Cyber Report #1051

E-dition No. 1,051 • Friday, April 5, 2019

Editor: Bob Johnson (


19 Bowling Shows Added to CBS Sports Network Schedule

In addition to its schedule of PBA Tour telecasts, CBS Sports Network will televise 19 bowling shows in 2019, with the finals of eight events televised live, including the stepladder finals of five major tournaments.

The finals of every major on the PWBA Tour will be televised live, starting with the USBC Queens stepladder finals on May 21 from Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan.

The finals of the U.S. Women’s Open (June 23), the PWBA Players Championship (Sept. 8), and the PWBA Tour Championship (Sept. 18) also will feature live coverage.

The finals of the 2019 U.S. Open, a major on the PBA Tour, will be televised live on Oct. 30 from Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C.

In addition to the major events on the schedule, the first three Saturdays in August will have a live TV show starting 5 p.m. (Eastern) with the stepladder finals of the PWBA elite-field events — the PWBA East Hartford Open (Aug. 3), Pepsi PWBA Louisville Open (Aug. 10) and the PWBA Orlando Open (Aug. 17).

The fields for the PWBA elite-field events will consist of the top 24 players on the 2019 PWBA points list after the first eight tournaments of the season, with the remainder of the 32-player fields filled through pre-tournament qualifiers.

New for 2019 will be the Go Bowling! PWBA Regional Shootout, a special made-for-TV event that will bring together the winners of the first four PWBA Regional events in 2019. That show will air on Aug. 24.

For the fifth consecutive year, the 2019 CBS Sports Network schedule will include four shows from the Junior Gold Championships Presented by the Brands of Ebonite International.

The Junior Gold Championships has a new Under 17 Division in 2019, and the three-person stepladder finals for each division (U12, U15, U17, U20) at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich., will be taped for later broadcast.

The title matches of the U12 and U15 divisions at the USA Bowling National Championships presented by Sixlets, also at Thunderbowl Lanes, also will be taped for later broadcast.

CBS Sports Network will kick off the 2019 bowling television schedule with the women’s finals of the Intercollegiate Singles Championships on April 23, followed in successive weeks by the ISC men’s finals (April 30), Intercollegiate Team Championships women’s finals (May 7) and the ITC men’s finals (May 14).

For a look at the full schedule, click here:

CBS Sports Network also will re-air many of the events.

The PWBA Tour, U.S. Open and youth events are collaboratively funded by the BPAA and USBC.


Kegel’s Wiltse Attains Gold Coaching Status

Rick Wiltse, a Master Teaching Professional at the Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, Fla., recently reached the highest level of certification a bowling coach can achieve by successfully completing USBC Coaching’s Gold certification program.

In his role at Kegel, Wiltse also is an instructor at the Kegel Pro Shop Academy and the assistant bowling coach and recruiting coordinator for Webber International University. He is a member of IBPSIA and the PBA, as well as an AMF Certified Instructor and Bowling Pro Specialist. He is a graduate of the Kegel Pro Shop Academy.

“Earning USBC Gold coach certification is the culmination of a lifelong interest in the sport of bowling,” Wiltse said. “My grandfather took me bowling for the first time at age 8, and from that point forward bowling became a huge part of my life.”

Wiltse completed AMF Certified Instructor and Pro Shop Specialist training at age 15. His interest in bowling became even stronger during his collegiate bowling career, and after being a student at the Kegel Training Center, he became part of the Kegel coaching staff in 2010.

“Becoming a USBC Gold coach is going to provide me with many more opportunities to share my passion for bowling,” he said. “I am very grateful to United States Bowling Congress for this honor. I am especially grateful to all the coaches who have been my mentors in my quest to become a Gold coach.”

Wiltse receives the Fred Borden USBC Gold Coach Award for successfully completing the program, and becomes the 18th active USBC Gold coach in the United States.

Wiltse earned USBC Silver certification in 2004. He said joining the Kegel team in 2010 and being a full-time bowling coach “has been my dream job” and allowed him to continue his development as a coach.

“The opportunity to meet [Kegel founder] John Davis and Chris Chartrand, and to work with Del Warren, Randy Stoughton, Ruben Ghiragossian, Alexander Gurkov and the many other talented people at Kegel, made it possible for me to expand my knowledge and become a Gold coach,” Wiltse said. “Kegel is my bowling family.”

As a teenager, Wiltse started teaching Learn-to-Bowl classes and served as a youth bowling coach at his local center. He said USBC Hall of Fame members Bill Lillard Sr. and Bill Bunetta were the instructors for his first coaching certification course and that their conduct and integrity, both on and off the lanes, inspired him to learn as much as possible about the sport and to “follow in their footsteps as a student of the game and a coach.”

