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2017 PBA Xtra Frame Tour season in review


Xtra Frame is today’s solution to providing the sport with a traveling PBA Tour with broad appeal. The rapid growth of technology that allows for video streaming provides the ability to transmit live “televised” events via the internet from all corners of the world to all corners of the world, on any day at any time.

The PBA, a frontrunner in using Xtra Frame to cover events and make them available to bowling fans around the world at very little cost, will continue to evolve to serve the interests of its fan base. The nature of video streaming also expands the fan’s access to aspects of tournament competition, such as qualifying and match play rounds, that were never available in the past.

In 2017, the PBA’s Xtra Frame programming included 10 events in 10 different locations, all covered exclusively from first ball to last. The Xtra Frame Tour produced 11 different champions (including one woman, who received a PWBA title).

A quick recap of the events and winners includes:

  • DHC PBA Japan Invitational, Bentencho Grand Bowl, Osaka, Japan: EJ Tackett
  • Xtra Frame Reality Check Classic, Sawgrass Lanes, Tamarac, Fla.: Josh Blanchard
  • Xtra Frame Wilmington Open, Ten Pin Alley Family Fun Center, Wilmington, N.C.: Anthony Simonsen
  • Xtra Frame Greater Jonesboro Open, Jonesboro Bowling Center, Jonesboro, Ark.: Francois Lavoie
  • Xtra Frame Lubbock Sports Open, Lubbock, Texas: Marshall Kent
  • Xtra Frame Billy Hardwick Memorial Open, Billy Hardwick’s All-Star Lanes, Memphis, Tenn.: Matt Sanders
  • Xtra Frame Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles, Copperfield Bowl, Houston, Texas: Jason Sterner/Birgit Pöppler
  • Xtra Frame Chesapeake Open, AMF Western Branch, Chesapeake, Va.: Dick Allen
  • Xtra Frame Gene Carter’s Pro Shop Classic, Mid-County Bowling & Entertainment, Middletown, Del.: Sean Rash
  • Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Group Classic, Pla-Mor Lane, Coldwater, Ohio: Rhino Page

Seven of the 10 events listed were part of the inaugural Xtra Frame Storm Cup points series, which provided players with more than $411,000 in prize money plus the added incentive to compete for another $50,000 in bonus prize money based upon consistency of performance throughout the season.

DHC Japan (an invitational event), Hardwick Memorial (a restricted-equipment event) and Mixed Doubles (an event involving partners) were not part of the Storm Cup due to their unique variations, but they were important parts of the Xtra Frame program.

As a group, all of the XF Tour events all offered at least $10,000 in first prize money and collectively, they provided a grand total of $750,000 in prize money to PBA Tour players that otherwise may not have existed.

The Xtra Frame Tour also created an opportunity for a special points competition – the PBA Xtra Frame Storm Cup – which led to $50,000 in bonus prize money including a $20,000 prize to points champion EJ Tackett.

Pictured above, from left: PBA CEO-Commissioner Tom Clark, Storm Products president Dave Symes and EJ Tackett.

Jason Belmonte moves into elite territory with 15th career title

By winning his 15th PBA Tour title in the PBA International-World Bowling Tour Storm Lucky Larsen Masters Sunday in Malmö, Sweden, Australia’s Jason Belmonte (above) has moved into a higher tier among PBA’s elite.

With 15 titles, Belmonte is now tied with Steve Cook for 23rd place on the all-time titles list. Next on the list is Jason Couch with 16, Carmen Salvino with 17 and a logjam of bowlers with 18 career titles, including Chris Barnes, Nelson Burton Jr., Dave Davis, Billy Hardwick, Tommy Jones and Dave Soutar, all of whom are tied for 15th place on the all-time list.

Among active PBA players, Belmonte is eighth behind Walter Ray Williams Jr. (47), Norm Duke (38), Pete Weber (37), Parker Bohn III (35), Amleto Monacelli (20), Chris Barnes and Tommy Jones (18 each).

PBA’s newest champion joins Big Brothers Big Sisters “Big Champions” program

PBA rookie Matt Sanders (above center, with Rebecca Hardwick and tournament organizer Gary Beck), a 23-year-old two-time All-American at Marian University-Indiana and the PBA Tour’s newest first-time title winner, will become the first PBA member to join Big Brothers Big Sisters’ “Big Champions” program on Friday.

