PBA Spare Shots: Tickets for Oklahoma Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Summer Swing TV Finals Now on Sale

by Bill Vint March 18, 2015 03:24

Tickets for the CBS Sports Network finals of five PBA Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Summer Swing events are now available. The finals of the Wolf, Badger, Bear, PBA Oklahoma Open, and Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort King of the Swing special event will be contested in the Grand Casino Event Center in Shawnee, Okla., on Saturday and Sunday, May 16-17.

Individual day passes can be purchased at http://www.grandboxoffice.com/event?eventid=66 for $25. Day passes are for general admission seating in the balcony overlooking the two-lane bowling installation, and are good for all telecasts happening the day of purchase. Weekend passes can be purchased at http://www.grandboxoffice.com/event?eventid=65. Tickets are $60 each, allow access to all finals conducted over the weekend, and will be good for general admission seating on the first floor bleachers next to the lanes.

The May 16 schedule includes the Wolf Open finals at 11 a.m. (CT), Bear Open at 2:30 and Badger Open at 5:15. The May 17 schedule includes the Oklahoma Open finals at noon and the King of the Swing at 3:30 p.m.

Summer Swing qualifying rounds will be held at nearby Firelake Bowling Center May 11-14. Defending champions are Sean Rash, Wolf Open; Ronnie Russell, Bear Open; Bill O’Neill, Badger Open, and Jason Belmonte, Oklahoma Open. O’Neill also won the King of Swing special event to conclude the 2014 Summer Swing.

For players and fans who are planning to travel to the Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort & Hotel for the event, rooms can now be booked at http://www.grandresortok.com/hotel/ or by calling reservations at (405) 964-7777. Grand Casino Resort is a full-service complex featuring the 262-room Grand Hotel, restaurants, golf course and many other amenities.

Bowling fans also are invited to bowl with the pros in the pro-am program on Saturday, May 9, at Firelake. To enter contact the FireLake Bowling Center at (405) 275-0404.

“BROOKYN STyLES” PBA LEAGUE VIRTUAL BOWLING BALL DEBUTS THIS WEEK

Number seven in the series of PBA League “virtual” bowling balls being introduced into Concrete Software’s PBA Bowling Challenge game on Thursday (March 19) will be the BROOKLYN STyLES. PBA League-logoed “virtual” team balls for gaming play already available to PBA Bowling Challenge players include the Dallas Strikers, GEICO New York WTT KingPins, Silver Lake Atom Splitters, Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits, Motown Muscle and L.A. X. The final remaining PBA League virtual ball, featuring the Philadelphia Hitmen logo, will be added to the PBA Bowling Challenge arsenal on March 26, just ahead of the start of PBA League Elias Cup competition March 28-29 at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

PBA League virtual balls are in play for the more than 12 million people who play PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game on a regular basis. The PBA Bowling Challenge by Concrete Software app is available on Google Play, Apple iOS, Amazon App Store and Nook.

BRUNSWICK STARS TO CONDUCT “MINI CAMPS” IN MAINE, NEW YORK, RHODE ISLAND

An all-star lineup of Brunswick pro staff players will participate in a series of four Brunswick Mini Camps in Maine, New York and Rhode Island in the weeks ahead, starting with a session at Sparetime Recreation in Hallowell, Maine, prior to start of the PBA’s “Maine Event” program in Portland.

Beginning with the Hallowell program on Thursday, March 26, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., the mini camp program will include instruction programs on lane play and ball layout involving Brunswick/DV8 staff members PBA Hall of Famers Parker Bohn III, Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Johnny Petraglia; former PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash; PBA Tour champions Tom Smallwood, Jason Sterner, Tom Hess and Ryan Ciminelli; two-handed veteran Brian Valenta, and Brunswick/DV8 ball rep Chuck Gardner.

