Cyber Report #1118

E-dition No. 1,118 • Friday, July 17, 2020

Editor: Bob Johnson (bjibob@aol.com)

No Surprise: USBC Cancels Rest of 2020 National Events

Given the uptick in reported COVID-19 cases, the limited flight schedules currently being offered by America’s airlines, and the ever-changing pandemic-related guidelines being issued by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, the announcement made Wednesday by the United States Bowling Congress had been long anticipated: USBC is cancelling all remaining national events for 2020.

This cancellations includes the:

* USBC Open Championships

* USBC Women’s Championships

* USBC Masters

* USBC Senior Masters

* USBC Super Senior Classic

* USBC Senior Queens

The cancellation of the USBC Open Championship also means that the Bowlers Journal Championships will not be held in 2020.

Additionally, the 2020-21 USBC Collegiate season will be postponed until January 2021 and be conducted as a second-semester sport. The dates for the Intercollegiate Team and Singles Championships will be determined at a later time, with plans to hold them in the late spring or early summer.

On Thursday, the NCAA announced new guidelines for colleges to follow as they navigate the return of fall sports amid the coronavirus pandemic.

When we made the extremely difficult decision to cancel last spring’s championships it was because there was simply no way to conduct them safely,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert. “This document lays out the advice of health care professionals as to how to resume college sports if we can achieve an environment where COVID-19 rates are manageable. Today, sadly, the data point in the wrong direction. If there is to be college sports in the fall, we need to get a much better handle on the pandemic.”

Added Brian Hainline, the NCAA’s Chief Medical Officer: “Any recommendation on a pathway toward a safe return to sport will depend on the national trajectory of COVID-19 spread. The idea of sport re-socialization is predicated on a scenario of reduced or flattened infection rates.”

Bowling is an NCAA-sanctioned sport for women, but not for men.USA Bowling events and in-person coaching seminars for 2020 also have been postponed to 2021.

USBC previously announced the cancellation of the 2020 Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour season, with a possibility of conducting events in the fall and winter months. In light of current conditions, plans for a PWBA event in late 2020 now are on hold.

USBC said it plans to resume a traditional schedule of events in January 2021, starting with the USBC Team USA Trials, as conditions allow.

You’ll find a link to additional information on the BJI Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Bowlers-Journal-International-279432152577/.

9 Hours of PBA Bowling on CBS Sports Network This Weekend

Are you ready for some TV bowling? Then plan to spend some time — a lot of time — watching CBS Sports Network this weekend.

Here’s the lowdown from a Facebook post by PBA Commissioner Tom Clark:

<<< There is LIVE, Go Bowling PBA Tour title event coverage for 9 hours this weekend on CBS Sports Network. Seriously. Just as it has been scheduled for over a year. So, buckle up for world class bowling with high stakes.

It’s the 4th annual PBA Tour Finals, which brings together the top eight players in points on the Go Bowling PBA Tour over the past two years for a weekend of intense competition over a combination of formats and oil patterns.

This event is at the heart of a multi-year partnership with CBS Sports, stepping up big time to bring the entire tournament to you live. International fans can watch a live simulcast on FloBowling.

EJ Tackett is the defending champion and he also won the first PBA Tour Finals in 2017. Belmo, who won in 2018, would have been this year’s No. 1 seed but can’t make it this year from Australia due to the pandemic, so Norm Duke moves up from the 9th spot to fill out the field. It will be Norm’s first PBA Tour Finals.

Here is how the tournament works: The players are broken into two Groups by seed. No. 1 Anthony Simonsen heads up Group 1 with No. 4 Sean Rash, No. 5 Jakob Butturff and No. 8 Duke filling it out. Group 2 features No. 2 Tackett, No. 3 Bill O’Neill, No. 6 Kris Prather and No. 7 Kyle Troup.

The coverage is incredible: Saturday, you get to watch all eight players navigate 4 qualifying games on different conditions — two games on the Marshall Holman 37 foot pattern, two games on the Johnny Petraglia 46 foot pattern. After qualifying, the players will be placed into a stepladder for their Group based on those 4 games.

Then on Sunday, you’ll see the Group 1 and Group 2 stepladders in full (including the exciting 2-game final of each stepladder where a player will have to win both games or force a 9th and 10th frame rolloff to decide a tie). The stepladders, and the championship match, will be contested with the 37 foot pattern on one lane, the 46 foot on the other.

The Group winners will then meet Sunday afternoon in a championship match that again will be a two-game battle. You must win both games to win it. If the match is tied at 1 game, the trophy and $30K goes to the winner of a 9th and 10th frame rolloff.

EJ beat Jakob in that rolloff scenario last year. Seeing the best of the best in this battle for supremacy will be a treat for fans of many styles and personalities.

EJ and Simo will be the only players to appear in all 4 years of the PBA Tour Finals (Belmo would have been the third, if not for COVID).

Let’s have some fun and add to the legacy of this spectacular event (Saturday, Noon-4 pm EST; Sunday Noon-5 pm EST, CBS Sports Network). >>>

Hey, we’re on deadline… so why re-write a former newspaperman’s post?

PBA50 World Series Postponed Over COVID Concerns

The PBA has postponed the Florida Blue Medicare PBA50 World Series of Bowling, which had been slated for Aug. 8-15 at Spanish Spring Lanes in The Villages, Fla.

Yes, it’s another COVID-19 postponement.

