Cyber Report #999

E-dition No. 999 • Thursday, April 19, 2018

Editor: Bob Johnson (



USBC Agrees to In-Person Hearings, Per USOC


The United States Bowling Congress Board of Directors has adopted and modified the due-process procedures in its governing documents following a report and recommendation from the United States Olympic Committee.


The changes are effective April 30, and include providing any USBC member the right to an in-person hearing when charged with a rules violation that could result in suspension of USBC membership. As a result, the USOC has lifted USBC’s probation and returned USBC to full National Governing Body status with continued membership in USOC.


The previous policy offered an automatic right to an in-person hearing for Team USA members and actively engaged athletes, as defined in the USBC Bylaws, and gave the Rules Department and the Legal and Legislative Committee discretion on whether to conduct an in-person hearing in all other cases.


USBC also clarified the process for members to submit a formal grievance against USBC, including grievances related to USBC’s fulfillment of its NGB responsibilities as required by the Sports Act and USOC Bylaws.


The report and recommendation came following a Section 10 complaint filed with USOC. As a result, USOC placed USBC on probation, while staff from the two organizations worked together to modify language as needed in USBC’s governing documents.


The USOC Board voted to approve the report and recommendation confirming USBC’s good standing on Wednesday.





18-Wheeler Features PBA and PWBA Stars


The PBA and PWBA have unveiled a cooperative billboard on 18 wheels that will be seen by thousands of motorists who will “follow” professional bowling as it traverses the country in the months ahead.


The co-branded PBA-PWBA semi-trailer — one of two that transport bowling equipment for the professional tours — prominently features PBA stars Jason Belmonte, E.J. Tackett and Dom Barrett on one half, and PWBA stars Shannon O’Keefe, Daria Pajak and Liz Johnson on the other, with additional players shaded in the background.


The 53-ft. trailer is expected to travel roughly 65,000 miles in a given year. For perspective, that translates into roughly 21 one-way trips between Portland, Maine, and the Pacific Coast.



BJI Dominates 2017 Bowling Writing Competition


Bowlers Journal International dominated the annual writing competition conducted by the International Bowling Media Association for the calendar year 2017.


The magazine picked up seven of the nine available awards, including two of the three first-place awards.


BJI Senior Editor (and BCM Editor) Bob Johnson earned the 74th and 75th national writing awards of his career, more than any other bowling writer. His story on Mark Baker’s recovery from addiction earned first place in the Feature Division, while his report on E.J. Tackett’s victory in the 2016 PBA World Championship — and the subsequent hug with his father “seen around the world” — garnered second place in the News Division.


The winning story in the News Division, “Norm Duke Gets a Mulligan,” was penned by BJI correspondent and “The One Board” columnist Jef Goodger, while honorable mention in that category went to Pamela Thompson of International Bowling Industry.


BJI swept the prizes in the Feature Division, as second place went to BJI Editor (and BCM Senior Editor) Gianmarc Manzione for his “Sleepless in Reno” story, and honorable mention went to long-time correspondent and “Pro Bowling Insider” columnist Lyle Zikes for his piece, “Growing Future for Pro Bowlers.”


The Editorial Division was won by Lucas Wiseman for his piece on the late John Davis, which appeared on the Bowling Digital website. Goodger claimed second place in that division for his “If Only People Knew” column, and Manzione got honorable mention for his remembrance of Tony Reyes.


“We were fortunate to have an exemplary panel of judges comprised of two published authors, two teaching professionals and two USBC Hall of Fame members,” IBMA Committee Chairperson, Frenchy Letourneau, said. “Congratulations to all the winners, and a heartfelt thank you to all who participated.”


The Awards will be presented at the IBMA awards breakfast during the USBC Convention at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno on April 26.



Wangeman Named Small Business Owner of the Year


Jim Wangeman, proprietor of Harvest Park Bowl in Brentwood, Calif., has been named Small Business Owner of the Year in California’s Assembly District 15.


“I am delighted to recognize Jim Wangeman,” said Assembly member Joan Buchanan. “Through his hard work and commitment to civic engagement, Harvest Park Bowl is an example of what small businesses means to the local economy.”


Since 1997, Wangeman has created numerous partnerships with local organizations and nonprofits, donating $170,000 in scholarships. He has served 13 years on the Board of Directors of Sutter Delta Hospital, seven years as Vice President of the REACH program (a charity specializing in equine-assisted therapy), and is a member of the Brentwood Rotary Club.


Harvest Park Bowl has been a stop on the PBA50 Tour for several years.


Wangeman, long active in proprietor association activities at the state and national levels, is the guest this week on Phantom Radio. To listen to the interview, go to:



Splitsville Out at NYC’s Essex Crossing


Three years after committing to bring a luxury bowling experience to Essex Crossing, a mixed-use development in New York City’s Lower East Side, Splitsville has abandoned the project, citing a lack of operating experience in New York.


