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Day 1, Monday, January 21st - Dateline Detroit, MI

The best bowlers in the world have arrived in Detroit , MI., for the 2013 PBA Winter Swing. The weather is frigid but the historic Thunderbowl is ready to rock..Detroit Rock City style.

The Storm and Roto Grip staffers practiced on all of the patterns that will be used and the new balls from Storm and Roto Grip looked great. Plenty of Syncs, Defiant Souls and Disturbeds rolling in the motor city.

Former Storm/Roto Grip PBA Tour Representative (and Roto Grip Marketing Manager) Chris Schlemer is filling in for Del Ballard Jr., who is tending to wife Carolyn in Texas. No worries, reports Del. Carolyn had successful gall bladder surgery and is still a bit sore.

Schlem watched all the staffers ball reactions and gave some tips to Pete (Weber), Norm (Duke), and Belmo (Jason Belmonte). It's the kind of advice you can give after not seeing them up close for a while, but stands out to Schlem, who has watched these guys win since he began repping in 2001.

In particular, Ryan Shafer had a really good practice session and had good looks with three or four balls. Osku (Palermaa) was also splattering pins around like paper cups in the wind.

I had a chance to chat with Storm's Rhino Page, Diandra Asbaty, and Inside Bowling's Mike Flanagan. Everyone here is ready to roll.

Schlem and I got the PBA truck all organzied and updated with the new balls. Lifting ball cases isn't that glamorous, but when you look up and see the actual title banners of Dick Weber, Earl Anthony, Don Johnson and Mark Roth hanging in there, it makes it all worthwhile. Roto Grip star Wes Malott helped us along with recent champion Tom Daugherty. Storm Regional Sales Manager Chris Sand is also here to pitch in for the Storm Nation.

There will be alot going on the next few days and the formats for all the tournaments are a bit complex. The new team element is pretty exciting and PBA Commish Tom Clark is betting it will pay big dividends. There will be a live show on Sunday, January 27 (ESPN).

I did get a chance to interview new Roto Grip staffer John Szczerbinski, who just won the 2013 USBC Team Trials and turned pro. Look for that video on rotogrip.com Tuesday.

Tomorrow the strikes count...

lw

PBA League, Winter Swing Ready To Roll...by Bill Vint

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – The historic debut of the Professional Bowlers Association League, along with four PBA Tour individual championship events, is ready to get underway at Thunderbowl Lanes in suburban Detroit.

The eight-team PBA League, featuring celebrity owners and all-star roster of PBA Tour players, will make its debut with four days of qualifying followed by five ESPN television events, including the live two-hour opening round telecast on Sunday, Jan. 27, at noon ET.

The nine-day program in Allen Park gets underway Saturday with an eight-game Pro Tournament Qualifier, where a minimum of 10 players will earn the right to advance into the multi-event Detroit Swing field starting Tuesday, Jan. 22. Sunday and Monday’s schedule will feature pro-am squads for Detroit area adult and youth league bowlers, along with an official practice session on Monday.

PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, will provide comprehensive coverage of Saturday’s Pro Tournament Qualifier and all preliminary rounds of Winter Swing events Tuesday through Friday, Jan. 22-25. For subscription information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.

Here’s how the Detroit Winter Swing will unfold:

THE PBA LEAGUE

● The eight PBA League teams, each headed by a Franchise Player (based upon the 2011-12 PBA Tour competition points list), were decided during the PBA League Draft held in Las Vegas in November. The Franchise Players are reigning PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill.; Jason Belmonte of Australia; Mike Fagan of Dallas; Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo.; Osku Palermaa of Finland; Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla.; Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., and Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas.

● Following the draft, where each team’s roster of five players (plus a supplemental pick) were decided, the PBA announced celebrity team owners: NBA all-star point guard Chris Paul’s team is L.A. X; Detroit native and former Pittsburgh Steelers star running back Jerome Bettis’ team is the Motown Muscle; former NFL all-star wide receiver Terrell Owens’ team is the Dallas Strikers; actor/comedian Kevin Hart’s team is the Philadelphia Hitmen; women’s sports pioneer and tennis legend Billie Jean King’s team is the New York City WTT KingPins; Pittsburgh Steelers all-star linebacker LaMarr Woodley’s team is the Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits; comedian and Internet innovator Chris Hardwick’s team is the Silver Lake (Calif.) Atom Splitters and actor/model Jesse Williams’ team is the BROOKLYN STyLES.

