent will include the top four players on the DHC PBA Japan Invitational points list; four players based on PBA Japan Region points; one player each selected by each bowling organization in Japan, and four players who will earn berths in a Pre-Tournament Qualifier.

The tournament program will involve 32 games of round-robin match play leading into a five-player stepladder final for the DHC Japan Invitational title. In addition, all 32 players will participate in Baker team and Scotch doubles exhibition matches, which will include $40,000 in additional prize money.

“The DHC PBA Japan Invitational is the result of a great deal of hard work and cooperation with the Japan bowling community which has provided PBA members with a great new event,” said PBA Commissioner Tom Clark. “We greatly appreciate the involvement of DHC Limited, Japan Bowling Promotions and our partners in Japan who have made this event possible.”

In addition to television coverage in Japan, the PBA will provide international online coverage of the event for the first time by sending its Xtra Frame crew to Tokyo. Xtra Frame, which is available on a subscription basis to bowling fans around the world, also will cover the entire PBA World Championship qualifying process in Las Vegas that will determine the PBA Tour players who will earn berths in the DHC PBA Japan Invitational.

The inaugural season of PBA Japan Regional competition is in progress, with four of seven scheduled events completed. Remaining events on the 2014 schedule include the Japan Viper Open on Monday, Sept. 15, and the Japan Women’s DHC Scorpion Open and Scorpion Open tournaments Nov. 8-9.

Tokyo Port Bowl, Tokyo, Japan (all times local; live video streaming coverage on PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame)

Thursday, Jan. 15
Pro-Am and Japan Pre-Tournament Qualifier (at Shinagawa Prince Hotel Bowling Center)

Friday, Jan. 16
8 a.m. – 32 players, 8 games round-robin match play
1 p.m. - 32 players, 8 games round-robin match play
6 p.m. – Baker team exhibition: 8 four-player teams, 8 games Baker format round-robin match play
  Top two four-player teams advance to TV finals

Saturday, Jan. 17
8 a.m. - 32 players, 8 games round-robin match play
1 p.m. - 32 players, 8 games round-robin match play
  Top five players advance to TV stepladder finals
6 p.m. – Scotch doubles exhibition: 16 doubles teams, round-robin match play
  Top two teams advance to TV finals

Sunday, Jan. 18
10:15 a.m. - Scotch doubles TV finals (two teams)
11 a.m. - Baker team TV finals (two teams)
Noon - DHC PBA Japan Invitational stepladder finals (five players)
2:30 p.m. - Special exhibition: top five international, top five Japan players who did not qualify for TV, one-ball “last man standing” elimination special event (low score per round eliminated)

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PBA Spare Shots: PBA Japan Regional Program Off to Stunning Start

by Bill Vint July 18, 2014 06:53

The PBA’s first international regional tournament program, PBA Japan, is off to a stunning start and already has a “superstar” after its first two weekends of activity.

PBA Commissioner Tom Clark, who attended the second weekend of PBA Japan Region competition over the July 12-13 weekend at Sound Bowl in Ushiku along with PBA Deputy Commissioner Kirk von Krueger, got a first-hand look at the program, met many of the players and tournament officials, and witnessed Yuka Tsuchiya’s historic performance in adding the PBA Japan Women’s Chameleon and Chameleon Open titles to the Women’s Cheetah and Cheetah Open titles she won the previous weekend at Tokyo Port Bowl.

“Yuka has tears in her eyes when we told her she’s now eligible to bowl in the PBA Tournament of Champions and World Series of Bowling,” Clark said.

“It was an extremely successful weekend,” Clark added. “The PBA Japan tournament staffers were everything we’d ever want representing our organization. Japan Bowling Promotions, our partner in the creation of the PBA Japan Region, ran smooth events, with live streaming coverage that will soon be available on Xtra Frame, provided outstanding on-site exposure for the PBA and their main sponsor, DHC, and there were large fields considering the short amount of time we’ve had to promote the program.

“It was very gratifying to see how much the PBA brand means to the Japanese bowlers. The players wore dye-sublimated jerseys with PBA League or PBA player replicas. Our animal pattern lane conditions defined the playing fields. The respect the players gave us and the pride they demonstrated as PBA International members was terrific.

