Cyber Report #1042

E-dition No. 1,042 • Friday, February 8, 2019

Editor: Bob Johnson (

In-Between Cyber Reports…

Have you been keeping up with all the breaking news and special features recently on The Bowlers Journal website is the place to go for insightful reporting in-between BJI Cyber Reports, and the engagement on social media has been off the charts. A sampling of recent exclusive posts…

* Two days before she died, Chris Viale made a promise to his mother Carol — that he would do everything he could to get bowling into the Olympics. She was an avid bowler who got Viale hooked on the sport as soon as he was strong enough to push a ball down the lane, and he went on to become a three-time first-team All-American in William Paterson University’s bowling program. Now, he is on a relentless quest to get bowling included in the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris. Despite the disappointment associated with bowling’s campaign for inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Games, there are specific reasons Viale and World Bowling CEO Kevin Dornberger believe Paris may be the ideal city to host bowling’s Olympic debut. Get our comprehensive report on those reasons, and the sports bowling is likely to be up against for inclusion in the 2024 Games, here:

* Seven-time PBA Tour titlist and 2015 U.S. Open champion Ryan Ciminelli was forced to withdraw from the PBA Tournament of Champions after bowling through injury in the opening round of qualifying. The 32-year-old sputtered to a minus-216 showing after six games, averaging just 164 before withdrawing. What, specifically, was Ciminelli dealing with? Click here to find out:

* A tournament that epitomizes collegiate team bowling in the 21st century will take a page from the past when it takes place at Western Bowl in Indianapolis Feb. 15-17. The Hoosier Classic has invited Len Nicholson of “Phantom Radio” fame to personally condition the lanes in the rounds of eight, in both the men’s and women’s divisions. And, the former PBA laneman will use his iconic spray gun to lay down the oil. Find out how long it has been since that spray fun has been used — and get a mini-history lesson on lane conditioning — here:

Following BJI on social networks ensures you will constantly be plugged in to breaking news as it happens. Follow us on twitter @BowlersJournal (, and on the Bowlers Journal International Facebook page (


Jamie Brooks to Receive BPAA President’s Award

One of bowling’s legendary proprietors, Jamie Brooks, has been selected as the 2019 President’s Award recipient by the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America.

Brooks, who started in the bowling business in 1955 and has owned 43 bowling centers over the course of his career, now calls Plano Super Bowl his home center. The center underwent a major renovation a few years ago, creating a hybrid-conventional bowling center with new, trendy family entertainment center features.

Brooks — a BPAA past president and recipient of the association’s most prestigious honor, the Victor Lerner Award — is being recognized for his exceptional support and significant contributions to not only the association, but the entire industry. While his knowledge about the industry is impressive, it is his passion that inspires so many of the people who meet him.

“Jamie has been an inspiration to me for many years,” said BPAA President Randy Thompson, who selected Brooks for the honor. “He freely shares his knowledge about how we can become better in our industry, in life and in leadership with BPAA.”

BPAA’s Bowling Industry Service Awards will be presented at the Annual Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, June 25, during International Bowl Expo at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.

For Expo registration information, visit:


Game-Like ‘Worlds’ Module Added to Specto App

Kegel has announced updates to its Specto Bowling app, including a new module called Specto Worlds — a new experience and environment for a different type of bowler. The company is planning a series of Specto-related seminars.

Specto Bowling will now include the following modules:

* Worlds — This is a game-like experience that helps bowlers develop their skills as they are guided through different levels. They begin by selecting a “world” and the difficulty level, and the system will guide them through each game as they try to complete the world. Players have fun trying to complete each task, achieve stars based on their performance, and enjoy practicing. Kegel is describing Worlds as “practice with a purpose.”

* Performance — All the features users are accustomed to seeing in Specto will now be available in the Performance module. Here one can find everything needed for a hard-core practice. This is the area for bowlers and coaches to find detailed stats, measure performance in a variety of areas, and see numbers in the same way they are shown in PBA matches on TV.

* Challenges: Coming later this year, this is the arena for one to prove their skills and talent. Bowlers can try different challenges to see how they stack up, and compete with bowlers in their center, country and around the world to get their name on the leader boards.

