PBA Spare Shots: Regional Points Competition Races Heat Up Heading Toward PBA World Series

by Bill Vint July 31, 2014 08:11

The chase for the 2014 competition points lead in seven PBA Regions is heating up with the October 12 deadline for qualifying for the PBA Regional Finals berths for PBA World Series of Bowling VI. The points leader in each region – along with the PBA Japan Region’s points leader – will receive a paid entry into the World Series and will qualify for the PBA Regional Finals’ match play competition. An eight-game round robin match play event on Friday, Oct. 24, at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas will determine the two players who will advance to the PBA Regional Finals match as part of the ESPN-televised PBA Challenge special event.

As of the final weekend in July, the PBA Regional points leaders were:

● East Region: Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y., with 94,469 points, followed by Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., with 73,266 points.

● South Region: Connor Pickford of Charlotte, N.C., with 68,830 points, followed by Lee Vanderhoef of Greenville, S.C., with 54,390 points.

● Central Region: Eugene McCune of Munster, Ind., with 108,096 points, followed by Patrick Dombrowski of Parma, Ohio, with 84,416 points.

● Midwest Region: Tom Hess of Urbandale, Iowa, with 106,353 points, followed by Brian Gunn of Chicago with 64,804 points.

● Southwest Region: Roger Petrin of Wichita, Kan., with 82,870 points, followed by Andy Patterson of Tyler, Texas, with 78,595 points.

● West Region: David Haynes of Las Vegas with 175,109 points, followed by Dave Wodka of Henderson, Nev., with 107,924 points.

● Northwest Region: David Haynes of Las Vegas with 124,590 points, followed by Josh Blanchard of Gilbert, Ariz., with 96,551 points.

● Japan Region: Yuka Tsuchiya of Kanagawa, with victories in the Cheetah and Chameleon Women’s and Open tournaments, has clinched both the Japan Regional and Women’s Regional points titles. She will make a decision on which event she will enter at the WSOB VI, and the runner-up in the other category also will be invited to bowl in Las Vegas.

PBA fans can follow the regional points races by clicking on the “statistics” link on pba.com.

BEN LAUGHLIN GETS A LITTLE HELP IN COMPLETING PRO-AM 300 GAME

Thousands of grassroots league bowlers – men, women, seniors and especially kids – have treasured memories of bowling in PBA Pro-Am events, where they team up with PBA stars and stars-to-be. But few pro-am bowlers have ever had an experience quite like the one six-year-old Brianna Archabal had during the PBA Boise West/Northwest Open at 20th Century Lanes in Boise, Idaho, on July 25.

The daughter of former PBA Regional player Scot Archabal was bowling on the same pair of lanes with 2013 PBA Regional Finals champ Ben Laughlin of Chandler, Ariz., who started his game with 11 strikes. Laughlin then told Brianna that he gets very nervous when he’s so close to bowling a 300 game, and asked her if she’d throw the last ball for him.

She did…and she struck…and the crowd went wild.

“Anyone who has kids had tears in their eyes,” wrote Christian Ashcraft, who also was bowling on the same pair of lanes. “I don’t have any way to thank Ben personally for making that little girl’s day, but I really appreciate what he did.”

Brianna’s mother Samantha Archabal notes that her daughter is no stranger to PBA pro-ams. She attended her first one when she was two weeks old.

PBA ADOPTS USBC’S “NO THUMB” RULE EFFECTIVE JAN. 1, 2015

The United States Bowling Congress is the national governing body of bowling in the United States and as such, the PBA continues to adhere to USBC equipment specifications. In a move to add greater clarity and fairness to ball specifications related to bowlers not using their thumb while delivering the ball, the USBC modified the specifications on bowling ball gripping holes. This rule will take effect for USBC competition beginning Aug. 1, but, to avoid a change in the middle of the PBA season, the effective date for this rule to be implemented during PBA and World Bowling events will be Jan. 1, 2015.

Under the new rule, any thumb hole that is not used for gripping purposes during the delivery would be classified as a balance hole. Bowling balls are only permitted one balance hole.

The new rule can be found in the PBA Rule Book under the “Resources” tab on pba.com (http://www.pba.com/Content/images/members/PBARuleBook.pdf). Go to page 56, Rule 11.5.4 and see Rule 11.6 for non-compliance penalties.