Additional mini camps are scheduled for April 1 at Thunderbird Lanes in Syracuse, N.Y.; April 2 at Pat Tarsio Lanes in Newburgh, N.Y., and April 4 at East Providence Lanes in Rumford, R.I., on April 4. The basic tuition fee is $225. An additional upgrade fee includes a Brunswick/DV8 ball. To reserve your spot, contact Sean Rash (316-250-2980 or email: seanrashfan@gmail.com), or go to BrunswickBowlingCamp on Facebook.

ANGELO WINS KUWAIT OPEN; PBA STARS HEAD TO MUNICH

Brad Angelo of Lockport, N.Y., defeated Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., 257-191, to win the $25,000 first prize in the Kuwait International Open Saturday in Kuwait City. The tournament was not a PBA International-World Bowling Tour approved event.

In the stepladder finals, Hong Kong’s Michael Mak eliminated Finland’s Mika Koivuniemi in match one, 223-201; DJ Archer of Friendswood, Texas, defeated Mak in match two, 226-223, and Jones ousted Archer in the semifinal match, 234-173, to advance to the title match. Other PBA members who finished among the top 15 modified match play finalists were Sweden’s Robert Andersson; John Szczerbinski of N. Tonawanda, N.Y.; Dom Barrett of England; Ildemaro Ruiz of Venezuela; Jason Sterner of Covington, Ga., and Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash.

PBA players will complete a three-event PBA International-World Bowling Tour series this week at Dream-Bowl Palace in Munich, Germany, site of the Brunswick Euro Challenge, which ends Sunday. Kent is defending champion. First prize will be $12,000 and a PBA International Tour title if the winner is a PBA member. PBA fans can follow the action in Munich on the official tournament website, http://brunswickeurochallenge.com/results-2015/

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: BORESCH WINS MILESTONE 30TH REGIONAL TITLE

Lennie Boresch Jr. of Kenosha, Wis., defeated Mike Mineman of St. Louis, 234-218, to win the PBA50 Showtime Lanes Midwest/Central Open in Virden, Ill., Sunday for his 30th overall regional title. Along with his second PBA50 Midwest title of the year, Boresch also took home the $1,500 first prize.

Boresch defeated amateur Ken Galitsky of Plainfield, Ind., 2-0 in the best of three-game semifinal round while Mineman edged Brad Sipes of Bloomington, Ill., 2-1, in the other semifinal round match.

● PBA Regional action continues over the March 20-22 weekend with the PBA50 Fayetteville (N.C.) Open at Lafayette Lanes; the PBA50 Rossi Lanes Open in Elmira, N.Y.; the joint PBA Trumbull County Tourism Bureau Central/East Open presented by DV8 at Bell-Wick Bowl in Hubbard, Ohio; the PBA Odessa (Texas) Southwest Open at Astro Bowl; the PBA50 Boys & Girls Club Midwest/Central Open presented by MOTIV at Liberty Lanes in Carpentersville, Ill., and the PBA Caveman Bowl Northwest/West Open in Grants Pass, Ore.

● Wrapping up the March regional calendar over the 27-28 weekend will be the PBA50 Tony Grigat Allstate Midwest/Central Open presented by DV8 at Willowbrook Lanes in Willowbrook, Ill.

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.

QUICK NOTES

● Reminder: Voting on the PBA’s “best trick shot ever” will close on Friday at 8 p.m. ET. Visit pba.com and click on the “Trick Shot Poll” link (http://www.pba.com/Vote/) to preview great tricks performed by Norm Duke, Chris Barnes, Osku Palermaa and the late Andy Varipapa. The results will be revealed on ESPN telecasts of PBA League competition from Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, beginning with the No. 4 video on the Sunday, March 29, coverage of PBA League quarterfinal round 1; No. 3 on the April 5 coverage of PBAL quarterfinal round 2, the two finalists will be shown on the April 12 PBAL semifinal telecast for another “best of all-time” fan vote, and the winner will be revealed during the PBA League Elias Cup finals telecast on Sunday, April 19.

● PBA fans can 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 http://offthetrailer.com/ 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.

