PBA World Series of Bowling (updated 9/10/09) Print

Scheduling, tournament format, field sizes and prize money for this summer’s new Professional Bowlers Association World Series of Bowling in Detroit has been confirmed.

The inaugural event, which begins Aug. 2 and runs through Sept. 7, 2009, promises to be a revolutionary festival of competitive bowling boasting a $2 million prize fund and seven ESPN telecasts. The schedule is available at a new dedicated website, www.pbaworldseriesofbowling.com.

For additional details of this historic event click here.

Other related articles:

Read what Matt Fiorito of the Detroit FreePress has to say here. And here.


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Questions and Answers (Q&A)

SEATTLE, Wash. (July 23, 2009)–PBA Vice President and Tour Director Kirk von Krueger is a former PBA Tour player and has served as the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour Director since 1996. Kirk returns to his Tournament Director duties for the PBA World Series of Bowling and answers some frequently asked questions regarding the bowling extravaganza.


Q. What are the dates for WSOB events and where are they conducted?

A. The PBA World Series of Bowling will take place in two locations between Aug. 2 and Sept. 6. PBA will be at Taylor Lanes in Taylor, Mich. from Aug. 2 – 6 for the Motor City Open. The remainder of the events will be conducted at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park beginning Aug. 8.  The WSOB consists of seven Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour events (including the PBA World Championship), the first five of seven PBA Women’s Series presented by BOWL.COM events (including the PBA Women’s World Championship) and the PBA Senior World Championship.

The basic schedule looks like this:

Aug. 2-6 - Motor City Open, Taylor Lanes, Taylor, Mich.

Aug. 8-13 - PBA Cheetah Championship, Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich.

Aug. 14-16 - PBA Viper Championship and PBA Women’s Series Viper Championship, Thunderbowl Lanes

Aug. 18-20 - PBA Chameleon Championship and PBA Women’s Series Chameleon Championship, Thunderbowl Lanes

Aug. 23-25 - PBA Viper Championship and PBA Women’s Series Viper Championship, Thunderbowl Lanes

Aug. 27-29 - PBA Shark Championship and PBA Women’s Series Shark Championship, Thunderbowl Lanes

Aug. 30-Sept. 4 - PBA World Championship, PBA Women’s World Championship and PBA Senior World Championship, Thunderbowl Lanes

Sept. 5-6 - ESPN taping of final rounds for all events except the PBA Cheetah Championship and the PBA World Championship will take place in Thunderbowl’s arena. The televised finals for the PBA World Championship will be telecast live from Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kan., on ESPN at 1 p.m. Eastern Dec. 13.

A detailed schedule which also features sweepers and side events can be found by visiting http://www.pba.com/worldseries/schedule2.html


Q. Who is eligible to compete in WSOB events?

A. All events are open to professionals as well as amateurs. Amateurs may enter directly into the open event fields (Motor City Open, PBA World Championship, PBA Women’s World Championship and PBA Senior World Championship). Amateurs can also enter Lumber Liquidators PBA Exempt Tour events but must qualify through Tour Qualifying Rounds. Under a new rule for 2009-10, all amateurs who finish among the top 10 in TQRs will advance to the field of 72.

If an amateur makes the field in a PBA Exempt Tour event and cashes, he/she will be required to become a PBA member to compete in future exempt events. However, an amateur who cashes in a TQR but does not advance to the field of 72 is not required to become a PBA member.

Also, keep in mind that women are eligible to enter any PBA Tour event to bowl against the men if they choose to do so. Obviously, male bowlers are not allowed to enter PBA Women’s Series events.


Q. Who makes up a Lumber Liquidators PBA Exempt Tour field?

A. Exempt Tour events during the WSOB will feature expanded fields of 72 players (standard Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour events during the rest of the season feature 64 players with five players coming through Tour Qualifying Rounds). PBA Women’s Series events will consist of 18 exempt players (up from 16 last season) with at least two additional players making the field through TQRs.

WSOB exempt events will consist of 41 players from the 2008-09 PBA Tour points list, eight players from the PBA Tour Trials, seven players from PBA Regional Players Invitational, three international player exemptions, one Golden Parachute qualifier, one player returning from a medical deferment in 2008-09, the 2008-09 TQR points list leader and 10 players (including one amateur) advance from TQRs. If any of the exempt players can’t bowl, his spot will be added to the TQR for that particular tournament.

