Cyber Report #1046

E-dition No. 1,046 • Friday, March 1, 2019

Editor: Bob Johnson (

PWBA Season Again Will Conclude at Richmond Raceway

Richmond Raceway will be the site of the season-ending Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour Championship for the third consecutive year, and national sponsor QubicaAMF once again will be actively involved in the closing events of the PWBA Tour season.

The 2019 PWBA Tour Championship is set for Sept. 15-18 at the Historic Old Dominion Building at the Richmond Raceway Complex as part of Richmond Raceway’s NASCAR Playoff Race Week. QubicaAMF will build four state-of-the-art lanes for the event, and CBS Sports Network will provide live coverage of the final rounds on Sept. 18.

In addition to building the lanes for the event, QubicaAMF returns as the title sponsor of the season’s third major.

The 2019 QubicaAMF PWBA Players Championship will take place Sept. 3-8 at Buffaloe Lanes North in Raleigh, N.C. Open exclusively to PWBA members, it is the final event before the season-ending Tour Championship. Stefanie Johnson won her first major title at last year’s Players Championship, held in Plano, Texas.

The PWBA provides such a tremendous opportunity for competitive women bowlers, and QubicaAMF is proud to continue its involvement with the PWBA,” said QubicaAMF’s Chairman, Pat Ciniello. “The PWBA Players Championship was a fantastic event last season and we’re excited to continue our sponsorship of the event. It also was thrilling to be part of the PWBA Tour Championship and build the lanes in a fantastic venue that showcased the outstanding athletes who compete on the tour.”

QubicaAMF joined the PWBA Tour in 2017 as title sponsor of the QubicaAMF PWBA Sonoma County Open, which was held at Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park, Calif. The company will host three demo events during the PWBA Tour season to showcase its BES X Bowler Entertainment System.

Richmond Raceway first hosted the PWBA Tour Championship in 2017. The 2019 event’s 16-player field will be comprised of PWBA members who win a PWBA Tour event in 2019, with the remaining spots filled through the tour’s points list.

Bowling will be represented on the race track, as well, as Go Bowling!, the consumer-facing brand of the bowling industry, will be the title sponsor of the opening race of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, the Go Bowling 250 at Richmond Raceway on Friday, Sept. 20.

The race weekend also will have the Federated Auto Parts 400, the second race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, on Saturday, Sept. 21. Visit for more information.

For comments from Richmond Raceway President Richard Bickmeier, as well as ticket information for the PWBA Tour Championship, go to:


Planning Under Way for 2019-20 BBIA Catalog

Two important deadlines for the 2019-20 BBIA Catalog will be here before you know it.

The Catalog is produced by the Billiard and Bowling Institute of America, with manufacturers and distributors working together to present consumer products in a cohesive and impressive manner.

The deadline for companies to submit their materials for the Catalog is May 15. However, a 3% discount will be applied if all pages are received and approved by May 1.

The 2019-20 Catalog will be the eighth produced by the BBIA.

We are proud to be members of BBIA and are grateful for the trust that you have shown Luby Publishing Inc. to deliver the association’s Catalog,” Project Manager Keith Hamilton, President of LPI, said.


US Bowling Provides Equipment for 2 Unique Projects

US Bowling Corporation has been busy with several projects, including Silverlake The Family Place in Erlanger, Ky., and Decades in Lancaster, Pa.

Silverlake The Family Place includes eight lanes of Duckpin Bowling with 10 pin String Pinsetters; Murrey MML 3000 Synthetic Lanes; Z-Bump automatic bumpers, gutters and capping; 15-ft. Media Mask and Projectors; custom masking unit graphics and wall graphics; Multi-Color LED Pit Lights; PULSE Scoring Entertainment System and overhead monitors; and above-ground US Bowling ball returns.

Silverlake also purchased US Bowling’s Soundbuster panels, UV-printed fabrics (with any graphic) wrapped around boards with an acoustical foam insert.

Decades includes six US Bowling 10 pin String Pinsetters; Murrey MML 3000 Synthetic Lanes; Z-Bump automatic bumpers, gutters and capping; custom masking unit graphics, and PULSE Scoring Entertainment System and overhead monitors.

Silverlake The Family Place is a membership-based “lifestyle center” that includes a fitness center, cafe, outdoor water park, indoor aquatics center, social events, senior classes, gymnastics, taekwondo and more. It offers monthly and yearly memberships for singles, couples, families and seniors.

The duckpin bowling installation is part of a new $9 million Active Entertainment Center that also includes a ropes course, a Clip ’n Climb attraction, a trampoline park, a full-service bar and grill, and more. You can learn more about the facility here:

The Decades website describes the new facility as “a six-lane boutique bowling alley and arcade with a full-service restaurant and bar.” It’s located in the historic Stahr Armory on North Queen Street.

