Bowling Newsletter


March 19 2011 Bowling Newsletter

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The P League In Japan
About two to three years ago, I was doing research for my writings and stumbled across YouTube videos of a Japanese bowling program called the "P League."

Bill Vint | PBA Media Relations
Professional Bowlers Association | 719 Second Avenue, Suite 701 | Seattle, WA 98104

PBA Spare Shots

Reports are sporadic and incomplete, but it appears the bowling community in Japan also is suffering severe ramifications from the powerful earthquakes and tsunami that struck the country on March 11. It may be weeks before a complete assessment is available, but an early report was provided by Eastern Sports Sales Manager Koji Yamamoto.

“On March 11, a very strong earthquake struck Tohoku and Kanto area of Japan, and resulted in devastation across large areas in the northeastern area of Japan,” Yamamoto reported from his Tokyo office. “I'm safe after this tragedy, however many bowling centers in Japan have suffered a great loss from the earthquake.

“I'm afraid it must take a long time to be repaired to their original conditions, but we will do our best toward the recovery.”

“Pre-game shows” leading into the telecast of the GoRVing Regional Championships round of the Dick Weber PBA Playoffs on ESPN on Sunday, March 27, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern will air beginning next Monday on the PBA's Xtra Frame, the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour’s exclusive online video streaming service.

Similar shows previewing the Lucas Oil Regional Championships round that airs on ESPN on Sunday, April 3, at 1 p.m. and the Conference Championships round on ESPN on Sunday, April 10, at 1 p.m. also will air on Xtra Frame, beginning the Monday prior to the telecast.

The final “pre-game show” will preview the Dick Weber PBA Playoffs finals, which will air live from Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis on Sunday, April 17, at 1 p.m. Eastern.

The inaugural Dick Weber PBA Playoffs is down to the final 18 players heading into the Regional Championship rounds. The March 27 ESPN telecast will feature three finalists each in the East (Scott Norton, Steve Jaros, Tom Smallwood), South (Tommy Jones, Ryan Shafer, Randy Weiss) and Central (Dick Allen, Mika Koivuniemi, Walter Ray Williams Jr.) Regions. The April 3 telecast will feature the finalists in the Midwest (Jack Jurek, Wes Malott, Bill O’Neill), Southwest (Brad Angelo, Dino Castillo, Jason Belmonte) and West/Northwest (Chris Barnes, Lennie Boresch Jr., Lonnie Waliczek) Regions.

The winners of the six Regional Championship matches will compete in the April 10 telecast where the East will meet the South, Central will meet the Midwest and Southwest will meet the West/Northwest in one-game matches to set up the field for the April 17 finale.

PBA Hall of Famer Carmen Salvino, one of the PBA Tour’s all-time great characters along with being one of its greatest stars on the lanes, bowled in the Dick Weber PBA Playoffs at age 77. The PBA charter member and winner of 17 PBA Tour titles bowled Round One on the same lanes with 26-year-old Nick Weber, grandson of the legendary tournament namesake and son of John Weber, the PBA’s Director of Regional and Senior Tours.

After Salvino out-bowled the young Foristell, Mo., resident in the 15-game opening round, he looked the third-generation Weber in the eye and jokingly said, “I beat your granddad once. I beat your father once. And now I’ve whipped you once.

“Are you married?” Salvino then asked?

“Why?” Nick Weber replied.

“Because you need to hurry up and have a kid so I can beat him, too,” Salvino smiled. “I’m getting too old to wait much longer.”

Nick Weber laughed, and Salvino laughed.

“The truth is,” Salvino said later, “if I’da had to make a living bowling against Dick Weber every week, I’d’ve had to find a new career. I beat Dick Weber once in my career and it’s the only time I ever lost that I didn’t mind losing. That’s how much respect I have for that man.”

For the third season in a row, a lucky group of youth bowlers in every Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour city has had a unique opportunity to see the Tour from the inside-out, thanks to a cooperative venture between the PBA and the United States Bowling Congress.

The “USBC Kids” project involves the random selection of five youth bowlers in each tournament market who are then given an “insider’s tour” of PBA Tour events, including an opportunity for the young people to meet their heroes along with tickets to watch the final round of match play and the TV finals.

“I just would like to say that words such as "thank you" and "it was a pleasure" do not have enough meaning to express to you how much fun and excitement the six youths had during their PBA experience (in Indianapolis),” wrote USBC Indianapolis Youth Director Rich Sirola following the preliminary rounds of the Dick Weber PBA Playoffs at Woodland Bowl. “Yes, I said, six - the five youths selected by the USBC Indy Association and the 48-year-old kid writing this thank you note.

“From the behind-the-scene tour in the equipment trailers, to watching our favorite bowlers on Friday night, to the primo front row seating we had for the telecast, right down to Chris Barnes going down the line high-fiving the kids, this went above and beyond all expectations.”

Immediately following the Dick Weber PBA Playoffs in Indianapolis, a large group of Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour players along with regional competitors from across the nation reconvened at Scott Air Force Base near St. Louis for the PBA Midwest Region’s Stars & Strikes Open. Jesse Buss of Wichita, Kan. defeated Jason Wojnar of Chicago, 259-257, on March 13 to win the $2,000 top prize and his third career PBA Regional title at Stars & Strikes Bowling Center.

Buss defeated Wayne Garber of Modesto, Calif., 278-235, in the semifinal match after eliminating Sean Swanson of Springfield, Mo., 267-245, in the first stepladder finals match.

Also on March 13, Gary Morgan of Marietta, Ga., defeated Charlie Tomey of Spartanburg, S.C., 232-176, to win the PBA South Region Franklin, Va. Senior Open at Franklin Bowling Center. Morgan, a nine-time South Region title winner, took home $2,000 along with his first Senior Regional title.

PBA Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli will make his “national team” comeback in 2011, according to the Venezuelan Bowling Federation. According to a report on bowlingdigital(dot)com, the Board of Directors of the Venezuelan Bowling Federation selected Monacelli for the Venezuelan team that will compete in the Pan American Bowling Confederation Men's Championships, May 7-14, and the 16th Pan American Games, Oct. 22-27, both at Bolerama Tapatío in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The quote of the week belongs to Walter Ray Williams Jr., who entered the Dick Weber PBA Playoffs without a title for the first time in 17 seasons. When he was asked by Indianapolis Star bowling writer Mark Ambrogi to assess his 2010-11 season, Williams said, “It’s the worst year on Tour I’ve had since 1982, and I didn’t bowl in 1982.”

Statistics for the 2010-11 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season will be finalized on Monday, April 18, following the conclusion of the Dick Weber PBA Tour Playoffs on Sunday, April 17, in Indianapolis.

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