THE DETROIT SWING COMPETITION FORMAT

● Four PBA League qualifying rounds will be held over four consecutive days, starting Jan. 22. Each of those four days, the Winter Swing will also feature open-field tournament qualifying for the Carmen Salvino Classic, Mark Roth Classic, Don Carter Classic and Earl Anthony Players Championship. A total of 135 players, including the 40 PBA League players, will bowl eight-game qualifying rounds each day.

● The qualifying scores bowled by PBA League players each day will be added together to create a team qualifying total. The individual scores bowled by the entire field will be used to determine the top 16 players who will advance to the nine-game round-robin match play rounds in the Salvino, Roth and Carter and Classics. The top two players after 17 games in those three events will bowl for the respective PBA Tour title.

● The combined 32-game qualifying totals from the Salvino, Roth and Carter Classics – plus an Anthony Championship qualifying round – will determine the 16 players who will advance to the nine-game round-robin match play finals of the Players Championship. The top two qualifiers after a total of 41 games (32 qualifying, nine match play) will bowl for the Earl Anthony Players Championship title.

PBA LEAGUE COMPETITION FORMAT

● During the individual qualifying rounds, PBA League players will be bowling for their teams. Scores for all five players will be added together to determine the team’s qualifying positions for the Baker format stepladder finals. The top three teams after each team round advance to the stepladder finals; the other five teams will bowl a one-ball eliminator “Clash” round to determine the fourth team that will advance to the stepladder final.

● The exception to the team qualifying rule will be for the live PBA League Round 1 telecast. That show will feature five teams based upon their 32-game cumulative totals from the four qualifying rounds.

● All PBA League finals on ESPN will be one-game Baker team stepladder matches. In Baker format competition, each member of the team bowls two frames (i.e., the leadoff bowler will bowl the first and sixth frames, the anchor bowler will bowl the fifth and 10th frames, etc.).

● PBA League points will be awarded based upon finishing position after each round. For Round 1 (the live ESPN round), the winning team will earn 18 points, runner-up 12 points, and subsequent teams will earn 9, 8, 6, 5, 3 and 2 points, respectively. For Rounds 2-5, points will be 12, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1. Total team points after five rounds will determine the top four teams that will advance to the PBA League Elias Cup finals which will be contested in conjunction with the live PBA Tournament of Champions finals on March 31 at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis.

ESPN TELEVISION FINALS

● The Detroit PBA Winter Swing will produce five ESPN television shows, including a live telecast of PBA League Round 1 on Sunday, Jan. 27, at noon ET. Subsequent shows will be taped at noon on Saturday, Jan. 26 (PBA League Round 2 and Carmen Salvino Classic championship match); 3:30 p.m. Saturday (PBA League Round 3 and Mark Roth Classic championship match); 7 p.m. Saturday (PBA League Round 4 and Don Carter Classic championship match); and at 3:30 p.m. Sunday (PBA League Round 5 and Earl Anthony PBA Players Championship title match). ESPN telecasts will air on Feb. 10 (1 p.m. ET), Feb. 17 (3 p.m. ET), March 3 (3 p.m. ET) and March 24 (1 p.m. ET).

● The PBA League Elias Cup finals will be contested on March 31 in Indianapolis and will air on ESPN on Sunday, April 7, at 1 p.m. ET.

TICKETS AND PRO-AM INFORMATION

Tickets for all general sessions as well as the ESPN telecasts can be ordered online through pba.com, by contacting Thunderbowl Lanes at (313) 928-4688 or by visiting thunderbowl.org for more details.

Thunderbowl will also conduct pro-ams on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 11 a.m. and Monday at 6 p.m. Pro-am entry fees are $75 for adults, $65 for seniors and $35 for youth with optional an bowling ball upgrade package at additional cost. Admission is $10. Contact Thunderbowl for details.

2013 DETROIT PBA WINTER SWING SCHEDULE

Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich.

Tuesday, Jan. 22: Carmen Salvino Classic

9 a.m. – 8 qualifying games

      ● Top 16 advance to modified round-robin match play round.

      ● 8-game totals carry over to Earl Anthony Players Championship.

      ● PBA League: top 3 teams based on combined five-player, 8-game totals advance to PBA League Round 2 (Baker format stepladder finals); teams ranking 4-8 advance to Clash round to determine fourth team for stepladder finals.

5 p.m. – 9 games, modified round robin match play (top two after 17 games advance to TV championship match)

Wednesday, Jan. 23: Mark Roth Classic

9 a.m. – 8 qualifying games

      ● Top 16 advance to modified round-robin match play round.

      ● 8-game totals carry over to Earl Anthony Players Championship.

      ● PBA League: top 3 teams based on combined five-player, 8-game totals advance to PBA League Round 3 (Baker format stepladder finals); teams ranking 4-8 advance to Clash round to determine fourth team for stepladder finals.

