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Dave Walsh: Winter-spring PBA Tour season returns

Dec. 08, 2012 @ 11:04 PM

One of my favorite television shows returns Sunday. The winter-spring PBA Tour season on ESPN.

The finals of the World Tenpin Bowling Association's Bayer Advanced Aspirin World Bowling Tour men's and women's finals, presented by the PBA, will be on ESPN at 1 p.m. It's the first of 16 telecasts running through April 7.

The next five Sundays will feature GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IV finals, all 90-minute programs airing at 1 p.m. The Alka Seltzer Plus Cold Cheetah Championship airs on Dec. 16, the Viper Championship on Dec. 23, the Chameleon Championship on Dec. 30, the Bowlers Journal Scorpion Championship on Jan. 6, and the PBA World Championship on Jan. 13.

Each ESPN telecast will be preceded by a special pre-game show on PBA's online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, and each will feature a post-game show on Xtra Frame with an interview with the tournament winner. For Xtra Frame subscription information, visit pba.com and look for the Xtra Frame logo.

This will be the PBA's 33rd straight year of TV coverage. Eleven shows will be expanded from 90 minutes to two hours. There will be live coverage of two majors plus the first round of the all-new team competition. Coverage of additional events, including the 70th U.S. Open, will be announced later.

Lon McEachern will be announcer and PBA Hall of Famer Randy Pedersen will be color analyst for all ESPN-PBA telecasts.

PBA coverage will take a two-week break in mid-March during the NCAA basketball tournament.

HUNTINGTON USBC CHAMPIONSHIPS: Entry deadline is Jan. 23 for the fifth Huntington USBC Championships scheduled Jan. 26-27 and Feb. 2-3.

Singles and doubles will be at Colonial Lanes. Shifts are at 1 p.m. on the two Saturdays. Strike Zone will have the team event. Shifts also are at 1 p.m. on the two Sundays. Entry fee is $20 per event and $3 for all-events. Entry forms are available at Strike Zone and Colonial Lanes.

AN INSPIRATION: Way to go George Holscher. On Nov. 26, Holscher rolled a perfect game in league play at Indian River Lanes in Virginia Beach. What makes this special is Holscher, 48, became the second person ever to roll a 300 from a wheelchair. He's been in the wheelchair since 1990 when he severed his spine in an auto accident. He was paralyzed from the waist down.

Before the 300, Holscher's best start was eight straight strikes. The American Wheelchair Bowling Association started keeping records in 1962. The first to shoot a sanctioned 300 from a wheelchair was Shawn Beam on May 18, 2012 in league play in Fort Worth, Texas.

To read more about Holscher, see Joanne Kimberlin's story on Dec. at PilotOnline.com. To read more about Beam, visit the American Wheelchair Bowling Association website.

AVERAGE LEADERS: Brett Wolfe, who set the USBC Sport Bowling series record in February, captured the men's 2011-12 USBC Sport Bowling National High Average Award. The 36-year-old left-hander from Gilbert, Ariz., averaged 230 over 78 games in the East Valley Open League at Brunswick Mesa Lanes in Mesa, Ariz., including a Sport-record 886 series on Feb. 6.

Darris Ruffner of Exeter, Calif., earned the Adult Female award, averaging 206 over 108 games in the Classic Draft league at Freeway Lanes in Selma, Calif.

Kelly Skalacki, 16, of Coram, N.Y., was the top Youth Female with a 189 average over 51 games in the PJB Youth Sport Shot league at Port Jeff Bowl in Port Jefferson Station, N.Y. For the second consecutive year, Kyle Sherman of O'Fallon, Mo., led all Youth Male Sport bowlers. Sherman, 18, averaged 209 in the PFC Singles Sport Shot League at St. Charles (Mo.) Lanes.

Wolfe said he has very defined ideas about how to best bowl on Sport patterns. He said he always has attempted to be a student of the game, and bowling on Sport patterns has taught him how to minimize mistakes, especially limiting open frames.

Ruffner has been bowling for more than three decades, and at one time competed on the women's pro tour. She said bowling on Sport patterns helps her execute and repeat shots, so when she competes in tournaments she feels capable of bowling on any lane condition.

David Walsh is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or dwalsh@herald-dispatch.com.

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