Cyber Report #1038

E-dition No. 1,038 • Friday, January 11, 2019

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

The year 2018 featured bombshell news, big hearts and mournful losses in bowling. Take a look back at the year’s biggest bowling news — and catch up on any BJI podcasts or reporting you may have missed along the way — with our Top 18 Stories of 2018 here: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/top-18-bowling-stories-of-2018/.

First 2 PBA Telecasts on FOX, FS1 Generate Solid Numbers

The PBA’s debut telecast on FOX reached an average audience of 1,768,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research figures. The audience watching the PBA Clash telecast was the largest to watch any bowling telecast on any network since 2005.

While nobody expected those types of numbers for the PBA’s debut on FS1 this past Sunday for the stepladder finals of the PBA Hall of Fame Classic, that telecast nonetheless delivered solid viewership.

While an apples-to-apples comparison is impossible because ratings will always vary from event to event (standard vs. major tournament, for example) and time slot to time slot, the PBA was able to generate nearly as many viewers as it did for its Jan. 7, 2018 telecast on ESPN.

That telecast drew 501,000 viewers. Sunday’s telecast on FS1, according to statistics provided by FOX Sports, attracted 220,000 viewers when it aired live, 112,000 viewers on its first re-air, and 125,000 viewers on its second re-air — a total of 457,000.

Total viewership numbers for that telecast will not be known until all eight additional re-airs are in the books.

Other stats of note:

* Through two telecasts across FOX and FS1, the PBA is averaging 881,000 viewers for first-run telecasts, up 60% over the average of PBA first-run telecasts on ESPN in 2018 (551,000).

* Additionally, through two events, 4,875,000 viewers have tuned in to watch the PBA on FOX, FS1 or FS2 (including repeats), up 73% over ESPN’s reach through two events last year (2,818,000).

Meanwhile, Strike Ten Entertainment is further investing in its Go Bowling! sponsorship of the PBA Tour by introducing a promotion that could help to bolster ratings.

A new “Go Bowling Free America” promotion will reward PBA fans, league and casual bowlers across America with a free game of bowling at any participating STE bowling center if a PBA player rolls a 300 game during a FOX or FS1 telecast of any Go Bowling! PBA Tour final in 2019.

To obtain the free game of bowling coupon in the event of a perfect game on TV, fans must pre-register to receive the coupon by email (visit: www.gobowling.com/BowlFreeAmerica).

In addition to the free-game coupon promotion, all participating STE-member centers across America received complimentary posters promoting the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule. A list of participating STE centers can be found through the GoBowling.com search engine.

The promotions are being conducted in concert with the FOX Sports-PBA #Chasing300 rallying theme for the new season.

During the 2019 season, the bowling family will see a variety of marketing initiatives emerge under the umbrella of #Chasing300, including a $1 million bonus prize being offered to any player bowling a 300 game in the championship match of one of the following 2019 PBA-on-FOX events: the PBA Tournament of Champions, PBA Players Championship, PBA Indianapolis Open and WSOB PBA World Championship.

Kulick, Barnes, Koivuniemi Elected to USBC Hall of Fame

Kelly Kulick, Chris Barnes and Mika Koivuniemi will be part of the 2019 United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame class after their election in the Superior Performance category.

The three were among the 10 bowlers on the Superior Performance national ballot voted on by a panel of USBC Hall of Fame members, USBC Board members and veteran bowling writers. Candidates had to receive at least 70 percent of the votes cast to earn election.

The 2019 USBC Hall of Fame class will have seven members. Kulick, Barnes and Koivuniemi join the late John Davis (Meritorious Service), Bob Johnson (Meritorious Service), Larry Lichstein (Pioneer) and the late Jim St. John (Veterans), who were elected by the USBC Hall of Fame Committee in October 2018.

The 2019 USBC Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place May 1 in Las Vegas as part of the USBC Convention at The Orleans Hotel and Casino. Report: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/kulick-barnes-koivuniemi-elected-to-usbc-hall-of-fame/.

