Changes in store as PBA League prepares for second season


    2014 PBA League

    Revamped team lineups, new managers, new competition format, MVP award on tap for 2014

    2012PBALeagueLogo.jpg 2013PBACommissionerTomClark.jpgWhen team owner Billie Jean King raised the Elias Cup over her head with the help of her victorious New York City WTT KingPins presented by GEICO bowlers last April on ESPN, the first season of the Professional Bowlers Association League was complete – and work on improving the groundbreaking team concept began.

    The second season of the PBA League, set to begin January 1, 2014 in Allen Park, Mich., will include a variety of enhancements, including revamped team lineups, the addition of team managers, new competition formats, and a special new Mark Roth PBA League MVP Award, PBA Commissioner Tom Clark (pictured right) announced on Friday.

    "The PBA League, in its inaugural season, achieved every goal we could have hoped for," Clark said, "and it has provided us with a solid foundation to build the PBA League into the kind of dynamic, exciting new aspect of the PBA we envisioned. Some of the new concepts will be unveiled as we enter our second year of PBA League competition."

    Among the changes for the 2014 PBA League season:

    The eight original teams and owners will be back, and each team's franchise players will be retained. A new manager will be added to each team who will have responsibilities for acquiring players, negotiating trades and determining lineups for competition, among other duties:

    • BROOKLYN STyLES (owner Jesse Williams, Grey's Anatomy actor; manager Johnny Petraglia, PBA Hall of Famer; franchise player Sean Rash)
    • Dallas Strikers (owner Terrell Owens, NFL All-Pro wide receiver; franchise player/manager Norm Duke)
    • L.A. X (owner Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers all-star point guard; manager Andrew Cain, PBA member and United States Bowling Congress President; franchise player Jason Belmonte)
    • Motown Muscle (owner Jerome Bettis, retired Pittsburgh Steelers fullback and Super Bowl star; manager Del Ballard Jr., PBA Hall of Famer; franchise player Mike Fagan)
    • New York City WTT KingPins (owner Billie Jean King, women's sports icon; manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, women's bowling hall of famer; franchise player Pete Weber)
    • Philadelphia Hitmen (owner Kevin Hart, actor/comedian; manager Jason Couch, PBA Hall of Famer; franchise player Bill O'Neill)
    • Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits (owner LaMarr Woodley, Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro linebacker; manager Tim Mack, international bowling champion and coach; franchise player Osku Palermaa)
    • Silver Lake (Ca.) Atom Splitters (owner Chris Hardwick, Internet entrepreneur/comedian; manager Mark Baker, four-time PBA Tour titlist and renowned bowling instructor; franchise player Chris Barnes)

    Each PBA League team will have a five-player roster. Teams will have the right to re-sign up to three players from their 2013 rosters between Aug. 1 and Aug. 31.

    • Players who are not re-signed by Aug. 31 will become free agents. If the free agents do not sign with another team by Oct. 1 (maximum number of players signed through the free agency period is four including the franchise player), free agents will enter the 2014 player draft along with any player from the top 50 players based upon the 2012-13 PBA competition points list not on a team.
    • Players who are eligible for the draft will have until Nov. 3 to declare themselves for the draft.
    • The 2014 PBA League player draft will be held on Nov. 4, at the completion of the PBA World Series of Bowling V in Las Vegas.
    • Draft order will be in reverse order to how teams finished in the 2013 PBA League points competition (No. 8 Pittsburgh will draft first followed by Philadelphia, Silver Lake, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Dallas, Motown and New York City).
    • Trades will be allowed, subject to the PBA Commissioner's approval, up to Nov. 17. Allowances also will be made for players who are injured and unable to participate.
    • Teams have a base payment cap they must work within to build their squad.

    201213PBALEliasCupNYCKingPins2.jpg"There will be a few changes to the program next season, but one thing that won't change is the outcome," said Pete Weber (center with his team mates and owner Billie Jean King, left), the PBA Hall of Famer who led the New York City WTT KingPins to the inaugural Elias Cup title. "I had the best team last year, and I'll have the best team next season, too.

    "The PBA League was great fun, a great experience," he added. "I'm really looking forward to defending our title in 2014."

