Cyber Report #1083-1084

E-dition Nos. 1,083-1,084 • Friday, November 8, 2019

Editor: Bob Johnson (

60 Hours of PBA Action Set for FOX and FOX Sports

FOX Sports and the Professional Bowlers Association have unveiled the 2020 Go Bowling! PBA Tour television schedule, which includes more shows on the FOX broadcast network, the first show featuring women bowlers, and more live telecasts.

The announcement was made by Bill Wanger, FOX Sports’ EVP, Head of Programming and Scheduling, and PBA CEO Colie Edison.

The second year of the PBA-FOX Sports agreement features six telecasts on FOX, the most PBA action on network broadcast TV since 1999. Plus, there will be 25 shows on FS1 and a total of 23 live broadcasts, the most in 12 years (up from 19 live shows last year). Altogether, the 2020 TV schedule includes more than 60 hours of coverage.

“We are delighted to expand our Go Bowling! PBA Tour offerings,” said Wanger. “In our first season, we brought new energy and excitement to the tour, highlighting the star bowlers and enhancing the broadcasts with Kegel’s Specto ball-tracking technology StrikeTrack to provide real-time ball tracking during all events.”

Kicking off the 2020 PBA on FOX season was a bonus event, PBA Clash, this past Sunday. The 90-minute telecast featured top PBA stars in a $50,000 winner-take-all competition, plus a look at the new year and upcoming events on FOX and FS1.

“We’re making major investments in the PBA and the future of the tour by expanding TV coverage and increasing prize money across our tournaments,” said Edison, the PBA’s CEO and Chief Customer Officer of Bowlero Corp, its parent company. “Bowlero Corp purchased the PBA with the goal of strengthening its presence throughout all media, and our partnership with FOX is an essential part of that objective.”

Other highlights of the 2020 PBA on FOX Sports schedule include:

* Live coverage of five PBA major championships: the PBA Tournament of Champions on Sunday, Feb. 9, the PBA Players Championship on Saturday, Feb. 15; the U.S. Open on Sunday, Feb. 23; the PBA World Championship on Wednesday, March 18, and the USBC Masters on Sunday, March 29.

* Coverage of pro bowling’s biggest event, the PBA World Series of Bowling XI. Five consecutive days of WSOB coverage, including live finals of four PBA title events, will air from Las Vegas, March 15-19.

* The PBA Playoffs, taking place from April 6 through May 17. The playoffs will be held in four different locations, allowing fans across the country to see their favorite bowlers in the tournament.

* The PBA/PWBA Mixed Doubles, set for Sunday, July 5 live on FS1 from Denver, to include the debut of professional female bowlers on FOX Sports.

* The PBA League team competition returns to Portland, Maine, where the “hometown team” looks to defend its title in four live, prime-time telecasts on FS1 for three consecutive nights, July 21-23.

Viewers can live stream the PBA shows on the FOX Sports and FOX NOW apps or at

In addition to the 60 hours of broadcast television, FOX Sports digital also will play a key role in expanding the PBA’s visibility. Select highlights will be available on @FOXSports social handles across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

For a look at the full television schedule, click here:


Industry Veteran Marvin Cotler Passes Away

The BJI Cyber Report has just learned of the passing of industry veteran Marvin Cotler, who died of Oct. 2 after battling stage-four lung cancer for two-and-a-half years. He was 87.

Cotler was a full-line wholesale distributor for all the major bowling manufacturers for more than 40 years, operating a company called Marvin Cotler Bowling Supplies.

A forward-thinking businessman, Cotler exhibited at conventions around the country during the 1989-90 season, with the goal of convincing bowling proprietors to make birthday parties for children a major revenue-producing concept to replace lost revenue from the industry-wide downturn in league numbers.

This then-new concept made it easier for the centers to provide customers with a professional package to host birthday parties and corporate events with invitations, plates, cups, napkins, sporks, balloons, tablecloths, and a prize for the birthday child in a bowling-themed package kit.

Cotler played a key role in having the “Pro Bowlers Tour” series carried in the important Philadelphia market, helped develop two local bowling shows in Philly, sponsored the Women’s All-Star Association for more than a decade, and was the long-time USA Chairman of Bowling for the third-largest Olympics-style sporting event, The World Maccabiah Games.

“My family was certainly blessed having him in our lives for so long, although we already miss him terribly,” said Cotler’s oldest son, Gregg N. Cotler. “He was our patriarch, our confidant, our advisor and our best friend. He dedicated his entire adult business life to the bowling industry.”


Cain, Zebehazy Among 4 Elected to USBC Hall of Fame

The USBC Hall of Fame will have at least four new members when the 2020 class is inducted on April 29, 2020, in Las Vegas.