WSOB Women’s Series presented by BOWL.COM events consist of 12 players from U.S. Women’s Tour Trials, six champions from 2008 and at least two players qualifying through TQRs. If an exempt woman can’t bowl, her spot will be added to the TQR.


Q. What is the entry fee for WSOB events?

A. For PBA members, the open field event entry fee is $500 (Motor City Open, PBA World Championship, PBA Women’s and Senior World Championship): Non-member open field entry is $600.

Lumber Liquidator PBA Tour and PBA Women Series presented by BOWL.COM TQR entry fees for the TQRs are $300 for PBA members if paid in advance, or $325 if paid on the day of the TQR. The non-member (amateur) entry fee is $325 in advance or $350 if paid on the day of the TQR.

It is strongly recommended that members and non-members enter by visiting http://www.pba.com/worldseries/tournamententries.html. PBA members also may use the special entry hotline, (206) 654-6025. Onsite entries must be paid to the Tournament Director.


Q. What is the size of the fields for the open events? 

A. Capacity for the Motor City Open is 196. For the PBA World Championship it is 200 entries and PBA Senior World Championship, the maximum is 140. The maximum for the PBA Women’s World Championship is 100.


Q. What is the prize fund for Lumber Liquidators PBA Exempt Tour events? 

A. Each will pay a $192,600 total purse with a $25,000 first prize. PBA Women’s Series presented by BOWL.COM events will pay a $50,800 total purse with a $10,000 first prize.


Q. What is the prize fund for open events? 

A. Prize funds vary depending on the event. For example, the Motor City Open prize fund payout ratio will be 1 in 3 based on the number of entries with a guaranteed first prize of $25,000 and last to cash of $1,400. For the PBA World Championship the prize fund payout ratio is 1 in 4 with a minimum of 53 checks based on 160 entries. A 54th place check would be paid when entries reach 216. First place pays $50,000; last to cash $1,400. For the PBA Senior World Championship, the prize fund payout ratio is 1 in 3 based on the number of entries; first place will be $15,000, last cash $1,000 with an additional 10 Super Senior checks (ages 60 and over out of the regular prize list) that pay $700 each.  The Women’s World Championship also sports a $15,000 first prize with a payout ratio of 1 in 3 based on entries; first place will be $15,000 and last cash $1,100.


Q. I heard there will be side events and sweepers as well?

A. For those who just can’t get enough there will be eight side events and sweepers, all scheduled for the bowler’s convenience. Entries for those will be taken onsite. Three special side tournaments with a $250 entry fee are restricted to amateurs and non-exempt PBA members. Five sweepers with entry fees of $100 and $80 are open to all players, exempt or not. Check out www.pbaworldseriesofbowling.com for side event schedule. The prize fund payout ratio for sweepers is 1 in 5.

All side action entry fees go directly into the prize fund; no lineage or administrative fees will be deducted. In order to participate in any side event, a bowler must enter at least one of the main tournaments or any of the TQRs. Each of the five sweepers will be contested on a different PBA lane pattern: Earl Anthony, Tournament of Champions, U.S. Open, Dick Weber and Shark.


Q. What is the PBA World Championship format?

A. It is open to exempt and non-exempt professionals as well as amateurs. It will consist of 18 qualifying games on three different lane patterns followed by a six-game semifinal round. The top 40 will advance to best-seven-game, single-elimination match. The top eight will earn first and second-round byes, advancing directly to the Round of Super 16. The four survivors will advance to the live ESPN final on Dec. 13 in Wichita, Kan.


Q. What is the format for the PBA Women’s and PBA Senior World Championships?

A. Both are open to exempt and non-exempt professionals as well as amateurs. Each will consists of 18 qualifying games followed by a six-game semifinal round with the top 20 advancing to best-of-seven-game, single-elimination match play. The top four in each division earn first and second round byes advancing directly to the Round of Super 8. The two surviving senior players and two surviving women will advance to the finals Sept. 5 at Thunderbowl Lanes.


Q. What is the format for the five WSOB PBA Exempt Tour events?

A. The Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon, Scorpion and Shark Championships will consist of 14 qualifying games leading to a cut to the top 28 for best-of-seven-game, single-elimination match play. The top four will earn byes to the Round of 16. Elimination matches will continue until four remain for the finals, except for the Cheetah Championship. The Cheetah Championship will continue with best-of-seven matches all the way to its conclusion.


