PBA Spare Shots: PBA Challenge to Return to 2015 PBA World Series of Bowling VII Program

by Bill Vint December 2, 2014 08:14

PBA Regional, PBA Women’s Regional and PBA50 Tour players will have the added incentive of paid entry fees in the 2015 PBA World Series of Bowling VII and potential berths in the 2015 PBA Challenge as part of the World Series, PBA Commissioner Tom Clark has announced.

The PBA Challenge, introduced for WSOB VI, will involve season-long qualifying programs within the PBA Regions as well as the PBA50 Tour in 2015. Qualifying for each division remains the same as last year, with regional players competing for points between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, and PBA50 Tour players competing throughout their 2015 schedule. In each of the PBA’s eight regions (East, South, Central, Midwest, Southwest, West, Northwest and Japan), plus the PBA50 Tour, the competition points leader as of Sept. 30 will earn a paid entry into the World Series along with a berth in a special eight-game match play roll-off leading to two players advancing to the PBA Challenge Finals. The fourth spot in the PBA Challenge Finals will be awarded to the 2015 Teen Masters boys’ and girls’ division champions.

While the regional schedules for 2015 are still pending, the PBA expects an increase in the number of regional events that will include PBA Women’s Regional qualifiers. Complete details about the regional program will be available on each region’s home page on pba.com.

The 2014 PBA Challenge finals, presented by the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, will air on ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 18, at 3 p.m. ET. Finalists will include Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla., vs. Venezuela’s Amleto Monacelli (PBA50 Tour); Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz., vs. E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind. (PBA Regional); Clara Guerrero, Pflugerville, Texas, vs. Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif. (PBA Women’s Regional), and Michael Coffey, Melbourne, Fla., vs. Kelly Skalacki, Coram, N.Y. (Teen Masters).

PBA STARS CARRY AMERICA’S GOLD MEDAL HOPES INTO MEN’S WORLD CHAMIONSHIPS

Six PBA stars will carry America’s gold medal hopes into the World Bowling Men’s Championships Dec. 6-14 at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 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., are the members of Team USA who will join 274 bowlers from 49 countries competing for gold, silver and bronze medals in singles, doubles, trios, team, all-events and Masters match play events.
In the 2013 Men’s World Championships, held in Las Vegas, Finland won the team title, denying the United States a fourth consecutive win. Despite the absence of a team gold medal, the U.S. won three gold, two silver and three bronze medals.
Bowling fans will be able to follow the Men’s World Championships live on USBC’s BowlTV online video streaming service (visit bowl.com).

SUBSCRIBE TO XTRA FRAME FOR CHANCE TO WIN NEW MOTIV BOWLING BALL

Each month MOTIV is giving away a bowling ball to someone who signs up for a new Xtra Frame subscription, either monthly ($7.99) or 12-month XF Season Ticket ($64.99).

The November winner is Tyler Gruhl of Madison, Wis., who was selected at random. Gruhl won a Jackal ball from MOTIV (http://www.motivbowling.com/products/balls/jackal.html).

The ball-a-month promotion is a continuation of the MOTIV promotion which ran during the 2014 GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI when the company gave away one bowling ball a day for the six days of WSOB competition.

PBA REGIONAL SUMMARY: SIMONSEN WINS BATTLE OF TEENAGERS FOR SECOND TITLE

In a battle of teenagers, Anthony Simonsen of Mesquite, Texas, won his second PBA Southwest Region title Sunday, clinching the title in the Beaumont Southwest Open at Beaumont’s Crossroads Bowling Center in Beaumont, Texas, by winning his last three games of the eight-game round robin match play finals.

Going into the final game position round match, the 17-year-old Simonsen led Chris Hibbitts from Fort Worth, Texas, by 29 pins, and was only 33 pins ahead of fourth place. Simonsen defeated Hibbitts, 230-190, to secure the $3,000 first prize. Nineteen-year-old Mason Edmondson from Amarillo, Texas, defeated Houston’s Shawn Maldonado, 205-189, to move up to second. Simonsen finished with a 21-game total of 4,652 pins, 56 ahead of Edmondson.