“And topping it all off was watching Yuka Tsuchiya sweep all four of our inaugural women’s and open regional titles. For one person to survive the demanding format and win four trophies and roughly $20,000 in U.S. dollars was incredible.”

Tsuchiya, a 31-year-old veteran of Japanese professional competition, won the Women’s Chameleon title over a field of 29 players on Saturday, defeating Hiroko Shimizu, 221-157, in the championship match. On Sunday, she topped a field of 72 men and women in the Chameleon Open, defeating Naoshi Ishimine in the final match, 197-176, for her fourth consecutive title. With her wins in the Cheetah Open and Chameleon Open, she joins Missy Parkin and Kelly Kulick as the third woman to win two PBA “open” regional titles.

Clark said he and von Krueger had an opportunity to visit with all of Japan’s bowling leaders and discuss the PBA’s long-term goal of expanding PBA-level competition around the world.

The PBA Japan Region has four more tournaments scheduled in its inaugural season: the PBA Japan Viper Open Sept. 15 at Sagami Fast Lane in Sagamihara, the Women’s Scorpion and Scorpion Open tournaments Nov. 8-9 at Higashiyamoto Grand Bowl in Tokyo, and the Badger Open at a location and date to be announced.

The PBA will help the Japan Region expand its international coverage via Xtra Frame. The Cheetah events are already archived on Xtra Frame (with original commentary in Japanese), the Chameleon finals will be added to Xtra Frame’s programming in the near future, and the PBA is working toward carrying future events live.


PBA Hall of Famer Del Ballard Jr., a 12-time PBA Tour title winner who currently is PBA Tour representative for Storm Products, is recovering after successful heart bypass surgery in the Dallas area on Tuesday.

"Del underwent a triple bypass and valve repair,” wife Carolyn Dorin-Ballard said Friday. “His surgeon is thrilled with the results and Del is already walking well. It’s a slow process but everything is on track. Thanks to everyone for your support and well wishes."

Ballard celebrated his 51st birthday on July 1.


The race for PBA50 Tour Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Super Senior Player of the Year and berths in the PBA50 Tour Finals enters the home stretch starting Friday in Fort Wayne, Ind., and PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel will video stream all of the action from the final four events live.

The PBA’s senior citizens return to action with a new Dick Weber Super Senior Classic, presented by Storm, for players 60-and-older. Pro Bowl West in Fort Wayne will host the Dick Weber event Friday thru Sunday, followed immediately by the Pro Bowl West Fort Wayne Classic for all players 50-and-older (including any “super seniors” who care to compete), July 20-23.

The PBA50 Tour continues with the Dayton Classic presented by Roto Grip, July 29-31, at Capri Bowling Lanes in Dayton, Ohio; the South Shore Open presented by DV8 at Olympia Lanes in Hammond, Ind., Aug. 4-7, and the season-ending Treasure Island Resort & Casino Open presented by Hammer at Island Xtreme Bowl in Welch, Minn., Aug. 10-13.

PBA Hall of Famers Norm Duke, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Pete Weber, Tom Baker, Parker Bohn III and Amleto Monacelli are fighting it out for Player of the Year. They also are leading the competition points race for six spots in the PBA50 Tour Finals to be held at PBA World Series of Bowling VI in Las Vegas in late October. Duke and Bohn are also leading the “rookie” race while two other Hall of Famers, Johnny Petraglia and Dale Eagle, are frontrunners in the “super senior” race.

To follow the competition as it unfolds, subscribe to Xtra Frame. Monthly subscriptions are $7.99. A full-year subscription is $64.99. Visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link to enroll.


Amateur Kimberly Roe of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., earned a check for finishing 17th in the field of 76 players, and new PBA member Christina Hardee of Mount Dora, Fla., became the first woman to earn PBA Women’s Regional points as the new PBA program for women bowlers made its debut in the PBA Crystal Automotive Spring Hill South Open at Spring Hill Lanes in Spring Hill, Fla., Sunday.

The PBA’s recently-announced regional program for women drew four competitors in Spring Hill, where Roe cashed for $425 while Hardee –who had cashed in two previous PBA South Regional tournaments as a non-member – finished 60th. But as a new PBA member, Hardee is the early South Region points leader in her bid to earn a spot in the PBA Women’s Regional Finals in Las Vegas later in the year. Non-members Morgan Rosario of Gainesville, Fla., and Amber Ottilige of Lake Wales, Fla., were the other two women who bowled in Spring Hill.

