PBA League Draft Set for Halloween in Las Vegas

by Bob Johnson 0

Who will be the first player selected when the PBA conducts its 2015 PBA League Draft on Friday, Oct. 31, during the PBA World Series of Bowling VI?

Reigning Player of the Year Jason Belmonte?

Hall of Famer Pete Weber?

A left-hander?


Budding future star?

A live international audience watching the 3rd annual PBA League draft on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, will be the first to know as eight team managers select all-new team rosters in preparation for the PBA Tour’s first-ever visit to the state of Maine.

Competition will be taped on Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29, at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, for delayed telecast on ESPN.

The PBA League in 2015 will feature the same eight teams it fielded during its first two seasons. However, the only things about the teams that will remain the same are their names and team managers.

After a random draw to determine the draft order, managers will fill their rosters with five players, who will compete in Maine in two days of Baker-format elimination rounds leading to the Elias Cup Finals. The Elias Cup will be decided by points earned in singles, doubles, trios and Baker team matches.

Highlights of the 2015 program include:

Team managers will be Mark Baker (defending Elias Cup champion Silver Lake Atom Splitters), Carolyn Dorin-Ballard (GEICO New York City WTT KingPins), Johnny Petraglia (Brooklyn STyLES), Norm Duke (Dallas Strikers), Tim Mack (Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits), Jason Couch (Philadelphia Hitmen), Andrew Cain (L.A. X) and Del Ballard Jr. (Barbasol Motown Muscle).

Players eligible for the draft are the top 50 in PBA Tour competition points between the 2013 World Series of Bowling V and the 2014 Oklahoma Grand Casino and Resort Summer Swing, plus any player who was on a PBA League roster for 2014, but didn’t qualify based on points.

For the draft, eligible players will be ranked based upon their position on the points list. The first player elected by each team must be taken from the group of players ranking 1-10 on the points list. The second player drafted will come from the group ranked 11-20 in points, plus any undrafted players from group one. The third player drafted will come from those ranked 21-30 in points. The fourth player will come from those ranked 31-40 in points, and the fifth player will come from the players ranked 41-50 and previous team members not among the points leaders.

Players undrafted in each round will be eligible in the following round, expanding the pool of players as each round continues. The draft exception will be Dallas player-manager Norm Duke, who finished 39th on the points list and will draft himself in the fourth round.

The only draft-eligible woman on the list is Colombia native Clara Guerrero, who last year became the third woman in history to bowl in a nationally-televised PBA final round when she qualified for the Cheetah Championship stepladder in WSOB V, eventually finishing fourth.

Draft-eligible players must declare their desire to participate in the PBA League. Players may begin declaring for the draft on October 1. The deadline to declare is October 15.

A random draw will determine the team draft order. The draft will then be conducted in a “serpentine” format whereby Team No. 1 will pick first in the first round and last in the second round, and Team No. 8 will pick last in the first round and first in the second round, etc.

In the 2015 PBA League playoffs, players will compete for a projected $250,000 in prize money.

The three-day visit to Portland will include a day of practice and pro-am activity in which Maine adult, youth and senior league bowlers will have a chance to bowl with the stars of the PBA, followed by two days of Baker-format team competition. The quarterfinal round will include four best-of-two-game Baker team matches, with all five players bowling two frames per game. The four winning teams will advance to the two-game, Baker format semifinal round, which will produce two winners to bowl for the Elias Cup.

The Elias Cup will be decided based upon total pinfall for a singles match (with 10 bonus pins to the winner), alternate-shot doubles match (15 bonus pins), trios match (20 bonus pins) and five-player Baker team match (50 bonus pins).

ESPN will televise the PBA League quarterfinal, semifinal and Elias Cup Finals on four consecutive Sundays — March 29, and April 5, 12 and 19.


PBAL Group One

1, Jason Belmonte, 138,842

2, Dom Barrett, 101,973

3, E.J. Tackett, 71,757

4, Sean Rash, 69,465

5, Wes Malott, 67,665

6, Tom Smallwood, 64,909

7, Pete Weber, 62,824

8, Bill O'Neill, 61,324

9, Chris Barnes, 60,008

10, Ryan Ciminelli, 55,551

PBAL Group Two

11, Tommy Jones, 49,557

12, Mike Fagan, 47,609

13, Ronnie Russell, 40,795

14, Dick Allen, 38,557

15, Mika Koivuniemi, 38,312

16, Chris Loschetter, 37,853

17, Dan MacLelland, 33,955

18, Stuart Williams, 33,396

19, Tom Daugherty, 29,836

20, Josh Blanchard, 28,529

PBAL Group Three

21, Dave Wodka, 27,129

22, Martin Larsen, 26,777

23, Michael Haugen, 26,634

24, Thomas Larsen, 25,653

25, Parker Bohn, 25,579

26, D.J. Archer 25,070

27, Brian Valenta, 24,034

28, Brian Kretzer, 22,806

29, Shawn Maldonado, 22,190

30, Nathan Bohr, 22,054

PBAL Group Four

31, Jake Peters, 21,780

32, Jason Sterner, 21,759

33, Tom Baker, 21,546

34, Ryan Shafer, 21,386

35, Walter Ray Williams Jr., 21,186

36, Lee Vanderhoef, 21,054

37, Scott Norton, 20,717

38. Patrick Allen. 20.600

39, Norm Duke, 20,543

40, John Szczerbinski, 19,444

PBAL Group Five

41, Eugene McCune, 19,387

42, Craig Nidiffer, 18,826

43, Bryon Smith, 18,218

44, Osku Palermaa, 17,076

45, Rhino Page, 16,860

46, Dino Castillo, 16,684

47, Clara Guerrero, 16,262

48, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, 15,726

49, Jesse Buss, 15,168

50, Andres Gomez, 15,067

Draft Eligible (2014 PBAL team member)

53, Michael Machuga, 14,279

57, Mike DeVaney, 13,035

63, Amleto Monacelli, 11,337

77, Mike Scroggins, 9,262

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

BJI Subscribe Now