● Amateur Charles Easton of Sylvania, Ohio, defeated Kyle Bigelow of Troy, Ohio by 75 pins to win his first PBA Regional event in the La-Z-Boy/Monroe Sport Center Central Challenge at Monroe Sport Center in Monroe, Mich., Sunday.

Easton finished with an 8-2 match play record and a total of 4,535 pins for 18 games, including match play bonus pins. He also earned $1,600.

The Challenge tournament field consisted of PBA members who do not hold a PBA title or non-members who have never won a PBA event. Because Easton is a non-member, he does not receive credit for a PBA title.

● Moving into the final month of the year, there is only one PBA Regional on the calendar for the Dec. 5-6 weekend – the PBA Knob Hill/MJK Pro Shop Eastern Challenge for non-title holders at Knob Hill Country Lanes in Manalapan, N.J.

The Dec. 12-14 PBA Regional schedule includes the PBA Decker Appraisal Services Southern Baker Trios presented by Hammer at Wayne Lanes in Waynesboro, Va.; the PBA McKinley Lanes Central/East Challenge in Niles, Ohio, and the PBA and PBA50 Sands Regency Trio Region Challenge and Open presented by Radical at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.

Closing out the year over the Dec. 19-21 weekend will be the PBA/PBA50 Southwest Doubles Open presented by Bowling Dynamix at Emerald Bowl in Houston, Texas.

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

● Admission will be free, and no tickets will be necessary, for the live PBA World Championship finals from the brand new South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas on Sunday, Jan. 11 at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) on ESPN. Wes Malott, Mike Fagan, Ronnie Russell, Todd Book and Stuart Williams will do battle in the finals of the final tournament (and major) of the 2014 PBA Tour season. A $50,000 first prize also is at stake.

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PBA Spare Shots: Harry Sullins Becoming a ‘Legend’ in PBA50 Regional Competition

by Bill Vint November 14, 2014 06:27

Five-time PBA Tour and three-time PBA50 Tour winner Harry Sullins, who also goes by the moniker “The Legend,” isn’t letting the grass grow under his feet.

On Sunday, Sullins defeated Tim Kauble of Marion, Ohio, 218-188, to win the PBA50 Victory Lanes Midwest/Central Open in Kankakee, Ill., for his sixth PBA50 Regional title of the year and a $1,600 payday.

When not competing full time on the PBA50 Tour, the Chesterfield Twp., Mich., resident is a weekend warrior who fills his schedule with regular and PBA50 Regional tournaments. During his years as a PBA Tour regular, Sullins competed in 403 national tour stops, but since becoming eligible for PBA50 competition in 2007, he has experienced a resurgence in his professional career, especially at the regional level where is his trying to build another “legendary” resumé.

Since Sullins drives to all of his tournaments he estimates that he has driven nearly 35,000 miles this year alone while bowling in a total of 27 PBA events, including the full PBA50 Tour schedule, PBA and PBA50 Regionals plus the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI in Las Vegas.

“With all the equipment I have, it’s just easier to put it all in the car than have to deal with the airlines,” he said.

At the regional level, he has bowled in 14 PBA50 events this year (plus two standard regionals against “the kids”).

“I still want to win every tournament I bowl in,” said the 57-year-old Sullins, who won the PBA50 World Championship during the first PBA World Series of Bowling in 2009. “My goal is to get to 20 PBA50 regional titles before anyone else and see how far I can take it after that."

Sullins, who plans to bowl one more PBA50 Regional in December, now has 17 PBA50 Regional titles including his win in Kankakee, Ill., on Sunday, Nov. 9. He also has won 12 regular PBA Regional titles.

BARNES, GUERRERO WIN BOWLING WORLD CUP TITLES

PBA champions Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, and Clara Guerrero, a Colombia native now living in Pflugerville, Texas, won the men’s and women’s titles in the 50th QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup Saturday at Sky Bowling Center in Wroclaw, Poland.

