PBA Spare Shots: PBA Tour Players Return to Action in Finland; Japan Next

by Bill Vint January 10, 2013 08:11

American and international PBA Tour members returned to action in January in two WTBA-PBA International Tour events: the 43rd Brunswick Ballmaster Open at Tali Bowl which concludes Sunday in Helsinki, Finland, followed by the International Bowling Championships supported by DHC Jan. 17-19 in Nagoya, Japan.

Both tournaments are new on the WTBA-PBA International Tour schedule. The Ballmaster Open and the men’s division of the International Bowling Championships will award PBA Tour titles if the winners are PBA members. Both events also will award WTBA World Bowling Tour points to male and female participants.

Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., defeated fellow PBA Tour star Mike Fagan of Dallas, 236-224, to win the 42nd Ballmaster Open last January and Tommy Jones romped to a 290-204 victory over Finnish-American PBA Tour star Mika Koivuniemi to win the 2012 International Bowling Championships in Japan.


An all-new line of PBA League merchandise, featuring the logos of PBA League teams, is now available on pba.com. To check out the products and order merchandise, visit pba.com and click on the “shop” link at the top of the home page.


Minneapolis-based Concrete Software, developers of the PBA Bowling Challenge, is offering the game on the Google Play store. Concrete Software has partnered with the PBA twice before to create games for mobile devices that allow players to bowl against PBA greats like Pete Weber, Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Mike Fagan.

The most recent offering, which makes its debut on Jan. 15, includes improved graphics, updated physics, and a robust tournament system. With more bowling balls, venues and PBA stars than previous titles, PBA Bowling Challenge expands on every aspect of game content while still retaining core elements that fans of the franchise have come to expect.

"Playing PBA Bowling Challenge is like watching the PBA on TV; it’s very addictive,” said PBA Commissioner Tom Clark. “I know our fans will enjoy the updates in the game that make it more and more like the real thing."
“This is a big step forward for our relationship with the PBA,” said Concrete Software CEO Keith Pichelman. “We’ve updated our 3D engine for this title and revamped everything from alley textures and ball attributes to pin physics. Our previous PBA titles have been a great way to let players bowl virtually against the big names in the sport, but PBA Bowling Challenge takes it a step further and introduces a Career Mode that moves through the ranks of a tournament system to create a fully featured player progression.”

To order the PBA game in a version to fit your mobile device, visit play.google.com and enter “PBA Bowling Challenge” in the search bar.


The PBA will make its first formal deposit in the Tony Reyes Family Fund, in honor of the late PBA Tour champion, in the amount of $12,085. Funds raised for the Reyes family have come primarily from the sale of “TR” tribute emblems, worn by a majority of players who competed in the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IV, and from proceeds of a silent auction held during the WSOB.

The PBA absorbed the cost of producing the “TR” emblems, as well as all the shipping costs involved for both initiatives, to provide the Reyes family with all of the revenue generated. The initial order of “TR” tribute patches sold out (many will be sold at PBA Tour, PBA Regional and PBA50 Tour events in the months ahead), but there are still patches available from a second order.

To order “TR” patches, send your order along with a check or money order (payable to PBA) for $5 per patch to PBA, c/o TR emblem, 615 Second Avenue, Suite 680, Seattle, WA 98104. Make sure you include your return address.


The only regional competition on the January schedule is the PBA Central Region Legend Lanes Regular/Senior Doubles Classic in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Jan. 25-27. Activity in the other PBA regions resumes in February. For complete PBA regional schedule and entry information, visit pba.com and click on “Regional Tours” under the Schedules tab.


● ESPN Classic will re-broadcast the finals of the 2012 U.S. Open, won by Pete Weber, at 11 p.m. ET on Monday, Jan. 14, and the finals of the 2011 PBA Tournament of Champions, won by Mika Koivuniemi, at 11 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 28.

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