News from the pro circuits

This week’s column will begin with a few tidbits about the PBA and PWBA. Ladies first.

The 2018 U.S. Women’s Open will now be more like the similar event for the men. It will ba a select field only. According to a release, “This change is being made to help celebrate the prestige of the event and mirror enhancements introduced for the upcoming 2017 U.S. Open.

The women’s event will be held June 23-30 at Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando, Florida. Qualifiers include the point leaders of the Professional Women’s bowling Association and select United States Bowling Congress events.

Liz Johnson of Deerfield, Illinois was named the PWBA Player of the Year for the third consecutive year; while the 2017 Rookie of the Year honor went to Poland’s Daria Pajak. Johnson had another “dream season” with three titles including two majors. She made the championship round in all four majors.

The PBA is celebrating its 60th anniversary with the 60 Most Memorable Moments in Professional Bowler’s Association history. As part of the anniversary season the Tournament of Champions will return to Akron. Those 60 events will be announced beginning on the telecast on Feb. 4 through May 13.

Ted Staikoff was named the winner of the 2017 PBA50 Dick Weber Sportsmanship award. The Black Hawk, South Dakota resident said he was very surprised, noting, “It’s quite an honor to receive an award with that name on it – probably the top honor of my career.”

Local news

Locally, there will be an organizational meeting at 2 p.m. Sunday at Al-Mar for the Adult/Child league which will bowl every other week throughout the season. In actuality there are two leagues, one starting on Oct. 1, with the other starting Oct. 8. Each league will run for 10 sessions.

There will be a pizza party at the end of the season. The organizational meeting will define many of the parameters for participants. The leagues will be divided by ages with those ages 3-8 bowling two games and the older kids bowling three games. Details are available at Al-Mar or simply attend the meeting this Sunday.

The Jack and Jill League which bowls alternate Sundays needs one team and/or individual bowlers.

Youth bowlers can join in the fun on those leagues at any time.

In addition there is one team needing two bowlers to fill the Trio team league featuring challenging lane conditions including many of the PBA animal patterns. That league features $4,000 in added prize money and bowls every other Sunday.

League news

Proprietor Bill Wammes grabbed the spotlight on the first session of the Jack & Jill league with his 264 high game in his 749 series. Yogi Wammes was close behind her husband with a 256 high game in her 659 set.

Latta-Williams took the early lead in that league sweeping to a 7-0 first week win total.

In the Mixed Up Guys and Gals League Crawford-Davis grabbed the first place atop the standings with a 7-0 record. Rob Johnson had the high game and series with his 278 and 682, respectively. Lori Hutton led the ladies with her 200 and 528.

In the Rally’s Junior All Stars League Team 5 grabbed the early lead with a 7-0 record. Connor Main led the boys with a 160 game and 336 series. Kyleigh Leu led the girls with her 93 game and 234 set.

For the older youth in the Bobcat 2 a Days league Team 3 leads with a 7-0 record. First-week high scores were rolled by Avery Latta with a 255 and 66; while Jena Kirian led the girls with her 167 game and 465 series.

Switching back to adult leagues, Jug’s South has the early lead in the East division of the American League with a 10-4 record; while Boys Nite Out and ASD Lawn and Snow Removal are tied at 9-5 atop the West division.

Brian Dimick set the pace Wednesday with his 279 game and 726 series. Other top games were rolled by Craig Yarger with 278 and Mickey Higham at 277. Ron Steinman shot a 717 set on the strength of his 266 game.

In the Eagles League, Pendleton and Sons lead the West division with a record of 11.5 wins and 2.5 loss. In the East division Rymer Enterprise and Frisch’s Big Boy N. Main are tied at 10-4.

Gary Wachter recorded the high Thursday with his 279 and 736. Ken North shot 706 on the strength of his 706 set. Brent Norris also bowled a 267 game.

In the Randy Miller Memorial League Thursday, Mitchell-Otte sits atop the standings with a 33.5-6.5 record. Kris Kolk topped all bowlers Thursday with his 279 game and 951 4-game total.

Final Frame

Condolences go out this week to the family of Jean Eilert, who passed away. She was a 1988 inductee into the Bowling Green Women’s Bowling Hall of Fame in the Bowling Achievement division. She was a regular at both Al-Mar and the former Varsity Lanes. She was 92.

“On the Ball”

Pro Shop Insights by Mickey “Mr. 800” Higham

It’s the 3rd week of bowling for most leagues and the new lanes are producing some great scores and positive comments. The biggest difference for many bowlers is less hook, this will help with control but may cause less carry and lower scores. We have found that a more aggressive surface on bowlers balls has helped fix this.

All balls come from the factory with a surface preparation that matches the weight block, over time that surface changes with wear and oil absorption

If your ball is under performing stop by and talk with Bill or Mickey for a free equipment evaluation.

For those of you that are not familiar with Mickey, here is a brief list of his accomplishments in bowling (not totally up to date).  He was also on the National Hall of Fame Ballot a few years ago but unfortunately at the same time as Pete Weber and Mike Aulby so he just missed that honor.

Mickey Higham

Bowling Green, OH

Born; Chicago, Ill    March 15, 1947

ABC Tournament Accomplishments

1973 3rd Classic Team 690-3,019

1974 3rd Classic Team 673-3,034

1974 4th Classic All Events 2,066

1977 1st Singles Classic 801

1977 3rd Classic All Events 1,928

1990 4th Singles 778

1991 7th Doubles 727-1450

2001 17th (t) Singles 300-750

2002 All Events 1960

2003 23rd All Events 2073

44 Year Average 205

Masters Average 60 Games 207

Professional Bowlers Association

Eight Regional Titles

Ten Senior Regional Titles

Nine National and two Senior PBA top 5 finishes

Midwest PBA Regional Senior Bowler of the Year  2002 and 2003

Over $250,000 in lifetime PBA winnings  (thru 2003)

State & Regional Championships

  1. Singles

1967 Colorado Bowling Assoc.  Doubles

1980 Missouri Bowling Assoc. All Events

      1981 Missouri Bowling Assoc. Team

      1984 Charlotte, NC, BA Doubles

      1988 Georgia Bowling Assoc. All Events

Other Awards and Honors

      1964-65     Kansas City, MO Bowler of the Year

  1. All Star Team
  2. All Star Team      

1988-89 Atlanta, GA Bowler of the Year

      Season High Average 235

      800 Series 11 Sanctioned 13 Unsanctioned  PBA etc.

      300 Games 24 Sanctioned 28 Unsanctioned PBA 300’s


1975-1984 Co-Host Professional; Professional Bowling Camps, Sheboygan, WI. 

Faculty Advisor, Tom Kouros Institute of Professional Bowling Instruction.

2002-present Teaching Professional at Al-Mar Lanes, Bowling Green, OH

In a lifetime spent in bowling, it is my belief that this is the greatest game in the world.  I am very excited to see the recent interest in Sport Bowling, which I feel will help restore the integrity in competitive bowling.