The USBC Hall of Fame Committee recently elected Patrick Healey Jr. in the USBC Outstanding Performance men’s category, Bob Learn Jr. in the Veterans category, and Andrew Cain and Jim Zebehazy in the Meritorious Service category.

In addition to the four elected, the USBC Hall of Fame Committee selected eight bowlers — six men and two women — for the Superior Performance ballot that will be distributed to a national panel of USBC Hall of Fame members, board members and bowling writers.

Selected for the men’s national ballot were Patrick Allen, Bryan Goebel, Wes Malott, Randy Pedersen, Mike Scroggins and Mark Williams. Named to the women’s national ballot were Marianne DiRupo and Tammy Turner.

Cain, 38, was a five-time member of Team USA, but made his biggest mark in the sport off the lanes. He joined the USBC Board of Directors in 2007, was named Vice President in 2010, and then took the reins as President in 2012. He was instrumental in the creation of International Bowling Campus Youth Development, combining the youth forces of USBC and the BPAA to streamline and improve participation in youth bowling.

Also during his tenure, the PWBA was restarted through a joint effort with BPAA, as was the U.S. Open, also with support from BPAA. Cain served on the BPAA, Strike Ten Entertainment and The Bowling Foundation boards, and, after completing his term on the USBC Board, he continues to serve bowling at the national level as a member of the USBC Equipment Specifications Committee and on the SMART board.

Zebehazy, 66, was instrumental in promoting and developing youth bowling and helped lay the groundwork for the Junior Gold Championships.

He started his career in the bowling industry in 1971 as a pinsetter mechanic and pro shop rep at Airport Bowling Center in Buffalo, N.Y., and later joined the Buffalo Bowling Association board.

In 1983, he became a field representative for the American Bowling Congress, visiting more than 1,500 associations in the Northeast and teaching Certified Lane Inspection Workshops. He took over as ABC’s Group Executive for Field Service in 1989.

In 1998, he was named Executive Director of the Young American Bowling Alliance, overseeing staff, programs and services, and strategic planning. During his tenure, he implemented David Dahm’s concept of the Junior Gold program, provided the vision for the USBC Youth Open Championships, and initiated the Gift For Life Scholarship program.

He was directly responsible for the creation of the Registered Volunteer Program, one of the first safety programs put into place in the world of youth sports, and was a key person in improving and advancing the SMART program.

His role in YABA ended with the merger of the sport’s major organizations to form USBC in 2005. He supported the merger and played an integral role in helping to push the initiative to completion. The YABA board created the Annual Zeb Scholarship in 2005 in recognition of his dedication to the organization.

Zebehazy joined USBC in 2005 as a field representative, a position he held until his retirement in 2015.

In 2010, Zebehazy received the Kerm Helmer Horizon Award, given to leaders in the youth bowling community who have displayed the courage, determination and ability to develop far-reaching programs of national scope that provide fun and exciting opportunities.

The 2020 USBC Hall of Fame Class will be inducted during the USBC Convention at The Orleans Hotel and Casino.



Oram Succeeds Dornberger as World Bowling CEO

World Bowling has appointed Andrew Oram as its new Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Kevin Dornberger. Oram joins World Bowling following a short-term contract that was implemented prior to the World Bowling Women’s Championships held in Las Vegas last August.

A former professional athlete, Oram moved into the sports broadcast industry before assuming the position of TV and broadcast director, working with international federations of Olympic sports in Lausanne, Switzerland.

World Bowling President Sheikh Talal Mohammed Al-Sabah, who was elected to a second term at the World Congress in Las Vegas, said, “We are delighted to have Andrew on board.  He brings with him a diverse skill set and experience in the commercial and media sectors of high-performance sport.  We look forward to working with him in this next and crucial phase for World Bowling.”

Oram said, “I thank the World Bowling President and the Executive Board for this opportunity. Over the past months I have been incredibly impressed by the level of passion and commitment shown by all the athletes and their member federations in showcasing the sport of bowling, and I very much look forward to working with all of them as we aim to bring the sport to new audiences, locations and fans.”


Pat Shroll Is New VP of Operations for Trifecta

Trifecta Management Group has announced the promotion of Pat Shroll to Senior Vice President of Operations.

Shroll is a key player in the development and operation of the company’s current venues, and has nearly 25 years of entertainment and restaurant operations experience.

“Pat has proven himself to be a skilled manager with great vision,” said Pat Hart, Trifecta’s Chief Operating Officer. “He has a keen understanding of heightening the customer experience at our venues, while at the same time delivering financial performance for our clients. We are excited to expand his influence across our entire client base.”