Entering the finals as the No. 3 qualifier, Barnes won his best-of-three-game semifinal match against Ukraine's Mykhaylo Kalika, 215-204, 300-219 and then swept top qualifier Tobias Bording of Germany, 269-248, 231-216 for the title.

In the women’s title match, Guerrero defeated Malaysia's Li Jane Sing, 2-1. Guerrero won the first game, 239-234, lost the second, 257-243, and won the deciding game, 265-211. Team USA’s Brittni Hamilton finished third.

Barnes, who bowled in the World Cup as a member of Team USA, joined wife Lynda Barnes as the first husband-wife duo to win World Cup titles. Lynda won in 2005.

PBA REGIONAL SUMMARY: LeCLAIR AND SON WIN PBA EAST DOUBLES TITLE

The father and son team of Brian and Connor LeClair of Albany, N.Y., defeated fellow New Yorkers Joe Ciccone of Buffalo and Sammy Ventura of Syracuse, 2-0, in the best-of-three-game title match to win the PBA Doug Kent’s Central New York Doubles Classic at Doug Kent’s Rose Bowl Lanes in Newark, N.Y. on Sunday, Nov. 9.

The LeClairs won a first-game roll-off 8-6 after tying at 389 and completed the sweep with a 397-368 win in game two to claim the $3,000 first prize.

The event teamed one bowler under the age of 50 with a PBA50 player for the “over/under” doubles format. The win marked the 18th career regional title for Brian LeClair, who turned 50 on Oct. 20. Connor, the oldest of his two sons, is a student at Fordham University and was competing in his third PBA regional event. Connor, a non-member, does not earn a PBA title because he isn’t a PBA member.

The LeClairs defeated host and PBA Hall of Famer Doug Kent and his partner, Mike Tryniski of nearby Fulton, 2-1, while Ciccone and Ventura eliminated Matt O’Grady of Matawan, N.J., and Ray Edwards, Middle Island, N.Y., 2-0, in the semifinal round.

Tyler Jensen of Fort Worth, Texas, defeated Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, 221-198, to win the inaugural PBA Harmony Colorado Springs Southwest Open, presented by Budweiser, at Harmony Lanes in Colorado Springs on Sunday. Jensen earned $2,500 and his 15th PBA Regional title.

Jensen advanced to the final match by defeating Brett Cooper of Denver, 2-1; Jeff Hatt of Oklahoma City, 2-1, Dave Wodka, 10-9 in a one-ball roll-off after they tied at 224-224 in the semi-final contest.

Scroggins, who slipped into the finals by converting the 6-7 split in the final frame of qualifying, won his way to the title match by defeating Ben Laughlin from Chandler, Ariz., 2-1, in the Round of 12; Mike Keily from Golden, Colo., 2-0 in the Round of 8, and 2013 USBC Queen’s champion Diana Zavjalova from Latvia, 246-192, in the semifinal round.

Rich Horsley of Morrisville, N.C., defeated top qualifier Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C., 223-219, to win his first PBA Regional title in the PBA Gloucester (Va.) Southern Open at Village Lanes Sunday. Along with his $2,300 prize, Horsley became eligible to enter the 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions in February in Indianapolis.

In winning the title, Horsley defeated Chris Blackmore of Fairfax, Va., 221-203; and three-time PBA Tour titlist Dick Allen of Columbia, S.C., 217-181, to advance to the title match.

● In the final PBA Japan Regional event of the year, 17-year-old non-member Miku Urano and Yuni Shibata won the PBA Japan Scorpion Women’s and Scorpion Open titles, respectively, in Tokyo.

● 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.

QUICK NOTES

● Reminder: nominations for the 2014 Tony Reyes Community Service award are due by 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. To obtain a nomination form, visit: (http://www.pba.com/Content/images/forms/TonyReyes_App_2014.pdf).

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Jim Knoblauch Wins USBC Super Senior Classic

by Editor November 1, 2014 05:41

By Matt Cannizarro, USBC

ARLINGTON, Texas - Jim Knoblauch of Waukesha, Wisconsin, made a key ball change that ultimately helped him win the 2014 International Training and Research Center Super Senior Classic with a 224-213 win against defending champion Kerry Painter of Henderson, Nev., Friday at the International Bowling Campus.

