Silver Lake Atom Splitters Gear Up for PBA League “Three-Peat;” Portland Gets Its Own Team

by Bill Vint October 29, 2015 07:43

CHICAGO – The two-time defending Professional Bowlers Association League champion Silver Lake Atom Splitters will make their bid for an Elias Cup “three-peat” in 2016 with a roster led by Chris Barnes, Dick Allen and Tom Daugherty.

The three players were protected by Atom Splitters manager Mark Baker and announced today, along with players protected by the other seven PBA League teams, by PBA Commissioner Tom Clark who also announced the host city for the 2016 PBA League series will field its own team for the first time: the Portland Lumberjacks. Each team was allowed to protect three players from its 2015 roster; all unprotected players and other PBA members who want to participate in 2016 have until Nov. 13 to declare their intention to participate in the league draft that will take place on Dec. 17 in Reno, Nev.

The PBA League will return to Portland, Maine, for two days of competition on April 2 and 3 for delayed telecast over a span of four consecutive Sundays, April 17-May 8, on ESPN. All four PBA League shows will air at 1 p.m. ET.

As part of the week-long 2016 PBA Maine Event, the newly-named Portland Lumberjacks will represent Portland, Bayside Bowl and the state of Maine, replacing the Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits in the PBA League program.

“It’s an excellent thing for Portland, and I think it’ll get our fans even more amped up to cheer for the home team,” Bayside Bowl owner Charlie Mitchell said. “We’re going to have a big tailgate party and do some special things. We want to make this year’s event bigger and better.

“We’re working on our expansion of Bayside Bowl, which won’t be ready until 2017, but we’re building toward the future. We’re really pleased the players were happy with what they found here last year and are as eager to come back as we are to have them.”

Mitchell said the Maine bowling community has continued its buzz over last year’s first-ever visit by the PBA, and can’t wait for the PBA to return.

“So many people who didn’t get in last year want to make sure they don’t miss out this time,” Mitchell said. “They have been bugging us already to make sure they get tickets or get into the pro-am. Having our own team is going to build on that.”

From a personal perspective, Mitchell said being a part of the Portland Lumberjacks team is special.

“Owning a professional sports franchise has been a lifelong dream for me,” he said. “I’m glad to have it finally come true.”

In addition to the Silver Lake Atom Splitters players protected by manager Mark Baker, players protected by the other seven teams include:

● Portland Lumberjacks (manager Tim Mack): Bryon Smith, Wes Malott and Osku Palermaa.

● Philadelphia Hitmen (Jason Couch): Dom Barrett, Chris Loschetter and Rhino Page.

● L.A. X (Andrew Cain): Jason Belmonte, Stu Williams and Martin Larsen.

● GEICO New York City WTT Kingpins (Carolyn Dorin-Ballard): Pete Weber, Scott Norton and Mike Fagan.

● Dallas Strikers (player-manager Norm Duke): Bill O’Neill, Tommy Jones and himself.

● Barbasol Motown Muscle (Del Ballard Jr.): EJ Tackett, Ronnie Russell and Josh Blanchard.

● Brooklyn Styles (Johnny Petraglia): Sean Rash, Parker Bohn III, Walter Ray Williams Jr.

On Dec. 17, each team manager will draft two additional players, selecting players in a serpentine draft in the reverse order of how they finished in 2015. Starting with the KingPins, draft order will then go to the Muscle, Strikers, Hitmen, Lumberjacks, Styles, L.A. X and the Atom Splitters. After Silver Lake makes the eighth pick, it also will pick ninth as the draft order reverses for the second round of selections.

Rostered players from 2015 who are automatically eligible for the 2016 draft include: Mika Koivuniemi, Craig Nidiffer, Dan MacLelland, Ryan Ciminelli, Tom Smallwood, Jason Sterner, Patrick Allen, Andres Gomez, Dave Wodka, Ryan Shafer, John Szczerbinski, Mike DeVaney, Michael Haugen Jr., Shawn Maldonado, DJ Archer and Amleto Monacelli. Any other PBA member who would like to be considered for the 2016 PBA League draft must declare their intentions to the PBA by no later than Nov. 13.