Shroll will use his experience to oversee new openings and the operations of locations across the country. As part of his new role, he will continue to supervise West Coast operations.

Shroll, who lives in Brentwood, Calif., joined Trifecta Management Group in 2015 as the General Manager of an Oakland, Calif., entertainment destination called plank. His guidance has helped plank become one of the top entertainment venues in the Bay Area.

Since then, he has led the opening of the Ten Pin Fun Center in Turlock, Calif., as well as the supervision of the newly renovated Holiday Bowl in Albuquerque, N.M. He has also overseen projects in Reno, Nev.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Bakersfield, Calif., and Lemoore, Calif.

Trifecta Management Group provides management, marketing, consulting and culinary services to entertainment centers, restaurants and retail locations around the world.


Storm Youth Championships Will Have 8 Events in 2020

The Storm Youth Championships will have a total of eight events on its 2020 schedule.

“When the SYC was born [in 2017], the goal was to celebrate the sport of bowling and create an event that families could enjoy together,” said Gary Hulsenberg, Storm’s Vice President of Business Development. “Through the support of all the families who have attended an SYC [event] and their feedback, we’re excited to be able to expand the tour and visit four new bowling communities in 2020.”

As the SYC has grown, events have been added to the schedule each year. Two events were added in 2018, and the season was expanded to six events in 2019.

In 2020, the schedule will expand to eight events:

* Feb. 15-16 — South Point Bowling Plaza, Las Vegas, Nev.

* April 18-19 — Mermaid Lanes, Mounds View, Minn.

* May 23-24 — Smyrna Bowling Center, Smyrna, Tenn.

* June 13-14 — Western and Expo Bowl, Indianapolis, Ind.

* Aug. 15-16 — Bowlerama, New Castle, Del.

* Sept. 12-13 — Northrock Lanes, Wichita, Kan.

* Oct. 3-4 — Planet Fun and Little River Lanes, the Carolinas.

* Nov. 7-8 — Boardwalk Bowl, Orlando Fla.

More information about each event will be provided on the Storm Bowling website as the tournament dates approach.

In 2020, the SYC events will continue to create a welcoming environment where youth bowlers and their families are invited to visit a new community, meet new bowlers, and learn by competing on challenging conditions developed by Kegel.

In addition to the tournament, each event includes an educational seminar led by a Team Storm member, a practice session on the patterns, as well as an SYC social at which friendships are built.

At each event, the top three bowlers in each gender and age-based division are awarded gold, silver and bronze medals. At the conclusion of the tournament, the overall champions receive a special SYC trophy and medal, and earn a banner that is showcased at every SYC event.

In addition, each season includes one “major” event where the top two overall youth bowlers in each division win a spot on the Storm All-American Team. In 2020, the team will be named at the event in Indianapolis, where honorees will receive a custom All-American jersey and jacket provided by the official SYC merchandiser, Logo Infusion. This event will be held at two bowling centers and will have more than 400 spots available.

“Our owners, Bill and Barbara Chrisman, have given endlessly to bowling around the world and have always tried to inspire existing bowlers while developing new bowlers,” Hulsenberg said. “Their support of youth bowling always includes education mixed with fun to create lifelong bowling enthusiasts. No matter what age or skill level the youth player in your life is, attending the SYC is sure to leave a positive impression on them.”

Top finishers in each event also receive scholarship awards. Last year, $98,670 was presented to athletes through the SMART Fund. Since 2017, SMART awards to SYC bowlers total $203,065.

Charity also is a special part of the SYC. Each event supports Ballard vs. the Big “C” in numerous ways.  Every entry includes a $10 donation to BVBC. On-site at each SYC, Carolyn and Del Ballard bring silent auction items for the SYC families to bid on. Since 2017, more than $50,000 has been raised to help fight the war on cancer through the SYC.

Through scholarships and the opportunities to learn about college bowling, athletes develop a desire to continue to learn at a higher level and discover their passions.

Entries for the first event in 2020 will open on Dec. 4 at noon Mountain time on 

Tournament sponsors include Storm, Roto Grip, Logo Infusion, Kegel, 3G Shoes, Ballard’s Bowling Academy and Bowlers Journal International. In 2020, tournament scores will continue to be uploaded live through the official scoring system of the Storm Youth Championships, BowlMetrix.

If you are interested in becoming a supporting sponsor of the SYC, contact the SYC Team at


DeRosa Joins ZOT Pinsetter Parts Team

Kathy DeRosa has been appointed as Purchasing and Inventory Specialist for ZOT Bowling Parts, it was announced by ZOT’s Executive VP/CFO, Debbie Rosendahl.

