In a July 6 Facebook post, eight-time PBA Tour champion Ryan Ciminelli announced his retirement from full-time pro bowling, explaining in part that, "I’m heartbroken that I don’t feel like I can continue in this profession," but that, "I feel I’ve exhausted all the possibilities to extend my full time career."
Among Ciminelli's eight titles was a major, the U.S. Open, in 2015. The powerful southpaw, who also amassed 13 PBA Regional titles, burst onto the national scene in 2009 when he advanced out of the PTQ to make two shows in the inaugural World Series of Bowling at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich., ultimately finishing runner-up in both the Cheetah Championship and the Chameleon Championship. Later that season, he put in a third-place showing in the USBC Masters.
He seized his first career PBA Tour title in the 2011 One A Day Earl Anthony Memorial Classic and, little more than a month later, made the show at the Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship, finishing third. His second title came in 2013, when he defeated Dom Barrett in the title match of the PBA Chameleon Championship, 258-203, while finishing runner-up in the Viper Championship during that year's WSOB.
Ciminelli's peak season of 2015 included, in addition to his U.S. Open victory, wins in the PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open and that season's Viper Championship to complete a three-title season. The U.S. Open was not his only strong showing in a major in 2015, as he also finished third in the 2015 PBA World Championship and bagged a career-high $129,460 in season earnings.
Further titles followed in the PBA Maine Shootout and the PBA Xtra Frame Parkside Lanes Open, both in 2016. He won his most recent title last year, winning the Gene Carter's Pro Shop Classic immediately upon his return from a suspension resulting from comments made during an episode of the Sweep the Rack podcast.
Ciminelli also made news in the bowling-ball contract world when, with three months yet to go in his deal as a DV8 staffer with Brunswick in June 2017, he opted to leave for MOTIV. In the July 2017 edition of "Chat Room" in that month's Bowlers Journal International, Ciminelli said of the matter that, "I need to look out for my wife and I and the family we’re getting ready to start. More money is more money. Who says ‘No’ to more money to do the same thing? There are not many people in this world who would go, ‘Nah. I’m good with what I’ve got. I don’t need any more.’"
While Ciminelli explained in his retirement announcement that he had accepted a job in "construction management as a commercial masonry project manager," he also added that his new gig affords him the opportunity to "pick and choose some events I’d still like to bowl ... Hopefully I’m not done winning on tour. I’ll just have less opportunity to do so and that’s okay!"
Here is Ciminelli's full retirement announcement:
"To all my fans, friends and family:
The time has come in my family's journey for me to retire as a full time professional. This comes with a heavy heart as I have put my heart and soul into this game for 30 years. To be honest I’m not sure exactly how I feel. I’m heartbroken that I don’t feel like I can continue in this profession. I’m glad because being a pro bowler is MUCH more stressful than many think and I’ll be happy that the curiosity of where my next check is coming from is over. I guess I feel I’ve exhausted all the possibilities to extend my full time career. I’ll take so many things away from this career path... the friends I’ve made, the cool people I got to meet, the accomplishments I was fortunate to gather, the memories of the travel, the high pressure moments, the successes, the failures and all the beautiful places I’ve seen. I have been offered a position in my other passion of construction management as a commercial masonry project manager. I’m very excited to explore this new road with a very cool, talented, family owned business called Exterior Expressions that has bases in Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas. Having said all that, I will have some vacation time immediately so I will get to pick and choose some events I’d still like to bowl and can keep commitments to my teammates in the League, the Luci and Columbus HP events to name a few. Hopefully I’m not done winning on tour... I’ll just have less opportunity to do so and that’s okay! The people closest to me.... you know the rest. Love y’all