Wiltse began his undergraduate studies in psychology at Oklahoma State University and earned his bachelor’s degree and did graduate work at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Becoming a USBC Gold coach through USBC Coaching Certification and Development is similar to obtaining a doctorate in a field of study. Candidates are required to demonstrate knowledge of the latest techniques and information through practical application and discussion.

The final steps of the Gold certification program require a coach to conduct a class, participate in an oral exam and give lessons to bowlers of various skill levels. A final review board of active USBC Gold coaches and USBC staff evaluates the applicant to determine if the person meets the required standards.

Visit to learn more about the coaching certification classes offered through USBC.

Here’s a list of active Gold-certified coaches in the U.S.:

* Pat Costello

* Ron Hatfield

* Bryan O’Keefe

* Karen Pullman

* Del Warren

* Gordon Vadakin

* Hank Boomershine

* Susie Minshew

* Bill Spigner

* Peter Somoff

* Joseph Slowinski

* Rod Ross

* Richard Wiltse

* Richard Shockley

* Michelle Mullen

* Lou Marquez

* Stephen Padilla

* Mike Dias

* Randall Stoughton

Both Spigner (“The Pro Approach”) and Mullen (“Foundation Frame”) are regular contributors to BJI.


Grand Re-opening of Skidmore’s Holiday Bowl Set

The re-scheduled date has been set for the VIP Grand Re-opening of Skidmore’s Holiday Bowl in Albuquerque, N.M. It will be held on Thursday, April 25, from 6 to 10 p.m.

Originally planned for Jan. 10, the event was postponed due to inclement weather. The delay gave proprietors Gary and Eve Skidmore and opportunity to complete the modernization of the center, a project that was detailed in the February issue of Bowling Center Management.

Spring weather should also mean that the Skidmores will be able to show off the center’s new outdoor patio area, an extension of the new full-service bar. The inviting space is designed to attract both bowlers and those simply looking for a casual spot to enjoy drinks and pub fare.

The bar’s new menu has a distinct Albuquerque flare, with selections including green chile queso and chips, green chile cornbread, bacon jalapeno wontons, green chile chicken tacos, a green chile cheeseburger, and green chile chicken mac-and-chesse. There also are many choices for spice-sensitive patrons.

The drink list includes lots of fire-fighting beers, including more than a dozen local brews, new craft cocktails, and even high-quality wines by the glass and bottle (Bogle Cabernet Sauvignon, Wild Horse Merlot, Bogle Zinfandel, La Crema Chardonnay, Coppola Pinot Grigio and Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling).

Guests at the VIP Grand Re-opening will be able to experience Holiday Bowl’s new menu, beverages, bowling and arcade games. There also will be live music.

The Skidmores undertook the project to increase revenues in an era of declining league revenue. As part of the project, it was decided to add a new 52-game arcade with redemption prizes, and that required removing six lanes from the high end of the house.

“My first inclination, as a bowler, was to add lanes,” Skidmore told BCM. “I was thinking that could be a way that the leagues could still have their space while we developed other types of bowling business. But I needed to start thinking another way. With what we’ve done, the leagues still have their space, but we will no longer be dependent on them to be profitable.”

The Skidmores engaged the services of Trifecta Management Group in planning and implementing the modernization project. Live Oak Bank provided financing.

And in three weeks, the people of Albuquerque will have the opportunity to get acquainted with a center that now looks nothing like it looked when it first opened in the late 1950s.


More on Couch’s Move to Ace Mitchell

In Cyber Report 1,047-1,048, we reported on Jason Couch exiting his position as a District Sales Manager for Ebonite International, signing a new national contract with Ebonite in preparation for his debut on the PBA50 Tour, and joining the sales team for one of Ebonite’s largest distribution partners, Ace Mitchell Bowlers Mart.

Here’s more on the story from Ace Mitchell’s perspective. We now know that Couch will be working Florida and Southern sales regions for Ace Mitchell.

“I’m very excited about joining the Ace Mitchell team,” said Couch. “I’m looking forward to representing such a great company while restarting my bowling career. Ace Mitchell has one of the best names in the business.”

Couch is replacing Ace Mitchell salesman and five-time PBA champion Bob Handley, who is retiring in May.

“Bringing Jason on board is a big win for us,” said Jeff Mraz, President of Ace Mitchell. “Bob Handley did such a great job for us down south that we wondered how someone could live up to his reputation. Jason certainly does that. I’m confident he’ll do a great job representing all of our manufacturers.”

Handley has been with Ace Mitchell ever since the company acquired Bowling Supply Company in 2014. In addition to being a legendary pro bowler, he has been in the bowling distribution industry since 1992. His resumé also includes seven PBA Regional titles and one PBA Senior Tour (now PBA50) title.