The draft will be held on Thursday, Dec. 17, prior to the live ESPN coverage of the PBA World Championship from the National Bowling Stadium in Reno. The draft will be video-streamed live on Xtra Frame at 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. PT).

In addition to the PBA League competition at Bayside Bowl, the PBA Maine Event will include the PBA Xtra Frame Maine Shootout, a PBA Tour title event, April 4-6, along with pro-am events and other activities to be announced.

PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel will provide exclusive live coverage of the entire match play elimination event. Visit and click on the Xtra Frame link for details.

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PBA Spare Shots: PBA’s 2014-15 ESPN Ratings Up 23%, Male 18-49 Viewers Increase By 55%

by Bill Vint October 15, 2015 03:52

PBA television ratings on ESPN for 2014-15 not only showed a 23 percent increase in viewership, but made important gains in valuable demographics, PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark said.

Newly-released ratings data comparing the overall 2014-15 PBA telecasts on ESPN to the 2013-14 season showed ratings gains in desirable areas such as males age 18-49, which was up 55 percent. The combined male-female audience in both the 18-34 and 18-49 age groups were up 50 percent year-over-year.

“It’s an exciting time for the PBA,” Clark said. “These numbers are rarely achieved in sports TV and are very encouraging. They are both valuable and attractive to sponsors and partners. The PBA’s mix of exciting players including Hall of Famers, international stars and former collegiate players making their mark in increasingly diverse and prestigious events, plus the continued support of ESPN have the PBA positioned for further growth.”

The new PBA on ESPN schedule begins Dec. 17, with a special Thursday, 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT) live telecast of the PBA World Championship from the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VII at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada.


Two key deadlines for PBA League competition in 2016 are looming – the Oct. 26 deadline for team managers to declare up to three players they wish to protect from their 2015 rosters, and the Nov. 13 deadline for PBA members to declare themselves eligible for the 2016 draft.

Team managers must advise PBA Commissioner Tom Clark of the maximum of three players from their 2015 rosters that they want to return to their respective teams in 2016. Players not protected must then declare their intent to participate in the 2016 draft by contacting PBA Director of Events Janay Haggerty ( by no later than Nov. 13.

The 2016 PBA League draft will be held on Dec. 17during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VII in Las Vegas. The draft will be covered live on Xtra Frame at 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. PT).


The Sands Regency Casino West/Northwest Classic, presented by Radical, will reward its winner with a $10,000 first prize at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., and the entire tournament will be covered live on Xtra Frame Saturday and Sunday.The Sands Regency regional event will be a reduced-entry fee tournament ($175 for PBA members, $225 for non-members) leading into the multi-event PBA South Point Bowling Plaza Fall Classic which gets underway on Monday, Oct. 19, in Las Vegas.

Xtra Frame coverage of the PBA Fall Classic begins Oct. 19 at South Point. During the Fall Classic, Xtra Frame will provide live coverage of the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship qualifying and match play rounds Oct. 19-20, start-to-finish coverage of the PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open – a PBA Tour title event – Oct. 21-22; the South Point West Challenge (for non-title winners) on Oct. 23; the new five-player PBA Team Challenge, Oct. 24-25, and the PBA50 Western Open on Oct. 26.

Bowling fans who want to sample Xtra Frame can subscribe on a three-day (72-hour) basis for only $3.99. Fans can lock in the entire October package with a full month Xtra Frame subscription for only $7.99. But PBA’s best package is the 12-month XF Season Ticket for $64.99, or $5.41 per month. To sign up, visit and click on the Xtra Frame link.


Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., defeated Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y., 228-193, to win the $2,000 top prize in the PBA Greater Muskegon USBC Bowling Association/Northway Lanes Central Open at Northway Lanes in Muskegon, Mich., on Sunday.