Just hours after the announcement of her election, Kulick added another special milestone to her resumé by winning the 2019 USBC Team USA Trials. The 41-year-old right-hander outlasted a record field of 152 women in a five-day test of versatility on five lane conditions at the Gold Coast Bowling Center in Las Vegas, while fellow USBC Hall of Famer John Janawicz topped a sold-out field of 175 men to claim his second career win at the event. More: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/17753-2/.

XBowling Reaches 2-Year Agreement With USBC

XBowling, whose mission is to “Make Winners Every Day,” has reached a two-year partnership agreement with the United States Bowling Congress to deliver exciting virtual challenges to all qualified USBC members.

XBowling, a product of Sports Challenge Network (SCN), enables bowlers from throughout the country, using verified league scores, to compete and win daily and weekly individual challenges or group contests in handicap and scratch formats. Entry fees start as low as $1 and prizes can be as high as $25,000. XBowling has apps for both iOS and Android, allowing bowlers to join and compete from their smartphones or from XBowling.com.

“XBowling provides a fun and rewarding way for bowlers to improve their game, connect with others, and win real money. More than 51,000 contests have been played and more than $240,000 won in 2018,” Tim Minard, SCN’s founder and Chairman, said.

Bowlers can choose the type of contest in which they want to compete through XBowling, then after they bowl in their league, submit their scores. SCN verifies scores through multiple methods including USBC score submittals, electronic scoring system uploads, SCN live scoring modules, and final confirmation with specific bowling centers.

Once scores are verified, winners receive payment directly into their XBowling account, which can be withdrawn at any time within stated withdrawal rules. Contest entrants must be 18 years of age or older and bowlers in certain states are not eligible to win cash prizes.

XBowling joins the USBC Member Rewards program, which was created to provide added value for USBC members by offering great deals with a variety of USBC partners. Visit BOWL.com/MemberRewards to learn more.

To get started, bowlers can visit XBowling.com, download the mobile app, and sign up for an account.

Brunswick Reorganizes Center Supplies and Lane Care Group

Corey Dykstra, CEO of Brunswick Bowling, has announced a reorganization of the company’s center supplies and lane care group.

“We’re very excited to be realigning the team to emphasize our strengths, driving quality and innovation across the product category,” said Dykstra. “Aligning the team members’ talent and expertise with our customer needs will enable us to better serve our customers.”

John Hill, sales and marketing manager for center supplies and lane care, will lead strategy development and implementation of sales and marketing functions.

As product manager for center supplies, Jean Marshall will manage parts, pins, house balls, rental shoes, and resurfacing products. In his new role as pinsetter mechanics expert, David DiRito will utilize his experience in bowling center operations and pinsetter mechanics to continue Brunswick’s position as pinsetter parts market leader.

Trey Brown, previously the chemical project and compliance manager, is being promoted to product manager for lane care.

In the role of lane care expert, Pat Mitchell will provide the passion and product knowledge to drive continuous improvement of Brunswick’s lane maintenance business.

Ryan Wiles will join the lane care team, providing full-time engineering support for the lane maintenance product line.

RaeMe Schnebelt is being promoted to customer service manager, supervising the customer service teams that support center supplies, lane care and consumer products customers.

Dykstra also announced the retirement of Ron Addison, director of aftermarket products, after 19 years in a variety of roles, including marketing and product management.

“Ron has always had a can-do attitude and willingness to run through walls to help support Brunswick,” said Dykstra. “He will be missed.”

Addison’s last day was Dec. 20.

“As always, our priority is to provide the best products and support for our customers while continuing our commitment to quality and innovation in this market,” said Brian Graham, vice president of consumer products and center supplies and lane care.

Shooter Kills 3 at Los Angeles-Area Center

On the eve of the PBA Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Arlington, Texas, a former PBA Tour host center — Gable House Bowl in Torrance, Calif. — was the scene of a shooting that left three people dead and four others injured.

Two days later, using security video footage and eyewitness accounts, police arrested and charged Reginald Wallace, a 47-year-old parolee who had served 17 years for assault with a deadly weapon.

The shooting occurred after a brawl among patrons had broken out. Police said it wasn’t clear whether Wallace was part of the brawl or targeted specific people, nor how he got the gun inside the center.