The free Specto app is available for iOS and Android devices. Once downloaded, it can be used to find a Specto center. Existing users will receive a notification to update their app and will have immediate access to try the new features of Specto.

Kegel will be hosting two webinars — “What’s New in Specto?” and “Why Should I Get Specto in My Center?” — this month. Watch the Kegel and Specto Facebook pages and for details.


Revived PWBA Hall of Fame to Induct 3

Leanne Hulsenberg, Wendy Macpherson and Donna Conners will comprise the first class of the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 16 years, following their election by the PWBA Hall of Fame Committee.

Hulsenberg and Macpherson were elected in the Performance category, while Conners will enter the hall in the Meritorious Service/Builder category.

After the PWBA Tour ceased operation, both Hulsenberg and Macpherson remained active in bowling. Hulsenberg is Marketing Coordinator for Storm Bowling and deeply involved with the company’s youth initiatives, while Macpherson is part of the High Roller administrative team. Conners is the driving force between the annual mixed doubles tournament know as “The Luci,” which serves as a fundraiser for the fight against cancer.

The 2019 PWBA Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place May 15 in Wichita, Kan., in conjunction with the 2019 USBC Queens, a major event on the PWBA Tour. Details on the ceremony will be announced later. For more on the inductees, click here:


10-Year-Old’s 300 Generates Great P.R.

Kai Strothers, a 10-year-old from Maplewood, N.J., hopes to one day follow in the footsteps of his favorite PBA stars — Jason Belmonte and Gary Faulkner Jr. — and bowl on the sport’s biggest stage.

Kai took a big step toward that goal on Jan. 19 when he bowled a 300 game in his youth league at Jersey Lanes in nearby Linden, a feat that landed him an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel LIVE” via satellite.

Jersey Lanes is owned by John Fatigati, who also is the representative of Switch Bowling North America.

Now, thanks to an invitation from Go Bowling! PBA Tour Commissioner Tom Clark, Kai and his parents will have a front-row seat for one of pro bowling’s most prestigious championship rounds when he attends Sunday’s PBA Tournament of Champions finals at AMF Riviera Lanes in Fairlawn, Ohio. The stepladder finals will air live on FOX at 4:30 p.m. Eastern.

“Kai’s accomplishment on the lanes and his awesome performance on ‘Jimmy Kimmel’ are inspiring,” Clark said. “I cannot wait to introduce Kai to [PBA legend] Carmen Salvino at the finals and listen to that conversation. Whether you are 10 or 85, we are all chasing 300.”

Salvino is bowling in his 29th PBA Tournament of Champions this year at age 85.

If a PBA bowler rolls 300 in the TOC championship game on Sunday, he will win a $1 million bonus as part of the PBA’s #Chasing300 campaign. In the case of any 300 game on the PBA on FOX Sports schedule this season, Tour sponsor Go Bowling’s “Go Bowling America” promotion also will give a free game of bowling coupon to everyone registered at

When Kai was asked by Kimmel what else he’d like to accomplish after becoming the youngest bowler ever to bowl a 300 game in New Jersey, the 197-average bowler said his dream is to someday become a professional bowler.

The 10-year-old will see what it’s like under the brightest lights in the game this Sunday.

To view Kai’s appearance on the Kimmel show, go to: YouTube channel:


Will Bowling Be a Part of Qiddiya Project?

The much-anticipated Qiddiya project will begin construction in Saudi Arabia this year, and backers say that it will surpass Walt Disney World in size to become the largest entertainment destination on the planet. More than 17 million visitors are anticipated annually by 2030.

Qiddiya is envisioned as a place to live, work and play — similar to Walt Disney’s original vision for EPCOT — while serving as a prominent landmark and a hub for meeting and satisfyng the recreational, social and cultural needs of the kingdom’s current and future generations.

According to plans, visitors will have access to more than 300 recreational and educational facilities designed around five cornerstones of development:

* Parks & Attractions — amusement, theme and water parks, along with feature attractions.

* Sports & Wellness — will introduce sports programs and facilities for all kinds of hobbyists to professional athletes, including infrastructure capable of hosting international competitions and world-class training facilities and academies. Although not officially announced, bowling has been mentioned as a likely component.