En route to his fourth PBA Regional title, Smallwood downed Eric Tackett of Huntington, Ind., 268-194, while Ciminelli topped Patrick Dombrowski of Parma, Ohio, 246-224, in the semifinal round.

Troy Kendrick of Coto de Caza, Calif., and Jeff Frankos of Daly City, Calif., took advantage of their superior match play record to win the PBA/PBA50 Ken Fowler Auto Center West/Northwest Doubles hosted by Yokayo Bowl in Ukiah, Calif., Sunday.

Kendrick and Frankos won five of their six matches to finish the tournament with a 14-game total of 6,150 pins, including 150 match play bonus pins, to top Joe Goldstein Sr. of Hayward, Calif., and Chris Warren of Grants Pass, Ore., by 29 pins for the title, giving Kendrick his fifth PBA Regional title and Frankos his 19th. They shared the $3,000 first prize. Goldstein and Warren had a 2-4 match play record and a total of 6,121 pins, including 60 bonus pins.

● The Oct. 16-18 PBA Regional calendar includes the Bowlers Discount Pro Shop Eastern Open from AMF Woodlawn Bowl in Baltimore, and the PBA50 Park Centre Lanes Senior/Super Senior Doubles Central Open presented by Columbia 300 from North Canton, Ohio, as well as the Sands Regency West/Northwest events at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno. Oct. 19 marks the beginning of the South Point Bowling Plaza PBA Fall Classic in Las Vegas.

● The Oct. 23-25 weekend includes the PBA50 Tomball Southwest Open from Tomball Bowl in Tomball, Texas, and the one-day PBA Tony Grigat Allstate Midwest Challenge at Strike N Spare II in Lockport, Ill. Two Teen Masters qualifying events also are scheduled over the Oct. 24-25 weekend: the Erie Open Teen Masters event, presented by the Erie Sports Commission, at Rolling Meadows Lanes, and the Frisco Open presented by the Frisco Convention and Visitors Bureau at Strikz in Frisco, Texas.

● October’s regional activity closes with the PBA50 WGB Accounting Craig Pezzano Memorial presented by The Insurance Market at Bryan’s Bowling Center in Laurel, Del.; the Wichita Southwest Open at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan., and the PBA50 Tony Grigat Allstate Midwest/Central Open at Arlington Lanes in Arlington Heights, Ill., over the Oct. 30-Nov. 1 weekend.

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


● Conner Kolessides (scratch) and Tommy Sanfilippo (handicap) earned $1,700 and $2,000 scholarship awards, respectively, in the fourth annual Danny Wiseman Youth Scholarship Tournament at AMF Country Club Lanes in Baltimore on Saturday. The sold-out event rewarded participants with more than $22,000 in scholarships.

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PBA Returns to Portland March 30-April 6 for Maine Event 2016

by Bill Vint September 10, 2015 08:05

CHICAGO – After its rousing, raucous, outrageously fun first-ever visit to Maine, the Professional Bowlers Association will return to Bayside Bowl in Portland for Maine Event 2016 including its fourth annual round of PBA League competition and the Xtra Frame PBA Maine Shootout, March 30-April 6.

The draft to fill team rosters for 2016 will be done before a live international audience watching on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, on Thursday, Dec. 17, during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VII from Reno, Nev. (time to be announced).

The eight-team PBA League will compete in two days of team competition on April 2 and 3 for delayed telecast over a span of four consecutive Sundays, April 17-May 8, on ESPN. All four PBA League shows will air at 1 p.m. ET.

The PBA League in 2016 will return with the same eight managers and teams. In order of their 2015 finish, they will be: Mark Baker (two-time defending Elias Cup champion Silver Lake Atom Splitters), Andrew Cain (L.A. X), Johnny Petraglia (Brooklyn STyLES), Tim Mack (Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits), Jason Couch (Philadelphia Hitmen), Norm Duke (Dallas Strikers), Del Ballard Jr. (Motown Muscle) and Carolyn Dorin-Ballard (New York City WTT KingPins).