More from the website: “In addition to bowling, Decades will provide guests with 25 to 30 retro arcade games, ranging from SkeeBall to Tron. The chef-driven menu will bring a unique twist to familiar foods from childhood, elevated to the high-quality dishes of Lancaster’s growing food scene. Beverage options will include signature cocktails, sommelier selected wines, and craft beer on tap.”

Decades has been doing some creative “countdown marketing” on its Facebook page. Check it out here:


Long-Dormant Chicago Center Gets a Second Life

One of Chicago’s “ghost centers” will soon be brought back to life.

The old Northwest Bowl on one of the city’s main thoroughfares, Milwaukee Avenue, is being restored with as many of its original details as possible in place — including the eight wood lanes, original pinsetting machines and even a hand-painted Monarch Beer sign. Its new name will be Avondale Bowl.

Partners in the project are real estate broker Luke Blahnik, and the current general manager of the The Heritage restaurant in nearby Forest Park, Jeff Wilson.

The overall décor, Blahnik said, will be “our version of a Wes Anderson film,” meaning “a lot of fabric, color and cozy furniture.”

The second-story facility sits over space that’s presently vacant. Blahnik said he hopes to fill that space with a restaurant that could also handle the food menu at Avondale Bowl.

You can read more about the project here:

Records are sketchy, but locals believe Northwest Bowl opened sometime in the 1950s and closed in the early 1990s.

Bonus viewing: Check out the vintage, black-and-white Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America video on Avondale’s Facebook page:


IBPSIA to Offer Master Technician Class in Las Vegas

A Certified Master Technician Class will be conducted by the International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association during the lead-up to International Bowl Expo in Las Vegas.

The class will be held June 21-23 at the South Point Hotel, which also will be hosting the 2019 Industry Showcase (see Business Briefs below).

Among the topics to be covered by Master Instructor Jordan Vanover are:

* Coaching and how it affects your bottom line.

* Ball motion, advanced layouts and pitches.

* Basic programming of lane machines.

* Lane play strategy.

* Marketing, social media and retail strategy.

The cost for IBPSIA members is $995 if paid by May 15, or $1,495 after that date. The cost for non-members is $1,795. The class size will be capped at 12, and last year’s class sold out quickly.

The prerequisite for the class is HOTS or HOTS equivalent (HOTS test-out) and a minimum of USBC Bronze-level certification.

For further information or to register, contact Lori Hurst at 800-659-9444 or


Ritchie Wolfe Joins Suburban Bowlerama Staff

Ritchie Wolfe, a former PBA touring pro, has joined the staff of Suburban Bowlerama in York, Pa.

Wolfe, a southpaw, competed on the PBA Tour from 1986 through 2010. His best season was in 2004 when he earned more than $44,000. His best career finish was second in the 1995 Indianapolis Open. He lost to PBA Hall of Famer Jason Couch, 256-223, in the championship match.

ESPN analyst Randy Pedersen called Wolfe “one of the most talented bowlers who has never won a PBA title.” PBA Hall of Famer and color commentator Earl Anthony said Wolfe “has near-perfect form.”

Wolfe, 52, formerly was the General Manager of Mountain Run Bowl, an 18-lane facility in Culpepper, Va.

Hiring Ritchie is part of our quest to continuously get better,” said Terry Miller, proprietor of Suburban Bowlerama. “I believe you are only as good as the people around you. We have an excellent staff and the addition of Ritchie just strengthens it.”

Miller and Wolfe are longtime friends, having met on the PBA Tour in the late 1980s. Miller said he believes Wolfe’s background will be a tremendous asset.

Ritchie has been around bowling all of his life. He has a wealth of experience in all phases of the bowling business.”

Wolfe praised the Suburban Bowlerama staff and the center’s history of success.

This is a very successful business,” he said. “My goal is to help the center keep improving. I expect to assume some of the responsibilities that are currently part of Terry’s day-to-day activities.”


20 More Bowler’s Ed Kits Are Now in the Field

International Bowling Campus Youth Development has awarded Bowler’s Ed kits to 20 schools and organizations based on submitted applications.

The Bowler’s Ed kits provide educators and youth organizers with the tools needed to engage children in a true bowling experience. With the easy-to-use bowling equipment and curriculum designed to introduce students to the lifetime sport of bowling, teachers are able to bring a bowling-center atmosphere inside a classroom or gymnasium.

The curriculum adheres to common core educational standards, includes activities for grades K-8, and features activities to enhance cardiovascular health, coordination and endurance.

The Bowler’s Ed kits will allow these schools and organizations to introduce, or reinforce, to children the fact that bowling is a fun and lifetime sport,” IBC Youth Committee Chair Melissa McDaniel said. “The kits provide activities that allow children to learn in a fun, unique environment.”

A list of the schools and organizations receiving grants is here:

A total of 142 Bowler’s Ed kits have been awarded to schools and organizations across the country since 2016. IBC Youth Development works with schools, bowling centers, associations and other organizations to deliver Bowler’s Ed kits, an initiative supported by the entire bowling industry.

