Bowling needs more buzz at the professional level. It's a great sport, but for whatever reason it hasn't created true superstars or big-time drama like other sports can.
So this summer the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) is turning to the animals to bring the roar to the lanes and crowds to the GEICO Summer Swing in Milwaukee. The Swing will feature four events in three different bowling centers and will be the first time the PBA airs on the CBS Sports Network.
It also will be the first time that a badger, wolf and bear will grace the sport's finely oiled lanes. The PBA debuted a few animal pattern lane conditions in 2005. This summer, though, the badger will become the longest animal pattern ever (52 feet) while the wolf will be the shortest animal pattern at 32 feet. The bear will be a flat pattern of medium length (40 feet), similar to what has been used at the PBA's U.S. Open in recent years.
The original animal pattern system, featuring chameleon, cheetah, scorpion, shark and viper patterns will be used again at this fall's PBA World Series of Bowling V in Las Vegas.
"The best players in the world will develop fresh strategies to attack the lanes and fans will be entertained by the results," said PBA Commissioner Tom Clark.
The badger will be applied on the wood-based lane surfaces at AMF Waukesha in Waukesha for the qualifying and match play rounds for the PBA Badger Open, May 20-21.
The wolf will be applied to the synthetic lanes at AMF West in Milwaukee for the PBA Wolf Open, May 23-24. And, the mighty bear condition will be used on synthetic lanes at AMF Bowlero in Wauwatosa for the PBA Bear Open May 27-28.
According to the PBA, the way lane oil is applied (in shape and volume) to the 60-foot playing surface of a lane is a strong factor in the scoring pace of a professional bowling tournament, testing the skills necessary for success and the strategic approach the players must take.
We'll see if badgers, wolves and bears can build buzz for bowling this summer in Milwaukee.
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