Teams will draft in the reverse order of how they finished in 2015 (KingPins first, Atom Splitters last). Managers will be allowed to protect up to three players from their 2015 rosters. All players who would like to be considered for the PBA League must declare their intentions by no later than Nov. 13 (managers will declare their protected players by no later than Oct. 26).

Team competition will remain the same as 2015: preliminary rounds will feature Baker-format elimination matches leading to the Elias Cup Finals which will be decided by points earned in singles, doubles, trio and Baker team matches.

Other highlights of the 2016 program include:

● The draft will be held on Thursday, Dec. 17, prior to the live ESPN coverage of the PBA World Championship from the National Bowling Stadium in Reno. The draft will be video-streamed live on Xtra Frame at a time to be announced.

● All PBA members in good standing are invited to declare themselves eligible for the draft.

● After teams are selected, managers will have until Jan. 8 to make trades, if they wish.

In 2016, PBA League teams will compete for $280,000 in prize money, including $60,000 to the winning team.

The PBA’s return to Portland will include a day of practice and pro-am activity when Maine adult, youth and senior league bowlers will have a chance to bowl with the stars of the PBA, followed by two days of Baker-format team competition for delayed telecast on ESPN, and three days of Xtra Frame PBA Maine Shootout competition, a singles event with a PBA Tour title at stake.

(All times are subject to change)

Thursday, Dec. 17
Tba - PBA League Draft, National Bowling Stadium, Reno, Nev. (live coverage on Xtra Frame)

PBA League Schedule, Bayside Bowl, Portland, Maine
Thursday, March 31
9 a.m. – Practice Session
tba – Pro-Am squads

Friday, April 1

Saturday, April 2 (best of two games, Baker format; one-ball roll-off to break ties)
Noon – Quarterfinal Match One: Silver Lake Atom Splitters vs. New York City WTT KingPins
    Quarterfinal Match Two: Philadelphia Hitmen vs. Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits
3:30 P.M. – Quarterfinal Match Three: L.A. X vs. Motown Muscle
    Quarterfinal Match Four: Brooklyn STyLES vs. Dallas Strikers

Sunday, April 3
Noon – Semifinal Match One: Winner Match One vs. Winner Match Two (best of two games, Baker
    format; one-ball roll-off to break ties)
    Semifinal Match Two: Winner Match Three vs. Winner Match Four (best of two games, Baker
    format; one-ball roll-off to break ties)
3:30 p.m. – Elias Cup Finals: Winner Semifinal One vs. Winner Semifinal Two, total pinfall (singles,
    10 bonus pins; alternate-shot doubles, 15 bonus pins; trios, 20 bonus pins; Baker team,
    50 bonus pins)

PBA Xtra Frame Maine Shootout Schedule
Monday, April 4
tba – Match Play Draw Party (to determine Maine Shootout match play bracket positions)
Tuesday, April 5
9 a.m. – Round of 64, round one (8 best-of-three-game matches; winners advance to Round of 32)
11 a.m. – Round of 64, round two (8 best-of-three-game matches; winners advance to Round of 32)
1:30 p.m. – Round of 64, round three (8 best-of-three-game matches; winners advance to Round of 32)
3:30 p.m. – Round of 64, round four (8 best-of-three-game matches; winners advance to Round of 32)
6 p.m. – Round of 32, round one (8 best-of-three-game matches; winners advance to Round of 16)
8 p.m. – Round of 32, round two (8 best-of-three-game matches; winners advance to Round of 16)
Wednesday, April 6
10 a.m. – Round of 16, round one (4 best-of-three-game matches; winners advance to Round of 8)
11:30 a.m. – Round of 16, round two (4 best-of-three-game matches; winners advance to Round of 8)
2 p.m. – Round of 8 (4 best-of-three-game matches; winners advance to Semifinal Round)
6 p.m. – Semifinal Round (2 best-of-three-game matches; winners advance to Championship Match)
7:30 p.m. – Championship Match (best-of-three-games)

