PBA Spare Shots: Belmonte, Page, Smallwood, Svensson Earn ESPY “Best Bowler” Nominations

by Bill Vint June 20, 2018 14:01

Reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte, 2017 U.S. Open champion Rhino Page, 2018 Barbasol PBA Players Championship titlist Tom Smallwood and Sweden’s two-handed powerhouse, Jesper Svensson, are ESPN’s candidates for the 2018 “Best Bowler ESPY,” ESPN announced Wednesday.

Fan voting is now open (http://www.espn.com/espys/story/_/page/voting52/vote-best-sports) for “best bowler” and a variety of other categories. The annual ESPYs telecast, hosted for the first time by a woman – auto racing star Danica Patrick – will air live on ABC on Wednesday, July 18, from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Fans also can vote at ESPN’s social media platforms (@ESPN on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and @ESPYS (Twitter).

The ESPYS and related events benefit the V Foundation for Cancer Research in memory of the late Jim Valvano.

Belmonte, who has won the “Best Bowler” ESPY in fan voting the past three years, could become the first bowler to win the honor four consecutive years. He also is a four-time winner, tying Norm Duke and Pete Weber for second place behind the all-time ESPY leader, Walter Ray Williams Jr., who has won the award seven times since its inception in 1995. Belmonte and Duke are the only recipients to win three years in a row.

Belmonte is coming off a 2017 season in which he became the first player ever to win three PBA majors in a single season, and thus far in 2018 he has won the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship (with partner Bill O’Neill) and the PBA Tour Finals as well as posting top-five finishes in the PBA Tournament of Champions and the Barbasol PBA Players Championship.

In addition to his U.S. Open win, Page won the Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Group Classic title and he finished fifth in the USBC Masters earlier this season. In addition to winning his second major in the PBA Players Championship, Smallwood helped the Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen to a second-place finish in the OceanView at Falmouth PBA League Elias Cup finals. Svensson, after runner-up finishes in the 2017 PBA World Championship and 2018 PBA Tournament of Champions, helped the GoBowling.com Silver Lake Atom Splitters win the 2018 Elias Cup.

PBA XTRA FRAME ON FLOBOWLING.COM DEBUTS FOLLOWING BOWL EXPO

PBA’s Xtra Frame live streaming service will take a week off for the bowling industry’s annual trade show, International Bowl Expo in Las Vegas, before returning to live action June 25-29 with exclusive coverage of the preliminary rounds of the U.S. Women’s Open from Orlando, Fla. Liz Johnson of Palatine, Ill., will be trying for her fifth consecutive, and seventh overall, U.S. Women’s Open title. CBS Sports Network will air the stepladder finals live on Saturday, June 30, at 5 p.m. EDT.

The Go Bowling! PBA Tour returns to Xtra Frame on June 30 on its new online home, FloBowling.com. The inaugural event on the FloBowling calendar will be the PBA Xtra Frame Parkside Lanes Open from Aurora, Ill., June 30-July 2.

The PBA50 Tour will make its PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling debut July 17-20 with coverage of the PBA50 River City Extreme Open, presented by Ebonite, from River City Extreme in Monticello, Minn.

Fans can still enroll as XtraFrame subscribers through June 29 by visiting xtraframe.tv. An entire month of coverage costs only $7.99. A three-day subscription is also available through June 25 for $3.99, and the 12-month Season Ticket plan is offered for about $1.25 week. Monthly and year-long subscriptions will be honored by FloSports as the PBA moves to Xtra Frame on FloBowling as of June 30. As of June 30, new subscribers will enroll through FloSports.com at the current FloSports PRO subscription rates.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: AREHART WINS TIMMY SEE MEMORIAL OPEN

Steven Arehart of Chesapeake, Va., won his third PBA Regional title Sunday, defeating Anthony DeStasio of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 201-193, to win the third annual PBA Timmy See Memorial South Open presented by Motiv at Break Point Alley in Tavares, Fla.

Arehart was the number one qualifier for the stepladder finals with a 17-game pinfall total of 3,671, vaulting into the lead with a 257 in the final game of qualifying. He pocketed $2,500 for the win.

In stepladder match one, DeStasio defeated Brandon Curtis of Manson, N.C., 223-166. Then DeStasio eliminated amateur Steve Johnson of Coral Springs, Fla., 200-171, to advance to the title match.

● PBA Regional activity over the June 22-24 weekend will be the Homefield Bowl Eastern Open presented by MOTIV in Yonkers, N.Y.; the Pro Bowl West Central/Midwest Challenge presented by Storm in Fort Wayne, Ind., and the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Southwest Doubles at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla.

● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area…and remember, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple device users using the PBA app).

QUICK NOTES

Click on this link to listen to the Steve (Sparky) Fifer’s podcast on Milwaukee’s 1057 FM the Fan’s website with PBA CEO-Commissioner Tom Clark discussing PBA’s new relationship with FOX Sports: http://www.1057fmthefan.com/media/audio-channel/pba-commissioner-tom-clark-joins-sparky-discuss-fox-tv-deal.

