Now in its ninth year, the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling has reached a new level of participation as a record 26 countries are being represented at the 12-day event that got under way on Tuesday at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.
Officials of the Go Bowling! PBA Tour (it has a new primary sponsor this season) increased the field from 185 to 195 bowlers – American and international standouts who will be competing in four “animal pattern” tournaments as well as the PBA World Championship, USA vs. the World Team Championship and World Bowling Tour Finals.
The final rounds of all seven of those events take place on Nov. 17-19. ESPN will televise all seven finals starting on Dec. 10 and running through Jan. 7.
Here is the WSOB taping (Pacific time) and ESPN telecast (Eastern time) schedule:
Nov. 17, 6 p.m. – USA vs. The World team competition (ESPN air date Dec. 10, 1 p.m.)
Nov. 18, noon – PBA Chameleon Championship presented by Reno Tahoe USA (ESPN air date, Dec. 17, 1 p.m.)
Nov. 18, 2:30 p.m. – PBA Shark Championship presented by Xtra Frame (ESPN air date Dec. 17, 2 p.m. ET)
Nov. 18, 4:15 p.m. – PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game (ESPN air date Dec. 24, 1 p.m.)
Nov. 18, 6 p.m. – Pepsi PBA Scorpion Championship presented by GoBowling.com (ESPN air date Dec. 24, 2 p.m.)
Nov. 19, noon – PBA World Championship (ESPN air date Dec. 31, 1 p.m.)
Nov. 19, 3:30 p.m. – World Bowling Tour Finals presented by PBA (ESPN air date Jan. 7, 1 p.m. ET)
For those who like watching bowling on their computer or mobile devices, Xtra Frame, the PBA’s online streaming service, will provide around 100 hours of live coverage during the qualifying and match play rounds. For more information about Xtra Frame, go to www.xtraframe.tv.
Some interesting notes about this year’s WSOB:
-- EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind.; Jason Belmonte of Australia, and Rhino Page of Orlando, Fla., will have a chance to add another major title in 2017. Tackett is the defending champion in the PBA World Championship, while Belmonte won the PBA Players Championship and USBC Masters, and Page recently captured the U.S. Open at Flamingo Bowl in Liverpool (near Syracuse) on Nov. 1.
-- Tackett and Belmonte each have three tour victories this year and are the favorites for Player of the Year honors heading into the WSOB IX. But, with multiple events on the schedule, someone else could vault into contention.
-- Five PBA Hall of Famers are among the 195 participants. They are household names Parker Bohn III, Norm Duke, Amleto Monacelli, Pete Weber, Walter Ray Williams Jr. and the newly-elected Chris Barnes.
All but Barnes (he’s only 47) are active on the PBA50 Tour, which features around 13 tournaments in the spring and summer months. It’s too bad that the PBA50 Tour can’t latch on to a TV contract as I’m sure that longtime bowling fans, such as myself, would love to see these players in action.
CLICK HERE for the schedule of ESPN telecasts of the PBA Tour.
‘BEAT THE CHAMP’ QUALIFYING SET FOR THIS WEEKEND
Local bowlers have an opportunity to show their talents on TV by entering the “Beat the Champ” qualifiers this weekend at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.
Seven qualifying squads are scheduled – Friday at 5 and 7 p.m.; Saturday at noon, 2 and 4 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 4 p.m. The top 24 will advance to a roll-off at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, with the top nine from their advancing to the TV show.
Producers from WBBZ-TV (MeTv) have rescheduled the taping of four shows (which will air in December) to Nov. 29 (not Dec. 2 as previously announced).
The first three shows will feature the adult qualifiers vying for prize money; the fourth show will showcase some of the best youth bowlers from the Turnbull Junior League at Mancuso’s.
Entry fee for each qualifying round is $30. To enter, call Mancuso Bowling Center at 343-1319.
GRUSBC SENIOR MASTERS SET FOR SATURDAY
Medina Lanes will host the 12th annual Genesee Region USBC Senior Masters Tournament this Saturday, with qualifying times at 12:30 and 2 p.m. The top 12, including one out of four 60-and-over bowlers, will advance to the finals at 3:30 p.m.
First place, based on 48 entries, is $300 and a free entry into the GRUSBC Masters on Feb. 10-11 at Livingston Lanes in Geneseo.
Open to men and women 50 and over, the scratch singles tournament has an entry fee of $30. To enter, contact Paul Spiotta at 585-202-6458.
Speaking of senior bowling, Joe Trigilio of Attica earned $225 last Saturday by placing in the top 12 at the first NYS Senior Masters Championship at Lakeview Lanes in Fulton.
Trigilio qualified ninth out of 94 entries with 856 for four games, and won his first match in the finals before being eliminated.
Jim Pursel of Batavia cashed for $100, just missing the cut to advance to the finals by one pin.
Ray Textor of the Jamestown area defeated PBA50 competitor Sam Ventura of Norwich for the title and $1,400 first prize. Ventura had advanced with a victory over PBA Hall of Famer Doug Kent.
In senior women’s tournament play last week, bowlers from Albion, Batavia, Pavilion, Mount Morris, Churchville and Silver Springs captured age group titles at the 33rd Gladys Ford Memorial Tournament at Rose Garden Bowl.
Winners were Gail Ward, Albion, Class AA, 75-and-over, 644; Georgene Della Penna, Batavia, Class A, 70-74, 654; Donna Davis, Pavilion, Class B, 65-69, 634; Roselena Smith, Mount Morris, Class C, 60-64, 663; Jackie Gallup, Churchville, Class D, 55-59, 609, and Lisa Granger, Silver Springs, Class E, 50-54, 554.
TRIPLE O MECHANICAL HANDICAP SINGLES IN 10TH YEAR
The 10th annual Triple O Mechanical Singles Handicap Tournament is scheduled for this Sunday at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.
Qualifying squads (three games) are at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. – with the eliminator-style finals to follow. In the finals, the top two scores from each pair will advance to the next round until a champion is determined.
The event, which carries a $30 entry fee, features incentives for women, seniors (55-and-over) and super seniors (65-and-over).
Each squad will have a maximum of 24 bowlers. To reserve a spot in advance, call 585-861-0404 to sign up.
OAK ORCHARD BOWL HOSTING PAWS TRIPLES NO-TAP
The third annual PAWS Triples No-Tap Tournament to beneif the Albion PAWS Animal Shelter is scheduled for this Saturday, with qualifying squads at 1, 3, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.
The entry fee is $75 per team and handicap is based on 80 percent of 220. Basket raffles, prize drawings and other fundraisers will help support the animal shelter.
To reserve a spot, call 585-590-0804 or 585-589-6900.
THIS WEEK’S HIGH ROLLERS: 300 GAMES FOR FOSS, SANTINI
Medina right-hander Curtis Foss and Mount Morris lefty Bob Santini posted 300 games in league play in recent days.
Both top scratch bowlers, Foss posted 300—762 on Nov. 3 in the Friday Mixers League at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion and Santini spun a perfect game en route to a 733 series on Nov. 1 in the Wednesday Classic League at his home center.
Other high rollers last week:
-- Gregg Wolff, Batavia, 298 game and 729 series and Steve O’Dell, Oakfield, 759 series in the County Line Stone League at Scopano’s Lanes in Oakfield.
-- Jason Nickerson, Albion, 297 game and 738 series in the Sneezy’s Monday Night League at Oak Orchard Bowl.
-- Michele Larson, Batavia, 267 game and 732 series in the Synergistic Online Solutions MNF League at Mancuso Bowling Center.