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PBA Spare Shots: Largest PBA League Audience Ever Watches Elias Cup Finals on ESPN

by Bill Vint April 29, 2015 03:14

Closing out a highly-successful season of ESPN coverage, the PBA Tour posted the largest audience ratings in the three-year history of PBA League competition. The PBA League Elias Cup finals from Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, reached an audience of more than 670,000 viewers, up 66 percent over the previous year and up 22 percent over the inaugural Elias Cup finals held in 2013.

The strong PBA League ratings capped a season that began with the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling, where ESPN finals recorded 20-plus percent increases over the previous year, followed by even larger increases for five PBA telecasts airing in February into early March when ratings were up 66 percent over the same period in 2014. ESPN’s average viewership was over 920,000 for five shows including the CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational (at 1.1 million average viewers the highest for a PBA telecast since 2012), the USBC Masters (up 62% over 2014), 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions, PBA Players Championship and Roth/Holman PBA Doubles Championship.


The PBA continues to expand its schedule of live online video streaming events, announcing that Xtra Frame will be the exclusive home for live qualifying and match play coverage of the 2015 Bowlmor AMF US Open, Nov. 2-8 in Garland, Texas. The U.S. Open will conclude with a live telecast on CBS Sports Network.

During 2015, Xtra Frame is providing its growing legion of subscribers with live coverage of all preliminary rounds of PBA Tour events, start-to-finish coverage of a series of new PBA Tour Xtra Frame tournaments, start-to-finish coverage of all PBA50 Tour events (except for the USBC Senior Masters, which will be covered by USBC’s, and complete coverage of all new Professional Women’s Bowling Association events (except the nationally-televised finals of the PWBA majors including the USBC Queens, Bowlmor AMF Women’s U.S. Open and the end-of-season PWBA Championship).

Xtra Frame’s extensive video streaming schedule is available to a world-wide audience at nominal subscription rates: $3.99 for a three-day subscription for fans who want to watch a specific three-day event, $7.99 for a full month subscription, and $64.99 for a 12-month XF Season Ticket package. For complete information, visit and click on the Xtra Frame link. In addition to live event coverage, subscribers have access to Xtra Frame’s extensive archive of past PBA events, interviews, instructional videos and more.


PBA Commissioner Tom Clark will provide United States Bowling Congress delegates, convened in Omaha for USBC’s annual meeting and convention, an update on PBA’s progress during the 2015 season Wednesday afternoon as part of the USBC’s industry update program. The session will be video-streamed on’s BowlTV service.

BowlTV also will video-stream Wednesday night’s USBC Hall of Fame ceremonies, which will include the inductions of PBA members Larry Laub and Liz Johnson.


Genesis Bowling Accessories along with Lane Masters and Legends by Lane Masters bowling balls will join the roster of PBA Product Registered brands as of April 30.

Genesis Bowling Accessories’ approved products include K-Motion (kinesiology) Tape; Excel Performance Thumb Tapes; leather ball-wipe pads; Hydro, Intense and Maxx ball cleaners; roller bags and its power wrist wrap. Lane Masters and Legends by Lane Masters bowling balls will be approved for use in PBA Regional and PBA50 Tour competition.

For more information about the PBA Product Registered program, including a complete listing of approved brands and products, go to the “approved products” link under the Resources tab on the home page (


CBS Sports Network and the PBA have announced the broadcast dates for five two-hour finals that will originate from the Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Summer Swing from Shawnee, Okla., in late May. All five shows will air on consecutive Tuesdays beginning with the Wolf Open on May 26 at 8 p.m. ET.

The other telecasts, all airing at 9 p.m. ET, will include the Bear Open finals on June 2, the Badger Open on June 9, the PBA Oklahoma Open on June 16 and the Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort King of the Swing special event on June 23.


