Memorable Matches: Duke vs. Hoskins

The championship match of the 1998 Greater Rochester Open came down to Norm Duke, the top seed, and Steve Hoskins, the #2 seed. Hoskins, a powerful cranker, had thrown a lot of strikes in the semi-final match against Tim Criss, shooting 224, and appeared to be locked-in. Hoskins was the defending champion of the event, and he actually bowled a 300 in the same bowling alley on the TV finals of another bowling event that year. So, during the 1998 Greater Rochester Open, whenever Hoskins started a game with a strike, there was electricity in the air with the possibility Hoskins would attain perfection in consecutive years. The crowd was going nuts whenever Hoskins threw the ball, especially so if he struck.

Dressed all in black, Hoskins started the final match with the first 3 strikes in a row and it seemed as though it was going to be his day, Continue reading

Jason Belmonte repeats as Masters champion!

Jason Belmonte became the first player to come from the #5 seed to win the Masters tournament, and is only the third bowler to win back-to-back Masters titles, along with Dick Hoover (1956-57) and Billy Welu (1964-65). Belmonte defeated EJ Tackett 221-177 to defend his Masters title on Sunday. Nearly all of the matches came down to the wire for Belmonte, but the ball was always in his hands.

In the first match, Belmonte got off to a red-hot start against #4 seed Ryan Ciminelli, throwing a swisher 7-pin in the first frame followed by six consecutive strikes. It looked like Ciminelli was done for Continue reading

Spare thoughts: The greatest telecast

Pete Weber, with the “Frantic” in hand, stepped onto the approach and took a deep breath. The 69th U.S. Open title was on the line, but for Weber, a strike would also mean his ninth major title and a record fifth Open title. Weber threw a great shot the frame before, and if the 10-pin had fallen, the title would already have been his. Instead, he picked up the spare (a spare he had missed earlier that day) and was now tasked with needing a strike on this shot to win by one pin. It had been a grueling three games up to this point, and this was it. Weber threw the ball. It looked exactly like the previous shot. Would the 10-pin fall? Yes, it did, and Weber was ecstatic.

There have been many great moments and tournaments in PBA history. Continue reading

Opinion: Bowling needs to be more serious

I was watching the PBA World Series of Bowling: Chameleon Championship this afternoon, and I said to my dad, “You know, I don’t know exactly why, but watching the pro bowling telecasts isn’t exciting to me anymore.”

We talked about why this was the case over dinner, and there were two main issues we came up with. The first one I brought up, and that was the commentating needs to be more informative. For example, a graphic always comes up listing the three bowling balls players brought with them (although I seriously doubt that’s all they have), and next to the ball names is a number, representing the ball’s hook rating. The problem is we don’t know what the difference between a 9.0, a 9.5, and a 10.0 hook rating is. Each one of the bowlers has different bowling balls they are using, yet they all have the same hook ratings, between a 7.5 and a 10. That’s confusing. If I were a person not familiar with the bowling world, I would be wondering Continue reading

Opinion: Blue dye alone is not enough

In an article written by Jeff Richgels of the11thFrame.com, Richgels quoted PBA Commissioner Tom Clark, “Throughout its history, it has been difficult to describe the challenges players face in our sport. How oil is applied to the lane, and how it transitions as competition progresses, is something no one is able to see with the naked eye, and those are critical variables in scoring and player strategy.” The PBA is hoping the blue oil makes the average person be interested in bowling because now that they can see how difficult and different the oil patterns are.

Well, having watched yesterday’s Viper Championship on TV, I believe, currently, the blue oil is not accomplishing the goal the PBA intended for it to achieve. Continue reading