DeRosa has a varied background that includes a stint with a Long Island, N.Y.-based bowling equipment company, where she began her career involving bowling-related aftermarket parts as a general office and customer service employee in 2004.

As the years passed, she became a full-time employee, taking on additional responsibilities, and soon was promoted to office and purchasing manager. She also dealt with a network of outside vendors and international distributors and customers.

“Her diverse experience in the industry makes Kathy a perfect fit for us,” said Rosendahl, “and we are delighted to welcome her as a key member of the ZOT Bowling Parts team.”

DeRosa resides on Long Island with her husband, Chris, and has three children, Elizabeth, Tyler and Kyle. Secretly, she would love to move upstate one day and live in the country.


Troup, Prather Extend Deals, Russell Joins Storm

Kyle Troup has signed a contract extension with Storm Products.

“I am very excited and blessed with the opportunity to further my career with the Storm family.” Troup said. “Storm was the first company I signed a contract with back in 2016. They have treated me like family and been a huge part in my success. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Noted Gary Hulsenberg, Storm’s Vice President of Business Development, “Kyle is a wonderful ambassador for the sport of bowling on and off the lanes. He competes fiercely and treats people with respect, two things we appreciate at Storm. We are excited to continue our relationship for years to come.

Storm Products also announced that Ronnie Russell has joined Team Storm.

“We’re thrilled to bring a talented player with big goals and support him in his journey to achieve these aspirations,” Hulsenberg said.

“Joining Storm Bowling is the top of the mountain for me,” Russell said. “I wish I could explain how excited I am for 2020 and the rest of my career. Watching Storm’s winning ways on Tour has me feeling like I’m 20 years old again. I know I’ll be a part of it again.”

Roto Grip has announced that Kris Prather has signed a contract extension.

“I can’t imagine having a more supportive family than Roto Grip,” Prather said. “They have shown their support through this extension and I’m happy to extend our working relationship into the future.”

Chris Schlemer, Roto Grip’s Brand Manager, said, “Roto Grip is excited to extend our partnership with Kris as he continues to climb his way into the upper echelon of players on the PBA Tour. We are beyond proud of him for what he has accomplished thus far while wearing the Roto Grip logo. There is no doubt in my mind that he is on his way to earning Player of the Year honors at some point in the not-so-distant future.”


O’Keefe Extends With Hammer, Guerrero Extends With Columbia

Two-time PWBA Player of the Year Shannon O’Keefe has signed a two-year contract extension with Hammer.

“Shannon has statistically been the most dominant player on the PWBA Tour since its relaunch,” said Rob Gotchall, Manager of Players and Performance for Hammer. “Her work ethic and drive to succeed epitomize what it means to represent Hammer. We are very excited to see what the next two years bring and look forward to seeing her continue to grow both as a person and bowler.”

Noted O’Keefe: “When I first signed with Hammer, I was asked by Rob [Gotchall] how it would feel to win Player of the Year and bring that back to Hammer. That was the first time any company I represented asked me that. Hammer saw something in me and believed I was capable of achieving a level of performance prior to me fully believing it myself.”

Meanwhile, Columbia 300 announced that Clara Guerrero has signed a two-year contract extension with the brand.

Guerrero, who joined Columbia 300’s pro staff in the fall of 2007, has been a fixture with the brand since that date.

“I signed with Columbia 300 right after I qualified for the first PBA Women’s Series,” Guerrero said. “I joined a team of amazing professionals. I was honored to represent a brand that had so much history and success.”

Noted Gotchall: “Clara has one of the most infectious personalities on tour. She is a fan favorite, but don’t be fooled; she is as fierce as they come on the lanes. She wants to win and is committed to putting in the time and effort it takes to compete at the highest levels.”


Sharp, Long-time SoCal Proprietor and Manager, Dies

Southern California Bowling lost a longtime friend on Sept. 19, when Neil Sharp passed away.

Sharp picked up a bowling ball for the first time in his mid-twenties and fell in love with the sport — so much so that he switched careers to work in the business. Over the years — starting out in Texas, California and Oklahoma — he worked as a desk person, lane man, assistant manager, manager and owner. He owned a pro shop and was part of a partnership that owned a bowling center.

Sharp was associated with many bowling centers, including Amarillo Bowl, Bowling Square, Cal Bowl, Moreno Valley Bowl, Red Fox Lanes, Sunset Lanes (Hereford, Texas), Valley View Bowl and Westbrook Bowl.

He had many rings, but was most proud of his 300.  He recently overcame major back surgery and returned to bowling in a league until his passing.