You can listen to PBA Hall of Famer Chris Barnes’ interview on Herb FM Sports Radio anytime by clicking on this podcast link: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/53-HerbFM-Sports-Radio-28673959/.

● A four-man team of American PBA stars (Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones, Anthony Simonsen and Kyle Troup) defeated a team of our European PBA stars (Dom Barrett, Stuart Williams, Martin Larsen and Jesper Svensson), 19-10, to win the Weber Cup for the first time in six years. Troup was named MPV for the multi-event, Ryder Cup-style competition. At the conclusion of the invitational event, organizers said the 2019 Weber Cup (named in honor of PBA legend Dick Weber) will be held in Las Vegas, the first time it has ever been held in the United States. Dates and location are pending.

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PBA Spare Shots: FloSports History and Some Cool Things to Know About FloBowling

by Bill Vint June 14, 2018 14:07

FloSports is a 100% digital sports media company based in Austin, Texas. Here is some background on the PBA’s new video streaming partner as of June 30:

Floreani.Mark 2018 5x7● FloSports was founded in 2006 by brothers Martin and Mark (at left) Floreani, along with their friend Madhu Venkatesan, to provide comprehensive coverage of their favorite sports, wrestling and track & field. They raised $10,000 and invested $3,000 in a van, which they planned to drive cross-country to film events, and struck gold when their coverage of Ryan Hall’s record half-marathon drew a large following among long-distance runners on FloTrack.com.

●In 2012, FloSports began selling subscriptions to their live streaming service and other premium content. By mid-2014, they had raised $8 million and began adding new channels dedicated to specific underserved sports.

● FloSports’ philosophy is to grow sports by elevating the coverage. This is done by providing a fresh and informed perspective and offering an unmatched live experience. Bowling fans who follow the sport via Xtra Frame will soon find out what that means as FloBowling adds its own touch to PBA Xtra Frame coverage.

● Today FloSports’ list of channels includes FloWrestling, FloTrack, FloGymnastics, FloGrappling, FloSoftball, FloCheer, FloBikes, FloRodeo, FloRugby, plus more than a dozen others. The company has signed more than 330 new rights partnerships so far this year.

● In Tom Foster’s Inc. Magazine story about the birth of FloSports, he said, “(You may) recall a different upstart’s rise. In 1979, a slow-pitch softball game aired on (its) first night of programming. Years of bowling tournaments and highlight reels followed. It hardly added up to something that looked like a revolution. Until it did. Perhaps you’ve heard of that quixotic little company. It’s called ESPN.”

● Currently, there is a shift in the broadcasting and entertainment industry toward cord-cutting as the inevitable future of watching television. Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu are other notable companies offering digital content. Exactly how it will unfold remains to be seen, but one thing is certain, FloSports is far ahead of the trend.

●FloSports has more than 200 employees, 20+ channels, and is adding thousands of new subscribers each month. That means when PBA Xtra Frame switches onto FloBowling.com, the PBA will immediately gain the potential for several hundred thousand new viewers.

● One more note: FloBowling's subscription rate is $30/month or $150/year ($12.50/mo. prorated) – both include access to all FloSports channels. Xtra Frame subscribers who are in good standing as of June 29 will be able to retain their existing subscriptions at the current prices if they renew in a timely manner. If the existing Xtra Frame subscription is canceled or lapses, renewals will be at the FloBowling rate.

If you've been procrastinating about subscribing to Xtra Frame, don’t delay. Sign up no for Xtra Frame no later than June 29, in time for FloBowling’s inaugural coverage of the PBA Xtra Frame Parkside Lanes Open from Aurora, Ill., June 30-July 2.

● Learn more about FloSports here: http://www.flosports.tv/our-story/. Other stories about FloSports:

· They Started With $10,000. Now They're Taking on ESPN (Inc) - Sept 2017

· This Sports Streaming Service Aims for the Mainstream with Football Games (Fortune) - July 2017

· How FloSports is playing David to ESPN's trembling Goliath (The Street)  - Apr 2017

· FloSports Nets $21.2M for Live-Streaming Alternative Sports (Wall Street Journal) - Aug 2016

SENIOR U.S. OPEN HIGHLIGHTS XTRA FRAME COVERAGE THIS WEEK

Start to finish coverage of the PBA50 Tour’s Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open, presented by Storm, at Suncoast Bowling Center in Las Vegas highlights this week’s exclusive live streaming coverage on Xtra Frame.

Qualifying began Monday and continues through Thursday with coverage of head-to-head match play and the stepladder finals wrapping up the event on Friday. The finals will air at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT). Michael Haugen Jr. is defending champion.

Also on this week’s Xtra Frame schedule is the PWBA Greater Harrisburg Open which gets underway in Harrisburg, Pa., on Friday, with the final rounds airing on Saturday.