Knoblauch, who earned $3,000 for the victory, qualified No. 3 for the stepladder finals and used the last frame of his first match to try something different. Although he stayed around the pocket and remained clean in his opening game, he knew he'd need to strike more as he climbed the ladder.

While closing out his 194-170 win over Howard Partell of Las Vegas, Knoblauch decided to try a ball that would save some energy for down the lane and give him a stronger reaction on the backend.

The strategy worked for the 60-year-old right-hander, who earned his ticket to the title match with a 218-196 semifinal victory over Ed Roberts of Braintree, Mass. Knoblauch started the game with five strikes before a 4-7-10 split ended his run, but Roberts struggled on the left lane throughout the game and was unable to take advantage of the miscue.

"I watched Howard and Darwin (Wimer) start off throwing strikes, so I started with the ball I thought would give me the most consistent look," Knoblauch said. "It looked OK throughout the game but didn't finish and was bleeding too much energy. I had a free shot in the 10th against Howard, made the change and it gave me the look I needed. From there, I was able to make slight adjustments and get off to some strong starts against my opponents."
Painter, who won the inaugural ITRC Super Senior Classic in 2013 and led wire to wire in 2014, averaged more than 10 pins higher than the second-seeded Roberts over 20 games to put himself in position for back-to-back wins.
An 8-10 split on a light hit in the fifth frame of the finale proved to be the difference for Painter. Knoblauch secured the win with nine pins on his first shot in the 10th frame. Painter earned $2,200 for the runner-up finish.

"I had gotten a lesson about a month before this, and I have spent every day practicing to get ready," Knoblauch said. "It's absolutely awesome to see the hard work pay off and capture my first national win. This was my first time coming down to the ITRC, and it was great to get the win against some really good bowlers."

In the opening game of the championship round, Partell struck on seven of his first eight shots, and he needed every one of them, as Darwin Wimer of Mesquite, Nevada, kept the match close heading into the final frames. Despite a split in the ninth frame, Partell was able to escape with a 234-217 victory.

All competitors in the 38-player field bowled 16 games of qualifying over two days before the field was narrowed to the top 10 for the cashers' round. An additional four games determined the five finalists for the stepladder finals.

The Super Senior Classic was open to all USBC members age 60 and older.

2014 ITRC SUPER SENIOR CLASSIC
At International Training and Research Center, Arlington, Texas
Final Standings: 1, Jim Knoblauch, Waukesha, Wis., 636 (three games), $3,000. 2, Kerry Painter, Henderson, Nev., 213 (one game), $2,200. 3, Ed Roberts, Braintree, Mass., 196 (one game), $1,500. 4, Howard Partell, Las Vegas, 404 (two games), $1,100. 5, Darwin Wimer, Mesquite, Nev., 217 (one game), $900.
Stepladder results: Match One - Partell def. Wimer, 234-217. Match Two - Knoblauch def. Partell, 194-170. Semifinal - Knoblauch def. Roberts, 218-196. Championship - Knoblauch def. Painter, 224-213.
Cashers' round standings (20 games; top five advance to stepladder): 1, Kerry Painter, Henderson, Nev., 4,465. 2, Ed Roberts, Braintree, Mass., 4,244. 3, Jim Knoblauch, Waukesha, Wis., 4,235. 4, Howard Partell, Las Vegas, 4,177. 5, Darwin Wimer, Mesquite, Nev., 4,126.
Did not advance: 6, Paul McCordic, Sugar Land, Texas, 4,106 ($750). 7, Dick Baker, Henderson, Nev., 4,103 ($600). 8, Pete McCordic, Katy, Texas, 4,085 ($500). 9, Willie Wells, Plano, Texas, 4,038 ($450). 10, Ted Staikoff, Black Hawk, S.D., 4,034 ($400).