● Reminder: Every month, HotelPlanner.com, the official travel partner of the PBA, is awarding a $200 lodging gift certificate to a lucky person who books a hotel room through HotelPlanner.com. Use the “Book Hotel” link on pba.com 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.

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Wheaties Signs on as Sponsor of PBA League, L.A. X Team

by Bill Vint March 2, 2015 09:28

CHICAGO – The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) and Wheaties have reached an agreement to have the General Mills brand come on as a sponsor for both the 2015 PBA League playoffs and as presenting sponsor of team L.A. X later this month at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

The sponsorship package will include on-site signage during the PBA League Elias Cup Playoffs, as well as 30-second commercials on the four ESPN telecasts originating from the event. PBA League quarterfinal, semifinal and Elias Cup Finals shows will air on ESPN on March 29, April 5, April 12 and April 19.

“Wheaties is an iconic brand, and to have it attach its name to the PBA is very exciting,” said PBA Commissioner Tom Clark. “The PBA has a lot of momentum. Large audiences have been riveted to compelling action on the lanes."

Wheaties’ deal with the PBA comes as the Tour’s television series is enjoying a 22 percent increase in year-over-year audience ratings on ESPN.

“The PBA is a high-energy organization, and bowling has really grown in popularity, so it was a great opportunity for us,” said Jamie Lyon, associate marketing manager for Wheaties. “We have a history with working with so many iconic athletes. There’s something about bowling that’s very classic.”

Shamrock Sports & Entertainment, the PBA’s strategic marketing and sales agency, negotiated the agreement.

"The PBA is experiencing historic popularity via double digit increases in ratings on ESPN and Wheaties is eager to tap into that passion and performance,” Shamrock President Brian Corcoran said. "We are confident this initial partnership between PBA and Wheaties only scratches the surface of many shared values and championship celebrations to come.”

Wheaties will sponsor the PBA League’s L.A. X, a team founded by Los Angeles Clippers all-star Chris Paul and featuring a roster that includes two-time reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte of Australia; England’s Stuart Williams, Sweden’s Martin Larsen, Colombia’s Andres Gomez and Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla. Andrew Cain is team manager.

The PBA League portion of the PBA’s schedule has a unique attraction to potential sponsors, Clark said, because it features teams competing rather than individuals.

“During the traditional season, a brand can sponsor a player or multiple players and gamble on that player making the ESPN finals,” he said. “During the PBA League competition, you know for a fact that your team is going to have visibility on ESPN.”

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First PBA League Trade Finalized: Walter Ray Back with BROOKLYN STyLES, Osku Returns to Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits

by Bill Vint November 6, 2014 04:50

CHICAGO – The first trade in the 2015 PBA League program has been finalized, with BROOKLYN STyLES manager Johnny Petraglia bringing PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. back to his former team in a trade with Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits’ manager Tim Mack, who got his 2013 franchise player, Finland’s two-handed star Osku Palermaa, in return.

Under PBA League rules, trades are permitted until November 30.

With Williams, the all-time leader in PBA Tour titles (47) back in the fold, Brooklyn’s roster now includes Sean Rash, Tom Smallwood, Parker Bohn III, Jason Sterner, and Williams while Pittsburgh’s roster features Wes Malott, Dan MacLelland, Ryan Ciminelli, Bryon Smith and Palermaa.

The PBA League Elias Cup competition is set for March 28-29 at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine. All rounds of PBA League competition will be televised on ESPN on four consecutive Sundays, beginning on March 29.

2015 PBA LEAGUE ROSTERS (REVISED)

BROOKLYN STyLES (manager Johnny Petraglia): Sean Rash, Tom Smallwood, Parker Bohn III, Jason Sterner, Walter Ray Williams Jr.

Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits (manager Tim Mack): Wes Malott, Dan MacLelland, Ryan Ciminelli, Osku Palermaa, Bryon Smith.