After a week-long break, Xtra Frame returns June 25-29 with exclusive coverage of the preliminary rounds of the U.S. Women’s Open from Orlando, Fla. Liz Johnson of Palatine, Ill., will be trying for her fifth consecutive, and seventh overall, U.S. Women’s Open title. CBS Sports Network will air the stepladder finals live on Saturday, June 30, at 5 p.m. EDT.

June 30 marks the beginning of PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling.com. The inaugural event on the FloBowling calendar will be the PBA Xtra Frame Parkside Lanes Open from Aurora, Ill. The PBA50 Tour will make its PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling debut July 17-20 with coverage of the PBA50 River City Extreme Open, presented by Ebonite, from River City Extreme in Monticello, Minn.

Fans can still enroll as XtraFrame subscribers through June 29 by visiting xtraframe.tv. An entire month of coverage costs only $7.99. A three-day subscription is also available through June 25 for $3.99, and the 12-month Season Ticket plan is offered for about $1.25 week. Monthly and year-long subscriptions will be honored by FloSports as the PBA moves to Xtra Frame on FloBowling as of June 30. As of June 30, new subscribers will enroll through FloSports.com at the current FloSports PRO subscription rates.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: TUHOLSKI ENDS 10-YEAR DRY SPELL WITH WIN IN TUMWATER

Craig Tuholski of Troutdale, Ore., won only four of his eight matches, but posted a winning 16-game total of 3,545 pins Sunday in the PBA South Gate Northwest Regional presented by DV8 at Tumwater Lanes in Tumwater, Wash., Sunday to end a 10-year title drought.

Tuholski, who earned $2,000, claimed his ninth PBA Regional title and first since 2008. He out-scored Tanner Spacey of Burien, Wash., by 133 pins for the win. Spacey had a 5-3 match play record and 3,412 pins for his 16 games including match play bonus pins.

Devon Miller of Dublin, Ohio defeated Andrew Klingler of Grand Rapids, Mich., 224-182, to win the PBA Elkhart Central/Midwest Open presented by 900 Global at Country Club Lanes in Elkhart, Ind., Sunday for his first PBA Regional title and a $2,000 first prize.

In the semifinal round, Miller topped Chris Colella of Indianapolis, 219-213, while Klingler downed Jason Lundquist of Columbus, Ohio, 209-188, to set up the championship match.

● The only event on the June 15-17 PBA Regional calendar is the Timmy See Memorial Tavares South Open presented by MOTIV at Break Point Alley in Tavares, Fla.

● PBA Regional activity over the June 22-24 weekend will be the Homefield Bowl Eastern Open presented by MOTIV in Yonkers, N.Y.; the Pro Bowl West Central/Midwest Challenge presented by Storm in Fort Wayne, Ind., and the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Southwest Doubles at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla.

● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area…and remember, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple device users using the PBA app).

QUICK NOTES

Correction: In the coverage of Chris Barnes’ victory in Sunday’s PBA Xtra Frame Lubbock Sports Open, the story noted Barnes won his last title in the 2016 DHC PBA Japan Invitational. That event actually was in 2015.

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PBA SW Region Grand Casino Hotel Points

by bturner June 12, 2018 09:23

Updated: 6/12/18

Grand Hotel Casino Resort Points

Grand Hotel Casino Resort Points will be awarded for all PBA Southwest Region open events from July 15, 2017 to July 14, 2018.

Invitational Field Makeup

The top 28 players from the Grand Hotel Casino Resort Point List that have bowled a minimum of three open Southwest region events will be invited. The top two players from the Grand Hotel Casino Resort Point List that bowled one-half the Southwest Region open events, but fell below the top 28 point leaders, will be invited. Two invitees that have bowled a minimum of three open Southwest Region events will be chosen by the Grand Hotel Casino Resort to complete the field of 32 players.

