Bowling Manufacturers Set to Do Battle in GEICO PBA Team Shootout

by Jerry Schneider April 30, 2010 03:24

Six Flags Great Adventure to host fourth annual special event June 11-12 in Jackson, N.J.

Four of bowling’s leading ball manufacturing companies are going to do battle when Six Flags Great Adventure hosts the GEICO PBA Team Shootout in Jackson, N.J., June 11-12. ESPN will air the 15-segment series beginning June 27.

For the fourth summer in a row, stars of the Professional Bowlers Association will don shorts and sunglasses, and bowl outdoors on specially-constructed lanes at Six Flags Great Adventure in a made-for-television team competition. The 2010 twist to the Baker team battle will feature Brunswick, Ebonite International, Storm Products and 900 Global – rival bowling ball manufacturers who have selected their own teams.

“Historically, the bowling ball manufacturers have been intense competitors for dominance on the PBA Tour, but those rivalries have been pretty much behind the scenes,” said PBA Deputy Commissioner Tom Clark. “By converting the GEICO Team Shootout into a Manufacturers’ Cup event, we’re going to showcase those rivalries by inviting the leading brands to field their own super-star teams in a unique setting that should be as intense as it will be fun for PBA fans and players to watch.”

Brunswick’s roster will feature PBA Hall of Famers Parker Bohn III, a 32-time Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour champion, and 63-year-old Johnny Petraglia, one of five PBA Triple Crown winners and currently an active “super senior” on the PBA Senior Tour; PBA Tour champions Sean Rash and Brad Angelo, and the only woman in the field, 20-time Professional Women’s Bowling Association titlist Carolyn Dorin-Ballard.

“We will show no mercy to the young inexperienced crankers on the opposing teams," warned Brunswick’s Petraglia.

Ebonite International will field players representing its Ebonite, Columbia 300, Hammer and Track brands: former PBA Players of the Year Chris Barnes (Columbia 300) and Tommy Jones (Ebonite), 2009 U.S. Open champion Mike Scroggins (Ebonite), 15-time PBA Tour titlist Jason Couch (Ebonite), 2010 Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open winner Bill O’Neill (Hammer), and two-time PBA Tour titlist Mike Fagan (Track).

“The Ebonite International team is extremely excited to be part of the manufacturer's challenge. All of the players on our team had great seasons and are proud to throw the best balls made in America - or anywhere else,” Barnes said. “We are looking forward to capitalizing on that success and using that momentum to win this tournament as well. The fact that it is at Six Flags is a bonus, especially since our team is still young enough to enjoy it!”

Storm Products’ lineup will include PBA Hall of Famers Norm Duke (33 titles and one of two Grand Slam winners) and Pete Weber (35 titles and a member of the Triple Crown club); Australian two-handed star Jason Belmonte and Rhino Page, the PBA’s two most recent Rookies of the Year; and Roto-Grip representatives Wes Malott, the 2008-09 PBA Player of the Year, and Brian Kretzer, a first-time PBA Tour winner last season.

“Have you seen our lineup? Do you think we can lose? Please…” said Storm’s Weber.

Rounding out the field will be 900 Global’s star-studded roster of Hall of Famers Walter Ray Williams Jr. (47 titles and seven-time PBA Player of the Year, including 2009-10) and Brian Voss (25 titles); former U.S. Open champion Robert Smith, and past PBA Tournament of Champions winners Michael Haugen Jr. and Steve Jaros.

"I'm not much into trash talk, but 900 Global did help a Senior bowler win the PBA Player of the Year title!" 900 Global’s Williams said.

The 2010 GEICO Team Shootout will use the Baker team format for all matches. In Baker team competition, five players bowl two frames each to complete a game. The Shootout will call for each team to face each of the other three teams twice in “home and away” matches. The “home team” in each match will select the lane conditioning pattern and finishing lane. The head-to-head matches will produce 12 half-hour shows.

The standings after the round-robin matches will determine stepladder positions for the final three half-hour shows. The “championship round” will begin with the No. 4 team vs. No. 3. The winner will bowl the No. 2 seed. The championship will feature the semifinal match winner against the No. 1 seed.

All matches will be contested on June 11 and 12, with June 13 as a “rain date.” A revised ESPN telecast schedule will consist of four original one-half hour shows aired consecutively beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday,June 27 followed by two more shows to be aired at 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 3.  Four more original shows will be aired consecutively Sunday, July 4 beginning at 2 p.m. and will wrap up with a two-and-a-half-hour finale on Sunday, July 11 beginning at 1:30 p.m.

As lead-ins, ESPN will re-air shows three and four from June 27 at 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on July 3. Shows five and six from July 3 will be re-aired at 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. from July 4.

The first two shows will air back-to-back on ESPN on Sunday, June 27, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern. The next four shows will air consecutively over a span of two hours on Saturday, July 3, at 1 p.m., followed by four more shows airing Sunday, July 4, also at 1 p.m. The series will wrap up with a five-show, two-and-a-half-hour finale on Sunday, July 11, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.

Admission to the GEICO Team Shootout hosted by Six Flags Great Adventure is included in the price of admission tickets to the theme park. For admission information, visit sixflags.com.

In 2007 Williams and Duke teamed up to win the first GEICO Shootout which was a doubles event hosted by Six Flags near St. Louis. In 2008 the event was conducted at Six Flags Great America near Chicago and changed to a team format won by captain Carmen Salvino’s team (Williams, Malott, Belmonte, Rash, Fagan and Mika Koivuniemi). Last year’s event, also held at Six Flags Great Adventure, was won by Team GEICO (Koivuniemi, Angelo, Barnes, Malott, Patrick Allen and Mike Wolfe).

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