Gable House reportedly had security guards on duty the evening of the shooting, and it’s a regular practice for bags to be checked as patrons enter the center for the weekend Rock-N-Glow promotion.

Torrance Police Chief Eve Irvine said, “We’ve never had an incident like this in Torrance.”

Wyman and McNiel Join Team Storm

Storm Products, Inc. has announced that Justin Wyman will relocate to Storm Headquarters as Technical Developer. Wyman will join the technical team and assist in the development, innovation and execution of new products.

“Justin is an uncommon find. His skills and experience are unique to him and it would be a misdeed to not utilize his expertise,” said Technical Director Chad McLean. “Justin’s rare combination of multimedia prowess and technical savvy is something we want to embrace and cultivate at Storm Headquarters.”

In his new role at Storm, Wyman will assist with the creation and testing process of new innovations being considered for release. He also will assist the marketing team with the development of drilling instructions and materials for new products. In addition, he will support the production of seminar materials to help inform and educate consumers, create news articles and videos for the website, and represent Storm at seminars, trade shows and instructional clinics.

Storm also announced that Matt McNiel has joined the company as Global Brand Ambassador. McNiel will join the business development team to build and implement new programs to educate bowlers around the world.

“I’m excited to work with very talented people who share my passion and love the sport of bowling,” McNiel said.

Prior to joining Storm, McNiel worked for the Target Corporation as Lead Specialist for Corporate Security Services. In his new position, he will be developing coaching programs to educate both consumers and industry professionals in the bowling community. In addition, he will be creating educational assets to instruct bowlers of all skill levels, which will be shared through the company’s digital channels.

“Matt is a perfect fit for the Storm family,” said Gary Hulsenberg, Vice President of Business Development. “Just like Storm, he’s focused on growing the sport and sharing his passion for bowling with every level of competitor, from beginners to the top professionals. Matt is wildly intelligent, and Storm is lucky that he has chosen to join our team.”

PBA Will Qualify 8 Bowlers for November Event in China

The Professional Bowlers Association will conduct its first-ever event in China when the inaugural PBA China Tiger Cup is held Nov. 8-11 at the 18-lane Suzhou Tiger Bowling Center, about an hour west of Shanghai.

The historic tournament, which will conclude the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule, was announced by PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark and tournament host Frank Zhao, the founder and president of Longmarch Bowling.

The tournament will include eight PBA Tour players who will earn expenses-paid berths based on 2019 USBC Cup points earned during the PBA Summer Tour. The eight PBA qualifiers will then join 56 PBA members from China, Korea, Japan and other Asian countries for an eight-game qualifying tournament. The top 16 bowlers after eight games will then bowl 16 games of round-robin match play for shares of a $106,000 prize fund. A special USA vs. China team event will conclude the event.

The eight PBA Tour stars will qualify during an eight-event PBA Summer Tour schedule between July 24 and Aug. 31. The Summer Tour events will all be live-streamed on FloBowling. The qualifying tournaments:

* Storm PBA/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles in Houston, Texas

* Chesapeake Open in Chesapeake, Va.

* Wilmington Open in Wilmington, N.C.

* Gene Carter’s Pro Shop Open in Middletown, Del.

* Bowlerstore Classic Presented by Moxy’s Xtra Pair in Coldwater, Ohio

* PBA FloBowling PBA Summer Swing, which will include the Wolf Open, Bear Open and Aurora Open, all in Aurora, Ill.

“The PBA China Tiger Cup is another major step forward as the PBA continues its efforts to grow the sport around the world, and especially in China’s rapidly growing bowling market,” said Clark. “The China Cup joins the creation of the PBA World Series of Bowling 10 years ago, a partnership with World Bowling on the World Bowling Tour, and forming PBA Japan as examples of the PBA working to expose the sport at its highest level to as many people as possible.”

The PBA China Tiger Cup is the culmination of a relationship between Zhao, the China Bowling Association and the PBA that began with the first contingent of six Chinese bowlers competing in the PBA World Series of Bowling in 2014 in Las Vegas after participating in a “PBA Pioneer League” program originated by Zhao to comply with PBA average requirements. Since its humble beginning, Zhao has conducted 14 PBA Pioneer League events, resulting in 94 bowlers in China and nearby Pacific Rim countries meeting PBA’s minimum average requirements and applying for PBA membership.

