Cyber Report #995

E-dition No. 995 • Thursday, March 22, 2018

Editor: Bob Johnson (


More on the PBA’s New TV Deal With FOX Sports


As first reported in a special BJI Cyber Report on Monday, the Professional Bowlers Association and FOX Sports have entered into a multi-year, multi-platform agreement, making FOX Sports the new television partner for the Go Bowling! PBA Tour starting in 2019.


The package will bring a substantial schedule of live PBA events to television, including prime-time events and a new bracket-style, multi-week PBA Playoffs tournament that concludes with a unique PBA championship finale.


The announcement was made by PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark, and William Wanger, FOX Sports Executive Vice President of Programming, Live Operations and Research.


“The PBA has been searching for the best possible broadcast partner to serve our fans, players and the bowling industry, and we have determined that partner is FOX Sports,” Clark said. “We are particularly excited that the PBA Tour returns to broadcast television, where it started 56 years ago, with shows on FOX next year.”


In 2019, FOX Sports will televise four PBA Tour shows on FOX and 25 on FS1 in a series of two-hour telecasts. All programs also will be streamed on FOX Sports GO.


Details pertaining to the FOX Sports-PBA package regarding PBA Tour locations, dates and times, as well as the television announcing team, will be released at a later date.


“FOX Sports is thrilled to add the highly rated PBA Tour to our extensive lineup, joining other sport partners including the NFL, the FIFA World Cup, MLB, NASCAR, MLS, UFC, NHRA, Supercross, USGA, college football and basketball, and others,” said Wanger. “We believe that adding a FOX Sports look and feel to bowling will help bring the sport to a whole new level.”


The PBA was represented in the transaction by Ed Desser of Desser Sports Media.


The agreement between FOX Sports and the PBA extends a non-stop television presence for professional bowling that began in 1962 with the ABC network’s 36 years of continuous coverage of the Pro Bowlers Tour and 38 consecutive years of coverage on ESPN, beginning with ESPN’s formation in 1979.


Listen to BJI Editor Gianmarc Manzione’s podcast — in which Clark discusses the PBA’s decision to leave ESPN after so many years — here:


Both the PBA and FOX Sports plan to supplement the broadcast and cable coverage of the PBA Tour’s premier events with live-streaming of preliminary rounds by PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel, as well as extensive use of the FOX Sports and PBA Network outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and their respective websites.


In case you’re not familiar with FOX Sports, it is the umbrella entity representing 21st Century FOX’s wide array of multi-platform U.S.-based sports assets. Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FOX Sports includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple websites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships.


FOX Sports includes the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; FS1, FS2; FOX Sports Regional Networks, their affiliated regional websites and national programming; FOX Soccer Plus; FOX Deportes and FOX College Sports.


In addition, FOX Sports also encompasses FOX Sports Digital, which includes and FOX Sports GO. Also included in the Group are FOX’s interests in joint-venture businesses Big Ten Network and BTN 2Go, as well as a licensing agreement that established the FOX Sports Radio Network.


Rob Stone, who formerly hosted PBA telecasts on ESPN, is now a member of the FOX Sports team, but it’s not yet known whether he will return to the PBA broadcast booth in 2019. Stone currently serves as in in-studio host for FOX Sports’s coverage of soccer, as well as college basketball and football.



QubicaAMF Returns as PWBA Tour Sponsor


QubicaAMF will be the title sponsor of a Professional Women’s Bowling Association major tournament in 2018, and once again will be an instrumental part of the closing event of the tour season.


The QubicaAMF PWBA Players Championship will take place Aug. 22-25 at Plano Super Bowl in Plano, Texas. The center features QubicaAMF’s BES X Scoring System. PWBA Player of the Year Liz Johnson is the event’s defending champion.


QubicaAMF also will play a key role in the final major event of the season when the PWBA Tour Championship returns to Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Va. The company, which has its U.S. headquarters in Richmond, once again will build four state-of-the-art lanes inside the Old Dominion Building for the tournament.


“It is a great opportunity for QubicaAMF to continue its support of the PWBA and competitive bowling,” QubicaAMF Chairman Pat Ciniello said. “Last season’s PWBA Tour Championship was an outstanding event for the fans and the players. We’re excited to once again build the lanes for the competition and to also be part of another tremendous event, the PWBA Players Championship.”


QubicaAMF joined the PWBA Tour in 2017, and was title sponsor of the season-opening event, the QubicaAMF PWBA Sonoma County Open, won by Colombia native Rocio Restrepo.


The 2018 PWBA Tour season kicks off April 26 with the PWBA Las Vegas Open at the South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, and will conclude Sept. 16-19 with the PWBA Tour Championship at the Richmond Raceway Complex.


Visit for news, the season schedule, player biographies and more.



George Pappas Victory Lanes to Host U.S. Open in 2019


The 2019 U.S. Open will take place at George Pappas Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C.


The event will run from Oct. 23-30, and the stepladder finals will be televised on CBS Sports Network.


