SEATTLE, Wash. – The Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour’s third annual Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship March 2-6 at AMF Thruway Lanes in Cheektowaga, N.Y., will benefit a family of charities supported by the bowling industry through the sale of specially logoed bowling balls to the bowling public.
The Plastic Ball Championship was originated by the Professional Bowlers Association in 2009 as a unique competition which required all PBA Tour players to use identical “throwback” polyester bowling ball technology. It returns as a special fund-raising event which will support Bowlers to Veterans Link (BVL), Bowl for the Cure (benefitting Komen for the Cure’s battle against breast cancer), the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, the new YES youth bowling initiative, and other charities supported by The Bowling Foundation.
The official charities of bowling will benefit from the sale of exclusive “plastic” bowling balls created by On The Ball Bowling. Each ball will use the same technology, but will feature a unique cover design with the logo of the participating charity. Bowling fans can pre-order their choice of balls featuring the BVL, Bowl for the Cure, IBM/HF, YES and Bowling Foundation logos, or a sixth ball which will feature the logos of all charities serviced by The Bowling Foundation. The multi-logo ball will be the official “tournament ball” used in the Plastic Ball Championship.
PBA Hall of Famer Johnny Petraglia, who will bowl in the Plastic Ball Championship on a PBA Commissioner’s Exemption, will be the spokesman for BVL; PBA Tournament of Champions winner Kelly Kulick will represent Bowl for the Cure; USBC and PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III will represent the IBM/HF; Bill O’Neill will be spokesman for YES, and Australia’s Jason Belmonte will be spokesman for the overall group of Bowling Foundation charities.
“We are excited again to be part of this great charitable endeavor. The PBA rallied the industry last year for Mark Roth and this year we can expand that reach through The Bowling Foundation,” said Brad Handelman, president of ontheballbowling.com/Strikeforce Bowling LLC.
To order the special bowling balls, visit ontheballbowling.com.
The tournament itself will get underway on March 2 with a seven-game Tour Qualifying Round where non-exempt players will compete for a minimum of 10 spots in the 64-player field. The 64-player field will bowl 14 qualifying games on March 3 with the top 32 advancing to round-robin match play on March 4. After a nine-game morning round, the top 16 will bowl another nine games in the evening to determine the top four for the live ESPN stepladder finals at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 6.
The Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship is named in honor of the PBA Hall of Famer who dominated the so-called plastic ball era, winning a PBA-record eight titles in 1978 followed by another seven-title season in 1979. Roth’s total of 34 PBA Tour titles ranks fourth on the all-time list of PBA champions behind Walter Ray Williams Jr. (47), Earl Anthony (43) and Pete Weber (35). A special new Mark Roth ball will be designed by ontheballbowling.com for the pro-am portion of the tournament.
The inaugural Plastic Ball Championship, held in Wheat Ridge, Colo., in 2009 was won by Jeff Carter of Springfield, Ill. Last year’s event, the first held in Roth’s honor, was held in West Babylon, N.Y., and was won by non-member Brian Ziesig of Levittown, N.Y.
MARK ROTH PLASTIC BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
AMF Thruway Lanes, Cheektowaga, N.Y., March 2-6 (all times Eastern)
Wednesday, March 2
10 a.m. - Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour Qualifying Round (7 games; minimum 10 players advance to Round of 64)
4:30 p.m. - Official practice session
Thursday, March 3
10 a.m. - Round of 64, Round 1 (7 games)
5:00 p.m. - Round of 64, Round 2 (7 games)
Top 32 advance
Friday, March 4
11 a.m. – Top 32, 9 games round-robin match play
Top 16 advance
6 p.m. – Top 16, 9 games round-robin match play
Top 4 advance to ESPN finals
Saturday, March 5
Pro-Am PBA Fan Day (times to be announced)
Sunday, March 6
1 p.m. – Top 4, live ESPN stepladder finals