Tuesday, September 30, 2008

2009 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships

With nearly 15,000 teams already registered, the 2009 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships slated for Las Vegas' Cashman Center may become the largest tournament held outside of Reno, Nev., and that number will continue to grow following the decision to add more lanes to the tournament venue.

Instead of 56-lanes and a capacity of 16,300 teams as planned, the 2009 USBC Open Championships will feature 60-lanes and be able to accommodate 17,400 teams, which could make it the largest tournament in history. The participation record of 17,285 teams was set when the National Bowling Stadium in Reno opened its doors in 1995. The largest event outside of Reno was the 2005 tournament in Baton Rouge, La., which featured 13,222 teams.

Monday, September 29, 2008

United States Bowling Congress Partners to Create WePlay

USBC has inked a two-year pact as a founding partner of Weplay, a new social networking website for youth sports. The site will connect youngsters, parents, coaches, professionals and program organizers for youth sports, who will be able to share photos, videos, text messages and create blogs.

USBC Director of Youth Development Brian Graham said the website will allow youth bowling leagues to create a location for news, local schedules and announcements available 24/7. "It will be a significant step in responding to one of the biggest challenges youth leagues face," Graham added, "being able to communicate with their bowlers once the Saturday morning league is completed."

Perfect Rival from Columbia 300

Columbia300 announced the Perfect Rival was developed to complement both the Rival and Arch Rival in terms of total hook. This is the third ball in the series and features a shell developed by the chemists at EBI called "Perfect 300".

reports "the chemistry produces more friction than the Arch Rival's "300 Plus", but less than the original shell on the Rival. "Perfect 300", combined with our proven 'Spinner' core, produces a ball that is great when there is oil left of your target line out of the box, and with some polish will outperform both previous models on the backend of the lane." The Perfect Rival is Purple/Green/Silver finished at 4000 Abralon with RG of 2.47 and Diff of .045 in #15.

Letter From Tom Clark

LLPBATourLogo.jpg I'm looking for some help from true PBA fans.

Fans that will support and thank PBA sponsors.

Fans that will demand coverage of the PBA in their local media.

Fans that will emulate and aspire to the pros' skill on the lanes with plenty of practice and the desire to bowl on PBA Experience lane conditions.

Fans that will tell their friends to watch The Show.

Fans that will take part in healthy discourse, speculating on the season on message boards and on Bowlspace.com.

We are just a few weeks away from the first telecast of the 2008-09 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season. For us true fans, it's time to get ready to do more than just enjoy the shows from our recliners.

It's time to talk up the Tour to your family, your co-workers, your league teammates, the person next to you on the plane, bus, subway or line at the grocery store.

Don't worry. It's cool to be a PBA fan. I just spent the weekend with NBA stars Chris Paul, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. There aren't many cooler people on the planet and they are PBA fans. Big fans.

It's time to set the DVR, set up PBA viewing parties at your bowling center and pick up a Bowlers Journal magazine which has upped its PBA coverage.

One thing I can guarantee you is the PBA is working hard for you. The PBA has listened to its fans and will continue to passionately follow through on many things you have suggested and wanted. Now we are counting on you to be the best you can be in the most important role in our sport – the fan.

It's been an active summer for the PBA, filled with intense planning, great innovations, positive news developments – all with you, the fan, in mind.

