PBA Oil Patterns Update

S.Samek

Despite not being the most popular sport anymore bowling is achiving a big milestone. The PBA tour has lasted 60 seasons in 2017-2018. To mark this occasion a bit of change is in order. Namely the oil patterns.
16 patterns will be used during the events of the 2017-2018 season. Eight of them are designated as animal patterns, seven has legends and one more for the Chris Paul tournament. Three of the legends are for major tournament play. Two of these are brand new patterns, while some have been readjusted.
The Chris Paul is named after the NBA player and Bowling ambassador. It is said to play like a typical house shot you would see during league, or open play. It should make for some high scoring numbers.
The dragon is the newest animal pattern. It sits at 45 feet in length and is designed to be on the harder side to play and score well.

The Cheetah at 33 feet, chameleon at 39, Scorpion 42, Shark 45, Earl Anthony 42, Don Johnson 40 pattern, Carmen Salvino 44, Dick Weber 45, Mark Roth 42 Wolf 33, Viper 36, Bear 39 and Johnny Petraglia 36 patterns join up to finish the set of oil patterns. The badger at 52 feet is out of the rotation and has an unknown status.

I like how the PBA is changing it up. It makes it more challenging to have new patterns. Rearranging the patterns can also make it harder and more competitive as players try to adjust to the changes. All the patterns can be seen here.

 

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Top Five Bowlers

By S. Samek

Other than baseball, I would say the other sport I have a great passion for is bowling. Especially during my high school years. It became an obsession to watch the PBA on TV, or go bowling. Similarly, I have my favorite teams and my favorite bowlers. Today I do present my top five favorite bowlers.

5. Jason Belmonte.

I really like watching the two-hander work. He is one of the most dominate players on tour at the moment. I also like how he revolutionized the sport with his unique two- handed style.

4. Mika Koivuniemi.

This was a player that I liked more for his style of play. It was very similar to mine, but excecuted a lot better. The passion for the game was there as well. Most famous for the biggest margin of victory in a TV match with a 299 -100 win.

3. Chris Barnes.

Barnes is just another good player that I tried to emulate. Even though he threw the ball harder than I did. He was just a good guy, who loved the game and a positive ambassador for the sport. Also know for awesome trick shots.

2. Norm Duke.

I always liked Norm. He has a very similar style to my own, so he was a role model to emulate. Filled with competitive fire and also just a love of the game was the biggest takeaways I learned from Duke. This is no better demonstrated then during the 2010 Cheetah championship final match.

1. Pete Weber.

Bowling’s bad boy and an all-time great. I just love how competitive he is and winning attitude. Sure, he gets a temper every now and again, but it’s because he loves the game. Plus, as a proven winner of major titles how could you not like him. O and this memorable moment.

 

Top Seven Bowling Balls

By S. Samek

Before I became a writer, I did play some sports. I played with multiple degrees of success and for different lengths of time. Though the sport that I played the most was bowling. I stuck with it for four years bowling competitively. I do some day hope to rejoin the sport, as my passion for it hasn’t really died down much, despite not hitting the lanes for at least three years.
While I was bowling I used a good bit of equipment. Some of it good and some not. Each piece does have memories attached to it. So, for fun I’m going to rank the top seven, that’s all of them by the way bowling balls I threw.

7. Brunswick Tzone. This was my first actually bowling ball. I won it in a raffle basket. I threw it during my first full season league and during my first high school team tryouts and matches. They look lie this today, but mine was purple, gold and silver.

6. Hammer Axe. This ball is another basic plastic ball. It came into the bag last actually as I felt I needed a spare ball. It’s a pretty cool ball nice and shiny. Sadly, it doesn’t really have a memory attached with it. Though it was pretty handy though for those spares.