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PBA Spare Shots: Mike Edwards Replaces Injured Ron Mohr in PBA Challenge’s PBA50 Tour Field

by Bill Vint October 22, 2014 08:22

Mike Edwards of Tulsa, Okla., has replaced Ron Mohr of Las Vegas in the field of eight players who will compete for the PBA50 Tour’s berth in the made-for-TV PBA Challenge telecast during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI.

The eight-player, eight-game match play qualifying events for PBA50 Tour, PBA Regional and PBA Women’s Regional players will take place Friday at 2:30 p.m. PT (5:30 p.m. ET) at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas. All three events will be covered live on Xtra Frame. The top two players in each event will advance to the PBA Challenge which will be contested on Sunday, Nov. 2, in the new South Point Bowling Plaza for telecast on ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 18, at 3 p.m. ET.

The PBA50 Tour field will include Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla.; Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo.; Tom Baker of King, N.C.; 2014 PBA50 Player and Rookie of the Year Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla.; Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J.; Amleto Monacelli of Venezuela; Harry Sullins of Chesterfield Twp., Mich., and Edwards, who steps in for the injured Mohr. Edwards also will have an opportunity to bowl in the entire GEICO WSOB VI.

The PBA Regional qualifying field will include: Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y. (East Region); Connor Pickford, Charlotte, N.C. (South); EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind. (Central); Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa (Midwest); Shawn Maldonado, Houston, Texas (Southwest); David Haynes, Las Vegas (West); Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz. (Northwest), and Pat Nolan (Japan).

The PBA Women’s Regional field will include: Kristina Wendell, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (East); Christina Hardee, Mt. Dora, Fla. (South); Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y. (Central); Amanda Greene, Romney, W.Va. (Midwest); Clara Guerrero, Pflugerville, Texas/Colombia (Southwest); Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif. (West); Lindsay Boomershine, Brigham City, Utah (Northwest), and Yuka Tsuchiya (Japan).

PBA REGIONAL SUMMARY: VENEZUELA’S LEON WINS TWICE IN RENO

Richard Leon of Venezuela, who is on the waiting list hoping for a chance to bowl in the sold-out GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI when it gets underway Friday in Las Vegas, won his first two PBA Regional titles over the weekend at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.

Bowling in Friday’s Sands Regency West/Northwest Challenge, a tournament for players who have not previously won PBA titles, Leon defeated Clarence White III of Tracy, Calif., 223-197, to win his first PBA Regional title. In addition to a $1,200 first prize, Leon also became eligible to enter the 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions, which will take place in February in Indianapolis.

Leon got his second victory Sunday when he barely escaped the first elimination round, but advanced to the title match where he defeated Andrew Cain of Phoenix by 17 pins to win the PBA Sands Regency West/Northwest Re-entry Open at the Stadium.

In Sunday’s “elimination format” championship match, Leon rolled a 204 game to top Cain’s 187. In the semifinal round, Cain led the four-player field of survivors with a 203, Leon was second with a 201, Michael Haugen Jr. of Phoenix was third with a 194 and England’s Stuart Williams, who currently resides in Phoenix, was fourth with a 187. Leon earned $1,600 for Sunday’s win.

● With a live Xtra Frame audience watching, Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio defeated Eugene McCune of Munster, Ind., 238-226, to win the PBA Kokomo Central Shootout presented by Security Federal Savings Bank at Heritage Lanes in Kokomo, Ind., Sunday. The title was Loschetter’s second PBA Regional title of the year and his 12th career title. He also earned $2,500.

Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, outlasted Brandon Bivens of East Ridge, Tenn., and Shawn Maldonado of Houston, Texas, to win his 18th PBA Regional title Sunday in the 11th annual PBA Young & Pratt Austin Southwest Open at Dart Bowl in Austin, Texas.

Only nine pins separated the top three players with four matches left in the eight-game round robin match play finals. Malott won his last five games, including a 216-170 final game position round victory over Nathan Bohr of Austin, to pull ahead and claim the $2,500 champion’s check. Malott finished with a 21-game total of 5,100 pins, 48 ahead of Bivens

Bivens out-struck Maldonado in their final game match, 268-250, to move into second place while Bohr fell to fourth, with Maldonado advancing to third position.

Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C., defeated Matt Taylor of Youngsville, N.C., 223-216, to win his eighth PBA Regional title in the PBA Franklin Southern Open at Franklin Bowling Center in Franklin, Va., Sunday. Troup earned $2,300 while Taylor pocketed $1,300 as the runner-up.

● 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.

QUICK NOTES

● Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, host center for the PBA League playoffs and Elias Cup Finals in late March, will introduce Maine bowling fans to the PBA League when it hosts a special PBA League Draft party on Friday, Oct. 31. The PBA League Draft will be conducted at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas, with eight team managers selecting five players each for the weekend of PBA League competition in Portland.

● PBA Tour titlist Stuart Williams was one of four players inducted into the United Kingdom Tenpin Hall of Fame on Oct. 12 during the 888.com Weber Cup tournament at the Metrodome, Barnsley, England. Inducted along with Williams were Gemma (Burden) Harding, Zara (Glover) Giles, Ron Oldfield and meritorious service honoree Tom Clarke.

● A new line of PBA-logoed merchandise is now available through the PBA Store on pba.com, and at PBA Tour tournament sites.

● PBA Tour titlist Rhino Page once again joined his young friend Tyler Cacioppo, who he befriended in 2009, to continue raising money and awareness for Crohn’s and Colitis. Page helped establish the “Rhino Page & Friends Lace Up to Strike Out Crohn’s & Colitis Fundraiser” bowling fundraiser, and recently expanded his activity into running a half marathon with Cacioppo in Jamestown, R.I. Working together with Tyler and his family, Page has helped raise more than $30,000 to combat intestinal tract diseases.

● Need a Super Sub? When last season’s Hankel Classic high-average bowler Mike Fogarty was unable to bowl league on opening night at Howell Lanes in Howell, N.J., he brought in a sub: PBA Hall of Famer Johnny Petraglia. The veteran PBA Tour and PBA50 Tour star did a fine job, starting the evening with a 300 game en route to a 782 series.

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Bob Glass, Chris Peters, Barb Wilt Elected to PBA Hall of Fame

by Bill Vint October 20, 2014 08:46

CHICAGO – Bob Glass, a dominant player during a 10-year career on the PBA50 Tour; former Microsoft executive Chris Peters, who played a key role as a new owner in reviving the Professional Bowlers Association, and Barb Wilt, the longest-tenured employee in PBA history, have been elected to the PBA Hall of Fame.

Induction ceremonies will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 10, at the Marriott Indianapolis North in conjunction with the 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions. The Hall of Fame Dinner will be open to the public; ticket information will be announced later.

Glass was elected in the PBA50 Performance category. Peters and Wilt will be recognized in the Meritorious Service category for their extraordinary efforts behind the scenes to advance the PBA.

Glass, one of the first true power players on the PBA50 Tour, competed as a senior between 1997 and 2007 when he won nine titles and finished in the top five 38 times in 78 tournaments, earning just shy of a half-million dollars ($487,215). He won a pair of majors – the 2000 Brunswick PBA Senior Championship and 2001 United States Bowling Congress Seniors Masters – and earned PBA50 Player of the Year honors in 2000, 2001 and 2004.

Glass, who holds a PhD in economics and has a law degree, lives in Lawrence, Kansas, and currently is Chief of Economics and Rates with the Kansas Corporation Commission in nearby Topeka. Glass will celebrate his 67th birthday on Friday, Oct. 24.

“I was really surprised,” Glass said of his election. “I bowled some on the regular tour, and I really only bowled full-time 5 1/2 years on the senior tour. I just feel real lucky. It’s kind of shocking.

“I used to tell people that my game degenerated slower than other people’s because as a senior, I was able to beat guys who used to beat me regularly,” he added.

With an imposing 6-foot-2, 230-pound frame, Glass said, “I was still pretty strong when I came out (on the PBA50 Tour). Actually, Steve Wunderlich (a three-time PBA Tour titlist), who was with Track at the time, probably saved my career when he convinced me to drop from 16-pound equipment for 15 pounds because the heavier ball was too powerful.”