Couch started with Ace Mitchell on Monday, and will work with Handley in transitioning all customer accounts for the region. He will appear with the rest of the Ace Mitchell sales staff at International Bowl Expo in Las Vegas this June.


Thomas Concludes 3-Decade Career at ZOT

On April 10, after almost 30 years with ZOT Pinsetter Parts, Darschelle Thomas will be retiring from the company.

Most people knew Thomas as a person who went beyond the call of duty to mentor and serve the demands of ZOT’s customers and distribution network. In short, her contribution to ZOT and its customers was immense; ZOT’s President and owner, PJ Rosendahl, said.

For most of her tenure at ZOT, Thomas served as the company’s Office Manager. More recently, she was VP of Finance.

“I would like to thank Darschelle for her dedication and immeasurable contribution toward the success of ZOT since joining the company in 1989,” said Rosendahl.

Thomas will shortly be relocating to San Diego, Calif., to be close to her family, including her daughter McKenna and her grandson.

“We will all miss Darschelle at ZOT and we wish her every success and happiness in her new life adventure,” Rosendahl added.


Muldrow Joins Creating the Difference

Christopher Muldrow has joined Creating the Difference as the Vice President of Business Development.

His main responsibilities will include improving pro shop operations, partnering with companies outside of the industry to help grow bowling, and testing and developing new products for pro shops and consumers. He will also spearhead a new pro shop partnership program to help other shops learn tips to grow and manage their businesses.

Muldrow has many years of experience in business operations within the bowling industry and in retail asset protection.

“I’m very excited to join Creating the Difference because it allows me to combine my passion for bowling and growing businesses,” Muldrow said.

Muldrow has 10 years of experience in bowling ball testing and evaluation. His bowling resumé includes an Illinois High School State Championship in 2002, a high average of 237, thirty 300 games and twenty 800 series.

“I have worked with Chris for more than a decade, and he has a unique talent for bringing people together,” said Creating the Difference CEO Ronald Hickland Jr. “We are delighted that he has joined our mission to grow bowling.”


Bowl 4 Life Foundation to Benefit from Turbo Expo

Each year, the Turbo Tech Collegiate Expo selects an industry charity to support with a donation from proceeds collected from special merchandise sold at the event. This year, the official charity is the Bowl 4 Life Foundation, operated by Brunswick Tour representative Chuck Gardner and his family.

Gardner has been involved with the Turbo Tech Collegiate Expo since the beginning, and will again be part of a panel of experts brought in to educate attendees on various technical aspects of the sport.

Bowl 4 Life is an organization that awards college scholarships based not just on ability. It looks for youth bowlers with strong ethics who have a desire to give back to bowling.

“Our personal family commitment to Bowl 4 Life remains that 100% of all donations, regardless of how they are received, will be given back in the form of scholarship awards,” said Gardner. “It is an honor for Bowl 4 Life to be chosen as the official charity of the Turbo Collegiate Expo. I have been involved with Turbo for over 30 years and I am thrilled they see and agree with the Bowl 4 Life mission to give back to youth bowlers.”

More information can be found at

If you know a high school bowler looking to make the connection to college bowling, let them know about the Turbo Tech Collegiate Expo. Complete information and on-line registration is available at

Registration ends on April 30, and only a few spots remain.

Business Briefs…

* Larry Schmittou, proprietor of S&S Family Entertainment, LLC, has been named the 2019 Tennessee Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. “Your hard work, innovative ideas, and dedication to your employees and community have helped you build an outstanding business that has strengthened your state’s economy,” wrote outgoing Administrator Linda McMahon in a letter to Schmittou. “The SBA is pleased to celebrate your achievements and recognize your personal role in driving our nation’s economic growth.”

* More on the award: Each year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation declaring National Small Business Week. On May 5-6, all state and national winners will be celebrated at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C. Schmittou’s award recognizes the contributions of his centers in Tennessee specifically, although he also operates centers in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. For more on his company, visit

* Former USBC staffer Robin Marshall has joined the staff of TrainerTainment. Marshall has been in the bowling industry for more than two decades. During that time she has served as a USBC Regional Manager, conducting visits and presentations to both local and state associations, providing education about various products and programs. As a Team USA athlete, she served on the Single Membership Task Force that merged ABC, WIBC, YABA and USA Bowling into the USBC in 2005. “Robin exemplifies the TrainerTainment core values,” said Beth Standlee, the company’s founder and CEO. “[Her] experience in the bowling community sets her up as the kind of coach who inherently understands the needs of this market segment.”

