Historic team bowling concept to debut with 2013 "PBA League"

    10/22/12

    PBA News

    Eight star-studded teams, singles events will be part of unique Detroit PBA Winter Swing

    201213PBATourLogo.jpgThe Professional Bowlers Association will introduce an eight-team pro bowling league for the 2012-13 season, featuring PBA stars as franchise players, a draft of PBA members to fill out the five-player team rosters and a television series resulting in six ESPN telecasts, PBA Commissioner Tom Clark has announced.

    The historic PBA League will make its debut during the Detroit PBA Winter Swing Jan. 19-27 at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich., with a live ESPN show on Sunday, Jan. 27 of PBA League Round 1 action and concludes with the PBA League Elias Cup Finals, honoring PBA founder Eddie Elias, at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis on Sunday, March 31 (airing Sunday, April 7 on ESPN).

    "Bowling has deep roots in team competition," Clark said. "As a part of its 2012-13 season, the PBA is going to return five-player team bowling competition to the spotlight, but in a way it has never before been seen."

    Details on significant aspects of the league such as team names, owners and sponsors will be released soon.

    Here's how the PBA League will work:

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    The Teams


    The PBA League will consist of eight five-player teams, each representing a city to be named later. Each team will be headed by a franchise player – a PBA star who will draft players to fill his team. The Franchise Players will be the top eight players from the 2011-12 PBA Tour competition points list: 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.

    There will be a draft involving all PBA members who make themselves eligible. PBA members must declare eligibility with the PBA by 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific on Friday, Nov. 2. By declaring eligibility, those PBA members are promising to compete in the January 2013 PBA League events if they are drafted.

    On Friday, Nov. 2, official practice day for the PBA World Series of Bowling in Las Vegas, a random drawing will determine the selection order for the eight Franchise Players. Each Franchise Player will draft four additional players to fill out his roster from the list of PBA members who have registered to participate in the program.

    The draft itself will be held on Friday, Nov. 9, and air live on Xtra Frame, the PBA's online bowling channel. It will be done in "serpentine" fashion whereby each Franchise Player will pick one player in pre-determined order. Whoever picks eighth will also pick ninth, and the draft order will be reversed, moving back up the list. The Franchise Player who picked first will then pick 16th and 17th, etc. The draft will consist of five rounds (to allow for selection of a sixth, or supplemental, player).

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    The Competition Format


    PBA League competition begins Jan. 22 at Thunderbowl in Allen Park, Mich., as part of the Detroit PBA Winter Swing. Over a span of four days, the Winter Swing will feature a series of open-field tournaments - the Carmen Salvino Classic, Mark Roth Classic, Don Carter Classic and Earl Anthony Players Championship - which will award individual PBA Tour titles and also produce qualifying scores for the PBA League competition.

    The Salvino, Roth and Carter events will feature eight-game qualifying rounds with 16 players advancing to modified nine-game round-robin match play rounds in each event. The top two qualifiers after 17 games in each event will bowl for the 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.

    At the same time they are bowling in the individual qualifying rounds, members of the PBA League will be bowling for their teams. Scores for all five players after each qualifying round will be added together to determine the team seeding 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 in a "shootout" round to determine the fourth team in each stepladder final.

    The one exception to the team qualifying rule will be for PBA League Round 1, which will be televised live on ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 27, at noon ET. That show will feature the top five teams based upon their 32-game cumulative totals from the Salvino, Roth, Carter and Anthony 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., leadoff bowler bowls first and sixth frames, anchor bowler bowls fifth and 10th frames, etc.).

    Points will be awarded to each team based upon its finishing position after each of the five team rounds. After five rounds, the top four teams 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.

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    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. Subsequent shows will be taped to air on Feb. 10, Feb. 17, March 3 and March 24.

    The inaugural PBA League Elias Cup stepladder finals will feature the top four teams in points, bowling in a Baker format showdown in Indianapolis. The finals will air on ESPN on April 7.

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    Prize Money for PBA League


    The financial compensation for the PBA League will be unique. Players drafted for the team competition will be paid a "salary" based upon their ranking in the selection process. There will be no entry fee for the PBA League portion of the Detroit PBA Winter Swing (entry fees will apply, however, to the singles events).

    The "salary" structure will pay Franchise Players (technically the first-round picks) $10,000 each. Second-round picks will receive $7,000, third-round picks $5,000, fourth-round picks $3,000 and fifth-round picks $2,000 each. The sixth, or supplemental-round, picks will not be paid, but will be compensated by their teams if they are needed due to injury or other unforeseen events.

    In addition to the guaranteed salary money, there will be significant rewards for the four teams that advance to the PBA League Championship round. The PBA League champion will receive $75,000 ($15,000 per player). Second place will pay $30,000 ($6,000 per player), third place $20,000 ($4,000 per player) and fourth place $10,000 ($2,000 per player). The other four teams will not cash.

    The winning team also will receive a unique Elias Cup traveling trophy, with each player's name engraved, which will stay with the team until the next PBA League season.

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    Prize Money for Winter Swing Singles Events


    The package of four individual tournaments (Salvino, Roth, Carter, Anthony) will be open to all PBA members for a one-time $600 entry fee. The field will be limited to 115 PBA members. Entries will be accepted only for all four events (players may not enter individual events).

    In addition, a pre-Winter Swing qualifying event will be conducted, awarding eight additional entries. If PBA member entries fill, any members on the waiting list will be allowed to enter the non-member pre-tournament qualifier to compete for one of the eight available spots.

    The Carmen Salvino, Mark Roth and Don Carter Classics will each pay a $15,000 first prize and a 32-place prize list ($700 last-to-cash).

    The Earl Anthony Players Championship will pay a $25,000 first prize and a 42-place prize list ($1,000 last-to-cash).

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    2013 DETROIT PBA Winter Swing Schedule


    Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich.

    Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013
    Noon – PBA non-member pre-tournament qualifier, 8 games (top 8 advance to Detroit PBA Winter Swing)

    Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013
    11 a.m. – 9-Pin No-Tap pro-am squad

    Monday, Jan. 21, 2013
    Noon – Official practice session
    6 p.m. – 9-Pin No-Tap pro-am squad

    Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013: 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 TV Shootout to determine fourth team for stepladder finals.
    5 p.m. – 9 games, modified round robin match play (top two after 16 games advance to TV championship match)

    Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013: 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 TV Shootout to determine fourth team for stepladder finals.
    5 p.m. – 9 games, modified round robin match play (top two after 16 games advance to TV championship match)

    Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013: 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 TV Shootout to determine fourth team for stepladder finals.
    5 p.m. – 9 games, modified round robin match play (top two after 16 games advance to TV championship match)

    Friday, Jan. 25, 2013: Earl Anthony 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 TV Shootout 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)

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    ESPN Finals Taping Schedule


    Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 (Thunderbowl Arena)
    Noon – PBA League Round 2 Shootout (winning team advances to Show 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 Shootout (winning team advances to Show 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 Shootout (winning team advances to Show 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, 2013 (Thunderbowl Arena)
    Noon – PBA League Round 1 finals (Live telecast; five-team Baker format stepladder)

    3:30 p.m. – PBA League Round 5 Shootout (winning team advances to Show 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, 2013 (Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis)
    TBA – PBA League Elias Cup Finals (four-team Baker format stepladder)