In its seventh generation, the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling continues to provide an unprecedented showcase for bowling around the world. The international impact on the 2015 WSOB is noted by the distribution of players throughout the animal pattern rounds. Here’s a summary of the top 24 players for each of the animal pattern championships, as well as the Rolltech PBA World Championship leader board. In addition to the U.S., players represented in each animal pattern event include:
PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game: Australia, England, Venezuela, Sweden, Canada. Other cashers: Finland.
GoBowling.com Viper Championship presented by Xtra Frame: England, Canada, Sweden, Japan, Finland, Thailand. Other cashers: Denmark, Germany, Bermuda.
PBA Chameleon Championship presented by HotelPlanner.com: Sweden, Denmark, England, Germany, Canada, Thailand, Colombia. Other cashers: Finland.
PBA Scorpion Championship presented by Reno-Tahoe USA: Japan, Sweden, England, Australia. Other cashers: Colombia.
Rolltech PBA World Championship: England, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Australia. Other top 61 cashers: Colombia, Finland, Germany, Thailand, Venezuela.
SPEAKING OF ANIMAL PATTERNS…
The PBA also has been tracking the scoring pace on every pair of lanes in use in the National Bowling Stadium. Here’s a quick summary of PBA’s data, which only considers the players who bowled on those lanes in the respective rounds – not the entire field:
Cheetah Championship: The highest-scoring pair of lanes during the Cheetah round was 61-62, where all players who bowled on that pair averaged 220.64. The lowest-scoring pair in the Cheetah round was 67-68, with a 206.31 composite average. Lanes 25-26, which will be used for the ESPN television finals scored at a 215.99 pace.
Viper Championship: The highest-scoring pair was 57-58 with a 208.69 average. The lowest-scoring pair was 47-48 with a 187.74 average. The TV pair scoring average was 196.14.
Chameleon Championship: The highest-scoring pair was 11-12 with a 213.24 average. The lowest-scoring pair was 5-6 with a 199.29 average. The TV pair scored at a 207.90 pace.
Scorpion Championship: The highest-scoring pair was 7-8 with a 215.06 average. The lowest-scoring pair was 49-50 with a 190.94 average. The TV pair scored at a 205.66 pace.
World Championship (combined 36 games, all four animal patterns): The highest-scoring pair overall for the four animal patterns was 19-20 with a 210.41 average. The lowest-scoring pair was 47-48 with a 200.34 average. The TV pair scored at a 205.6 pace.
BILL O’NEILL GETS FIRST-HAND LOOK AT ASIAN “HELICOPTER” TECHNIQUE
Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., has pretty much seen it all as a four-time collegiate All-American, seven-time PBA Tour titlist and seven-term member of Team USA. But during the GEICO WSOB VII in Reno this week, he’s getting a first-hand look at the Asian “helicopter” or “spinner” bowling technique for the first time.
O’Neill, 34, has been bowling the Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion “animal pattern” events along with Aaron Lorincz of Belleville, Mich.; Mark Fennell of Seattle and China’s “helicopter” player, Jianchao Du.
The spinner technique involves use of a lightweight ball (12 pounds in Du’s case, often even lighter), a down-the-center ball path and a unique flick-of-the-wrist release that causes the ball to travel with a very tight spin. The result is a slight “backup” or reverse-hook arc with the ball hitting the 1-3 pocket and deflecting to the right, taking out the 6 and 10 pins while throwing the 1-3-6-10 pin row into the remainder of the rack of pins.
Veteran PBA observers were hard-pressed to recall ever seeing a “helicopter” player in PBA competition before, although a number of the Asian stylists have bowled in FIQ/World Bowling competition for years.
“It’s really interesting,” O’Neill said of Du’s technique. “He rarely misses the headpin. It’s an effective technique when lane conditions are really difficult because the players who are really good at it can shoot 215 all day long. But they rarely shoot big games.”
Du, one of seven Chinese bowlers competing in Reno, finished 131st on the Cheetah pattern (213.89 average), 131st on the Viper pattern (197), tied for 143rd on the Chameleon pattern (203.44), 92nd on the Scorpion pattern (209.22 average) and (205.89 average) for his 36-game World Championship qualifying total.
ON DECK: ROLLTECH PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH PLAY
Next up on the WSOB VII schedule at Reno’s National Bowling Stadium are the final two rounds of Rolltech PBA World Championship match play Sunday at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT. The match play and finals of the PBA Tri-Regional Open will begin at 9 a.m.
Monday’s schedule includes best-of-five-game single elimination match play. The PBA Cheetah Championship Round of 24 begins at 10 a.m. and the Round of 16 follows at 1 p.m. The Viper Championship Round of 24 begins at 4:30 p.m. and the Round of 16 follows at 4:30 p.m.
Bowling fans around the world can follow all of the action by watching Xtra Frame’s exclusive live online coverage by PBA Hall of Famer Marshall Holman (beginning Sunday evening) and Xtra Frame’s broadcast team including Mike J. Laneside (Mike Jakubowski), Jef Goodger, Phil Brylow, Tim Burgand Ron Hickland.
Additional WSOB coverage is being provided throughout the PBA Network on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages, both by the PBA and a number of players and industry representatives who are in Reno for the greatest show in bowling.
To subscribe to Xtra Frame, visit pba.com. One-month subscriptions are offered for $7.99 and a full-year XF Season Ticket subscription is only $64.99.
Bowling fans in Reno are invited to attend all sessions of the World Series, except for the ESPN-televised finals, at no cost. Tickets for the live ESPN finals of the Rolltech PBA World Championship at 4 p.m. local time on Thursday, Dec. 17; for the finals of the Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion Championships on Friday, Dec. 18, and for the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship and PBA Challenge finals on Saturday, Dec. 19, will be available at the door or in advance by ordering on pba.com.