Q. What is the format for WSOB PBA Women’s Series presented by BOWL.COM Exempt Tour events?  

A. The Women’s Viper, Chameleon, Scorpion and Shark Championships will consist of 14 qualifying games leading to a cut to the top eight for best-of-seven-game, single-elimination match play. The top eight will bowl matches until two remain for the finals. There will not be a Women’s Cheetah Championship.


Q. What lane conditions will be used for WSOB events? 

A. PBA World Championship events will be conducted on a PBA World Championship pattern. The Motor City Open will be conducted on last season’s Shark pattern. The other WSOB events will be conducted on the PBA lane conditions that each is named after: Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon, Scorpion and Shark.


Q. If I enter WSOB events, what equipment am I allowed to use?  

A. For a complete list of PBA-approved equipment, visit


Q. Where and how do my friends and family get tickets? 

A. Tickets are available for TQRs, practice days, qualifying rounds, match play rounds and ESPN telecasts. PBA is offering a wide variety of ticket options and packages. They may be purchased by visiting www.pbaworldseriesofbowling.com or onsite at Taylor Lanes and Thunderbowl Lanes.


Q. When will ESPN telecasts of WSOB events air?

A. WSOB taped events air in their usual Sunday 1 p.m. Eastern timeslot on ESPN beginning Oct. 25. WSOB events will essentially make up the first half of the 2009-10 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season.

The second half of the 2009-2010 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season will be more traditional, with live television and stops across the country between January and April, including three major championships – the Tournament of Champions, USBC Masters and U.S. Open. 

As always, you are encouraged to check your local listings.


Q. What’s the best way to follow WSOB action?

A. PBA.com, of course. Bowling fans throughout the world will be able to follow WSOB action through pba.com and its new subscription-based bowling channel feature called Xtra Frame. More than 100 hours of programming is planned that will also feature an ESPN Sports Center-style program called PBA: 39×60.


Q. Are there going to be PBA Pro-Ams?

A. Absolutely. Pro-Ams give bowling fans a unique opportunity to bowl with PBA pros.  They are fun events for all ages and skill levels.


Q. When are the PBA World Series of Bowling Pro-Ams?

A. Taylor Lanes Pro-Ams are on Aug. 2 at 4 and 7 p.m. and on Aug. 3 at 7 p.m.  Thunderbowl Pro-Ams are on Aug. 14 at 3 and 6 p.m. and Aug. 23 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.


Q. How do I enter a Pro-Am?

A. Go to http://www.pba.com/worldseries/tickets.html to enter a Thunderbowl Lanes Pro-Am. Packages start at $65 and include options for enhancements like the latest Brunswick bowling balls at significant discounts. 


The videotaping of six professional bowling tournaments this past Saturday and Sunday at the "Arena Bay" at the 90-lane Thunderbowl Lanes proved to be an entertaining but drawn-out affair. Due to player introduction "do-overs," technical glitches, extended warm-up sessions and concentration-breaking crowd noise, the three 90-minute shows took more than 10 hours of real time each day.

It was worth the wait, however, for the several hundred fans who wanted to be part of a "first" in PBA history -- the culmination of a 35-day stretch at Taylor Lanes and Thunderbowl Lanes where hundreds of professional bowlers on the U.S. men's, women's and senior circuits, along with international stars from 13 foreign countries, competed for more than $2 million in prize money.

The finals of the Senior and Women's World Championships, the Motor City Open and the Viper Championship took place on Saturday while the finals of the Chameleon, Scorpion and Shark Championships took place on Sunday.

The World Series of Bowling saved the PBA an estimated $1 million in production costs by staying in one location for seven tournaments (the Cheetah Championship was completed on Aug. 13 and will be telecast on Nov. 8). Although it wasn't as profitable for Thunderbowl Lanes, the center's owner said it was worth the effort.

"Attendance, while not strong, built as the month went on, and in the end it was worthwhile and our people really liked it," said Tom Strobl, center proprietor. "We'd do it again -- and we'd probably do it better the next time."

A high-ranking PBA official said that he expects the World Series of Bowling to continue next year, but indicated that it may take place in September and that several bowling centers in the host city may be used.

Highlights of the final rounds of the six WSOB tournaments follow. First prize in the Motor City Open and the "animal pattern" tournaments was $25,000 for the men and $10,000 for the women.

World Championships

Hometown favorite Harry Sullins of Chesterfield Township, Mich., defeated Hugh Miller of Mercer Island, Wash., 222-192 for the senior crown, after Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., topped Shannon Pluhowsky of Phoenix 219-204 for the women's title. First place in each event paid $15,000. Fans can watch these matches, along with an entertaining trick shot contest featuring Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla.; Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J.; Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas; Brian Voss of Kennesaw, Ga., and Finland's Osku Palermaa, on Oct. 25.