An all-star cast of PBA stars will participate in the second annual Baby Reesa Foundation Pro-Am No-Tap bowling tournament hosted by PBA/PWBA star Missy Parkin. The fund-raising event at Bowlium Lanes in Montclair, Calif., June 5, will benefit children with the disease Krabbe Leukodystrophy.

The event, which will be conducted in conjunction with the PBA Parkin’s Bowling Supply West Open regional June 6-7, will include PBA stars Josh Blanchard, Scott Norton, Clara Guerrero and Michael Haugen Jr. along with Parkin and others. The entry fee for the pro-am is $69 which includes participation in the Demo Day at 5:30 p.m. on June 5 where fans can try out the latest bowling equipment. For entry information, contact Bowlium Lanes at (909) 626-3528 or Drew Parkin at (323) 491-7221.


Baldo Campana, a long-time PBA member and the namesake of the upcoming PBA and PBA50 Baldo Campana Central/Midwest Open benefitting the Lorain County Kids Fund in his lifelong home, Lorain, Ohio, died Friday at Mercy New life Hospice in Lorain. He was 90.

Campana was the founder of Baldo Campana Concrete, a U.S. Army veteran, an accomplished artist and a skilled golfer, but his passion always was bowling. In honor of his 80th birthday in 2005, his five children and numerous grandchildren created the “Baldo Bash,” a New Year’s Day tournament hosted by Rebman Recreation, and eight years ago, Rebman Recreation and the PBA Central Region created the Baldo Campana Open in his honor. The 2015 PBA and PBA50 doubleheader will be held over the May 8-10 weekend. For more information about Campana, click here:


Josh Blanchard of Mesa, Ariz., defeated Tom Daugherty of Wesley Chapel, Fla., 247-239, to win the PBA Kona West/Northwest Open at KBXtreme Lanes in Kona, Hawaii, Monday, kicking off the joint West and Northwest Regions’ traditional Hawaii tripleheader series.

Blanchard, fresh off winning his first two PBA Tour titles in the Brunswick Euro Challenge and Xtra Frame PBA Maine Shootout, won his ninth PBA Regional title along with a $2,000 first prize. Blanchard defeated Missy Parkin of Laguna Hills, Calif., 268-224, and Daugherty defeated Austin Hunt of Kennewick, Wash., 278-219, in the semifinal round.

The Hawaii series continues with the PBA Hawaii West/Northwest Open presented by Storm at Scofield Air Base on Wednesday, and the PBA Hickam AFB West/Northwest Open Saturday and Sunday. Both events are hosted by U.S. military bases on Oahu.

● On the heels of winning his first PBA50 Tour title the previous week in the UnitedHealthcare Villages Open, Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, continued his winning ways as he defeated Ken Shealy of Myrtle Beach, S.C., 210-183, 238-198, in a best-of-three-game championship final to win his 42nd PBA Regional title in the Tarheel Lanes South Open in Hendersonville, N.C., on Saturday, April 25.

The Hendersonville stop included a number of PBA50 Tour players who were on their way to the PBA50 Miller High Life Classic in Mooresville, N.C. Scroggins, a rookie in PBA50 competition, earned $2,000. Shealy received $1,000 as runner-up.

In best-of-three-game semifinal round, Scroggins defeated Brian Cooper of Henderson, Nev., 237-156, 238-203, and Shealy took out Sammy Ventura of Syracuse, N.Y., 245-164, 174-145.

● Leading off the May regional schedule, over the May 1-3 weekend, will be the Junction City (Kan.) Bowl Southwest/Midwest Open presented by Radical, and the Pro Bowl West Tri-Region Member/Non-Member Doubles presented by the Proprietor’s Cup in Ft. Wayne, Ind.