5. Brunswick Avalanche Blue/Silver Perl. This was my first reactive bowling ball. It was a Christmas gift my freshman year of high school. The first game I used it I had a chance at my first ever 200 game. I put the final of ball of the game in the gutter and ended up with 198. It was still my highest game to that point. A couple weeks later I went 225 with it for my high game. It also helped me place in the top 10 during one of the first tournaments I ever entered. It was then retired after winning a league championship for something heavier. Though the color scheme would come back soon.

4. Ebonite Magic Action. My least favorite higher performance reactive ball. I got it to replace the number two offering on this list. It didn’t really do very well for me and my average didn’t seem to rise. I just wasn’t a good fit for this ball. However, I did throw a Dutch 200 game with it during a match my junior year. The color swirl looks really cool too.

O and it come through for me in the tenth frame of game three for another league title, when I was able to catch a double with it and we just edged out the win.

3. Hammer Blue/Silver Taboo Pearl. The ball that replaced the magic was better than it. I mostly remember getting it drilled and then throwing six strikes on six shots with it. It was a decent ball, but not my favorite. Though it was a major tool in winning a summer challenge league doubles title and overall match play points title and with it some scholarship money.

2. Storm 2nd Dimension. This ball made things interesting. I got it the last day of my first ever full season league in time to use it in the third game. It was an unimpressive 92 game, but we still took home the title. Yet, I think that would be the lowest game I threw with it. This ball had to have raised my average 30-40 pins. In fact, I was named most improved bowler during my sophomore season throwing this ball. Did o mention it smells like apple pie too. How could you not love that?

1. Hammer Onyx Vibe. My final ball maybe the most boring, but really does have a special place in my heart. This ball was drilled to be less aggressive for dry oil conditions. That would be a lie. It could almost out hook the taboo for like 50-100 bucks less. Good deal aside I used this ball a good bit. With it I was able to record my high series of 602 during a high school practice. It also helped me go 100 pins over average for a 254 game, my highest game ever. I spared in the first before the next eight strikes in a row and then a split, but I was still happy with the result. That’s why it’s my all-time favorite ball that I own.

 

 

PWBA Finals Predictions

By S. Samek

This is it folks, the PWBA season is coming to an end. All the stands in the way is the season ending Tour championship event.
The 16 best from the tour go at it one more time for the ultimate in bragging rights. September 3-6 2017 at Richmond Race Way. The selections came from all the tournament winners and the season points list.

The matches are in a bracket format and best of five single elimination.
Liz Johnson the player of the year by points is top seed. She earns byes into the semi-finals along with second seed Kelly Kulick. Third ranked Diana Zavjalova and forth ranked Danielle McEwan also receive a bye each.
In round one fifth seeded Shannon O’Keefe battles 16 seed Birgit Poppler. Six seed Shannon Pluhowsky goes against 15 seed Stefanie Johnson. Other matches can be viewed in the bracket.

I don’t predict many if any upsets here. I can see a Liz Johnson versus Kelly Kulick final match for it all. Though I also won’t be surprised if the three, or four seeds advance to the finals too. My money would be on Zavjalova to beat Kulick, over McEwan over Johnson.
Though for a total wild card try Stefanie Johnson. She beat Liz in a recent match on her way to the Orlando open win. Other than that, look for upsets to be kept to a minimum.
Stay tuned to see who brings home the gold.

 

 

 

UBA Expansion Part Two

By S. Samek

In this post, I covered an expansion movie I though the UBA should make. While nothing has come to light yet the league is still expanding. The roster of teams is now at 226.

Two of these teams are coming from the next big section, sense the addition of the Alaska district. That is the brand-new Las Vegas District.  The Las Vegas Hot Shots and Strong n 1 are the first two entrants in the district. A promo video is in place to make this announcement.

I like this expansion plan. Vegas isn’t known for professional sports franchises and could use more. Even though this isn’t a true major league like the PBA, it is a step up from amateurs. Heck if Vegas can expand to the NHL, why not bowling.

Expansion can also lead to Reno. Reno is a popular destination for bowlers. The PBA holds events there such as the USBC Masters and the World Series of Bowling.