1. Anthony Lavery-Spahr

142609

2. Francois Lavoie

139744

3. Mike Bailey

137035

4. Sean Lavery-Spahr

106170

5. Shawn Maldonado

97355

6. Nathan Bohr

77841.5

7. Brad Miller

73028

8. Devin Bidwell

70681

9. Trey Ford

67670.5

10. Joe Findling

64366.5

11. David 'Boog' Krol

63446.5

12. Wes Malott

59847

13. Anthony Coats

58147

14. Dylan Burns

55929

15. Beau Peterson

52772

16. Roger Petrin

50831

17. David Scardaville

50473

18. Paul Brewbaker

48577

19. Chris Barnes

48305

20. Ricky Schissler

47486

21. Michael Steele

47308

22. Mason Edmondson

46441

23. Austin Boulds

46068

24. Dino Castillo

45132

25. Ronald Johnson

43495

26. Kurt Gengelbach

41907

27. Mitch Hupe

40374

28. Jeff Hatt

39063.5

29. Adam Pogge

37194

30. James Mayer

33666

31. Chris Hibbitts

32561.5

32. EJ Tackett

32104

33. Marshal Morrison

31097

34. Andrew Anderson

31003.5

35. Kyle Sherman

30092

36. Brett Cooper

29990.5

37. Andy Patterson

29150

38. Jason Duran

28495

39. ss-Mike Dias

27708

40. Rafiq Ismail

27708

41. Cody Meiers

26905.5

42. Mark Morgan

26600

43. Tyler Albracht

26165

44. Kamron Doyle

25802.5

45. Mark Scroggins

25392

46. Rick Minier

25000

47. Zakary Edgerton

24992.5

48. Keith Lesko

24151

49. Tom Daugherty

23820

50. s-Martin Bedford

23382

51. Michael Smith

23335

52. Nicholas Pate

22642

53. Robert Lawrence

21881

54. Jakob Butturff

21714

55. Anthony Simonsen

21714

56. ss-Paul McCordic

21260

57. s-Pete Thomas

20985

58. Kenneth Harlan

20511

59. Tyson Branagan

20462

60. Scott McCleery

19956.5

61. DJ Archer

19911

62. Jared Wolf

19499

63. Norm Duke

19249

64. Keven Williams

18907

65. Lee White

18173

66. AJ Johnson

18122

67. Sean Rash

17605

68. Ahmad Muad Mohd

17549

69. Harley Deckert

17244.5

70. n-Pat Roth

17156

71. s-Randy Turner

17103

72. Kris Koeltzow

16959

73. Juan Garza

16590

74. Christopher Hull

16415

75. Scott Greiner

16365

76. Raif Terry

16227

77. Robert Pohlman

15211

78. Billy Rogers

13813.5

79. Gary Faulkner

13644

80. Jeremy Fowler

13540

81. Jason Sterner

13487

82. Michael Tang

13393

83. Vaughn Cruz

13379.5

84. Jay Nephew

13097

85. Brian Burkett

13083

86. n-JIM Dougherty

12797

87. Paul Henderson

12790

88. James Cantere

12763

89. David Adcox

12380.5

90. Alex Cavagnaro

12212

91. n-Adam Tacker

12128

92. Alex Liew Liang

11718

93. Tom Hess

11574

94. n-Rameses Chambers

11452

95. n-Lonnie Waliczek

11054

96. ss-Mark Williams

10909

97. John Caldwell

10737

98. Clint Land

10588

99. Gabriel Yanes

10424

100. Ryan Ciminelli

10397

101. Matthew Tomsu

10397

102. Mark Myers

10397

103. Darren Tang

10271

104. Michael Austin

9854

105. N-Christopher Rogers

9828.33333

106. Bobby Hall

9825

107. Marshall Kent

9822

108. Cody Copeland

9722

109. Josh Montgomery

9561

110. Philip Wong

9360

111. s-Rick Lawrence

9314

112. Donald Davis,

9125

113. Tun Ameerul Al-Hakim

9053

114. Francis Russo

9026

115. Stephen Keblish

8973

116. Thomas Patterson

8863

117. Clinton Holliday,

8671

118. n-David Tullos

8595

119. Kyle Troup

8459

120. Joey Burruel

8346

121. Bryan Pogor

8331

122. Dave Chubb

8275.5

123. Johnny Wilson

8238

124. ss-Mike Benoit

8116

125. Wayne Stellick

8110

126. Justin Johnson

7750.5

127. Dylan Macon

7612.5

128. Don Blankenship

7310

129. David Wilson

7095

130. Trevor Watkins

7070

131. Bryan Viator

7068

132. Cristian Azcona

6795

133. Jorge Gutierrez

6785

134. Melvin Wilson

6743

135. CJ Kirchner

6734

136. s-Tracy Camper

6649

137. Dick Allen

6627

138. Timothy Tripp

6556

139. Adrian Ang Loong

6445

140. w-Diana Zavjalova

6435

141. Curt Dupre

6382

142. Travis Tribolet

6325

143. David Peterson

6273

144. Shane Martin

6120.5

145. Mike Edwards

6102

146. Brian Menini

6102

147. Gregory Johnson

6091

148. Jacob Cutler

6058

149. Connor Pickford

5972

150. Casey Buller

5818.5

151. Warren Blankenship

5806

152. Adam Ortega

5806

153. s-Scotty Scott

5802

154. Paul Kaminski

5552

155. Brandon Curtis

5552

156. Kenneth Bland

5511.5

157. Charlie Whittle

5472.5

158. ss-William Panebianco

5427

159. Collin Howe

5393

160. Joshua Garrard

5386

161. Syafiq Ridhwan

5308

162. Dwight Adams

5244

163. Alan Blankenship

5189

164. Zeke Bayt

5105

165. Skylar Glanovsky

5105

166. n-Larry Harper

5052

167. Perry Kloska

4986

168. n-George Duke

4974

169. Brett Spangler

4871

170. Billy Crider

4851

171. Greg Thomas

4823

172. Gary Blair

4800

173. James Watson

4795

174. Grace Hall

4795

175. Tommy Jones