Just look at what the PBA's been up to prior to this historic 50th Anniversary season, in no particular order:
  • Hall of Fame: Rewrote the rules for the PBA Hall of Fame, assuring player inductions for the first time since 2000. It's likely at minimum the great Norm Duke will earn his rightful place in the Hall.
  • 50th Anniversary: Put together extensive plans to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the PBA Tour. Just for starters, the PBA is bringing legendary commentator and Hall of Famer Bo Burton back to host a weekly series counting down the 50 Greatest Players in PBA history on the PBA telecasts. The PBA's regional events honored the players on the "50 Greatest" list, by renaming each one after a different player from the list. Keep your eyes open for a 50th Anniversary trading card set, a "50 Greatest PBA Players" book and a gala dinner at January's PBA Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas that will bring the living members of that elite group together.
  • Jerseys: Entered into an agreement with Gemini Sport Marketing to be the official jersey of the PBA Tour, meaning our players will have the opportunity to improve their overall look as well as the PBA's with colorful, unique designs and styles. The jerseys will also enable the players' sponsors and the PBA's product registered partners to better represent themselves with bolder, larger logos utilizing Gemini's attractive dye-sublimated jerseys.
  • Celebrities and charity: Ever think you'd see LeBron James competing in a PBA Tour event? This summer the PBA organized and taped for broadcast the first ever PBA celebrity event, the Chris Paul PBA Celebrity Invitational presented by the Brands of Ebonite International. The show kicks off the PBA Tour season on ESPN, airing Oct. 19 at 1 pm ET. You will not want to miss NBA superstars James, Paul, DWade, Kevin Durant and Rudy Gay partnering with PBA stars Jason Couch, Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones, Mitch Beasley and Doug Kent in one of the most entertaining PBA telecasts ever – and all for Paul's CP3 Foundation. Likewise this off season, pros such as Parker Bohn III, Danny Wiseman, Sean Rash and Bill O'Neill frequented other celebrity charity bowling pro-ams – spreading the PBA's brand amongst the most influential people in the USA.
  • Sponsors: Signed new title sponsor Lumber Liquidators to a lucrative 3-year deal. Maintained relationship with previous Tour sponsor Denny's, which will sponsor the Dick Weber Open in February. H & R Block, Geico, Pepsi, Etonic, USBC and others are primed for the season.
  • Records: Changed a prior rule in order to retroactively count U.S. Open and Masters titles prior to the inception of the PBA as official tour victories, bringing deserved recognition and making it more clear who the all time leaders in major championships are.
  • Tournament formats: Introduced a 2008-09 season schedule full of fresh formats – which will lead to the most talked-about, championship-filled, educational, diverse season in the history of the Tour. Included in the eclectic list of events this season is bringing the first senior championship to TV in years, the return of a mixed doubles championship, a match-play championship that will feature two bowlers in a 3-game total pins match on TV, controversial events such as the Plastic Ball Championship and Ultimate Scoring Championship, mixed pattern events, an eliminator tournament, marathon event, championships in each of the PBA Experience oil patterns and of course the four major championships. More round robin tournaments will dot the schedule and the versatile talents of the players will be on full display. Already, Pro Shop Operator magazine calls this PBA Tour season "an intriguing celebration of the game," and says it will allow pro shops a "dynamic opportunity to share industry knowledge and inject new life into shop talk."
  • Women's Series: The expanded schedule of seven PBA Women's Series, presented by the USBC, events gives the women's pro game it's best opportunity in 5 years to lift the spirits and inspire a generation of up and coming girls in the game. The exempt list of 16 players decided this summer at the Tour Trials (held in conjunction with the U.S. Women's Open near Chicago) is loaded with young talent from around the world.
  • WTBA World Championships: For the first time ever this summer, PBA players were allowed to participate in the World Tenpin Bowling Association Men's World Championships. We brought Team USA's first-ever bowling "Dream Team," made up of Chris Barnes, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Rhino Page, Patrick Allen, Tommy Jones and Bill Hoffman all the way to Bangkok, Thailand for the event. The team promptly won more gold medals that any team in the event's history. Quite an experience for the group and you can read all about it in the new US Bowler magazine. Besides the PBA ambassadors reaching out to foster a more international future PBA Tour, the Dream Team served notice to the International Olympic Committee that our sport is serious about getting into the Games.
  • PBA.com: A new and improved pba.com is about to be unveiled, complete with a super look back at the 50-year history of the PBA Tour, free video and a "bowling in the news" feature that will give fans a chance to read different news reports about our sport from all around the country. Be sure to play Fantasy PBA Bowling and stay tuned for exciting news regarding Xtra Frame for the new season – you will not want to miss out on what will be offered this year. Besides the frame-by-frame statistical coverage, Xtra Frame will include live streaming video of the Friday night match play rounds of PBA events.
  • Summer TV exposure: Another successful Geico PBA Summer Shootout at Six Flags Great America, this time from Illinois, kept the PBA's top stars on TV this summer in the unique setting outside at the theme park. New PBA member Jason Belmonte, the Australian two-handed phenom, was introduced to large American audiences on the shows, which brought 5-man team action back to pro bowling. Over 50 airings of the shows have gotten consistent, respectable ratings across ESPN platforms this summer.
The above are merely highlights for all that is going on to make the PBA better every day. Be on the lookout for: New ESPN promotional commercials featuring PBA superstars (funny and appropriate for the 50th Anniversary season); New PBA Posters displayed in Strike Ten bowling centers nationwide; A special, new opening to the ESPN PBA telecasts this year; And exciting advancements are being made in the overall fan experience on site, many of which debuted at the Chris Paul PBA Invitational and promise to lift the entertainment value of our events.