The PBA said that the organization and longtime partner Larry Ducat, proprietor of Spanish Spring Lanes, are deeply disappointed to share this news, but considered many factors in making the decision. Plans call for the event to be rescheduled as conditions allow.

For context and analysis, click here: https://www.bowlersjournal.com/pba50-world-series-of-bowling-postponed-as-covid-numbers-rise-in-florida/.

Women to Vie for $30,000-Plus in Missouri Tournament

Danny Spink, a Missouri-based tournament promoter whose action bowling-inspired “Midnight Bowlers Society” you read about in the Tournaments department of the July issue of BJI, is stepping up for PWBA Tour competitors who saw COVID shut down their 2020 season.

St. Charles (Mo.) Lanes, in conjunction with Spink and PBA Tour standouts Brad Miller and Kyle Sherman, who will stream two events on their Brad & Kyle Youtube channel, will host a “Ladies Only” edition of the MBS on Aug. 14.

Spink estimated that, thanks in part to a BowlersDepot.com sponsorship, the women will vie for their share of at least $30,000 in prize money, brackets and side action.

The center will host the Brad & Kyle Women’s Open on Aug. 15 with a $4,000 top prize up for grabs, and the Ray Orf 890 Open Mixed Doubles event on Aug. 16. More information can be found on the Midnight Bowlers Society Facebook page.

PBA to Introduce Junior National Championship

The PBA has announced the inaugural PBA Junior National Championship, enabling youth bowlers from around the country to compete for SMART scholarships totaling more than $38,000.

The twofold competition will start with bowlers receiving direct entry into four regional tournaments at Bowlero centers around the country on Sept. 5. Each regional will guarantee a first-place $2,000 SMART scholarship. SMART scholarships will be awarded to one out of every six entries in each division.

The regional schedule:

* Midwest Region — Bowlero Wauwatosa, Wauwatosa, Wis.

* South Region — Bowlero Marietta, Marietta, Ga.

* Southwest Region — Bowlero Euless, Euless, Texas.

* West Region — Bowlero Christown, Phoenix, Ariz.

The top two male and female finishers in each regional will advance to the National Championship to compete for a $7,500 SMART scholarship. The National Championship will be held in conjunction with a PBA National Tour stop to be announced.

The PBA is committed to advancing the sport of bowling at every level, and launching the PBA Junior National Championship is an important step in developing the next generation of top bowlers,” said Colie Edison, CEO of the PBA. “There is so much raw talent at the youth level and I can’t wait to see these great bowlers compete in the inaugural event.”

For additional information, go to: www.pba.com/junior.

Other News You Can Use…

* Dart Bowl has been an Austin-area institution since 1958, but today will be its final day. Co-owner John Donovan told employees on Tuesday that the center would be closing, another business victim of the pandemic. Some of those employees had worked at Dart Bowl for more than 20 years. “I feel sad; I feel heartbroken,” Donovan told KXAN-TV. “There’s a certain amount of guilt, wishing I’d been able to find a way to keep it together.” Read more here: https://www.kxan.com/news/business/popular-bowling-alley-to-close-other-businesses-not-optimistic-about-economy/.

* Eight-time PBA Tour champion and 2015 U.S. Open winner Ryan Ciminelli is a guy who often says he wears his heart on his sleeve, and he did just that during his recent appearance on The Bowlers Journal Podcast. Ciminelli is brutally honest about the many factors that contributed to his July 6 announcement that he is retiring from full-time tour competition to pursue a steadier job in his other passion, construction management. He opens up about the PBA Tour achievements he is proudest of, and also about things he said and did that he wishes he could have back. He is honest about when and why his mind went to some very dark places on tour, and what it was like to wait out long dry spells — the anxiety that, at times, almost was too much to bear. He also expresses the hope that his days in the winners’ circle on tour are not done, even while his opportunities to contend for titles now will be fewer and farther between as he embarks on a different career path. What you get from Ciminelli here is as honest a self-assessment as one can ask of a professional athlete. You’re not going to want to miss a word of this conversation. Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/user-658733792/podcast-ryan-ciminelli-on-why-he-retired-from-full-time-pba-tour-competition.

* Sean Rash, in conjunction with 900 Global, the PBA, Bayside Bowl, and USBC Hall of Famer Donna Conners of Striking Against Breast
Cancer Mixed Doubles renown, is giving away
an all-expenses-paid trip to the PBA League, scheduled to be held at Bayside Bowl
in Portland, Maine, in September. The giveaway, Rash explained, is tied to a raffle aimed at raising money for the Striking Against Breast Cancer cause because the 2020 edition of that event had to be postponed due to COVID-19. Rash said raffle tickets would be priced at $10 each and
six for $50, with the winner announced Sept. 6 and allowed to bring a guest. For more information, visit @sean_rash on Twitter, Sean_Rash on Instagram, or Sean Rash’s fan page on Facebook.

* Bowling “royalty” will take to the lanes in a six-part series on FS1, with PBA Tour, PBA50 Tour and PWBA bowlers looking to capture the title of “PBA King of the Lanes.” Get the full schedule here: https://pba.com/articles/The-PBA-Returns-with-5-Back-to-Back-Action-Packed-Days-of-LIVE-Competition-Starting-on-Saturday.

* The guest this week on Phantom Radio is Larry Lichstein, as the program’s trivia contest enters its final phase. To see how “the ball driller of the pros” fares, go to: https://www.kegel.net/phantomblog/2020/7/15/larry-lichstein-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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