AUGUST WILL BE BUSY MONTH FOR XTRA FRAME COVERAGE

August is going to be a busy month for Xtra Frame, starting with live start-to-finish coverage of one of the most prestigious PBA Regional tournaments of the year – the PBA Gene Carter’s Pro Shop Eastern Classic from Mid County Bowling & Entertainment Center in Middletown, Del., Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 2-3. The East Region “super regional” will offer a $15,000 first prize, and has expanded its qualifying format to three squads to accommodate more players.

Following the “super regional,” Xtra Frame heads to Indiana to cover the PBA50 Tour’s South Shore Open presented by DV8 at Olympia Lanes in Hammond, Ind., Aug. 4-7, and the season-ending Treasure Island Resort & Casino Open presented by Hammer at Island Xtreme Bowl in Welch, Minn., Aug. 10-13.

Xtra Frame will close the month with coverage of the PBA Bowlerama Lanes Midwest Region Open from Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 23-24. The Bowlerama event will include coverage of the first of three PBA Women’s Regional competitions in the Midwest Region.

It will be a great time for fans who haven’t experienced Xtra Frame to enroll under the monthly rate of $7.99. To sign up, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link (

PBA REGIONAL SUMMARY: TEENAGER SIMONSEN WINS SOUTHWEST OPEN TITLE

Seventeen year-old Anthony Simonsen from Mesquite, Texas, defeated Andy Patterson of Tyler, Texas, 226-189, to win his first PBA Southwest Region title Sunday in the fifth annual PBA Fort Sill Southwest Open, presented by Columbia 300, at Twin Oaks Bowling Center in Fort Sill, Okla.

Simonsen, who finished fourth at the PBA Grand Casino Summer Swing Open earlier this year, took an early lead with four strikes as Patterson opened twice in the first five frames and never mounted a comeback, allowing Simonsen to coast to the title and $2,500 winner’s check.

After qualifying 14th for the match play elimination rounds, Simonsen defeated Jeff Campbell from Amarillo, Texas, 2-1; Lineal Floyd of Colorado Springs, 2-1; Randy Turner of Shallowater, Texas, 2-0, and amateur Jack Zuniga of Tulsa, Okla., 278-230, to reach the title match.

Ryan Shafer of Horseheads, N.Y. defeated Jason Stadtler of Cherry Hill, N.J., 269-200, to win the PBA Pure-It Pro Shop Eastern Open presented by DV8 at Cedar Lanes in Lebanon, Pa., Sunday, for a $2,500 first prize and his 25th career regional title.

The Pure-It Pro Shop Eastern Open also was the first of three PBA Women’s East Region events. Kristina Wendell of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., topped the four women bowlers entered by finishing fifth overall, earning $900 while missing the stepladder finals by 57 pins. PBA Tour champion Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J. also qualified for the finals, finishing 11th and earning $650.

● Harry Sullins of Chesterfield Twp., Mich. defeated Dean Billings of Rootstown, Ohio by 168 pins to win the PBA PROGRESSIVE/Gerdeman Insurance/Al Smith Jeep Central/Midwest Classic at Al-Mar Lanes in Bowling Green, Ohio, Sunday, claiming the $4,000 top prize and his 27th overall PBA Regional title.

The cumulative pinfall eliminator finals format gave the other three finalists little chance since Sullins had built a 110-pin lead after the first 17 games. He finished with an 18-game total of 4,077 pins, expanding his margin over Billings in the final game. Billings closed with a 3,909 total to collect $2,000 as runner-up. Tom Baker, King, N.C., was third and Tommy Martin of Olive Branch, Miss., finished fourth.

The eliminator format used in the tournament involved trimming the field based upon total pinfall after eight, 12, 15 and 17 games.

● Amateur Abraham DeMond of Angola, Ind., defeated Dan MacLelland of Canada, 276-193 to win the PBA Farmer’s State Bank/Roto Grip Central Re-Entry Open at Angola Bowl Sunday. Although he earned $2,600 for his victory, DeMond’s win is not recognized as a PBA title since he bowled as a guest.

The re-entry event allowed players to attempt to qualify multiple times if they wished in order to make it into the match play elimination rounds.

Gary Shultis of Levittown, N.Y., defeated Gary Morgan of Atlanta, Ga., 279-238, 168-212, 256-237, in the best-of-three-game title match to win his 20th PBA Regional title in the PBA50 SpareTimes Hampton South Open at SpareTimes Lanes in Hampton, Va., Sunday. Shultis also earned $1,600.

Dave Wodka of Henderson, Nev., posted a 7-1 match play record and a 3,698 pinfall total Sunday to win his 19th career regional title in the PBA Boise Northwest/West Open at 20th Century Lanes in Boise, Idaho. Wodka, who earned $2,000, defeated Clay Rees of Riverton, Utah, by 86 pins for the title.