And look for, no, demand, more coverage in your local media. Sports Illustrated, Sports Business Journal and the Chicago Tribune have had recent PBA-related stories and with the help of new PBA media relations firm BZA, fresh media kits touting the compelling storylines on most of the exempt men and women are going out to local media in preparation for the season.

Together, the PBA and its fans can be one of the most formidable groups in sports. You know the numbers that surround bowling in America. Seventy-million people bowl at least once a year. Over 2 million bowl in certified leagues. Over 300,000 kids bowl in certified youth leagues. PBA telecasts average nearly 1 million viewers per show.

We've got to make those numbers count. I know the PBA fans can be the best fans in sports, but let's show the rest of the world.

This is the PBA's 50th Anniversary season. The thought evokes visions of a glorious past – the faces and form of Dick Weber, Earl Anthony and Mark Roth flash before our eyes – and promise a great future. A future where the likes of Rhino Page, Sean Rash, Tommy Jones and Wes Malott lead the PBA Tour on to 50 more years.

Every sport relies on the fans to make everything work and to grow.

PBA fans, rally around this season. Start today. Thank Lumber Liquidators for its support. Write an email to your sports editor asking for coverage. Hand out the PBA Tour season TV schedule in your league.

And watch how far you can take this game.
From Tom Clark, Professional Bowlers Association COO and VP

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Illinois Proprietors Host College Tournament

The Illinois State Bowling Proprietors Association and Kegel co-sponsor the ISBPA/Kegel Collegiate Classic, October 25-26. Host center for the event is 4 Seasons Bowling Center, Freeport, IL.

Contact George Wooten, at the ISBPA, (847) 982-1305, for more Information and tournament entry form. Click www.bowlillinois.com. You can e-mail Wooten at: george@bowlillinois.com.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Roto Grip Cell Pearl

The Roto Grip Cell pearl will hit the market October 13, 2008. The Cell Pearl, with the "Cytoplastic X Pearl" Reactive cover in Emerald, Cherry Red and Florescent Blue is finished at 1500 and polished. The "Nucleus Core" generates core numbers of 2.52 Radius of Gyration (RG) and .056 RG Differential in 15lbs.

The Cell pearl will be marketed with a FREE t-shirt offer for customers, (with a $9.95 shipping and handling charge).

Ebonite's Pinslasher

Ebonite’s newest ball the Pinslasher is expected October 6th., the sanded Navy/Teal GBV12.7 coverstock will be finished in 4000 Abralon®, the VII Core Design is considered Medium/High flare with RG of 2.45 and Diff of .051 in 15#s.

Hammer Cooked Up "The Sauce"

The Sauce, new from Hammer, a High Performance Series features an all-new "Contrusion" core shape, allowing for greater backend movement without sacrificing breakpoint control. The "Aggressive Edge" coverstock, in Black/Violet/Gold is finished at 4000 Abralon, Hammer reports "it's the most aggressive coverstock we have cooked up yet". World wide release date October 14th, 2008. 15# ball RG – 2.45, Diff - .050. The Sauce website.

Women in Sports

From Bowlers Journal International E-Bowler - USA Today published an eight-page section called “Women in Sports” last Thursday, and when listing historic events, somehow managed to miss Liz Johnson finishing second in a Professional Bowling Association tournament and Kelly Kulick becoming the first woman to gain a PBA Tour exemption.

Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour’s New Official Title Sponsor

From the Professional Bowlers Association-The PBA and Lumber Liquidators, the largest independent retailer of hardwood flooring in the United States, have agreed to a three-year, multi-million dollar title sponsorship. The agreement makes Lumber Liquidators the title sponsor of the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour through the conclusion of the 2010-11 Tour season.

The agreement, effective Oct. 1, includes the unveiling of a new, integrated PBA Tour logo in all PBA controlled communication, telecasts, promotions and publicity. Lumber Liquidators will promote the PBA to millions of guests at its 140 stores across the United States. The flooring retailer will receive prominent tune-in promotion, advertising and branding on all PBA telecasts on ESPN and ESPN2 during the course of the season, and access to more than 70 million bowlers and 2,200 Strike Ten bowling centers. Lumber Liquidators will also receive naming rights to two events, the Lumber Liquidators Shark Championship in Baltimore, Md. and the Lumber Liquidators U.S. Open in North Brunswick, N.J.

“We are very excited to partner with Lumber Liquidators on this title sponsorship,” said PBA Commissioner and CEO Fred Schreyer. “The PBA is a perfect fit for Lumber Liquidators’ customers and we look forward to implementing the various programs of the sponsorship to grow both our brands.”