A 40-lane center located just north of Charlotte, Victory Lanes has been an annual stop on the PBA50 Tour for the last decade. It also has served as the host center of several PBA regional events. The center is owned by PBA Hall of Fame member George Pappas, and Paul Kreins serves as the General Manager.


“We’re excited for the opportunity to host the best bowlers in the world, and we appreciate the Mooresville Convention and Visitors Bureau for its help in bringing this event to Victory Lanes,” said Kreins. “The U.S. Open has provided so many great moments in bowling, and we expect another great event in 2019.”


The U.S. Open became a limited-field event in 2017. Various criteria, such as leaders on the PBA Tour money list, and top performers at USBC and international events, is used to determine bowlers who qualify for invitation. Additional spots are awarded to past U.S. Open winners, Team USA and Junior Team USA members, PBA regional leaders and special tournament-management invitees.


The U.S. Open competition includes 24 games of qualifying over three days to determine 36 players that advance to the cashers’ round. After eight additional games, the field is cut to the top 24 for round-robin match play, and the five finalists for the televised stepladder finals are determined by total pinfall, including bonus pins, for 56 games.


The U.S. Open is a collaborative effort of the BPAA and USBC. The 2018 Open will take place Oct. 24-31 at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan.





Sam’s Town to Host World Cup This November


QubicaAMF’s Anne-Marie Board  announced this week that the 2018 edition of the QubicaAMF World Cup would return to Las Vegas in 2018.


Sam’s Town Bowling Center will serve as the tournament’s host Nov. 5-11.


The World Cup first visited Las Vegas in 1999, and returned in 2015. Sam’s Town will become the first center to host the tournament, now in its 54th year, three times.


“The facilities at Sam’s Town are ideal for us,” said Board. “The management and the staff at the 56-lane center are so helpful and so well trained to help run a tournament like this, that it is a real pleasure to know we will be back with them. The size of the center means that play finishes quite early, so all competitors, coaches and guests can take advantage of the other facilities or catch the shuttle bus to the Strip and enjoy the amazing night life.”


“A warm Las Vegas welcome is awaiting all bowlers and guests this November,” said John Sou, Sam’s Town Vice President and General Manager. “We are excited to welcome back this great event.”



Building the Next Generation of Petersen Classic Bowlers


Bowlero Corporation (formerly Bowlmor AMF) has announced that the Petersen Classic, one of bowling’s oldest and grandest traditions, is now accepting reservations for its 108th contest, which will take place between April 27 and Sept. 2 at Brunswick Zone River Grove in River Grove, Ill.


This year, in addition to accepting reservations for adult bowlers, the Petersen Classic will also reach out to youth bowlers with three special squads on designated “Junior Pete” days. These days will be on Sunday, May 13 at 10 a.m.; Thursday, June 14 at 7 p.m., and Thursday, Aug. 9 at 7 p.m.


Bowlers on these squads will be restricted to current youth bowlers, and any prizes won by youth participants will be paid into their SMART scholarship accounts. The Petersen also will include an additional guaranteed $500 scholarship toward the first-place prize for the top youth bowler on Junior Pete days.


Interested youth directors also may put together their own squad of 32 bowlers if the designated Junior Pete days are not convenient. Full youth squads also are eligible for the $500 added scholarship prize.


“The Petersen Classic is an iconic tournament and Junior Pete days are an ideal way to introduce young bowlers to the one-of-a-kind competition of the Petersen,” said Mike Sledz, Director of League Development for Bowlero Corporation.


“We have a large number of Petersen bowlers who are older and have shared the Pete with their children as a rite of passage,” Sledz continued.  “However, many of today’s youth bowlers may not have parents who bowl, and this will give them an opportunity to try the Petersen for themselves.”


Any youth bowler who would like to compete in the Petersen Classic must complete a USBC Rule 400 waiver in order to be eligible. Tournament Director Jim Welch noted, “Most people don’t realize that youth bowlers can participate in existing cash tournaments simply by completing the Rule 400 waiver. We had a few young people compete in the Petersen last year, and thought we should actively promote this option to more of today’s talent.”


Squad organizers who are interested may contact Welch at or 214-704-3531. For additional tournament information, visit



Special Museum/Hall Exhibits at USBC Tourney Sites


In early March, the newest additions to the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame satellite at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno were unveiled.


Included are plaques for every USBC Hall of Famer inducted since the merger in 2005. The biographies highlight the many contributions to the sport by the players.


Also, new kiosks enable visitors to view their favorite Hall of Famers, as well as the Hometown Heroics program. This unique program, also available at the Hall of Fame location in Arlington, Texas, as well as online, allows any league bowler who has bowled a 300 game, an 800 series or is a member of a local Hall of Fame to be honored within the walls of the museum.


The satellite’s exhibits also have been updated with new content. If you missed your chance to visit Arlington last year, several of the new exhibits in Reno, including “Bowls for Women” and “World Leaders,” are exhibits that were shown in Arlington in 2017.


With the USBC Women’s Championships in Reno this year, as well as the USBC Convention, it’s an ideal time to visit the museum satellite.


Another special feature will be a showing by photographer Kevin Hong, an award-winning former newspaper photojournalist who has been working on a photographic body of work, “The Vintage Alleys Project” (, documenting classic and historic bowling centers.


