Most people who play sports can only dream of having a chance to compete against the pros on national television with thousands of dollars at stake.
For 18 bowlers, their chance to compete against some of the best professionals on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour, including star Norm Duke, is closer to becoming a reality through the PBA Experience Showdown.
The PBA Experience Showdown is a unique competition for United States Bowling Congress Sport Bowling members. Sport bowlers compete in leagues which use many of the same lane conditions that are used on the PBA Tour. For the last six months, the top bowler (highest scratch series) each week in those leagues was eligible to be entered in the PBA Experience Showdown.
More than 1,300 entries were sent to USBC from Sport Bowling leagues. From those qualifiers, 18 competitors were randomly selected as finalists. The entries were divided into six groups based on what lane conditions they bowled on when they qualified, and three finalists were randomly selected from each category.
Now through March 1, bowling fans can visit BOWL.com and vote for their favorite bowler from each of the six lane patterns - Chameleon, Cheetah, Scorpion, Shark, Viper and Other Sport Patterns - and the top vote-getter from each pattern will advance to the PBA Experience Showdown finals. Fans can vote one time (for each oil pattern) per day.
The finals of the PBA Experience Showdown will be held April 6-7 at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas. The finals will be taped for television and are scheduled to air April 11 on ESPN.
The six finalists will compete in a six-game qualifier, with each game being contested on a different PBA lane pattern. The finalist with the high score earns a spot to compete on TV against the five winners of the 2009-10 PBA Tour Versatility Swing events - Duke, Rhino Page, Bill O'Neill, Mike DeVaney and Jack Jurek.
Below are the final 18 qualifiers and the patterns on which the qualified. Click here for more information on each bowler and to vote.
PBA EXPERIENCE SHOWDOWN FINALISTS
With name, hometown, and bowling center
Joseph Petrowski, East Syracuse, N.Y., Bowl-Mor Lanes
Mandy Wilson, Dayton, Ohio, Capri Bowling Lanes
Max Gross, Dallas, USA Bowl
Patti Riddle, Palatine, Ill., Brunswick Zone-Hawthorn
James Fugitt, Grapevine, Texas, AMF Showplace Lanes
Dan Keenan, Endicott, N.Y., Midway Lanes
Jeffrey J. Owens, Ithaca, N.Y., Patel's Bowl-O-Drome
Bill Matovina, Clearwater, Fla., Seminole Lanes
Kyle Casey, Kennewick, Wash., Spare Time Lanes
Holly Harris, Pasco, Wash., Spare Time Lanes
Stan Thrift, Lavaca, Ark., AR Bowling World
Brent Watson, Parkersburg, W.Va., Emerson Bowling Lanes
Jon Scarano, Raleigh, N.C., Buffaloe Lanes North
Kevin Reuer, Hoffman Estates, Ill., Beverly Lanes
Andy Tomita, Elmhurst, Ill., Beverly Lanes
Other Sport winners
Larry Darvas, Keller, Texas, USA Bowl
Bobby Wenger, Wooster, Ohio, Triway Lanes
Rick Bates, Manteca, Calif., West Lane Bowl