“China has huge potential for bowling,” Zhao said. “In the 1990s, there was a big boom with more than 30,000 lane beds installed in China, but it declined sharply. Thanks to bowling industry efforts recently, we have seen growth again. The PBA China Tiger Cup comes right on time to further stimulate the market.”

The titled sponsor of the event is Tiger Bowling, which owns three centers in China. Five years ago, the company created a tournament called the Tiger Bowling Challenge involving “traditional” bowlers vs. “spinners,” referring to the standard “hook” style of bowling widely practiced around the world vs. the “spinner” technique popular in several Southeast Asia countries that is characterized by lightweight bowling balls propelled by a flick of the thumb.

In its sixth year, the Tiger Bowling Challenge will include a series of monthly tournaments involving hundreds of bowlers competing simultaneously on the same oiling pattern at 14 centers around China.

“How China bowling develops depends on what we do today,” said (Mr.) Lee, owner of Tiger Bowling along with several IT and investment companies. “Tiger Bowling will unswervingly grow bowling. I believe [the] PBA China Tiger Cup will push the development of bowling in China to its new [apex].”

China Tiger Cup to Cap Extensive 2019 PBA Schedule

The PBA China Tiger Cup adds a crowning touch to an unprecedented schedule of events for PBA players in 2019 that will include:

* 28 PBA Tour title events

* An extensive schedule of nationally televised events on FOX, FS1 and CBS Sports Network

* An expanded schedule of live-stream coverage by PBA Xtra Frame on FloBowling, the PBA’s new online partner

* A new PBA Playoffs with a $100,000 payoff to the winner

* Four major championship tournaments

* The return of the PBA World Series of Bowling, PBA League Elias Cup, CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational, Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship, PBA/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles, and more

Over the course of the season, the PBA will conduct events in 24 different cities and five countries, including the United States.

Concerns About SafeSport Guidelines for RVPs Addressed

USBC Deputy Executive Director Jason Overstreet responded last Friday to a handful of questions BJI sent him regarding some surprise and anxiety among youth coaches and youth tournament organizers in response to recently implemented policies regulating interaction between them and the youth bowlers who solicit their coaching services or bowl their tournaments.

At a time when more youth coaches and youth tournament organizers have turned to social networking platforms to promote their events or engage with their students or tournament bowlers, one aspect of those policy changes that generated discussion pertains to ways youth coaches and youth tournament organizers now are permitted to communicate electronically with minor athletes.

“USBC has adopted its policy language directly from the U.S. Center for SafeSport,” Overstreet told BJI. “USBC and other USOC National Governing Bodies have expressed concern about the Electronic Communications policy language. We understand SafeSport is reviewing the language and the concerns.

“The specific guidelines and language from SafeSport will be evolving and as USBC receives updates on the policy from SafeSport we will follow their direction. USBC recommends Registered Volunteers follow current policies using reasonable judgment.

“USBC will handle complaints and enforcement related to RVP policy consistent with our organizational policy for Due Process outlined in the Bylaws.”

For a comprehensive overview of the situation, click here: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/usbc-addresses-concerns-about-new-safesport-guidelines-for-rvps/.

EBI Adds Horton, Names Snellbaker and Ryan as Tour Reps

Ronnie Horton has joined the Ebonite International sales team as district sales manager for the East Central territory.

The territory — which encompasses Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Maryland and Delaware — was formerly serviced by Mike Snellbaker, who is vacating the position to become a full-time tour rep for the company.

“We are excited to have Ronnie join our sales team,” said Mike Judy, North American sales manager. “He brings a wealth of knowledge from running a pro shop for several years to having competed on the professional tour.

“Ronnie has a contagious passion for our sport and our industry,” Judy added.

The move comes on the heels of a highly successful season on both the men’s and women’s tours for EBI.

“With our ever-increasing commitment to professional bowling on the highest level and a determination to carry forward our success from [last] year, the time was right to increase the support our bowlers receive,” said Rob Gotchall, manager of players and performance. “Mike Snellbaker’s depth of experience and knowledge made him a perfect fit as a tour rep.”

