As we continue to recap bowling items during the pandemic, 10 days ago, the Professional Bowlers Association successfully concluded its 2020 season with Bill O’Neill winning the PBA playoffs and $100,000.
The PBA and Fox Sports combined to finish some events, added some events and moved others to Bowlero centers to get to the end of the World Series, the PBA League and the playoffs. It’s hard to believe it has been eight months since that mid-March Sunday when Fox broadcast the World Championships in an empty South Point bowling center in what was the only live event around and left at that point in major sports.
The relationship between the PBA and Bowlero certainly worked to allow them to have multiple days of live shows and taping days for others that allowed to have close to 15 shows on Fox and FS1 after things were able to resume.
Fox has certainly made the PBA a large part of its inventory and doesn’t just treat it as something they have to carry and won’t promote. It also appears, and while it may be circumstances, that Dave Ryan has become the “Voice of the PBA” on all television platforms now.
Starting with the World Championships in March, Ryan, who also has called the PBA summer shows and the PWBA on CBS Sports Network, has taken the play-by-play role over from Rob Stone. Working with longtime analyst Randy Pedersen, the two have really become one of the teams that would have to be considered in that best all-time category in the PBA’s long history.
Ryan’s solid-but-excited delivery makes bowling fans feel that he knows the game and most important, cares about the bowlers and the results. Stone has the enthusiasm and both his lovers and detractors (i.e. Hambone), but Ryan may be whom Fox and the PBA turn to in 2021 if they can continue to get him on loan from CBS.
The best news is the annual All-Star Clash will air Nov. 29 on Fox for the third year either, before or after the NFL depending on your location.
High school bowling
High school bowling top guy Rick Bourgeois has been on the road going around the state to meet with coaches, and the Baton Rouge coaches meeting was this past week at All-Star Lanes. The planned start is just around the corner with the first matches Jan. 11.
The March early round playoff sites will be Creole Lanes in Houma and AMF All-Star in Kenner for the boys and All-Star Lanes (BR) for the girls. The team semis and finals will be March 23 in Gonzales at Premier Lane, with the singles finals March 24 at All-Star BR.
Also, congratulations are in order for Central coach Phil Godley. He was recently named the state boys coach of the year by the Louisiana High School Coaches Association. He has coached Central for the past 12 years and has had some very good teams, including his 2016 state championship girls team. His 2020 boys team would have entered the playoffs as the No. 1 team in the power rankings after an 11-0 regular season.
With this award, he is nominated for a possible national honor that will be given out by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
Entries are available for the first two state association events since the pandemic — the women’s championships at Circle Bowl starting the final weekend of January for three weekends, and the youth state, which will run for two weekends in Shreveport starting Feb. 27 … The BR Singles Tournament is set for Dec. 5-6 at Circle Bowl. Entries are open, and there will be 96 bowlers allowed on each shift.
First honor roll is with this column, and we will review some NOLA tournaments and Lafayette city championships when we join you Dec. 1. Until then, good luck and good bowling.