* Motion & Mobility — will provide adrenaline-producing motor and sky sports.

* Nature & Environment — will explore the outdoors with environmental, nature and adventure activities.

* Arts & Culture — will offer facilities and programs that provide an array of traditional and modern arts, exhibitions, cultural and educational opportunities.

A wide range of real estate options and community services will also be available to meet the vision of Qiddiya as a 24-hour destination resort community, offering everything a visitor could want in one place.

Phase one of Qiddiya is scheduled to open in 2022.


PWBA to Unveil Unique Regional Program

A new concept in regional tournament play will debut as part of the PWBA Tour at several of the 2019 tournament sites, BJI has learned.

Each regional will be held on Sunday — the day after the national stop at the same center concludes — beginning April 28 in Parma, Ohio. Add-on events also will take place in connection with tournaments in Lincoln, Neb. (May 12), Rohnert Park, Calif. (June 2) and East Hartford, Conn. (Aug.4).

The winner of each event will advance to the Go Bowling! PWBA Regional Showdown, to be taped in connection with the live airing of the Orlando Open on Aug. 17.

All PWBA national champions and current Elite Players (top 24) will not be eligible to compete in the regional competition, a unique feature of the program that will be explored further in the Regional Roundup department in the April edition of BJI.

Read the just-issued PWBA media release here:


Other News You Can Use…

* A BPAA Food & Beverage Group Event Catering & Banquet Profitability Boot Camp has been scheduled for March 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sysco facility in Tolleson, Ariz. The presentation is ideal for anyone responsible for making a center’s group events more profitable with food and beverage. For more on this and other BPAA Boot Camps, visit

“Twilight Bowl” is playing at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. The play’s description: “Six young women. One small town. Different lanes. After graduating from a small Wisconsin high school, Sam heads to college on scholarship — but her cousin Jaycee’s future isn’t looking as bright. As the young women and their friends face adulthood, their local bowling alley becomes a place to celebrate triumphs, confront challenges and forge new identities. With her signature grace, wit and compassion, Rebecca Gilman (Luna Gale, Boy Gets Girl) questions the blueprint for a successful life, and embraces the unknown on the road ahead.” To learn more, go to:

* TV reminders: The Tournament of Champions stepladder finals will be televised live on FOX at 4:30 p.m. Eastern this Sunday, and the Players Championship finals will air live on FS1 on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern.

* More than 200 family entertainment center professionals from 35 states and 10 countries gathered in Austin, Texas, for IAAPA’s FEC Summit 2019. Look for a report in the March issue of BCM.

* Snow Bowl Steamboat in Steamboat Springs, Colo., recently underwent a major modernization project and now includes a ColorSplash VersaLamp Lane lighting system.

* Boston Red Sox star Mookie Betts was still in the midst of celebrating a stunning baseball season in which he won almost every key award possible, including helping his team to a World Series victory. But stuck in the back of his mind was the fact that in two previous appearances, he and his PBA partners had finished second in NBA star Chris Paul’s annual CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational. Betts was determined to end that streak, and in the 10th anniversary CP3 benefit bowling event that aired on FOX on Super Bowl Sunday, Betts found his stroke just in time as he and 18-time PBA Tour titlist Tommy Jones rolled to a convincing 101-86 victory over 2017 CP3 champions Pete Weber and Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Owens in the modified five-frame title match at Bowlero at the Woodlands, outside Houston. Look for a special pictorial report in the March issue of BJI.

* Jim Margueratt, an International Bowling Media Association member from Canada, passed away suddenly last week. Margueratt regularly attended International Bowl Expo and the USBC Convention, and was something of a historian on Canadian bowling. “Jim has always been an involved and active member of the IBMA, and along the way I grew to value him as a friend,” said IBMA President Keith Hamilton. “I will miss seeing him at our meetings, where his ensemble seemed to always included little more than a pair of shorts, a baseball cap and anything that promoted Canada. He will be missed.”

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is Nick Hoagland, a former PBA staff member and now a tournament promoter in the Indianapolis area (in addition to his day job). To listen to the interview, go to:

* 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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