Two shows into the taped World Series of Bowling and there are a lot of things I’m excited about the PBA shows on ESPN.

But two things that caught my attention right off the bat are commercials on the broadcasts.

First of all, the XL bowling pins and bowling ball with feet running around the city is pretty wild. But it is all part of a strong promo campaign by AMF that wants people to think about spending their Saturday night somewhere else besides the movies, dinner or the local hangout. How about the bowling lanes? That’s where the advertised comes in to play.

There you can invite your friends to join you at the lanes. As a sample email you can send states:

“This Saturday night, let’s do something different. Something crazy. Something ... that requires us to change our shoes. This Saturday night, let’s go bowling.”

There you go. But it’s a fun ad and a unique concept that no major bowling lane group has tried in a while.

Then there is the Motiv commercial that starts with the lights coming on a pair of lanes in a dark bowling center — lanes 44 and 45. Now any league bowler can tell you that a pair of lanes starts with the odd numbered lane on the left. Those two lanes do not make a pair of lanes. Did no one at the company notice? It’s a crazy little thing, but I have to admit that took me away from the point of the commercial wondering what were they thinking.

Okay, one final commercial thought. Even in a taped match, having the championship match commercial free just adds more importance to it and I think that’s a good thing.

The first two tournament shows have had drama, a near 300 game, a semi-collapse, a first-time winner and the continued strong bowling from a major superstar.

Just seeing the new South Pointe Bowling Plaza on TV makes me excited for when the USBC Open goes there. The crowd looks good and it’s like the old ABC shows when they are almost all the way down the center. It just looks so much better on TV than the old semi-arena center that was created in a South Pointe ballroom.

I’m not a big fan of the rushed first three-person match in the hour format that skips frames 4 and 5, but to ESPN’s credit they show the key shots missed while in commercial.

I think Mike Jakubowski, Randy Pedersen and Kimberly Pressler are doing a great job on the telecasts and Mike J and Pedersen have developed a good chemistry that plays well. It’s great to have Pedersen doing a bowling tip again on the show and the two have struck the right mixture of humor and insightful commentary with the reason why things are or not working for a bowler. The editing is good allowing Jakubowski to sneak in voice over notes and things to add to the storyline that may have been missed in the live commentary.

All in all, two strong opening shows and I know bowling fans are waiting for some of the live shows after the first of the year.

Exciting junior possibilities

If what I read in a package I received a copy of that was sent out to bowling centers and coaches from the state bowling proprietors association and Marc Pater, we may have ourselves at least one, if not two exciting new youth opportunities on the horizon in 2015.

One of the great programs the International Family Tournament has gone away, but in its place is the new All-American Family Bowling tournament. A lot of it is the same, but the divisions have changed to match USBC tournaments and teams can enter with more family-relationships which is good. There will still be national finals in this event.

Here’s a great thing: the Louisiana Proprietors will have a side state Adult-Youth Tournament that will run simultaneously in which bowlers can win scholarship money with any adult league bowler. It will really open things up for more bowlers to win scholarship money.

There are a lot more details, but just note that is on the horizon for 2015 and it sounds very exciting.

Honor roll notes

Greg Snee had the best set of 809 on games of 245, 275 and 289. Interesting on the ladies side, at Circle Bowl, Mary Mansur rolled 744 and Deidra Johnson had the second best score of 662. At All-Star Lanes, Johnson had the best score of 726 (276) and Mansur was second 698. That doesn’t happen very often. Clay Craighead rolled 709 to top the youth bowlers, while Mike Bass rolled 712 and Jeanette Conner 612 in the senior leagues.

Gregory Snee had a 299 game while Charles Gipson posted the perfect 300 game.

For those interested, Circle Bowl will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, while All-Star will be closed on Dec. 24, but open on Dec. 25 beginning at 3 p.m. For those in the Gonzales area, Premier Lanes will be open Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and from 2 to 11 p.m. on Christmas Day.

All houses will have New Year’s specials so check with your favorite center to see what is going on. We are back with you to start 2015 on Jan. 6. Until then, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and as always, good luck and good bowling.