The May 8-10 weekend includes a PBA/PBA50 joint regional doubleheader, the PBA and PBA50 Baldo Campana Central/Midwest Open benefitting the Lorain County Kids Fund, presented by Radical Bowling, at Rebman Recreation in Lorain, Ohio, and the PBA50 Station 300 Bluffton Open in Bluffton, S.C.

On the May 15-17 calendar are the Debbie & Leo Nunan Memorial Central Open presented by Nance Construction and Brunswick at AMF Stardust Lanes in Grove City, Ohio; the Victory Lanes Midwest Challenge (for non-champions) in Kankakee, Ill., and the Lightning Lanes Challenge in Marion, N.C. The originally-scheduled Bethmann Russell Syracuse Open  at Thunderbird Lanes in Syracuse, N.Y., has been cancelled due to closing of the host center.

Heading into Memorial Day weekend, the East Region will host the Colony Park Lanes East Challenge (a reduced entry fee event) May 23 in York, Pa., while the Northwest Region hosts the PBA and PBA50 Daffodil Bowl Open presented by Sunset Chevrolet May 22-24 in Puyallup, Wash.

Closing the May schedule will be a West Region PBA50 doubleheader leading into the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open – the 6th annual PBA50 Lona King Saguaro West Open at Johnson Lanes in Sun City West, Ariz., May 25-27, followed by the PBA50 Miller Lite Western Open at Starlite Lanes in Flagstaff, Ariz., May 27-29.

The Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open, presented by Storm, is set for May 31-June 5 at the Suncoast Casino, Hotel and Bowling Center in Las Vegas. The Senior U.S. Open – the first major on the 2015 PBA50 Tour schedule – will be covered live from start to finish on Xtra Frame.

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


● Storm has announced the signing of former Major League Baseball pitching star John Burkett, a 50-year-old rookie on the PBA50 Tour, to its stable of staff representatives.

● Only two days remain to qualify for the April MOTIV Xtra Frame sweepstakes. If you are not an Xtra Frame subscriber, you can enter the MOTIV sweepstakes by signing up for a new Xtra Frame subscription – your choice of three-day ($3.99), monthly ($7.99) or 12-month XF Season Ticket ($64.99). MOTIV’s ball-a-month sweepstakes will continue throughout 2015.

● Another April reminder: Every month,, the official travel partner of the PBA, is awarding a $200 lodging gift certificate to a lucky person who books a hotel room through Use the “Book Hotel” link on before the last day of the month, and you will be automatically entered. The $200 gift certificate will be valid for hotel room and tax only.

● Last call: You can still earn a discount on an Xtra Frame Season Ticket subscription with the purchase of a new bowling ball through a special limited-time arrangement with Bowling Infinity Group. Visit for details on how to earn a $25 discount and free shipping on the bowling ball-Xtra Frame Season Ticket package now through April 30.

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Bass Pro Shops Silver Lake Atom Splitters Repeat as PBA League Elias Cup Champions

by Bill Vint April 19, 2015 06:54

PORTLAND, Maine – Helped greatly by a series of clutch 10th-frame strikes, the Bass Pro Shops Silver Lake Atom Splitters won their second straight Professional Bowlers Association League Elias Cup with an impressive 5-1 decision over the Wheaties L.A. X at Bayside Bowl.

The Elias Cup finals, which aired Sunday on ESPN, concluded the PBA Tour’s first visit to the state of Maine. At the close of the competition – eight days after escaping serious injury in an automobile accident – Silver Lake anchor bowler Dick Allen of Columbia, S.C., was selected as the PBA League’s Mark Roth Most Valuable Player.

Silver Lake opened the multi-event Elias Cup finals with a 223-211 victory by Chris Barnes over L.A. X’s Jason Belmonte in the singles match. Barnes survived a 4-6 split in the third frame and a missed 4 pin in the ninth with a string of five strikes in the middle of his game, followed by two strikes and a nine-count in the 10th frame to win the first point.