Two PBA Women’s Regional events in the Central and Midwest Regions scheduled for this weekend have been replaced on their respective regional schedules due to a conflict with the BPAA Women’s All Star which gets underway Sunday in Rockford, Ill. The Central Region’s first women’s event will be part of the Lefeld Implement Central Classic at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater, Ohio, Aug. 15-17 while the Midwest Region’s debut event for women will be the Bowlerama Lanes Midwest Open presented by Radical at Bowlerama Lanes in Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 22-24.


Mitch Beasley of Nashville, Tenn., returning to competition after a two-year layoff due to a back injury, defeated amateur Jason Duran of Littleton, Colo., 226-217, to win the PBA Lubbock Southwest Super Regional Open, presented by Track, at South Plains Lanes in Lubbock, Texas, Sunday.

Beasley jumped to an early lead in the final match when Duran left a pocket split in the third frame. After fighting his way back into the match, Duran left the 7-10 split in the ninth frame to allow Beasley a chance to clinch the title and $10,000 first prize with a spare in the 10th. The title was Beasley’s 17th in PBA Regional competition. The tournament drew a field of 138 players.

● Amateur Sean Riccardi of St. Petersburg, Fla., defeated Dustin Ochoa of Carrollton, Texas, 256-214, to win the 26th annual PBA Crystal Automotive Spring Hill South Open at Spring Hill Lanes in Spring Hill, Fla., Sunday.

Riccardi posted a 10-2 match play record and rolled three 300 games in the preliminary rounds to qualify as top seed for the stepladder finals by 253 pins over fellow amateur Jason Mahr of Spring Hill. Ochoa, also an amateur, defeated Mahr, 277-214, in the semifinal round match to advance to the title match. Riccardi earned $2,500 for winning the event, but doesn’t earn a PBA title because he is a non-member.

Jay Boyle of Garnet Valley, Pa., ended his seven-year quest for his first PBA title when he defeated Sammy Ventura of Syracuse, N.Y., 237-175, to win the PBA50 Cecil Raymond Memorial presented by Track at Playdrome Cherry Hill in Cherry Hill, N.J., Sunday.

The tournament, which began in 2004, was renamed this year to honor its sponsor who passed away in January. Raymond was the 2013 recipient of the East Region’s Pat Patterson Award for outstanding contributions to the region. Along with his first PBA Regional title, Boyle earned a $1,500 first prize.

Brad Bufkin of Citrus Heights, Calif., defeated Dennis Horan of Oakley, Calif., 225-164, to win the PBA Wine Country West/Northwest Open presented by Hammer at Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park, Calif., Sunday. In addition to his first PBA Regional title, Bufkin earned a $2,000 prize.

● On tap for the July 18-20 weekend are the Boss Snow Plows/Brunswick Central Open at PinHeads Bowling Center in Fishers, Ind.; the Homefield Eastern Open presented by Motiv at Homefield Bowl in Yonkers, N.Y.; the St. Charles Lanes Midwest Open presented by Storm in St. Charles, Mo., and the PBA/PBA50 Sands Regency West/Northwest Doubles at High Sierra Lanes in Reno, Nev.

The July schedule concludes over the July 25-27 weekend with the PBA50 Sparetimes Hampton Southern Open at Sparetimes Bowling Center in Hampton, Va.; the Pure-It Pro Shop East Open presented by DV8 at Cedar Lanes in Lebanon, Pa.; the Farmer’s State Bank/Roto Grip Central Re-Entry Open at Angola Bowl in Angola, Ind.; the PBA50 Progressive/Gerdeman Insurance Agency/Al Smith Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep Central/Midwest Classic at Al-Mar Lanes in Bowling Green, Ohio; the Fort Sill Southwest Open presented by Columbia 300 at Twin Oaks Bowling Center in Fort Sill, Okla.; the Plamor Lanes Midwest Challenge (for non-winners) presented by Track in Muscatine, Iowa, and the PBA and PBA50 Boise Northwest/West Opens at 20th Century Lanes in Boise, Idaho.

For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area.


● Looking for a great deal on PBA logoed merchandise? Visit the PBA Tour Store for T-shirts, caps, clearance items and special buys: https://www.kotisdesign.com/estore/landing.asp?estore=pbastore

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