But it didn’t take long for developers to find a replacement for the space. Now, a Brooklyn-based operator called The Gutter will operate a 12-lane facility in the 17,000-sq.-ft. footprint on the lower level of a 14-story condo building.


According to this report (, plans call for a “mid-America/mid-century basement feel” with all-wood lanes. Materials will be sourced from a shuttered bowling center that was not identified.


Incidentally, that’s the same sourcing methodology The Gutter used for its two existing centers. The lanes for its Brooklyn location came from Iowa.



Bowling Is Back in Vicksburg…


The Mississippi city of Vicksburg had been without a bowling center since 2007, when Red Carpet Lanes closed two years short of its 50th anniversary.


That changed on Tuesday, when Fun Lanes welcomed guests for a soft opening. The 16-lane center is located in a building formerly occupied by a Goody’s clothing store.


Original plans called for the center to open last fall, but permitting and construction delays slowed work on the project. The center is still awaiting its liquor license, and presently is serving a limited food menu until the on-site restaurant is fully operational.


Operations Manager Patrick Belden said the center would be open from 11 a.m. to midnight during the week, and from 11a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends.



… and It’s Back in New Iberia, Too


It didn’t take nearly as long for bowling to make a comeback in New Iberia, La. Barely 40 days after Bayou Pins Bowling Center closed, it was reopened with a new name and a new look by a new owner.


Carmen DiPaolantino said she was sad when she learned that the center would be closing, and decided to do something about it. So, she bought it, refurbished it, and reopened for business on April 13.


The center’s new name is Cajun Bowl, and the reception from locals has been encouraging. Some patrons who had moved to other centers when Bayou Pins was deteriorating already have returned, and DiPaolantino hopes others will follow.


In addition to refurbishing the bowling operation, DiPaolantino has revamped the food service. Home-cooked plate lunches will be offered seven days a week, she said.


Read more here:



4 Lanes Set for San Diego Neighborhood


Ocean Beach is known as “the place where the sun sets on San Diego.” Soon, locals and visitors will be able to enjoy a few games of bowling before, after or during those gorgeous Pacific sunsets.


According to Eater San Diego, a four-lane bowling installation will be part of a 2,500-sq.-ft. expansion of the Voltaire Beach House. Dubbed OB Lanes, the facility will feature its own menu, heavy on appetizers and finger food. The menu will be developed by operational chef Abe Botello, who also is rolling out a new seasonal menu at Voltaire Beach House.


Ocean Beach is a vibrant, bohemian neighborhood with a historic business district packed with restaurants, shops and murals. Voltaire Beach House is a Nantucket-style beach house and restaurant operated by David Schiffman, George Somers and Mark Huber.


According to the company’s website, “the bowling alley will be open daily to the general public and available for private events and parties. The venue will be the perfect place to host birthdays, graduations and celebrations for all ages, providing family-friendly fun for any occasion.


“The existing space… will be expanded with a build-out to encompass the bowling alley, additional seating and bar area. Bringing the beach to the bowling, OB Lanes’ design will feature fun and unique design features to enhance the patrons’ experience. Voltaire Beach House design will flow through in the expanded space with a boardwalk-style hardwood floor, a fire pit incorporated into a large bar, trees within the covered patio, a raised level for fun, interactive party games, and signature swings providing a playful ease.”


Plans also call for plenty of screens for sports viewing, as well as regularly scheduled live acoustic music.



Getting There Is Half the Fun


Winning the USBC Masters Sunday in Syracuse, N.Y., was the biggest moment in 22-year-old Andrew Anderson’s bowling career, but it’s what happened afterward that will make the experience unforgettable.


The second-year PBA member — riding a hot streak after a third-place finish in the PBA Tournament of Champions in February followed by his first PBA Tour victory in the Masters — was headed back home to Holly, Mich., when PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark, fellow competitor Chris Barnes and others convinced Anderson he should head to Portland, Maine, instead to bowl in the Port Property Management PBA Xtra Frame Maine Shootout.


Because Anderson had not been drafted by an OceanView at Falmouth PBA League team, which would compete later in the week at Bayside Bowl in Portland, he had planned to bypass the Xtra Frame event preceding PBA League competition in Maine.


But with his plans changed, Anderson headed to the airport in Syracuse to fly to Portland. Clark, Barnes, PBA Vice President-Marketing Janay Haggerty, PBA Social Media Manager Kim Richter and a bunch of other PBA players and staff members also were at the airport when all flights out of Syracuse were cancelled.


That’s when the “fun” began as everyone scrambled to figure out how to get to Portland.


“I’m at the airport when Barnes texted me and asked what I was going to do,” Anderson said. “I was headed off to rent a car when I ran into Kim (Richter) and Tom (Clark) coming down the stairs.”


Haggerty was off looking for a car to rent for the PBA staffers’ drive to Portland, and they asked Anderson and Barnes if they’d like to ride along.


“I’m waiting for Chris, who was trying to get a refund for his flight, when Janay rolls up with a mini van,” Anderson said.