Lumber Liquidators is proud to be the “Title” and “Official Flooring Sponsor” for the PBA, especially during their 50th Anniversary,” said Tom Sullivan, Founder and Chairman of the (Floor) Boards. “As the nation’s largest independent retailer of hardwood flooring, the sponsorship is a natural and relevant fit for Lumber Liquidators. We’re excited about this partnership, the expansion of our sponsorship platforms and the increased brand visibility within the sport.”

As part of the agreement, Lumber Liquidators will sponsor six bowlers --- Patrick Allen, Tommy Jones, Rhino Page, Parker Bohn III, Michael Fagan and Brian Kretzer --- during each season. Sponsored bowlers will wear the Lumber Liquidators logo on their shirt backs and right sleeves and throw specially-made spare balls emblazoned with the Lumber Liquidators logo.

Lumber Liquidators will also be a sponsor of each PBA Summer Series event during the term of the agreement.

Denny’s, the PBA Tour’s title sponsor for the past three seasons (2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08), will still remain an official sponsor of the PBA Tour. They will sponsor the longstanding Denny’s Dick Weber Open in Fountain Valley, Calif., Feb. 3-8, 2009.

The 2008-09 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour kicks off on ESPN with the Chris Paul PBA Charity Invitational presented by the brands of Ebonite International on Oct. 19. Live coverage of the 2008-09 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour begins Oct. 26 with the PBA World Championship, in Wichita, Kan. For the full schedule, log on to www.pba.com.

About the PBA The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) features the best bowlers in the world competing in National, Regional and Senior Tour events. The organization has more than 4,000 members spanning 13 countries, and nearly one million viewers tune-in to watch the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour every Sunday on ESPN throughout the season. PBA sponsors include Bayer, Brunswick, CLR, Denny's, Etonic, Flomax, GEICO, Go RVing, H&R Block, Lumber Liquidators, Motel 6, Pepsi-Cola and the USBC, among others. For more information on the PBA, log on to www.pba.com.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Garber High Performance Director of Team USA

The United States Bowling Congress announced that David Garber has been promoted to oversee three areas for the national governing body, including the International Training Center.

In his new role as High Performance Director for Team USA, the USBC Coaching program and the International Training Center, Garber will manage all activities and staff members for those interrelated areas that encompass high level training, competition and research aspects of the sport of bowling. Garber previously directed the Team USA program and was co-director of the USBC Coaching program.


For the second consecutive year, the country’s top pro bowlers will be eligible to join Team USA in 2009 and represent their country in international competition around the world. Team USA 2009 will consist of 10 men and 10 women, with committees selecting five men from the PBA Tour and five women from a pool of players that includes: Team USA members since 1998 and former PWBA/LPBT members.

Bowling's Phantom (Internet) Radio

The new guest this week on Phantom Radio is PBA Tour rookie Terrance Reeves, who will talk about how he earned his exemption for the 2008-09 season. To hear the interview, click on the Phantom icon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Win the "Strike Bike"

Want your own piece of one-of-a-kind bowling memorablia?

Strike Ten Entertainment is offering you the chance to win the "Strike Bike," as featured last month on an episode of "Orange County Choppers." Buying a Pepsi product at a participating bowling center is the first step to enter, visit the contest web page for more information.

USBC New Benfits

United States Bowling Congress members can receive big discounts on hotels, moving costs, cell phones and real estate expenses thanks to new benefits in place for the 2008-09 season.

The recently announced benefits include a 10 percent discount on select Wyndham brand hotels, a free starter packing kit when committing to move with Barrett Moving and Storage and free activation and monthly service charge discounts from T-Mobile.

The Wyndham Hotel Group, Barrett Moving and Storage and T-Mobile programs are in addition to the cash-back rebates for buying and selling a house already available through the USBC Real Estate Advantage Program (REAP) presented by Coldwell Banker.

To learn more and to start taking advantage of these member benefits, go to www.bowl.com

Steve Jaros Joins 900 Global

Steve Jaros, a seven- time PBA Tour titlist with 41 PBA regional titles, and a Chicago- area pro shop operator, has joined the staff of 900 Global. Jaros joins reigning Tournament of Champions winner Michael Haugen Jr. in representing all three of the company's brands: 900 Global, AMF300 and 3G shoes.

High School Bowling Still Growing

Bowling was the largest-growing high school sport in the 2007-08 school year, continuing a decade-long trend, according to the most recent National Federation of State High School Associations participation survey, as reported by USBC.