5 p.m. – 9 games, modified round robin match play (top two after 17 games advance to TV championship match)

Thursday, Jan. 24: Don Carter Classic

9 a.m. – 8 qualifying games

      ● Top 16 advance to modified round-robin match play round.

      ● 8-game totals carry over to Earl Anthony Players Championship.

      ● PBA League: top 3 teams based on combined five-player, 8-game totals advance to PBA League Round 4 (Baker format stepladder finals); teams ranking 4-8 advance to Clash round to determine fourth team for stepladder finals.

5 p.m. – 9 games, modified round robin match play (top two after 17 games advance to TV championship match)

Friday, Jan. 25: Earl Anthony PBA Players Championship

9 a.m. – 8 qualifying games

      ● PBA League: top 3 teams based on combined five-player, 8-game totals advance to PBA League Round 5 (Baker format stepladder finals); teams ranking 4-8 advance to Clash round to determine fourth team for stepladder finals.

      ● Top 5 teams based on combined 32-game team totals from Salvino, Roth, Carter and Anthony qualifying rounds advance to PBA League Show 1 Baker stepladder final

      ● Top 16 players based on combined 32-game totals from Salvino, Roth, Carter and Anthony qualifying rounds advance to modified round robin match play.

5 p.m. – 9 games, modified round robin match play (top two after 41 games advance to TV championship match)

ESPN FINALS SCHEDULE

Saturday, Jan. 26 (Thunderbowl Arena)

Noon – PBA League Round 2 one-ball “League Clash” eliminator round (winning team advances to Round 2 finals)

12:30 p.m. – PBA League Round 2 Finals (four-team Baker format stepladder)

1:30 p.m. – Carmen Salvino Classic championship match (top two qualifiers)

3:30 p.m. – PBA League Round 3 one-ball “League Clash” eliminator round (winning team advances to Round 3 finals)

4 p.m. – PBA League Round 3 Finals (four-team Baker format stepladder)

5 p.m. – Mark Roth Classic championship match (top two qualifiers)

7 p.m. – PBA League Round 4 one-ball “League Clash” eliminator round (winning team advances to Round 4 finals)

7:30 p.m. – PBA League Round 4 Finals (four-team Baker format stepladder)

8:30 p.m. – Don Carter Classic championship match (top two qualifiers)

Sunday, Jan. 27 (Thunderbowl Arena)

Noon – PBA League Round 1 finals (live telecast; five-team Baker format stepladder based on team points earned through first four qualifying rounds)

3:30 p.m. – PBA League Round 5 one-ball “League Clash” eliminator round (winning team advances to Round 5 finals)

4 p.m. – PBA League Round 5 Finals (four-team Baker format stepladder)

5 p.m. – Earl Anthony Players Championship title match (top two qualifiers)

Sunday, March 31 (Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis)

TBA – PBA League Elias Cup Finals (four-team Baker format stepladder)

 

PBA LEAGUE ROSTERS

(For detailed player information, visit: http://www.pba.com/Bowlers/#tab-league)

Dallas Strikers (owner Terrell Owens)

Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla.; Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla.; Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela; Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore.; Mike Machuga, Erie, Pa.; supplemental pick: Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind.

Philadelphia Hitmen (owner Kevin Hart)

Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa.; Mika Koivuniemi, Finland/Hartland, Mich.; Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio; Mike DeVaney, Hemet, Calif.; Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C.; supplemental pick: Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas.

Motown Muscle (owner Jerome Bettis)

Mike Fagan, Dallas; Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich.; Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas; Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind.; Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill.; supplemental pick: Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y.

Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits (owner LaMarr Woodley)

Osku Palermaa, Finland; Martin Larsen, Sweden; Dan MacLelland, Canada; Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla.; Thomas Larsen, Denmark; supplemental pick: Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill.

L.A. X (owner Chris Paul)

Jason Belmonte, Australia; Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas; Andres Gomez, Colombia; Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J.; Dave Wodka, Henderson, Nev.; supplemental pick: Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela.

Silver Lake Atom Splitters (owner Chris Hardwick)

Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas; Dom Barrett, England; Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz.; Stuart Williams, England; Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan.; supplemental pick: Jon VanHees, Charlestown, R.I.

New York City WTT KingPins (owner Billie Jean King)

Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo.; Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C.; Scott Norton, Costa Mesa, Calif.; Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y.; John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y.; supplemental pick: Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J.

BROOKLYN STyLES (owner Jesse Williams)

Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill.; Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y.; Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla.; Jason Sterner, McDonough, Ga.; supplemental pick: Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa.

(courtesy: pba.com)

 

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