Despite horrid weather conditions, including freezing rain and frigid wind, the fivesome headed to Portland — about a half-hour behind PBA Deputy Commissioner Kirk von Krueger and his wife, Mary, who had gotten a head start. Richter was behind the wheel at the start, and Barnes took over driving duties as they headed through New Hampshire, when the van’s digital reading suddenly indicated the left rear tire was losing air… at a rapid pace.


“There was no exit for about five miles,” Haggerty said, “but we finally got to a gas station in the middle of nowhere that was still open at around midnight on Sunday.”


“Tom and Barnes went into the gas station, and Tom comes out with a can of inflate-a-tire,” the 6-foot-2 Anderson said. “He wasn’t sure what to do with it, so Janay (who is 5-foot-4) loaned me her jacket, and I tried to inflate the tire for 15-20 minutes in cold, freezing rain. The tire looked better, but then I saw big hole blowing air out as fast as it was going in.”


So Anderson gave up and went inside for a cup of hot chocolate. “I had $1 in my pocket,” he grinned.


“…And a check for $30,000,” Haggerty added with a laugh.


The station attendant “comped” the hot chocolate, and told the group he had a buddy who did roadside repairs. So a quick call summoned help.


The PBA group never got his name, but afterward they nicknamed their rescuer “Lugnut.” Haggerty’s earlier call to the car rental company had resulted in little help other than learning most rental cars these days do not include a spare tire… and that help would not be on its way until Monday morning.


“Lugnut,” however, knew there was a “secret compartment” in the van that housed an emergency “tire” of sorts. After unloading all of the luggage and bowling equipment in the van, Lugnut found the emergency tire, inflated it and the group was almost ready to resume the trip as Lugnut drove away. But suddenly Lugnut put his tow truck in reverse and roared back at high speed.


“I forgot to check lugnuts,” he said. “I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I didn’t check the lugnuts.” Hence the nickname…


Like all good stories, this one ended at almost 4 a.m. when the cold, weary PBA travelers checked into their hotel rooms in Portland, fortunate that there was no serious activity other than a practice session scheduled for Monday.


“I’m going to tell this story the rest of my life,” Anderson said. “Who would have thought… I had no plans whatsoever about coming to Maine, but those guys all talked me into coming, so it’s their fault.”


Thanks to Bill Vint of the PBA media team for sharing this road story.



Business Briefs…



  • “Nostalgia with class.” That’s the ambience the owners of a venue to be called Decades want to evoke when they remodel the former Stahr Armory in Lancaster, Pa. Plans call for a bar, restaurant, classic arcade games (such as Skeeball and Tron) and six lanes of bowling. The armory is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. According to Lancaster Online, a covenant attached to its deed stipulates that all renovations require written permission from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The commission has visited the site and approved the Decades project, contingent on certain conditions being met during construction.


  • Mazzone’s Auction Service was on hand at the Playdium bowling center in Albany, N.Y., last Saturday, working to sell everything except the lanes and pinsetting machines. The center, which opened in 1940 and closed earlier this month, reportedly was packed with long-time bowlers who were hoping to procure a souvenir. Available items included neon signs, plates with the center’s logo, cups, bowls, etc.


  • The combination of community organizing and modern technology may have saved Hawaii’s Pali Lanes from redevelopment — at least for the time being. A group of local Millennials used social media to generate 6,000 signatures for a petition urging a development company to spare Pali, describing the center as “one of the few places residents can gather and do something fun with their families.” Check out the group’s Facebook page at


  • The opening date for the new Main Event entertainment center in Avon, Ohio, has been set: May 29. It will be the second Main Event in Ohio (joining the venue in Cleveland), and 22 bowling lanes will be among the numerous amenities.


  • Small bowling centers once dotted downtown business districts across America. But as “Main Street USA” faded, most of those “ma-and-pa” centers closed. Soon, however, bowling will return to downtown Spartanburg, S.C. — albeit with a somewhat different business model. Plans have been announced for an eight-lane “boutique bowling alley” and event center to take over space in the 118-year-old Kimbrell’s Furniture building. You can read more about the project here:



Other News You Can Use…


  • Team USA’s Andrew Anderson completed his schooling of the 360-player field at the 2018 USBC Masters as he captured his first career PBA Tour title on Sunday. The 22-year-old right-hander from Holly, Mich., went undefeated in match play at the Oncenter Convention Center in Syracuse, N.Y., and held off Alex Hoskins of Brigham City, Utah, in the championship match, 213-199, to win the coveted title and $30,000 top prize. Hoskins claimed $25,000 for his runner-up finish. Full report:




  • Caitlyn Johnson, a sophomore at Webber International, and Scott Hill, a senior at Lindenwood, have been named Most Valuable Players for the 2017-2018 college bowling season by the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association. The NCBCA also announced its All-America Teams and additional award winners at the Night of Champions banquet on Wednesday. The banquet was held for the 32 teams that will compete in the Intercollegiate Team Championships starting today at Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln, Neb. More:


* 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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