Cyber Report #1114

E-dition No. 1,114 • Friday, June 19, 2020

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

CBS Sports Network to Air PBA Tour Finals

The Go Bowling! PBA Tour returns to “championship event competition” as eight of the Tour’s top performers based on competition points earned over a two-year span, including defending champion E.J. Tackett, will take center stage July 18-19 for the PBA Tour Finals at Bowlero Jupiter in Florida.

The event will be televised live, in its entirety, on CBS Sports Network.

Tackett will be joined by Anthony Simonsen, Bill O’Neill, Sean Rash, Jakob Butturff, Kris Prather, Kyle Troup and Norm Duke. Duke replaces Australian Jason Belmonte, who will not be able to participate due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

CBS Sports Network will air back-to-back live two-hour shows on Saturday, July 18, followed by five consecutive hours of coverage, culminating with the one-hour finale, on Sunday, July 19. This will be the second-consecutive year that CBS Sports Network has carried the entire competition live over one weekend.

WSOB Concept to Replace PBA50 Tour in 2020

Will the World Series of Bowling concept — a multi-event, multi-day test of not only skill but also endurance — translate to the PBA50 Tour and its roster of senior players?

That question will be answered in August, as the Professional Bowlers Association has announced the first-ever Florida Blue Medicare PBA50 WSOB, to be held Aug. 8-15 at Spanish Springs Lanes at The Villages, Fla.

The event will feature three PBA50 title tournaments on different Legend oil patterns (PBA Roth 42, PBA Ballard 34 and PBA Petraglia 46), plus the PBA50 Florida Blue Medicare National Championship on the PBA Holman 37 pattern.

A full field of 192 bowlers more than 50 years of age is expected for the $224,000 event, including PBA Hall of Famers Walter Ray Williams Jr., Norm Duke, Pete Weber, Parker Bohn III, Johnny Petraglia and Amleto Monacelli.

PBA50 newcomers and Hall of Famers Chris Barnes and Jason Couch also are expected to compete.

FloBowling will provide coverage of all rounds of the competition, including four different match-play rounds and all of the finals.

Faced with the global pandemic threatening the cancelation of the entire 2020 PBA50 Tour, the PBA and longtime partner Larry Ducat at The Villages worked together to create this event, in the mold of the Go Bowling! PBA Tour WSOB, which marked its 11th year earlier in 2020.

Qualifying games in the Mark Roth Championship, Del Ballard Championship and Johnny Petraglia Championship will count toward the main-event PBA National Championship, which will offer a $15,000 first prize.

Health and safety measures will be paramount at The Villages, taking into account state and local guidelines. Among other things, there will be three squads of qualifying, rather than two, to ensure social distancing during play.

The rest of the previously scheduled 2020 PBA50 Tour — the Johnny Petraglia BVL Open, Mooresville Open, Lubbock Sports Cup, Suncoast U.S. Senior Open, Fountain Valley Open, River City Extreme Open, South Shore Open, Championship Lanes Classic, Spectrum Lanes Open, Jax 60 Open, and the PBA60 Dick Weber Classic — has been cancelled.

QubicaAMF Products Mirror World Bowling-U.N. Initiative

Last week’s announcement that World Bowling had joined the United Nations’ Sports for Climate Action Framework (Cyber Report No. 1,113) fit right in with QubicaAMF’s own climate-focused initiatives.

As a partner of World Bowling, we are excited to support the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework,” said QubicaAMF CEO, Emanuele Govoni. “Through some of our newest products, like the EDGE String Pinspotter and advanced string pinspotter technology, we are delivering an economically and environmentally friendly impact through a combination of factors — including being energy efficient, reduced power consumption and the need for fewer spare parts.”

World Bowling last year announced its recognition by the International Paralympics Committee (IPC), and said it is looking forward to hosting its first-ever Parabowling Championship in partnership with QubicaAMF in March 2021.

In March of this year (Cyber Report No. 1,100), QubicaAMF and World Bowling announced a new partnership whereby QubicaAMF would become the exclusive bowling equipment, lane maintenance and technology innovation partner for World Bowling and all World Bowling Championships, the World Bowling Tour Finals and WBX.

Georgia Center Opts to Shut Down for 14 Days

Georgia was among the first states to reopen, and bowling centers there have gone through stops and starts as they work to get back on their feet and welcome guests. Some even suffered online “shaming” when they announced initial reopening dates.

In Valdosta, Jac’s Bowling Lanes announced in an online post that it has decided to close temporarily after someone who was on the premises within the last week tested positive for COVID-19.

We regret to inform you that Jac’s Bowling Lanes has made the decision to shut back down for at least the next 14 days,” the post read. “We feel it is best for the safety of our customers, staff and community that we take no risks and follow CDC recommendations, allowing for at least the full 14-day quarantine period and sanitation of the building.”

That’s one of the wild cards in the reopening scenario. A center can take all possible precautions, but just one customer can create havoc.

Pandemic Delays Reopening of Remodeled Center

The central Oregon community of La Pine is situated among towering pine trees and is known for offering year-round outdoor recreational opportunities.

Many of the locals take advantage of the nearby hiking, biking and boating, but they also embrace their local bowling center.

When new owners purchased La Pine Bowling Center they planned to remodel it and rename it. Shandy’s was scheduled to open on St. Patrick’s Day. But then, well… you know.

“With this pandemic, I think it’s hit everybody’s pocketbooks pretty hard,” said Clayton Rowe, one of Shandy’s co-owners. “So we need to get open and start creating revenue, instead of just hemorrhaging cash, which I think is what a lot of businesses have been doing.”