The Bowler’s Ed program also seeks to have local associations and bowling centers work together with schools and physical education teachers to make bowling one of the sports they teach their students.


IBMA Voting Under Way; Pezzano Scholarship Surveys Sought

Voting is under way among International Bowling Media Association members for the IBMA’s major awards: the Luby Hall of Fame Award, the Alberta E. Crowe Meritorious Service Award and the Hennessy Award of Merit. Voting also is taking place for 2018 Bowlers of the Year and Senior Bowlers of the Year.

The IBMA also is accepting entries for its 2018 Writing Competition, as well as pre-application surveys for the $5,000 IBMA Chuck Pezzano Scholarship, presented by the Billiard and Bowling Institute of America.

Full criteria for the scholarship is available here:

If you know someone who is eligible for the scholarship, please let him or her know about it. You’ll be contributing to developing the next generation of bowling journalists.


Business Briefs…

* Representatives of Storm Bowling, Ebonite International and Brunswick Bowling Products met at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon to begin planning the 2019 Industry Showcase. The Showcase has become an annual cooperative event, enabling pro shop operators to test all of the aforementioned companies’ latest equipment. It debuted in 2016, and you can read about its genesis here:

* The 2019 IBPSIA Scratch Tournament, open to all verifiable pro shop operators and IBPSIA members, will be held on Monday, June 24 at the South Point Bowling Center. Action will begin at 7 p.m., and the $2,000 first prize is part of a $7,000 guaranteed prize fund. Thirty-two bowlers will cash, and there also will be brackets and raffle prizes. Participation is limited to 192 players — first come, first served — and reservations may be made by contacting Lori Hurst at 800-659-9444 or

* Creating the Difference has partnered with Turtle Wax, an industry leader in polishing technology, to develop and a polish for bowling balls under the TruCut brand. Ronald Hickland, CEO of Creating the Difference, said, “Growing bowling means working together. Having a partner with the brand strength of Turtle Wax is huge for not only us, but for bowling. We are grateful that Turtle Wax worked with us on this project.”

* Local officials have officially classified the cause of the fire at 30 Lanes in Davenport, Iowa, as “undetermined. The late night/earning morning blaze on Feb. 10 caused substantial damage to the center, and required three trucks and five engines to extinguish.


Other News You Can Use…

* Another sanctioned 300 game has been bowled on QubicaAMF’s TMS String Machines, this time in Australia. At the State Championships in Australia’s capital city of Canberra, hosted by Zone Bowling Belconnen, Robert Townsend shot a perfect game. The center is located across the street from the University of Canberra, which means those String Machines should be getting plenty of use.

* The $1 million bonus offered for a 300 game bowled in the title match of four select Go Bowling! PBA Tour events thus far in 2019 has gone unclaimed, but players will have one more chance: in the PBA World Championship telecast on Thursday, March 21, at 8 p.m. Eastern on FS1. And because no one has bowled a perfect game in any nationally-televised PBA Tour finals this season, the Go Bowling Free America promotion also is still unredeemed. The Go Bowling Free America offer will kick in if any player bowls a nationally televised 300 game — but fans must pre-register at to be eligible to download a free-game coupon.

* Bob Learn Jr., a five-time PBA Tour titlist, three-time PBA50 Tour winner, and head bowling coach at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tenn., has been named Mid-South Conference Brandon Burns Coach of the Year for the 2018-19 season. The school also has announced that PBA Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli has joined Learn’s staff as assistant coach.

* When Norm Duke was generous enough to take time out of his week in the PBA Jonesboro Open to speak with BJI Editor Gianmarc Manzione a day after entering the top five in that event, he turned out to be in a profoundly reflective mood. Duke, who won his 39th PBA Tour title at age 54 in the PBA Indianapolis Open on Feb. 24, was unflinchingly honest about the humble start he had in his career, when he went winless for eight years after becoming the youngest player to win on tour at age 18 in 1983. He knows he has, as he puts it in the interview, “no time left” as a competitor, and he knows what it takes to make the most of what few opportunities might remain for him to capture a spark for at least one last time. This is a very special conversation with a unique figure the likes of which the pro bowling world will not see again. You can listen to the full conversation in the latest BJI Podcast here:

* Check out Norman Chad’s latest bowling-related treatise here: As always, it demonstrates deep bowling knowledge. (What other non-bowling writer correctly identifies the pin numbers of the Greek church?)

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark, who became a two-time recipient of BJI’s Person of the Year award in 2018. You can listen to the conversation here:

* The Cyber Report will be taking a “bye” next week, and will return with a special double e-dition on Friday, March 15. Meanwhile, for breaking business news, visit or, and “Like” Bowling Center Management and Bowlers Journal International on Facebook. BJI Cyber Reports are now archived at Please send business news, event information, etc. to Bob Johnson at

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