L.A. X (manager Andrew Cain): Jason Belmonte, Stuart Williams, Martin Larsen, Patrick Allen, Andres Gomez.

Silver Lake Atom Splitters (manager Mark Baker): Chris Barnes, Mika Koivuniemi, Tom
Daugherty, Dick Allen, Craig Nidiffer.

Philadelphia Hitmen (manager Jason Couch): Dom Barrett, Chris Loschetter, Dave Wodka, Ryan Shafer, Rhino Page.

Barbasol Motown Muscle (manager Del Ballard Jr.): E.J. Tackett, Ronnie Russell, Josh Blanchard, John Szczerbinski, Mike DeVaney.

Dallas Strikers (player-manager Norm Duke): Bill O’Neill, Tommy Jones, Michael Haugen Jr., Norm Duke, Shawn Maldonado.

GEICO New York City WTT KingPins (manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard): Pete Weber, Mike Fagan, D.J. Archer, Scott Norton, Amleto Monacelli.

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BROOKLYN STyLES Make Sean Rash No. 1 Pick in 2015 PBA League Draft; Pittsburgh Takes Wes Malott No. 2

by Bill Vint October 31, 2014 08:51

LAS VEGAS (Oct. 31, 2014) – Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., was the first of 40 players selected in the 2015 PBA League Draft, held Friday at South Point Bowling Plaza. Eight PBA League teams will compete for the Elias Cup in two days of competition at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, March 28-29.

Draft order was determined by a random drawing. The BROOKLYN STyLES are managed by PBA Hall of Famer Johnny Petraglia, who was watching the draft along with a crowd at Bayside Bowl. Petraglia was represented at South Point by his son, John Petraglia Jr., who lives in Las Vegas.

“It’s an honor to be picked No. 1,” said Rash, who was re-united with his Brooklyn team and manager. “I’m looking forward to a great PBA League competition. We have a great team. We’re excited. We have great chemistry, and now we’ll see what happens.”

Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, who earned the No. 1 berth in the 2014 PBA World Championship finals a day earlier at South Point, was the first pick of the Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits’ manager Tim Mack.

With the third pick, L.A. X manager Andrew Cain selected Australian two-handed star and leading 2014 PBA Player of the Year candidate Jason Belmonte. Belmonte was L.A. X’s franchise player the previous two years of PBA League competition.

In the No. 4 position, the defending Elias Cup champion Silver Lake Atom Splitters’ manager Mark Baker picked Chris Barnes, keeping his top player on the Silver Lake roster for a third year.

Picking fifth, Philadelphia Hitmen manager Jason Couch selected 2013 PBA World Champion Dom Barrett of England.

In the sixth slot, the Barbasol Motown Muscle’s Del Ballard Jr. picked 2013 PBA Rookie of the Year E.J. Tackett of Huntington, Ind.

Dallas Strikers’ player-manager Norm Duke then selected Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa.

The final first-round selection was PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., picked by GEICO New York City WTT KingPins manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard. By drafting Weber, Dorin-Ballard re-united the KingPins with their top player for the past two seasons. The KingPins won the inaugural Elias Cup in 2013. In the serpentine draft, which reversed the draft order for all subsequent rounds, Dorin-Ballard picked Mike Fagan of Fort Worth, Texas.

The 2015 PBA League competition will feature two days of Baker format team elimination matches with a combined championship match featuring singles, doubles, trio and Baker team contests to determine the Elias Cup winner. All rounds of the PBA League will air on ESPN on a tape-delayed basis.

A special Maine Event Shootout, a match play singles event offering a PBA Tour title, will be held on Monday, March 30, at Bayside Bowl and covered live on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. All players who were eligible for the draft will be invited to participate in the Maine Event Shootout.

2015 PBA LEAGUE ROSTERS

(Rosters listed in order of player selections)

BROOKLYN STyLES (manager Johnny Petraglia): Sean Rash, Tom Smallwood, Parker Bohn III, Jason Sterner, Osku Palermaa.

Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits (manager Tim Mack): Wes Malott, Dan MacLelland, Ryan Ciminelli, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Bryon Smith.

L.A. X (manager Andrew Cain): Jason Belmonte, Stuart Williams, Martin Larsen, Patrick Allen, Andres Gomez.

Silver Lake Atom Splitters (manager Mark Baker): Chris Barnes, Mika Koivuniemi, Tom
Daugherty, Dick Allen, Craig Nidiffer.

Philadelphia Hitmen (manager Jason Couch): Dom Barrett, Chris Loschetter, Dave Wodka, Ryan Shafer, Rhino Page.

Barbasol Motown Muscle (manager Del Ballard Jr.): E.J. Tackett, Ronnie Russell, Josh Blanchard, John Szczerbinski, Mike DeVaney.

Dallas Strikers (player-manager Norm Duke): Bill O’Neill, Tommy Jones, Michael Haugen Jr., Norm Duke, Shawn Maldonado.

GEICO New York City WTT KingPins (manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard): Pete Weber, Mike Fagan, D.J. Archer, Scott Norton, Amleto Monacelli.

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Excitement Begins to Build as PBA Prepares for First-Ever Visit to Maine for PBA League Elias Cup Finals

by Bill Vint October 3, 2014 03:36

PORTLAND, Maine – Excitement over the PBA’s first-ever visit to Maine began to rise Thursday when PBA Commissioner Tom Clark met with business and tourism leaders and the news media to announce plans for the 2015 PBA League’s Elias Cup championship weekend March 27-29 at Bayside Bowl in Portland.

“We are very pleased with the interest of Maine businesses and the bowling industry to share our commitment to bringing the PBA to this market,” Clark told the gathering. “Maine is very attractive to the PBA as a destination to showcase the best bowlers in the world to a growing and vibrant bowling fan community.”

The PBA League event will involve a limited field of 40 players, but those 40, Clark noted, will include the best bowlers in the world. Among them will be PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte of Australia, Osku Palermaa of Finland, Sean Rash, Chris Barnes, hall of famers Pete Weber and Norm Duke, among others.

“This would be the equivalent of (golfers) Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy playing at Riverside,” said Charlie Mitchell, owner of the Bayside Bowl, a contemporary 12-lane bowling center that will provide an intimate, arena-style setting for the team competition.

Shamrock Sports and Entertainment owner Brian Corcoran, who played a key role in securing the event for Portland, said a national PBA event could be held at Bayside because “unlike the Super Bowl that needs a (gigantic) stadium, the unique nature of the PBA is that you can take it anywhere.”

Only two lanes will be used and most of the remaining space will be devoted to the needs of television and spectator seating. Mitchell expects the entire event to be a sell-out. Tickets will be available soon via Bayside’s website, baysidebowl.com.

Mitchell said the decision to host the event was an easy one to make.

“If you had a small first-class gym and had a chance to get the Celtics, you would,” he said. “This is something special. It’s having the pinnacle of the sport right here.”

The event is expected to draw an estimated $1.5 million to the local economy, according to Lynn Tollitson, the CEO of the Portland Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“March is a very slow season for us, so this comes at a time when thousands of hotel rooms would sit empty,” she said in the release. “This PBA event is going to be a great shot in the arm to our retail shops and restaurants at the right time.”

The PBA League consists of eight teams of five players each. They will compete for a projected $250,000 in prize money over the March 27-29 weekend. Four rounds of PBA League competition will be conducted for delayed telecast on ESPN on four consecutive Sundays: March 29, April 5, 12 and 19. The rosters for the PBA League team will be determined during a draft that will take place on Friday, Oct. 31, during the PBA World Series of Bowling VI in Las Vegas. The draft will be webcast live on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame.

Bowling fans in Maine will be able to watch the draft during a special “draft party” hosted by Bayside Bowl on Oct. 31 at 3 p.m. Eastern (noon Pacific).

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