4625

176. Lance Nikkel

4521

177. Ronnie Russell

4423

178. ss-Don Blatchford

4330

179. Nate Garcia

4241

180. Russ Oviatt

4241

181. ss-Tim Collinsworth

4193

182. Kristopher Prather

4157

183. Donnie Benson

3968

184. Jay Witt

3930

185. Mike Wolfe

3758

186. Jarek Vincent

3726

187. Kyle King

3635.5

188. ss-Michael James

3606

189. Pete Weber

3606

190. Jean Perez

3550

191. John Austin

3527

192. Michael Baker

3495

193. Jake Peters

3443

194. Hans Schell

3443

195. s-Douglas Kirkman

3393

196. James Price

3326

197. s-Gregory Scheetz

3297

198. Jon DeLaney

3206

199. John Gould

3149

200. Mark London

3043

201. Dennis Scott

3043

202. Aaron Ramsden

2944

203. n-Tonio Childress

2897

204. Cory Lane

2852

205. Marvin Williams

2808

206. Keith Desmarais

2808

207. Phillip Watson

2808

208. Humberto Vazquez

2787

209. Dan Schmerbach

2766

210. Tracy Gainey

2725

211. ss-John Burns

2648

212. Nick Kruml

2611

213. Jason Britain

2593

214. Zach Doty

2575

215. Michael Duran

2492

216. Brian Bledsoe

2476

217. Chris Via

2445

218. Victor Florie

2445

219. Michael Savage

2414

220. Brandon Enyart

2414

221. Chris Arcaro

2384

222. Zulmazran Zulkifli

2355

223. Quinton Miller

2355

224. Gregory Stauffer

2327

225. Zachery Tackett

2300

226. Justin Pittsinger

2260

227. n-James Montes

2247

228. Chris Loschetter

2198

229. AJ Chapman

2174

230. n-Michael Creasey

2151

231. Charles Ganem,

2128

232. Dave Han

2106

233. Mitch Beasley

2063

234. Jeff Steinbach

2063

235. William Grant

1983

236. Adam James

1983

237. ss-Thomas May

1928

238. Hunter Brooks

1877

239. Blake Demore

1853

240. Carlos Fourzan

1853

241. s-Eric Altenburg

1814

242. Samuel Bratton

1799

243. Darren Comardelle

1770

244. Charles Combs

1628

245. Doug Chap

1511

246. Phillip Scoggins

1465

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PBA Spare Shots: Nine Consecutive Days of Live Coverage on Xtra Frame Begins Today

by Bill Vint June 8, 2018 09:55

Nine consecutive days of exclusive live coverage of PBA, PBA50 and PWBA events on Xtra Frame begins Friday with two days of action from the PWBA Louisville Open. PBA action then kicks in with Saturday-Sunday coverage of the PBA Xtra Frame Lubbock Sports Open from South Plains Lanes in Lubbock, Texas.

In Lubbock, Marshall Kent will not be on hand to defend his 2017 title (he’s attending his brother’s graduation), so the fourth title in eight Xtra Frame PBA Tour events on the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule is up for grabs. Qualifying round coverage for two squads on Saturday begins at 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET followed by the cashers round Sunday at 9:30 a.m., modified eight-game round robin match play at 1:15 p.m. and the stepladder finals at 5:15 p.m.

Next up will be the PBA50 Tour’s Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open, presented by Storm, at Suncoast Bowling Center in Las Vegas. Four rounds of qualifying will air Monday, June 11, through Thursday, June 14, at noon and 4:30 p.m. ET (9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Pacific), followed by match play and the stepladder finals on Friday. The finals will air at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT). Michael Haugen Jr. (pba.com home page feature photo) is defending champion.

While the Senior U.S. Open is wrapping up, the PWBA Greater Harrisburg Open will get underway in Harrisburg, Pa., on Friday, with the final rounds airing on Saturday.

After a week-long break, Xtra Frame returns June 25-29 with exclusive coverage of the preliminary rounds of U.S. Women’s Open from Orlando, Fla. Liz Johnson of Palatine, Ill., will be trying for her fifth consecutive, and seventh overall, U.S. Women’s Open title. CBS Sports Network with air the stepladder finals live on Saturday, June 30, at 5 p.m. EDT.

Currently underway, PBA50 players are competing in the USBC Senior Masters in Las Vegas which is being live streamed on USBC’s bowl.tv. The tournament ends Sunday.

Fans can still enroll as XtraFrame subscribers through June 29 by visiting xtraframe.tv. An entire month of coverage costs only $7.99. A three-day subscription is also available through June 25 for $3.99, and the 12-month Season Ticket plan is offered for about $1.25 week. Monthly and year-long subscriptions will be honored by FloSports as the PBA moves to Xtra Frame on FloBowling as of June 30. As of June 30, new subscribers will enroll through FloSports.com at the current FloSports PRO subscription rates.