In addition to Snellbaker, Shawn Ryan also has been added to EBI’s stable of tour reps.

CBS Sports Network to Air PBA Playoffs from Red Rock in Vegas

PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark has announced a new four-year agreement with the CBS Sports Network to air the PBA Tour Finals beginning this year.

In another Go Bowling! PBA Tour first, the CBS Sports Network will provide an unprecedented 10 hours of live coverage of the showcase event from the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa’s bowling center in Las Vegas, July 20-21.

The 2019 edition of the PBA Tour Finals will feature the top eight players in points from the 2018 and 2019 seasons through the USBC Masters in April.

In the previous two PBA Tour Finals, won by E.J. Tackett in 2017 in Orlando and Jason Belmonte in 2018 in Detroit, the top eight money earners were awarded berths. However, that eligibility requirement will switch to the top eight in points beginning with 2019.

The 2019 PBA Tour Finals will incorporate the same format as 2018, with the eight-player field divided into two four-player groups. The field will bowl four games of qualifying in their respective groups on a different oil pattern each game. The four-game scratch totals for each player will be used to determine the seeding for a separate stepladder finals in each group.

The PBA Tour Finals also is a unique opportunity for bowling fans to make a trip to Red Rock to witness eight of PBA’s elite players do battle at one of Las Vegas’s premier resorts.

A detailed tournament schedule with ticket information and lane pattern information will be announced at a later date.

Logo Infusion Renews Deal With IBC Youth Development

Logo Infusion will remain the official jersey provider of the Junior Gold Championships through the 2020 tournament after renewing its agreement with International Bowling Campus Youth Development.

In addition to the Junior Gold Championships Presented by the Brands of Ebonite International, Logo Infusion also will be the official jersey for USA Bowling and the Bowling.com Youth Open Championships.

As part of the new agreement, Logo Infusion will award the Dan Keegan Scholarship to eight youth bowlers. The $500 scholarships, which will be awarded at the Junior Gold Championships Opening Ceremony, are named in honor of Logo Infusion founder Ken Keegan’s father.

“We’re excited to extend the agreement with the Junior Gold Championships, and to also give back to the youth bowlers through the Dan Keegan Scholarship,” said Ken Keegan, whose Las Vegas-based company began production of its jerseys in 2011. “The IBC Youth Development’s national tournaments are the biggest events in youth bowling each year, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to be part of these outstanding competitions.”

Logo Infusion became the exclusive producer of jerseys for the Junior Gold Championships starting with the 2017 event. It will continue to provide team uniforms for the USA Bowling National Championships and to the Junior Gold finalists for the televised finals.

In addition, Logo Infusion will continue to supply staff uniforms for the IBC Youth team at the Intercollegiate Team Championships, Youth Open, Junior Gold and USA Bowling events.

Jerseys produced by Logo Infusion for the Junior Gold Championships now are available at Logo Infusion’s website at LogoInfusion.com/2019-Detroit-official-jerseys, and will be available on-site at the USBC Bowling Store, the official store of USBC, during the event.

“We appreciate Logo Infusion’s support and involvement with the Junior Gold Championships,” IBC Youth Development Managing Director Gary Brown said. “The addition of the scholarships are another example of Ken Keegan and his team’s support of youth bowling.”

Applications for the Dan Keegan Scholarship will be available at LogoInfusion.com beginning Jan. 15.

Visit BOWL.com/JuniorGold to learn more about the Junior Gold program and the Junior Gold Championships Presented by the Brands of Ebonite International.

FloBowling Streams FOX/FS1 PBA Telecasts Outside U.S.

An important benefit of the PBA’s new relationships with FOX Sports and FloBowling will result in expanded access to PBA telecasts for fans around the world.

FOX and FS1 telecasts, live or tape-delayed, will serve American viewers exclusively, reaching an estimated 120 million homes on FOX or 90 million homes on FS1, while also live streaming the shows on the FOX Sports Go app.