Making matters worse, Shandy’s did not qualify for economic relief payments because it did not yet have a payroll to preserve.

Rowe said that while he’s concerned about the future of Shandy’s, he’s also confident because of how much interest the La Pine community has shown.

He and his partners want Shandy’s to become a hub for La Pine, and plan to include summer concerts when allowed to do so. Following a soft opening on Monday, a grand opening celebration will be held later this summer if more restrictions are lifted.

LAI Games’ Survey Paints Picture of Recovering Industry

LAI Games conducted a survey of industry operators last month that asked questions regarding current revenue conditions and plans upon re-opening. The goal: to provide clarity on the current state of the industry.

The report was made available to respondents last week and now has been released to the wider industry as a free report.

Knowing what owners and operators are dealing with right now, along with their plans upon reopening, allows for more productive conversations and opportunities for us to provide support,” said Tabor Carlton, LAI Games’ Marketing Director. “We’ve already started implementing support measures from information gathered directly from the survey and will continue to do so in efforts to help the industry get back on its feet.”

Download the report for free at https://insider.laigames.com/state-of-the-amusement-industry-report-june-2020.

Early Report on Public’s Comfort With Virtual Reality

Virtuix, creator of the Omni Arena virtual reality esports attraction, is reporting encouraging usage data from entertainment venues that have recently reopened.

Twelve of 26 Omni Arena locations have reopened the attraction to the public. Since reopening, gameplay sessions each week have increased 120 percent, on average. At most venues, the greatest uptick occurred during the second week.

“We have not seen hesitation by guests to play virtual reality again,” said Kai Evans, owner of Adventure Park in Lubbock, Texas. “Guests are comfortable as long as you keep everything clean. Omni Arena is doing really well for us. It drives traffic and sales.”

We’re all climbing out of a dark hole,” said Jan Goetgeluk, founder and CEO of Virtuix. “The data is encouraging and shows that all is not lost. Together as an industry, can get past this setback.”

Omni Arena is a full-body virtual reality attraction for up to four players.

Webinar Topic: ‘Refocusing on Your Business’

Next up in QubicaAMF’s webinar series is “Refocusing on Your Business,” which is scheduled for Wednesday, June 24 beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern.

With more states relaxing stay-at-home orders and centers starting to reopen, the seminar will focus on the next steps. Specifically, what will you need to do to adapt your operations in order to meet today’s consumers expectations?

The QubicaAMF team has developed best practices and suggestions for refocusing on your business and thriving when you reopen. The seminar will present ideas on how you can better manage your lanes, focus on your core customers, and leverage the necessary evolution toward web booking. From there, you can decide what best fits your business model and how you can offer an experience that will attract your most avid customers, and new ones as well.

To register for the webinar or access past webinar recordings, visit the QubicaAMF Resource Center at: https://www.qubicaamf.com/support/beyond-the-frame.

In addition, QubicaAMF is hosting a Virtual Training Class this month, aimed at helping Conqueror centers reopen and get back to business. In addition to the June 18 session, classes are set for Tuesday, June 23, at 3 p.m. Eastern, and Thursday, June 25 at 10 a.m. Eastern.

Each session will have limited seating of 50 participants. This training class is best suited for management, supervisors, and key front desk staff. QubicaAMF asks that each center limit their attendance to three staff members.

Other News You Can Use…

* The upheaval ignited in recent weeks by the deaths of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks has once again brought the subject of race to the forefront in the national dialogue. One star within the sport of bowling who has been an active participant in that dialogue is Team USA member, PWBA regional champion and collegiate national champion Gazmine Mason, known to many in the sport simply as GG.

From the Black Girls Can Bowl 2 movement she founded to other related posts she has been making on her social channels, GG has been shedding light on the black experience in America from a very personal perspective that at times has made for some deeply emotional content. She speaks about that on the latest episode of The Bowlers JournalPpodcast, which you can listen to here: https://www.bowlersjournal.com/podcast-team-usas-gazmine-mason-discusses-her-recent-efforts-on-behalf-of-black-lives-matter/.

* Here’s the latest podcast schedule from the International Bowling Campus. All times shown are Eastern, and all shows are available on demand on all listed platforms.

– Inside The OC: Kyle Troup, June 18 at 2 p.m. on BowlTV, USBC Facebook and BowlTV on YouTube

– Throwback Thursday Match: Kelly Kulick vs. Maria José Rodriguez title match at the 2014 USBC Queens, June 18 at 4 p.m. on BowlTV

– The Sport of Bowling Show with Mark Martin, June 19 at 1 p.m. on BowlTV, USBC Facebook and BowlTV on YouTube

– The Gauntlet with Valerie Bercier and Felicia Wong, June 19 at 4 p.m. on BowlTV

– The PWBA Podcast: Jordan Richard, June 22 at 2 p.m. on BowlTV, USBC Facebook and BowlTV on YouTube

– The PWBA Podcast: Bryanna Coté, June 24 at 2 p.m. on BowlTV, USBC Facebook and BowlTV on YouTube

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is Barry Sparks, author of the biography, “Earl,” detailing the life, times and career of bowling superstar Earl Anthony. To listen to the interview, go to: https://kegel.squarespace.com/phantomblog/2020/6/17/barry-sparks-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, “Like” Bowling Center Management and Bowlers Journal International on Facebook, and follow BJI on Twitter (Twitter.com/BowlersJournal). BJI Cyber Reports are now archived at bcmmag.com. Please remember that the Cyber Report is a B-to-B publication and not intended for consumers.

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