When the stars of the Professional Bowlers Association get together at 10pin bowling lounge on the north side of Chicago’s loop over the extended Memorial Day weekend, it’s going to be a contest of youthful enthusiasm vs. wily veterans, ladies against gentleman, international stars vs. America’s best, and – most of all – a battle pitting nine bowling ball manufacturers against each other.
The sixth annual PBA Summer Shootout, a made-for-TV event, will include a pro-am event Sunday at 7 p.m. for Chicago area league bowlers, a live announcement of the 2011-12 PBA Player of the Year Monday at noon ET on PBA’s Xtra Frame, and it will conclude with two days of head-to-head competition among the stars of the PBA to produce 15 half-hour telecasts for broadcast on ESPN starting July 7.
The PBA Summer Shootout competition schedule includes eight Eliminator Rounds Monday, starting at noon CT. On Tuesday, the final two Eliminator Rounds get started at 1 p.m., followed by the Eliminator Doubles Shootout and four Baker Doubles stepladder finals matches.
All sessions of the Summer Shootout are open to the public at no cost.
The Summer Shootout rosters will feature the three finalists in the 2011-12 PBA Player of the Year race, including Chicagoland resident Sean Rash of Montgomery along with Australia’s Jason Belmonte and Mike Fagan of Dallas. All three will represent different bowling ball companies when competition gets underway following the Player of the Year announcement Monday.
Storm brings Hall of Famer experience (36-time PBA titlist Pete Weber) with a lot of international flavor (two-handed stars Belmonte and Osku Palermaa of Finland).
Roto Grip combines the experience of former Player of the Year Wes Malott with veteran Brian Kretzer and one of the most successful women bowlers of all-time, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard.
The most experienced team in the field will be Ebonite’s Tommy Jones and newly-inducted PBA Hall of Famer Jason Couch, who own a combined 29 PBA Tour titles. Couch has 16, Jones has 13.
Brunswick features a trio of rising stars: Rash, a five-time titlist and Player of the Year contender, left-hander Ryan Ciminelli and former Junior Team USA member Chris Loschetter.
900 Global will field a team featuring PBA Hall of Famer and 25-time titlist Brian Voss, record-setting women’s star Missy Parkin and power player Robert (Maximum Bob) Smith, a seven-time Tour winner.
DV8 will be represented by two-time Tour winner Mike Machuga and a pair of promising young players, Ronnie Russell and two-handed competitor Brian Valenta, another former Junior Team USA member who lives in the Joliet area.
Track will pair two-time PBA Player of the Year Mika Koivuniemi, a 10-time title winner, with Fagan, a current Player of the Year finalist.
Columbia 300’s roster features former Player of the Year Chris Barnes, a 13-time champion, with Canadian Dan MacLelland, a three-time Collegiate All-American. Hammer rounds out of the field with four-time title winner Mike Wolfe and three-time PBA champ Bill O’Neill.
The weekend activities get underway with the live Xtra Frame announcement of the 2011-12 PBA Player of the Year voting results at noon Eastern Monday. Finalists are Belmonte, Fagan and Rash. Xtra Frame is available on a one-month or annual subscription basis. To sign, up, click here.
In a series of nine Eliminator Round, there will be three matches involving one player representing each of three teams. Each player will throw one shot, with the low score eliminated until a winner is decided. The three match winners will bowl a fourth match to decide the winner of the round. Points will be awarded to each respective team based upon how they finish.
The 10th Eliminator Round will match teams based on their points rankings. The top four teams will advance to Tuesday’s Baker Doubles stepladder finals. Teams finishing fifth through ninth will meet in an “Eliminator Doubles Shootout” to compete for the fifth spot in the stepladder finals).
The final four half-hour shows Tuesday will feature Baker format matches where one member of each team will bowl five frames per game, starting with a match between the No. 5 and No. 4 teams. The winner of each subsequent match advances up the stepladder to eventually meet Team No. 1 for the title and the $45,000 first prize.
For pro-am entry information, visit pba.com and look for the PBA Summer Shootout logo.
The preliminary Shootout telecast schedule begins on ESPN Saturday, July 7 and continues Saturday and Sunday, July 14 and 15. ESPN2 will carry re-airs of Shootout telecasts on Sunday, July 8, Saturday, July 21, Saturday, July 28, Saturday, Aug. 4, and Sunday, Aug. 5. Telecast times will be announced at a later date.