FloBowling will simultaneously live-stream all FOX/FS1 shows to the international audience as the shows air. That means that in addition to the hundreds of hours of PBA Tour coverage already scheduled to air on FloBowling, including qualifying and match play rounds in addition to FloBowling-exclusive tournaments, international subscribers will be able to watch PBA Tour finals televised by FOX Sports as they happen.

American FloBowling viewers will not be able to watch FOX/FS1 shows as they air, but those programs will be archived “on demand” on FloBowling for seven days after they air.

For FloBowling subscription information, visit FloBowling.com.

BJI Honoree Nominated for USA Today Readers’ Choice Award

Asbury Lanes, already recognized as the “Best Renovated Center” in the 2018 Bowlers Journal International Architecture and Design Awards competition, was nominated for a USA Today Readers’ Choice award in the “Best New Attraction” category.

“From waterparks and theme parks to museums and performance spaces, travelers were treated to a host of new attractions in 2018,” USA Today said on its website. “With the help of a panel of travel experts, we combed the country for the best new attractions of the year.”

Website visitors had until Jan. 7 to cast their votes, and the winners will be announced on Jan. 18 at noon Eastern.

“Asbury Lanes, an iconic 1960s bowling alley in Asbury Park, was given new life in 2018 after years of neglect,” USA Today said in its description of the venue. “Today, the beautifully restored space doubles as one of the best new music venues on the East Coast, as well as a classic diner that stays open late.”

Other attractions nominated were:

* Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve, Sun Valley, Idaho

* Chicago Architecture Center, Chicago

* Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center, Manitowoc, Wis.

* The Gateway Arch Museum and Visitor Center, St. Louis

* Gathering Place, Tulsa, Okla.

* Imagine Museum, St. Petersburg, Fla.

* Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU, Richmond, Va.

* National Comedy Center, Jamestown, N.Y.

* National Memorial for Peace and Justice, Montgomery, Ala.

* Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Museum, Niagara Falls, N.Y.

* Nordic Museum, Seattle

* Old Forester Distillery, Louisville, Ky.

* Orlando Starflyer, Orlando, Fla.

* Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory, Rancho Mirage, Calif.

* Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience, Indianapolis

* South Carolina Historical Society Museum, Charleston, S.C.

* Skyscape, New York

* Tower of Voices, Laurel Highlands, Pa.

* Underwater Museum of Art, Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.

Weber Cup Will Make American Debut at Mandalay Bay

The 2019 Weber Cup will make its debut on American soil at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, June 18-21, Matchroom Multi Sport has announced.

The 20th annual competition will involve teams of European and American PBA stars, competing in a Ryder Cup-style series of individual and team matches.

The tournament will be played over four sessions, one per day, on specially installed lanes at Mandalay Bay. Tickets will go on sale this month. News on the captains and team selection process for the 2019 Weber Cup will be announced shortly. Matchroom Multi Sport said it would work in partnership with the PBA Tour to ensure a successful American debut for one of bowling’s most popular international competitions.

“We are excited to be taking the Weber Cup stateside in 2019 and are delighted to be working with both the PBA and Mandalay Bay Resort,” Matchroom Multi Sport COO Emily Frazer said. “The Weber Cup has always had a loyal fan base in Europe, and we hope that many of those supporters will join us in Las Vegas, and be joined by a raft of U.S. fans who will finally be able to see this great event in America.”

“It’s exciting to have the Weber Cup come to the USA,” PBA Tour Commissioner Tom Clark added. “Our PBA players have always enjoyed taking part in the competition, and fans love the drama. With news to come regarding how PBA results will help determine a spot on each team’s roster, it adds another incentive for the players on our Tour. May the best team win.”

Ticket details for the 2019 Weber Cup will be published at webercup.com. Fans can follow @WeberCup on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get all the latest news first.

Business Briefs…

* Dustin Whitehead has been named the 2018 McCorvey’s Bowling World Employee of the Year. “Across 57 locations and more than 130 employees, Dustin stood out with his hard work, commitment and passion for what we do,” said company owner Jeff McCorvey. Whitehead began the year as the shop manager in Pelham, Ala., before earning a promotion to district manager of the Knoxville-area stores. “Since arriving in Knoxville, Dustin has shown that he is determined to be the best he can be and will create his own ways to become successful,” McCorvey said. “This work ethic is just one of the ways that he has proved his worth.”