    PBA League competition in 2014 will feature head-to-head team competition featuring four singles matches, two alternate-ball doubles matches, a Baker trios match and a four-player Baker team match. In the round-robin team competition, every team will bowl each of the other teams.
    • All preliminary round matches will take place Jan. 1-7 at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich.
    • Teams will earn points for each match to secure positions for the PBA League Playoffs which will be conducted as part of USBC Masters week, Feb. 22-23, at Brunswick Zone Carolier in North Brunswick, N.J.
    • The Elias Cup finals will follow the live ESPN-televised finals of the PBA Tournament of Champions at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis on Sunday, April 6, and will air on Sunday, April 13.

    PBA League television coverage on ESPN will feature selected matches to-be-determined during the singles/doubles/trios/team rounds. The first round airs live on ESPN, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. The PBA's Xtra Frame online streaming video service will provide full coverage of all matches.

    All players selected to participate in the 2014 PBA League will receive prize fund compensation based upon their position (1-5) on the team ($600,000 total in base pay) in addition to competing for shares of $300,000 in prize money.

    The winning team will earn a total of $130,000, the runner-up will earn $80,000, the third-place team $50,000 and the fourth-place team $40,000.

    The player who accumulates the most points during the PBA League season will be awarded the Mark Roth PBA League Most Valuable Player Award, named after the revolutionary PBA Hall of Famer.

    Looking ahead to the 2015 season, the PBA League may retain the same eight team names and owners or expand. The term "franchise player" will be eliminated; team members will be designated as 1-5 based upon their position in the draft.

    All teams will re-draft their entire rosters from a pool of 50 players that will be based on a rolling point system beginning with the 2013 World Series V and continuing through the 2014 Summer Swing. Any rostered PBA League player from 2014 who doesn't make the top 50 also will be included in the draft pool.

    Complete 2014 PBA League rules, base pay team cap information, 2013 team rosters, schedule and television details can be found here.

    "During the offseason, fans will be able to strategize along with the team managers in how they would construct a team," Clark said. "As players are secured with clubs or picked up through free agency, that news will be made public."


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    2014 PBA League Schedule

    Each qualifying round team match will include four singles, two alternate-ball doubles, one Baker trios, one four-player Baker team matches and total pins plus bonus pins for wins.

    New York City WTT KingPins vs. Motown Muscle
    BROOKLYN STyLES vs. Dallas Strikers
    L.A. X vs. Silver Lake Atom Splitters
    Philadelphia Hitmen vs. Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits

    Silver Lake Atom Splitters vs. Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits
    L.A. X vs. Philadelphia Hitmen
    Motown Muscle vs. Dallas Strikers
    New York City WTT KingPins vs. BROOKLYN STyLES

    L.A. X vs. Dallas Strikers
    New York City WTT KingPins vs. Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits
    Philadelphia Hitmen vs. BROOKLYN STyLES
    Motown Muscle vs. Silver Lake Atom Splitters

    BROOKLYN STyLES vs. Silver Lake Atom Splitters
    Philadelphia Hitmen vs. Motown Muscle
    New York City WTT KingPins vs. L.A. X
    Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits vs. Dallas Strikers

    Philadelphia Hitmen vs. New York City WTT KingPins
    Dallas Strikers vs. Silver Lake Atom Splitters
    BROOKLYN STyLES vs. Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits
    L.A. X vs. Motown Muscle

    Motown Muscle vs. BROOKLYN STyLES
    Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits vs. L.A. X
    Dallas Strikers vs. New York City WTT KingPins
    Silver Lake Atom Splitters vs. Philadelphia Hitmen

    Dallas Strikers vs. Philadelphia Hitmen
    Silver Lake Atom Splitters vs. New York City WTT KingPins
    Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits vs. Motown Muscle

    POSITION ROUND (Feb. 22, North Brunswick, N.J.)
    Match One: #7 vs. #8
    Match Two: #5 vs. #6
    Match Three: #3 vs. #4
    Match Four: #1 vs. #2

    PBA LEAGUE PLAYOFFS (Feb. 23, North Brunswick, N.J.)
    Match One: #7 Seed vs. #6
    Match Two: Winner Match One vs. #5
    Match Three: Winner Match Two vs. #4

    ELIAS CUP FINALS (April 6, Indianapolis)
    Match One: Winner of Match Three vs. #3
    Semifinal Match: Winner of Match One vs. #2
    Championship: Winner of Semifinal Match vs. #1.