Sharp served his country four years in the U.S Navy. He is survived by his wife, Lynn; daughters Sheri and Kari, and grandsons Chris and Cody.


Ciminelli Signs With Creating the Difference

Creating the Difference has signed Ryan Ciminelli to a contract through the end of 2020.

Ciminelli has been using Creating the Differences products on the PBA Tour, and TruCut Sanding Pads have quickly become one of his favorites.

With Ciminelli being a free agent, Ronald Hickland, CEO of Creating the Difference, thought it was a good time to reach out and talk to him about joining the team.

“I have known Ryan for quite some time,” Hickland said. “He is not afraid to try something new, and he knows how to overcome adversity. These are two traits we have in common. He has a strong passion for the game, and wants to help grow the sport. That makes him a great fit for our brand. As a USBC-certified coach, I look forward to once again working with Ryan on tour.”

Added Ciminelli: “Ron has helped me in the past, and I have watched Creating the Difference grow into a successful brand in a short time. After talking with Ron and sharing the company’s vision to grow bowling, it was a great fit. I look forward to working with the team and growing collectively on tour.”


BVL Month in America’ Is Under Way

As part of its mission to brighten veterans’ lives, the Bowlers to Veterans Link provides vets with recreational programs, services and grants.

“November is ‘BVL Month in America,’” said the charity’s Executive Director, Mary Harrar. “It’s your chance to stand up and say, ‘I am BVL.’”

Now in its 77th year, BVL has been providing recreational therapy and other services to thousands and thousands of wounded and disabled American veterans who have fought for America’s freedom.

For the entire month, BVL has created a “November is ‘BVL Month in America’ Fundraising Program.”

“You get ‘soldier pin cutouts’ for use when your customers support ‘BVL Month in America.’ When your customers make a contribution to BVL, they’ll write their name on their soldier pin and you can post it around the front desk area or any other high-traffic area,” Harrar explained.

“You can also get free professionally produced league and open-play promotional flyers (seven in all) for Veterans Day, week, weekend or for the whole month to generate additional traffic into your center, all ‘done for you’ and completely customizable to fit your center. Just a few clicks on your computer, and you will be on your way to telling your community, ‘I am BVL.’ You will gain lots of local community goodwill for your effort, and that will translate into more customers visiting your center more often.”

BVL also has wristbands and dog tags that can be sold inexpensively when a donation is made.

To order your free “BVL Month in America” fundraising kit, contact or call her at 703-934-6039.


Other News You Can Use…

* Michelle Feldman, a former star of the PWBA Tour recently suffered a major stroke. According to the GoFundMe page that was initiated for her, Feldman has major sensory and ocular issues that are devastating, requiring major therapies and doctors appointments. Now a bowling proprietor, she has hosted hundreds of fundraisers, and “freely gives the bar/kitchen/main hall to whoever needs it for medical benefits.” As the GoFundMe page notes, “Now it’s her turn. Here’s a link the page: Please share it with your bowling business friends and bowling fans.

* Another way to help: “Strike Up the Music: The Michelle Feldman Benefit” will be held on Sunday (Nov. 10) from 1-6 p.m. at Falcon Tidal Wave in Auburn, N.Y. Sponsored by the Music United Foundation, the event costs $20 at the door and includes a Downtown Deli Taco bar and artisan mac and cheese. Bands scheduled to perform include 8Traxx, Chris Terra Band, Str8on, Bad Juju and Cruise Control.

* Jakob Butturff outlasted seven other top money earners from the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season and defeated EJ Tackett in the championship match to win the $50,000 winner-take-all prize in the second PBA Clash, which aired Sunday on FOX Sports from the Kegel Training Center. More:

* For the second time in his short professional career, Canada’s Francois Lavoie donned the coveted green jacket at the U.S. Open. The 26-year-old right-hander defeated 14-time PBA Tour champion and top seed Sean Rash, 221-172, to become the 12th bowler in history to win the title multiple times. First lace aid $30,000. More:

* Danny Wiseman’s 8th annual Youth Scholarship Tournament, held over the Oct. 12-13 weekend at AMF Country Club Lanes in Baltimore drew a sold-out field of 342 competitors and paid out $33,850 in scholarship money. For details, visit Wiseman’s website:

* Reminder: Nominations are being accepted through Nov. 22 for the 2019 PBA Tony Reyes Community Service award. To be eligible, the nominee must be a PBA member in good standing. To nominate an individual, use the nomination form available at this link:

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio, as the trivia contest continues, is Mike Valanzano. To test your own knowledge, 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 Please remember that the Cyber Report is a B-to-B publication and not intended for consumers.

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