The finals of the World Championship for the regular tour will be televised live on Dec. 13 from Wichita, Kan. The field includes Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, last season's PBA Player of the Year; Rhino Page of Wesley Chapel, Fla.; Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., and Bill O'Neill of Southhampton, Pa. First place is worth $50,000.

Motor City Open

A five-man field with a combined 103 titles, including 13 majors, put on quite a show for the fans, many of whom came from the Taylor area where the qualifying and match play rounds were contested in early August.

In the end, it was top-seeded Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., who walked away with his PBA-record 46th title by virtue of thrilling 238-230 win over Barnes. Williams Jr. took the lead in the ninth frame when Barnes chopped a spare and claimed the victory when his opponent failed to get a double in the 10th frame.

"I have said I don't know how much longer I'll be out here, but as long as the guys are nice enough to give me one every once in a while, I'll keep at it," said Williams, a PBA member since 1980.

Barnes reached the title match by beating O'Neill, who had climbed the ladder with wins over Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C. (201-169), and Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo. (257-224).

Viper Championship

In a battle of lefty 20-somethings, Page outslugged Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga 268-246 for the Viper title. Ciminelli advanced to the final game with a 238-236 victory over Michael Haugen Jr. of Carefree, Ariz., while Page advanced by downing Steve Jaros of Yorkville, Ill., 221-180.

Despite the loss, Ciminelli had quite a month -- placing second to Duke in the Cheetah Championship and second to Page, and earning $26,000.

"While I'm disappointed (in missing out on his first title to earn a Tour exemption), I had a great month and I was able to sign a four-year contract with my backer," Ciminelli said. "Everything is profit now and things are looking up from here."

In the women's tournament, Cheektowaga's Liz Johnson added to her stellar record with a 211-196 win over Lynda Barnes of Double Oak, Texas. Johnson, who went on to place second in the Scorpion Championship, earned $24,000 for the month.

"I'm very thankful that we (the women) are able to bowl for 10 or more weeks throughout the year," Johnson said. "When we had the women's tour, we sort of took it for granted that it would always be there."

Johnson garnered 11 titles on the former PWBA Tour and has four major championships, including the 2009 USBC Queens in Reno, Nev.

Chameleon Championship

Other than left-hander Pluhowsky's 268 game in a convincing win over Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of Keller, Texas, for the women's title, strikes were few and far between on the 39-foot Chameleon pattern on the TV pair, lanes 9-10.

In the semifinals, O'Neill beat an injured Amleto Monacelli of Venezuela 170-142 and Ronnie Russell of Camby, Ind., beat Sean Rash of Wichita, Kan., 172-170. Monacelli suffered an injury to his right arm during qualifying for the Scorpion event. O'Neill went on to post his first PBA victory by defeating Russell 205-192.

Scorpion Championship

The scoring drought continued on the 41-foot Scorpion pattern. Mike DeVaney of San Diego put together a couple of 180 games to capture his first PBA title since January of 2003. He upended Rash 182-162 before topping Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte 189-170 in the championship match. Belmonte had advanced with a 222-175 win over Smallwood.

The victory couldn't have come at a better time for DeVaney, who said he lived out of his truck for two weeks prior to the videotaping.

"I had to save money after I used all my savings to help my mom stay in her home," DeVaney said. "This is a real blessing since things have been really bad financially for us (wife, child) the past couple years."

Pluhowski became the first bowler to claim two titles in one day by outlasting Johnson 192-177.

Shark Championship

In the WSOB's finale, Jack Jurek of Cheektowaga won his first tournament in more than 14 years in dramatic fashion, edging Michael Fagan of Patchogue in a one-ball rolloff, 10-8, after the two had tied at 218-218. Jurek, one of the most consistent bowlers throughout the month, returned to his pro shop at Transit Lanes in Williamsville with $40,000 added to his bank account.

Fagan had a chance to win in regulation but left the 10-pin after striking on the first two balls in the 10th frame. Jurek had left the door open by getting only seven pins and a spare after striking in the eighth and ninth and on the first ball in the 10th frame.

"I thought it was another one that I let slip away," Jurek said. "Fortunately, this time it turned out in my favor."

In the women's title match, Kulick registered her second title of the weekend, 197-182 over Dorin-Ballard.