* There was a Pinheads bowling center that operated in Whitehall, Mich., from 1958 until 2006. Ten years later, the building that housed it was demolished. Now, local entrepreneur Kevin Spencer plans to revive the Pinheads name, but with a very different business model. “This is not your grandparents’ bowling alley,” Spencer said of the facility, which he hopes to open this summer. The new Pinheads will include a restaurant, bar, six lanes of bowling featuring the latest technology, outdoor games and more. Learn more about the project here:

* Proprietors Cathy and Frank DeSocio have no plans to abandon their bowling operation in Salina, Kan. They are moving and modernizing it, however. After running All Star Lanes for about 15 years, they will close that venue and open The Alley in the city’s downtown revitalization area. The Alley will feature 20 traditional lanes and an eight-lane boutique section, AJ’s Sports Grill, a snack bar, conference room, laser tag and an arcade. Other newcomers to downtown Salina include Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom, Homewood Suites and a car museum. Read more here:

* has added a 5,000-sq.-ft. bay to its warehouse in order to expand the mix of bowling products it can offer. The company was founded by pro shop operator Keith Spears in 1996 utilizing storage units, moved to an 11,000-sq.-ft. warehouse in 2002, and moved into its current 38,000-sq.-ft. facility in 2015.

* Emily Dunn of Tom’s Amusement in Blue Ridge, Ga., has been elected President of the AMOA, the trade association serving owner-operators, distributors, manufacturers and suppliers within the amusement industry. Greg Tent of Beyer and Brown in South Daytona, Fla., was elected First Vice President; Chi Babich of Game Exchange of Colorado in Denver was elected Treasurer, and Sam Westgate of J&J Ventures in Effingham, Ill., was elected Secretary. Each will serve a one-year term.


Other News You Can Use…

* Jakob Butturff finally broke through for his first major championship Monday evening when he defeated Mykel Holliman to win the USBC Masters at the Gold Coast Bowling Center in Las Vegas. Report:

* A few days later, it was announced that Butturff had qualified to represent the United States in the 2019 Pan American Games, along with Nick Pate. Find out how they were selected here:

* Connie Emlich has been named the David Dahms Coach of the Year, and Lenny Higgins has been selected as the USVC Youth Volunteer of the Year by the International Bowling Campus Youth Committee. Learn more about the honorees here:

* After a stunning start to the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season, Jason Belmonte ran away with the competition points race that served as the prelude to the inaugural PBA Playoffs, which will get underway on April 8 at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine. The opportunity to earn berths in the Playoffs ended with Monday’s finals of the USBC Masters, and now the PBA’s elite players head to Maine for an unprecedented series of 10 telecasts on FOX and FS1, culminating with back-to-back live telecasts of the semifinal and final rounds on Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2, on FOX. Meet the qualifiers here:

* Trace Nuss of Tampa, Fla., has been selected as the 2019 Chuck Hall Star of Tomorrow award winner by the International Bowling Campus Youth Committee. Report: That committee also selected Mabel Cummins of Elburn, Ill., as the 2019 Alberta E. Crowe Star of Tomorrow award recipient. More: The awards will be presented during the USBC Convention in Las Vegas, April 29-May 2. Each honoree will receive a $6,000 scholarship.

* Greater Fort Lauderdale (Florida) has been selected to host the 2021 National Senior Games Presented by Humana, the largest multi-sport championship event in the world for adults 50 and over. More than 10,000 qualified athletes, accompanied by an estimated 15,000 visitors, are expected to compete in 20 medal sports — including bowling — that will be contested at the convention center and multiple venues in Broward County. The National Senior Games has been held every other year since 1987, and has 54 affiliated qualifying Member Games in North America. The 2019 Games will be held in Albuquerque, N.M., from June 14-25. More:

*  Five USBC Youth members have been selected to receive an Earl Anthony Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of the legendary bowler who was dedicated to helping youth bowlers. The Anthony scholarship recognizes youth bowlers for their academic achievements and contributions to their communities. Each of the award winners will receive a $5,000 scholarship. Find out who they are and learn more about them here:

* The next Wisconsin Vintage Alleys Tour is scheduled for Sunday, April 28. The tour will depart from the Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley parking lot, and includes stops at Maly’s Spare Time in Greenleaf, Algoma Pizza Bowl in Algoma, Sister Bay Bowl in Sister Bay, and Cherry Lanes in Sturgeon Bay. Full information is available here:

* Paytin Lee of Pearl River, La., and William Hrivnak of Pickerington, Ohio, have been named the Youth Ambassadors of the Year. Presented each year to one male and one female USBC Youth bowler, the award recognizes exemplary contributions in the sport of bowling outside of league or tournament play, academic accomplishments and community involvement. Selections are based on nominations submitted to the IBC Youth Committee. Lee and Hrivnak each will receive a $1,500 scholarship, and one could be selected to serve on the IBC Youth Committee. More:

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is Bill Supper, Executive Director of the International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association. To listen to the conversation, 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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