The PBA departs from its traditional Tour schedule for a live telecast of the first round of the historic PBA League Sunday at noon ET on ESPN from Thunderbowl Lanes in suburban Detroit.
The eight-team PBA League, featuring celebrity owners and an all-star roster of PBA Tour players, will make its debut on ESPN during the live two-hour opening round telecast.
PBA League owners and their teams include Los Angeles Clippers star guard Chris Paul (L.A. X), former Pittsburgh Steelers star running back Jerome Bettis (Motown Muscle), former NFL all-pro receiver Terrell Owens (Dallas Strikers), sports icon Billie Jean King (New York City WTT KingPins), actor/comedian Kevin Hart (Philadelphia Hitmen), Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams (BROOKLYN STyLES), comedian Chris Hardwick (Silver Lake Atom Splitters), and Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley (Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits).
Among the star PBA Tour players competing as franchise players are reigning PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash, Jason Belmonte, Mike Fagan, Pete Weber, Osku Palermaa, Norm Duke, Bill O’Neill and Chris Barnes.
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The PBA League is being conducted in conjunction with this week’s Detroit Winter Swing at Thunderbowl which also features the Tour’s Carmen Salvino Classic, Mark Roth Classic, Don Carter Classic and Earl Anthony Players Championship events that will be part of future ESPN telecasts.
The four individual tournaments will award PBA Tour titles and the qualifying scores posted by each PBA League team member will be combined to produce the team qualifying scores for the ESPN telecasts. The four PBA League matches on the ESPN telecast will utilize Baker Format matches where each team member will bowl two frames in each game to combine for one score.
Subsequent PBA League rounds will be taped to air on Feb. 10, Feb. 17, March 3 and March 24.
The team championship will be decided during the PBA League Elias Cup Finals, honoring PBA founder Eddie Elias, at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis on Sunday, March 31 (airing Sunday, April 7 on ESPN).
PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, will provide comprehensive coverage of all the action during the Winter Swing this week from Thunderbowl. For subscription information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.
Three easy steps to enhance your PBA telecast experience:
1) Tune into pba.com’s Xtra Frame for free interviews with the players as they provide their insight into strategy and equipment selection.
2) Watch PBA League’s first round live on ESPN Sunday at noon ET
3) Tune into the post-event show at Sunday 2 p.m. ET. Xtra Frame’s post-tournament show features interviews the winning players and provides in-depth ball rep analysis of the winner’s equipment selection and ball preparation.
Bowling fans can also get additional Tour coverage on pba.com and provide their feedback on PBA Tour telecasts through PBA’s social networking platforms on Facebook and Twitter