Sanders, who won the PBA Xtra Frame Billy Hardwick Memorial Open plastic ball title in Memphis in late June, will become a “celebrity ambassador” for the nationally-famous youth organization that provides mentoring for young people in need of adult guidance.

Sanders, the first PBA member to sign on as a Big Champion, will join a group including actor Jamie Foxx, Pittsburgh Steelers star Antonio Brown, singer/songwriters Letoya Luckett and Eric Hutchinson, and actor and former Little Brother Ryan Potter, among others, who will work to create awareness for the organization as well as assisting in fundraising and recruitment.

Sanders noted he will specifically try to assist Big Brothers Big Sisters with its Bowl for Kids’ Sake program. For more information about the Big Champions project, click here.

Xtra Frame features Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship

Xtra Frame, PBA’s exclusive online video streaming service, will focus on coverage of the Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship over the Labor Day weekend. Xtra Frame will cover the preliminary best-of-five-game elimination matches of PWBA’s end-of-season tournament Monday and Tuesday from Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Va.

Xtra Frame’s coverage will begin on Labor Day at noon (EDT) with matches featuring Maria Jose Rodriquez vs. Missy Parkin, and Shannon O’Keefe vs. Birgit Pöppler. At 3 p.m., Shannon Pluhowsky will meet Sin Li Jane, and Rocio Restrepo will bowl Stefanie Johnson.

Monday’s coverage concludes at 6 p.m. with Clara Guerrero vs. Siti Rahman and Daria Pajak vs. Verity Crowley.

Tuesday’s schedule includes Danielle McEwan vs. the Rodriguez-Parkin winner in match 7 and the O’Keefe-Poppler winner vs. the Pluhowsky-Sin winner in match 8 at noon followed by the Restrepo-Johnson winner meeting the Guerrero-Rahman winner in match 9, and the Pajak-Crawler winner facing Diana Zavjalova in match 10 at 3 p.m.

The quarterfinal round at 6 p.m. will feature the match 7 and 8 winners and the match 9 and 10 winners.

The two survivors will advance to the live CBS Sports Network finals on Wednesday at 8 p.m. EDT where they’ll join semifinalists Liz Johnson and Kelly Kulick for showdown matches leading into the championship match.

Also making its Xtra Frame debut this week is an Xtra Frame Player Perspective feature in which England’s Dom Barrett discusses his emotional 2013 PBA World Championship victory over America’s Sean Rash at the South Point Exhibition Hall in Las Vegas.

For subscription and schedule information click here.

PBA Regional Update: Tony Reyes Memorial Doubles set for Labor Day weekend

Kicking off the September PBA Regional schedule will be the PBA60 Wilson & Sons Super Senior Open presented by the Mooresville Convention and Visitors Bureau Saturday and Sunday at George Pappas’ Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C., followed immediately by the PBA50 Samuel Adams South Open.

The Labor Day weekend calendar of PBA Regional action also includes the PBA50 Strike Zone Open presented by Track in Pottsville, Pa.; the Tony Reyes Memorial Member/Non-Member Doubles at Fourth Street Bowl in San Jose, Calif.; the Illinois Valley Midwest Open at IV Super Bowl in Peru, Ill., and the DHC Japan PBA Doubles Open, Japan Cheetah Masters and Japan Cheetah Queens at Nagoya Grand Bowl in Nagoya, Japan.

For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, click here to find the event(s) in your area.

Quick Notes

The PBA has advised that fewer than 80 spots remain available to members wanting to enter the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX in Reno, Nov. 7-19.

Players must confirm a lodging reservation at one of presenting sponsor Eldorado Reno Properties’ facilities (Silver Legacy, Eldorado or Circus Circus) at the time of entry. To enter online, PBA members can use this link by clicking here.

The United States Bowling Congress has announced the 2018 USBC Masters, a major on the PBA Tour schedule, will be held at the Oncenter Convention Center in Syracuse, N.Y., April 8-15. It will be the first time the Masters has been a part of the USBC Open Championship since 2011. Jason Belmonte is the defending champion.

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2016 PBA Spare Shots

Herbert Bickel

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