PUERTO RICO BECOMES 10TH COUNTRY TO WIN PBA TOUR TITLE

Officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, but it’s considered a country in its own right on the PBA’s growing list of countries that have produced a PBA Tour title winner after Cristian Azcona won the PBA Xtra Frame Wilmington Open in May.

Prior to 2009, Sweden’s Mats Karlsson (1986), Venezuela’s Amleto Monacelli (1987) and Finland’s Mika Koivuniemi (2000) were the only international players to capture PBA Tour titles. There were no international champions in the first PBA World Series of Bowling in 2009 (although Australia’s Jason Belmonte got his country’s first PBA title earlier that year), but in WSOB II in Las Vegas, the influx of international competition in PBA Tour events began to blossom. South Korea’s Yong-Jin Gu won the WSOB II Scorpion Championship in Las Vegas as an amateur, and therefore didn’t get credit for an official title. In WSOB III, England (Stuart Williams) and Colombia (Andres Gomez) got their respective country’s first title.

Since then, the list of countries to claim a PBA Tour title has expanded to include Denmark (Thomas Larsen, 2013), Canada (Graham Fach, 2016), Thailand (Jojoe Yannaphon, 2017) and Puerto Rico became No. 10 in May. Among the countries with multiple titles, England leads with four (Williams, Dom Barrett, Paul Moor and Richie Teece). Finland (Koivuniemi and Osku Palermaa), Sweden (Karlsson and Jesper Svensson), Canada (Fach and Francois Lavoie) and Thailand (Yannaphon and Annop Arromsaranon) have two each. Three Japanese players and one Korean have won the Japan Cup over the years, but none was a PBA member at the time.

“COMMISSIONER’S CHALLENGE” DRAWS A CROWD TO PBA BOWLING CHALLENGE GAME

Do you think you can out-bowl the best of the PBA…on your smartphone? Well, more than 25,000 people took on PBA Commissioner Tom Clark’s lineup of PBA stars in the “PBA Bowling Commissioner’s Challenge” in mid-May and only 1.16 percent beat the odds!

The “Challenge” involved the highly-popular PBA Bowling Challenge for mobile devices by Concrete Software, inviting players to beat a gauntlet of PBA stars, in order. Lose a match and you had to start over. The 24,500 unique players who tried played a total of 879,000 games. Among the players, 23,700 won at least one match, but only 283 “out-bowled” the entire field (#PBA #GoBowling).

For the record, the Challenge was successful enough that both Google and iOS featured it on their sites while the friendly competition was taking place. Special stand-alone events within the game (Weekend Challenges, Commissioner’s Challenge, etc.) will be regular events on the PBA Bowling Challenge game in the future, so if you’d like to play, keep an eye open for future announcements. If you are a registered PBA Bowling Challenge player, you’ll get notices when a new game or “challenge” is scheduled. There is no charge to play the special games/challenges.

Couch.Jason_2018 Jason Couch Way poseEBONITE RECOGNIZES JASON COUCH’S 25 YEARS OF INVOLVEMENT WITH THE COMPANY

Ebonite International wanted to do “something special” to recognize PBA Hall of Famer Jason Couch’s 25 years of involvement with the company, as a competitor, coach and regional sales rep.

“They don’t come any more loyal than this guy. His passion bleeds through,” said Ebonite’s North American Sales Manager Mike Judy before unveiling a sign featuring a silhouette of Couch’s iconic “three-peat” gesture after winning his third consecutive PBA Tournament of Champions title. The “Jason Couch Way” sign will reside at the entrance to Ebonite’s plant in Hopkinsville, Ky.

“I don’t know what to say. This is a shock,” Couch said.

Click here to view the presentation: https://www.facebook.com/Ebonitebowling/videos/10160447296775243/?hc_ref=ARQz6b5BhqbsilpZ_JOAmxyN_GPxW-GAV_NFAjhqJyGqiN8xGO07sFZpI1JSRhH3FHc

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: COMPETITION RESUMES NEXT WEEKEND

There was no activity over the first weekend of June, so kicking off the June PBA Regional calendar over the June 8-10 weekend will be the PBA Tumwater Northwest Open presented by DV8 at Tumwater Lanes in Tumwater, Wash., and the one-day, reduced entry fee Elkhart Central/Midwest Open presented by 900 Global on June 10 at Country Club Lanes in Elkhart, Ind.

● The June 15-17 PBA Regional calendar includes the Timmy See Memorial Tavares South Open presented by MOTIV at Break Point Alley in Tavares, Fla.

● PBA Regional activity over the June 22-24 weekend will be the Homefield Bowl Eastern Open presented by MOTIV in Yonkers, N.Y.; the Pro Bowl West Central/Midwest Challenge presented by Storm in Fort Wayne, Ind., and the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Southwest Doubles at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla.

● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area…and remember, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple device users using the PBA app).

QUICK NOTES

● PBA star Sean Rash’s bowling session with three National Hot Rod Association stars was captured in a short video by FOX Sports. Here’s the clip:  https://www.nhra.com/videos/2018/richie-crampton-and-jr-todd-pick-bowling-tips.

● Noticeably absent from the PBA50 Tour this season has been PBA Hall of Famer and 12-time PBA50 Tour titlist Tom Baker of King, N.C., who is recovering from back surgery. Baker, 63, has said he hopes to return for the last segment of the 2018 PBA50 Tour schedule.

Roy Okamoto of Rosemead, Calif., will receive a new high-performance ball from MOTIV, Sarah Germano of Rochester, N.Y., wins a new Brunswick ball, and Andrew Davitz of Montgomery, Ala., is the winner of a new high-performance ball from DV8 as May Xtra Frame sweepstakes winners. The monthly sweepstakes is sponsored by the respective PBA Product Registered partners. Winners are randomly selected from among new monthly or full-year Xtra Frame subscribers.

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PBA Spare Shots: NHRA Drivers Enjoy an Afternoon of Bowling with PBA Star Sean Rash

by Bill Vint June 1, 2018 12:50

Known for piloting their top fuel dragsters and funny cars at more than 300 mph in National Hot Rod Association competition, Kalitta Motorsports drivers JR Todd, Richie Crampton and Shawn Langdon also have been known to get their competitive juices flowing as avid league bowlers.

The three NHRA stars, who will be competing this weekend in the JEGS Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., spent Thursday afternoon with 12-time PBA Tour winner Sean Rash at Parkside Lanes in Aurora, Ill., getting a few tips from the former PBA Player of the Year in hopes of improving their games.

(Feature photo caption: NHRA drivers from left. Shawn Langdon, JR Todd, Sean Rash, Richie Crampton and FOX Sports’ Amanda Busick; below is Todd’s Funny Car)

All three drivers bowl in a “Racers” league for drivers and crew members at Brownsburg Bowl in Brownsburg, Ind., where several NHRA teams are based, during the off season.

JR Todd racing photo“I grew up a block away from Durbin Lanes in Lawrenceburg, Ind., so it was only natural to hang out there,” said the 36-year-old Todd who holds a 180 average. “At first I went there to play the video games but then I thought I should give bowling a try. After a while I really got into it and eventually joined a junior league and was in a junior travelling league when I was in high school.  It was a lot of fun so I’ve stayed with it ever since.

“I’m definitely into it (bowling),” he added. “I catch it on TV whenever I can.”

Todd must have been a quick learner as he proceeded to post games of 217 and 220 during an informal match between the three drivers and Rash.

“When I found out about us being able to bowl with Sean I was pumped about it,” Todd added. “You don’t want to miss an opportunity to get some tips from one of the best in the sport.”

Rash also had admiration for the drivers. 

“I’ve had quite a few 300 games in my career,” said Rash, who is the only player to bowl two 300 games in televised PBA Tour finals. “But I wouldn’t mind going 300 mph like these guys do one day.”

Also on hand was FOX NHRA pit reporter Amanda Busick who was taping a bowling feature for the FOX telecast of the Route 66 Nationals this weekend. PBA will join NHRA as part of the sports lineup on the FOX family of sports networks in 2019.

The bowling feature is scheduled to air on FS1’s Route 66 Nationals coverage Sunday between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. ET.

So far this season Todd has won twice in NHRA’s funny car division and Crampton has one win in top fuel.

For additional information about Todd, Langdon and Crampton check out their bios: JR Todd - https://www.nhra.com/drivers/j-r-todd/981; Shawn Langdon - https://www.nhra.com/drivers/shawn-langdon/151, and Richie Crampton - https://www.nhra.com/drivers/richie-crampton/956.

WES MALOTT’S SANTE FE HIGH SCHOOL FUND-RAISER TOPS ITS GOAL

Ten-time PBA Tour champion Wes Malott set out to raise $5,000 to benefit the families’ of victims of the recent high school shooting tragedy in Santa Fe, Texas, and as word got out to the bowling community, help came in from all directions in the form of product donations from bowling product manufacturers, signed merchandise from his fellow PBA competitors and, most important, cash.

Malott held a raffle drawing during his annual Malott’s All-Stars Youth Championships tournament over the weekend in Austin, Texas, awarding prizes to multiple winners during a Facebook Live event, and announced his fundraiser had surpassed $8,000.

XTRA FRAME’S WEEKEND COVERAGE INCLUDES PBA XTRA FRAME TOUR, PWBA EVENT

This weekend’s Xtra Frame schedule kicks off a busy summer, including start-to-finish coverage of the PBA Xtra Frame Greater Jonesboro Open from Hijinx Family Entertainment Center in Jonesboro, Ark., Saturday and Sunday. Canada’s Francois Lavoie will defend his 2017 title in the third of eight Xtra Frame PBA Tour events on the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule. Qualifying round coverage is set for 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, followed by the cashers round Sunday at 9:30 a.m., match play at 1 p.m. and the stepladder finals at 3:30 p.m.