L.A. X evened the score at 1-1 when Stuart Williams and Patrick Allen escaped with a 212-211 win in the alternate ball doubles match against Barnes and Mika Koivuniemi. Barnes’ seven-count 4-6-7 split on his final shot proved to be the difference.

The Atom Splitters quickly righted their ship in Baker Trios when Allen, Craig Nidiffer and Tom Daugherty were nearly perfect in posting a 297-246 victory over Belmonte, Andres Gomez and Martin Larsen. A 2-8-10 split on Allen’s final ball in the 10th frame was Silver Lake’s only flaw as it took a 2-1 lead.

With three points at stake in the Baker team finale, Silver Lake again responded. After defeating L.A. X in the 2014 team finale, 225-203, the Atom Splitters rallied from an early 10-pin deficit for a 236-215 victory to retain the Elias Cup. Allen started the come-from-behind victory with a strike in the fifth frame, and capped a string of six straight strikes with the first strike in the 10th frame to ice the title.

“This is definitely the highlight of my career,” the 36-year-old Allen said. “The whole situation of being chosen by (team manager) Mark Baker and Chris (Barnes) and Mika (Koivuniemi) to put me at anchor surprised me a little, but I like that position. They instilled a lot of confidence in me this week. It did a lot of good for me personally.”

Heading into the Elias Cup finals, Allen had made clutch sudden-death roll-off shots to give Silver Lake victories in both the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds despite a stiff, sore neck sustained in his one-car accident the previous Sunday near his home in South Carolina.

“I was coming around a corner, swerved to avoid hitting a dog in the road, and lost control,” he said. “I went into a ditch and hit a pole. I thought I was done for, but I got away with just some whiplash.”

His pain-in-the-neck was one issue, Allen said, but the loud, non-stop chanting and cheering by the Bayside Bowl fans didn’t bother him at all. In fact, it actually made him feel at home.

“The more you bowl on TV, the more loosened up you get,” Allen, a three-time PBA Tour title winner, said, “but the crowd here was highly unexpected. Fortunately I’m used to that because back home, I practice with my buddies after the bowling center closes, and we crank up the music, and my buddies trash-talk non-stop, so bowling here was just like after-hours practice at home.”

Allen admitted the crowd did influence his errant final shot in the Baker trios match, spoiling the team’s bid for a 300.

“The crowd got me,” he grinned. “They had been so loud, but in about my third step, they got quiet. I didn’t expect that. In that little moment, it kinda got me. My fundamentals collapsed.”

The PBA Tour will resume competition May 9-17 when FireLake Bowling Center hosts the preliminary rounds of the Oklahoma Grand Casino Hotel and Resort Summer Swing in Shawnee, Okla. The multi-event competition will include the Wolf, Badger, Bear and Oklahoma Open title events, followed by the King of the Swing special event. All finals will be held in the Grand Casino Event Center and will air on CBS Sports Network. Dates and times will be announced later.


Bayside Bowl, Portland, Maine, March 29 (aired April 19)

Final Standings

Bass Pro Shops Silver Lake Atom def. Wheaties L.A. X, 5-1.

Singles Match (one point)

Chris Barnes, Silver Lake Atom Splitters, def. Jason Belmonte, L.A. X, 223-211.

Alternate Ball Doubles (one point)

L.A. X (Stuart Williams/Patrick Allen) def. Silver Lake Atom Splitters (Mika Koivuniemi/Chris Barnes), 212-211.

Baker Trios (one point)

Silver Lake Atom Splitters (Dick Allen/Craig Nidiffer/Tom Daugherty) def. L.A. X (Jason Belmonte/Andres Gomez/Martin Larsen), 297-246.

Five-Player Baker Team (three points)

Silver Lake Atom Splitters (Mika Koivuniemi/Chris Barnes/Craig Nidiffer/Tom Daugherty/Dick Allen) def. L.A. X (Stuart Williams/Andres Gomez/Patrick Allen/Martin Larsen/Jason Belmonte), 236-215.

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