* The Dec. 22 edition of the New York Times featured an Arts section story noting that symphony orchestras and opera companies all over the country have seen a great decline in season-ticket sales (“subscriptions”) and a big increase in single-performance ticket purchases. That trend mirrors bowling’s decline in league players (i.e., “season ticket holders”) and increase in open bowlers  (i.e., “single-performance buyers”). The mystery remains over the underlying cause. Commitment issues? Cost? Something else? Thanks to Sandy Hansell of The Hansell Group for letting us know about the Times’ story.

* As is often the case when a new year dawns, a number of bowling ball companies have added players to their Pro Staffs. We’ll take a look at some of the roster changes in next week’s Cyber Report.

Other News You Can Use…

* Four-time PBA Tour winner Marshall Kent outlasted seven other top money earners from the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season to win the PBA Clash, taking home the $25,000 winner-take-all first prize while ushering in a new era of sports television coverage for the PBA on FOX Sports. The revolutionary Specto StrikeTrack was introduced during the Clash telecast, giving viewers the ability to follow the path of the ball going down the lane while providing ball-performance data in real time. StrikeTrack is similar in concept to the FOX Sports FlightTrack system used on PGA Tour telecasts that tracks the flight of a golfer’s shot. The telecast also included features on all eight players, a preview of the 2019 season and presentations by PBA Commissioner Tom Clark to Andrew Anderson for his Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year Award and Kamron Doyle for his Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year honor. Report: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/marshall-kent-claims-winner-take-all-25k-in-pba-clash-on-fox/.

* There was no more appropriate place to welcome the Professional Bowlers Association’s four newest Hall of Fame members than the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame itself, and that’s exactly what happened Saturday when Mika Koivuniemi, Patrick Allen, Jim Doty and Luby Publishing’s own Bob Johnson joined the PBA’s elite. The first induction ceremony ever held within the IBM/HF itself were part of the PBA Hall of Fame Classic weekend, which concluded Sunday with the PBA’s first live stepladder finals telecast on FOX Sport’s FS1 channel. More: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/pba-hall-of-fame-welcomes-four-new-members/.

* And the winner of the Hall of Fame Classic was… Bill O’Neill, who became Hall of Fame eligible as the victory was his 10th in PBA Tour competition. More: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/bill-oneill-becomes-hall-of-fame-eligible-with-10th-pba-tour-title/. And look for our on-the-scene report in the February issue of BJI.

* Team USA standout Shannon Pluhowsky earned the USBC National High Average and High Series Awards for the 2017-18 season as she posted a 250.7 average for 71 games during the Inland Owls league at Capri Lanes in Kettering, Ohio. Pluhowsky also earned the National High Series Award in the women’s division after rolling games of 289, 299 and 280 for an 868 series on Jan. 11, 2018, at the Fairborn Semi Classic league at Bowl 10 in Fairborn, Ohio. More: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/shannon-pluhowsky-reclaims-record-for-highest-season-average-by-a-woman/.

* After a combined 27 years on Team USA, Chris Barnes and Tommy Jones have decided to retire from the program. Barnes, a 48-year-old right-hander, is a 16-time Team USA member, while Jones, a 40-year-old right-hander, has made 11 appearances on the team. Jones also spent one year on Junior Team USA. The duo will be recognized during a special Team USA celebration at the 2019 USBC Convention in Las Vegas. The convention is scheduled for April 29-May 2. More: http://www.bowlersjournal.com/chris-barnes-tommy-jones-retire-from-team-usa/.

* Many readers have been asking how they can obtain a copy of “Stone 8,” written by Len Nicholson and illustrated by Sam Villareale. Here’s how: Send a check for $29 to Len Nicholson, 7474 Adorno Way, Sacramento, CA 95829. That includes tax, shipping and autographs. And don’t miss BJI’s conversation with Nicholson in the “Chat Room” department of the February issue.

* Speaking of Nicholson, his guest this week is former Southern California bowling standout Larry Gray. To listen to the conversation, click here: https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2019/1/9/larry-gray-phantom-radio.

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

 

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