The PWBA’s East Hartford Open from Silver Lanes in East Hartford, Conn., will air today and Saturday on Xtra Frame, with coverage of the stepladder finals at 4:45 p.m. ET.

PBA50 players will be competing in the USBC Senior Masters, which will be live streamed on USBC’s bowl.tv .

On tap for Xtra Frame subscribers is the PBA Xtra Frame Lubbock Sports Open from South Plaines Lanes in Lubbock, Texas, Saturday-Sunday, June 9-10; the PWBA Louisville Open, Friday-Saturday, June 8-9, and the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open from Las Vegas, Monday, June 11 through Friday, June 15.

To enroll as an XtraFrame subscriber, visit xtraframe.tv. An entire month of coverage costs only $7.99. A three-day subscription is also available for $3.99, and the 12-month Season Ticket plan is offered for about $1.25 week.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: CHRIS WARREN TIES FOR OVERALL REGIONAL TITLES LEAD

Chris Warren of Grants Pass, Ore., defeated Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, 267-256, in the PBA50 Vanessa Brown Homes West Open Sunday at Yosemite Lanes in Modesto, Calif., to tie Dale Traber of Cedarburg, Wis., for the all-time lead in overall PBA Regional titles won.

Warren, 54, won his fifth PBA50 Regional title to go with 47 standard regional titles to bring his overall titles total to 52, moving into a tie with Traber who has 39 standard and 13 PBA50 regional wins. Both are one ahead of PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber, who has 51 titles. Warren also picked up a $1,500 first prize.

In the PBA50 semifinal round, Warren eliminated Craig Miller of Tracy, Calif., 241-186, and Kretzer defeated Ty Dawson of Sunnyvale, Calif., 236-181.

In the standard regional as part of the weekend, 40-year-old Warren Crawford of McKinleyville, Calif., in his first year of PBA membership, defeated Wayne Garber of Modesto, 245-214, to win the Vanessa Brown Homes West Open, presented by Track. In addition to the $2,000 first prize, Crawford picked up his first PBA Regional title.

Crawford defeated Scott Boyle of Salida, Calif., 229-180, in the semifinal round while Garber advanced to the title match by defeating Russ Oviatt of Chandler, Ariz., 236-227.

Steve Jaros of Yorkville, Ill., defeated Dave Beres of Waukesha, Wis., 185-165, to win his 43rd PBA Regional title in the PBA Celeste Walker Midwest Open, presented by American Family Insurance, at Strike N Spare II in Lockport, Ill., Saturday.

The title was Jaros’ first since 2010 and earned him a $1,800 first prize. Despite the lengthy gap between titles, the mostly-retired Jaros still ranks third on the all-time standard PBA Regional titles list behind leader Chris Warren (47) and Pete Weber (46).

Jaros defeated amateur Kyle Anderson of Lockport, 254-213 and Beres edged Anthony LaCaze of Elgin, Ill., 244-181, in the semifinal round to set up the championship match.

Brent Tishuk of Belvidere, N.J., defeated Adam Chase of North Babylon, N.Y., 221-180, to win his first PBA title in the PBA Colony Park Lanes Eastern Challenge in York, Pa., on Saturday. PBA Challenge events are open to any member or non-member who has never won a PBA event.

Tishuk, a second-year member, had not finished higher than fourth place in PBA competition prior to this event. He was nursed his way through a muscle pull sustained earlier in the day to defeat Chase, an eight-year member who had two career runner-up finishes prior to this event. Tishuk earned $1,500.

● Kicking off the June PBA Regional calendar over the June 8-10 weekend will be the PBA Tumwater Northwest Open presented by DV8 at Tumwater Lanes in Tumwater, Wash., and the one-day, reduced entry fee Elkhart Central/Midwest Open presented by 900 Global on June 10 at Country Club Lanes in Elkhart, Ind.

● The June 15-17 PBA Regional calendar includes the Timmy See Memorial Tavares South Open presented by MOTIV at Break Point Alley in Tavares, Fla.

● PBA Regional activity over the June 22-24 weekend will be the Homefield Bowl Eastern Open presented by MOTIV in Yonkers, N.Y.; the Pro Bowl West Central/Midwest Challenge presented by Storm in Fort Wayne, Ind., and the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Southwest Doubles at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla.

● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area…and remember, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple device users using the PBA app).

QUICK NOTES

FB_Profile_Frame_PBA_01● Facebook fans can now add a PBA-themed frame to photos, thanks to a new feature added by PBA. Three Facebook photo frame options are available. To use one of the frames (seem sample at left), go to your Facebook page, and click on your profile photo (to change or update…) You will see an option next to the “update photo” that says “add frame.”  Click add frame and search PBA to select the frame you like.

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