In the companion PBA50 Open, John Marchette of Bozeman, Mont., went 5-1 and knocked down 2,893 total pins for 14 games to top Craig Miller of Tracy, Calif. Marchette, a non-member, doesn’t receive credit for a PBA title. Miller had a 3-3 match play record and 2,872 pins.

● The August regional schedule features a “super regional,” a series of Women’s Regional events, special events, Challenge events for non-champions, and a full calendar of opportunities for PBA and PBA50 players.

The Aug. 1-3 weekend includes the PBA Gene Carter’s Pro Shop Classic hosted by Mid-County Lanes in Middletown, Pa., a PBA East “super regional” with a $15,000 first prize and live Xtra Frame coverage; the PBA50 Beverly Lanes Midwest/Central Open in Arlington Heights, Ill.; the Pensacola Re-Entry South Open at New Liberty Lanes in Pensacola, Fla.; and the Luci Bonneau Memorial Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles at Palace Lanes in Houston, Texas. The Luci Bonneau event isn’t an official PBA regional, but it is supported by the PBA and will award regional titles to the male and female winners if they are PBA members.

On the Aug. 8-10 schedule is the Waccamaw Myrtle Beach South Classic (a PBA Women’s Regional series points event) at Waccamaw Bowling Center in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; the Killeen Southwest Open (also a PBA Women’s Regional points event) at Hallmark Lanes in Killeen, Texas, and the Bowlers Supply/Storm East Open at Colony Park Lanes North in York, Pa.

The Aug. 15-17 weekend includes the Emerald Bowl Southwest Challenge presented by Bowling Dynamix, for non-champions, in Houston, Texas; the Dave Husted Northwest Open presented by Dexter at Husted’s Milwaukie Bowl in Milwaukie, Ore.; the Bethmann Russell Syracuse Eastern Open presented by Radical (a PBA Women’s Regional points event) at Flamingo Bowl in Liverpool, N.Y., and the Lefeld Implement Central Classic (a PBA Women’s Regional points event) at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater, Ohio.

The Aug. 22-24 regional schedule includes the Fayetteville South Open (a PBA Women’s Regional points event) at Lafayette Lanes in Fayetteville, N.C.; the Mil-Ray Foods East Open presented by Columbia 300 at Brunswick Zone in Deptford, N.J.; the PBA and PBA50 Steve Cook’s Fireside Lanes Capital City West/Northwest Opens presented by DV8 (a PBA Women’s West and Northwest Region points event) in Citrus Heights, Calif.; the Greenville Southwest Open presented by allbowling.com (a PBA Women’s Regional points event) at Shenaniganz in Greenville, Texas, and the Bowlerama Lanes Midwest Open presented by Radical (a live Xtra Frame event and a PBA Women’s Regional points event) in Des Moines, Iowa.

The extended Labor Day weekend includes another full schedule of events, including the PBA50 Wilson & Sons Termite Pest Control Super Senior Open (for players 60 and older) followed by the PBA50 Mooresville South Open at George Pappas’ Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C.; the Tony Reyes Memorial Member/Non-Member Doubles presented by Brunswick at Fourth Street Bowl in San Jose, Calif., and the BOWLSTRONG Midwest/Central Challenge (for non-winners) plus the BOWLSTRONG Midwest/Central Tournament of Champions (for PBA title winners) at King Pin Lanes in Springfield, Ill.

Kicking off the September schedule will be the PBA50 Kingsport Super Senior South Open for players 60 and older at Warpath Lanes in Kingsport, Tenn., Sept. 2-4, followed by Sept. 5-7 weekend events including the Moon City Central Classic presented by Roto Grip at Astro Lanes in Wapakoneta, Ohio; the Grand Hotel, Casino & Resort Southwest Invitational at Firelake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla. (featuring live Xtra Frame coverage); the PBA50 Howell Lanes East Open in Howell, N.J.; the Rufus West Open presented by Columbia 300 at FlipSide Lanes in Gilbert, Ariz., and a pair of one-day PBA50 events presented by Ebonite at Illinois Valley Super Bowl in Peru, Ill.

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

● Joining the list of PBA50 Tour age-eligible players is two-time PBA Women’s Series titlist, 20-time PWBA champion and USBC Hall of Famer Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of Keller, Texas, who celebrated her 50th birthday on Tuesday, July 29.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it.