Hong has photographed more than 70 public and private bowling facilities in 17 states and Canada for the project. In 2017, the project brought Hong the national Media Award from the BPAA.


Meanwhile, in March, the Hall of Fame installed an exhibit at the USBC Open Championships in Syracuse, N.Y., with uniquely New York artifacts on display.



Business Briefs…


* Strikers Lanes will live on in Youngstown, Ohio, although in a much different form. Nate and Jami Offerdahl have taken over the facility, with plans to renovate it and create a venue for local and touring bands. Plans call for the re-named West Side Bowl to be able to accommodate up to 300 music fans, and for about two-thirds of the bowling lanes to be retained. A June or July re-opening is planned. More:


* A “mini-bowling bar” could be coming to the former Posner Building on Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee. The Zierath Restaurant Group reportedly is in talks to open a third Thirsty Duck location at the MKE Lofts Downtown development, joining established venues in Wauwatosa and Sussex, Wis. Learn more about the business model here:


* Bowling is returning to Santa Fe, N.M., with a late-summer opening anticipated for The Alley Lanes & Lounge at the DeVargas Center mall. Proprietors Joey and Hannah Padilla are developing the 20,000-sq.-ft. space, which will include 12 lanes, two indoor bocce ball courts, billiards, darts and a retro arcade. Santa Fe has been without a bowling center since Silva Lanes closed in 2009. US Bowling Corp. will supply the bowling equipment, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports:


* Punch Bowl Social has opened its newest location in Chicago’s West Loop district, home to a number of the city’s trendy restaurants, including the City Winery concert venue. This PBS encompasses 30,000 square feet, and one of its signature “punch” drinks has been named after the Stanley Cup because of the venue’s proximity to the United Center, home of the NHL Chicago Blackhawks. More:


* Speaking of the Blackhawks, team members recently took part in Brent Seabrook’s annual Celebrity ICE Bowl at Lucky Strike to raise money for the Inner-City Education Program. Read more here:


* Hi-Spot Bowling ended a 71-year run in Roxborough, Pa., on the last day of February. Charles Carden began working at the eight-lane center during the late 1940s, and had owned it for the last 47 years. When Carden began setting pins at the bowl, Carden, now 83, says the streets leading to the center were not yet completely paved. Read more about Carden and Hi-Spot’s history here:



Other News You Can Use…


* Former BJI staff member and long-time correspondent George Wooten is hospitalized after falling and hitting his head following a bowling session. He was placed into a medically induced coma, and as of this morning, was showing signs of being able to breathe on his own. The family also reports than an MRI revealed no damage, another positive sign. We’d be happy to pass along well wishes to George and the Wooten family. Simply email them to:, and type “George Wooten” in the subject line.


* USBC Hall of Famer Tish Johnson finally claimed the USBC Senior Queens tiara that she has coveted, defeating fellow Hall of Famer Jeanne Naccarato at the Gold Coast Bowling Center in Las Vegas. Johnson, a 55-year-old left-hander, capped a dominating performance with a 267-191 victory over Naccarato. Johnson earned $8,000 for the win, while Naccarato’s second-place finish netted her $6,400. More:


* The Earl Anthony Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to five United States Bowling Congress Youth members in recognition of their academic achievements and contributions to their communities. Each scholarship is worth $5,000. Meet the winners here:


* Jason Belmonte and partner Bill O’Neill will be the top qualifiers when the Go Bowling! PBA Tour returns to ESPN Sunday at 2 p.m. Eastern for the finals of the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship Presented by from Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl in Columbus, Ohio. Full preview:


* Speaking of Belmo, he has developed a video game called “Bowling by Jason Belmonte” or “BJB.” It’s available on iOS and Android platforms, and Belmonte is hoping to partner with the entire bowling industry to make this “the single greatest sporting game ever made.” He talks about it on this BJI Podcast:


* Crystal Singh, a senior at Coral Springs Charter School in Coral Springs, Fla., has been selected as the 2018 Alberta E. Crowe Star of Tomorrow by the International Bowling Campus Youth Committee. The scholarship that accompanies the award is valued at $6,000. More:


* Thanks to the assistance of eight handicap pins awarded to all women bowlers in the tournament, Sweden’s Jenny Wegner won the PBA International-World Bowling Tour Brunswick Euro Challenge Sunday at Dream-Bowl Palace in Munich, Germany, thwarting a 10th-frame comeback bid by tournament leader Anthony Simonsen. Full report:


* Trace Nuss of Tampa, Fla., has been selected to receive the USBC Zeb Scholarship for 2018. Determined by the International Bowling Campus Youth Committee, and valued at $2,500, the award recognizes a USBC Youth member who achieves academic success and gives back to their community through service. Learn more about this exceptional young man here:


* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is sportscaster C.J. Layton. To listen to the conversation, click here:


* CONTACT: Please send business news, event information, etc. to Bob Johnson at For breaking business news, visit or, and “Like” Bowling Center Management and Bowlers Journal International on Facebook. BJI Cyber Reports are now archived at

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