 The Women’s U.S open takes place there.

 For amateurs, the USBC open championships occur there at the national bowling stadium. Making Vegas and Reno bowling towns that would fit well in the UBA.

The personalities would also match well in Vegas. The trash talk, nicknames, team names that are all about swagger would go well in a party place like Los Vegas. Vegas being a town now for being over the top with all the lights and attractions. The money aspect of the UBA also fits in well with the gambling and money moving of Vegas.

The only thing is Vegas is a bit far away from the main line of teams in New York and New Jersey. It isn’t really close to the North Carolina based South division teams either. So, it makes it extremely difficult to get a full season tour in with only two teams.

Maybe some teams visit from Alaska, but that’s still a significant chunk of miles to go to roll. I would love to see Vegas keep expanding and get its own tour season. Who knows maybe Battle Bowl, the primer event of the season gets moved to Vegas. That would be huge for the UBA and work well to accommodate the growing number of teams and individuals. It could also be the start of a western division of the UBA moving towards California and the like. Great move by the UBA.

Title Breakthrough

PBA star gets milestone win.

by S. Samek

Sunday, I did something I haven’t done in a while, watch bowling. The PBA Oklahoma City Open was being contested. I tuned in just in time to see Chris Barnes beat Jesper Sevenson in match one. Afterward Barnes took on Rhino Page and won to set up a match against Jason Belmonte. Barnes took out Belmonte too, earning the right to face Marshall Kent in the finals.

 

I was pleasantly surprised to see Barnes on the show. He was one of my favorites when I bowled in high school. Though it seemed like he hadn’t been relevant on the tour sense then. Barnes has won 18 titles during his time on tour.

 

Kent is part of the new young talent wave on the PBA Tour. Though entering the match, he was 0-7 on TV, despite winning three titles. https://www.pba.com/bowlers/bowler/41121. Could Kent finally breakthrough for a win on Tv.

In dramatic fashion, the match came down to the 10th frame. Kent strung together four strikes to win 194-188 over Barnes. Giving Kent his first win on television and his fourth title. Good to see the kid earn a win on TV. Having Barnes win would have been great too. As it’s always nice to see a win after a long drought of winning.

 

Best Bowler ESPY

By S. Samek

This afternoon the nominees for the ESPY awards came out. Amongst the category is one that may seem odd: Best bowler. Yes, bowling gets its own category up with best team and best male and female athletes.  You Can vote here for all the categories.

The nominees for best of the lane are Jason Belmonte, Francois Lavoie and E.J Tackett. Belmonte and Tackett are due to square off on the lanes before that in fact as they compete at the Main Event PBA tour Finals Title match next Tuesday.

Belmonte is the Australian Two-handed bowler that has taken the tour by force sense his 2008 debut. He has won 14 career titles, including eight major tournament victories. His latest major victories are the 2017 Barbasol PBA Players Championship and USBC Masters.

E.J Tackett is a rising young star. He joined the tour in 2012. Tackett won the 2012-2013 rookie of the year. He owns seven titles on tour, five standard and two majors. Tackett was your 2017 PBA Tournament of Champions winner. He has two titles for the 2017 season.

Lavoie is very similar to Tackett in the fact that he’s new on tour. It’s only Lavoie’s second season in the PBA. Lavoie hasn’t wasted any time as he has three titles including the U.S open win in 2016 for his first major title. Lavoie was voted the 2016 rookie of the year in the PBA and the PBA’s south region. Lavoie won a singular title this season so far.

This race is very close for the award. All of them have won one, or two titles. Tackett and Belmonte each own a major win this season.  With both majors counting the same it really is too close to call. I do think that if I were voting I would select the person that wins head to head in next week’s match.  Especially with this tournament being the best eight tour players in total money earned. Making it a tough out to win this tournament, with no slackers entering. The best way to be the best is too beat the best and the cliché rings true here. Belmonte/Tackett win gets the ESPY.