Peters, an early employee of Microsoft who later became an executive with the company, led the effort to purchase the PBA with partners and fellow Microsoft executives Mike Slade and Rob Glaser in 2000. Peters and his partners provided an infusion of capital to ensure a solid foundation for the organization while at the same time providing vision and innovative ideas to enhance the fan experience especially in the areas of event presentation and online coverage. The introduction of a professionally-designed “arena” style set for TV finals, including professional presentation of signage and an overall enhanced image, helped the PBA generate more new non-bowling corporate sponsorships than the PBA had seen in several years.

During Peters’ tenure as an owner and Chairman of the PBA Board of Directors, the PBA:

            ● Hired former Nike executives to enhance the organization’s position as a major sports organization;

            ● Re-launched a more comprehensive and fan-friendly PBA.com;

            ● Developed live online broadcasting of PBA competition through Strike Pass subscription service (now Xtra-Frame). Strike Pass was one of the first online ventures in the sports world to provide fans with live video-streaming coverage;

            ● Successfully negotiated long-term contracts with ESPN to establish a consistent time slot for PBA Tour telecasts;

            ● Introduced the PBA Exempt Tour for the 2004-05 season, creating an “elite” tour to better showcase PBA Tour players and provide the Tour’s most successful players with guaranteed opportunities to make a living by including record prize money for standard events. Each major featured a minimum $100,000 first prize, with the PBA World Championship offering a then-record $120,000 first prize.

“I was very excited when (PBA Commissioner) Tom Clark called,” Peters said. “It’s great. I’m a bit overwhelmed, but obviously this is shared with (co-owners) Rob (Glaser) and Mike (Slade). They were responsible, not just financially, but with their enthusiasm and ideas and everything else. I never could have done this without them.

“It’s been 15 years since I first talked with (former PBA Commissioner) Mark Gerberich,” Peters continued. “Way back then, Rob and Mike and I thought there might be a way to showcase bowling on the Internet. The idea was crazy at the time, but now the world is catching up, and that’s great to see.

“The nicest thing about my involvement is the people I met in the bowling industry,” he added. “They are the nicest people I’ve met in the world, bar none, and that’s what makes this so special. The PBA didn’t have to do this. It’s a huge honor. It’s kind of a sad note, but my father was a big bowling fan, and he died during the past 15 years. He was the first one I wanted to call, so that kind of explains how much this means to me.”

Wilt, who joined the PBA staff in 1970, retired to North Carolina in 2014 after 44 years of service to the organization. Her duties ranged from processing all PBA Tour entries to managing all of the PBA’s statistical records, and virtually every other hands-on office chore over her extensive career.

When the PBA was sold in 2000, the new owners asked Wilt to assist with the transition to the new headquarters in Seattle, so she moved to Seattle and continued to work to make improvements in membership, entries and statistical processes.

She was the face of the PBA among most of its thousands of members over four-plus decades, providing a familiar and friendly voice to help them with their needs, and she was conduit between PBA’s national and regional tournament directors in bridging the gap between the “office and the road.” She also became the organization’s unofficial historian and served as a guardian of old records, photographs and historical information.

“I’m overwhelmed. I never believed this would happen,” Wilt said. “It’s pretty overwhelming and I’m very, very honored.

“I did a job I loved to do, and worked with great people and terrific athletes, and I got the better end of the deal. It’s pretty cool.”

There were no candidates elected in the PBA Performance category.

Eligibility for the PBA Hall of Fame in the performance category requires a minimum of 20 years of PBA membership plus a minimum of 10 standard PBA Tour titles, or five titles plus two majors. Eligibility for the PBA50 performance category, which is intended to recognize players who excelled after reaching the age of 50, requires a minimum of 10 years of PBA50 competition plus a minimum of eight PBA50 Tour titles, or five standard PBA50 titles plus two majors. Candidates must receive a two-thirds majority of ballots cast in order to be elected.

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