This week I would like to take a look at the Chameleon Open and open a discussion on a few things for our viewers to comment on this week.  I have also noticed some things that I find to be a little odd regarding the recent PBA events this year regarding scoring as well as players’ state of mind.

The first thing that I find to be odd and can’t stand about the PBA is the Eliminator format.  I think we all learned from Herm Edwards that, “You play to win the game”!  I feel like with this Eliminator format guys are playing not to lose and hopefully advance to the next round.  The guys are scoreboard watching the whole time instead of bowling.  Almost every event I have seen this year thus far the top 4 seeds have averaged over 230.  Once they hit the lights of the TV shows they are barely breaking 200 if that.  Guys bowl all week to be the best and want to have the top seed, and make the show.  Then once they get there their mindset changes to, “It’s is ok if you don’t win, just don’t lose”.  I find this to be a little ridiculous.  Obviously when it comes to the head to head finals you have to finally WIN, but I feel as though this format should be done away with and keep the step ladder finals, and people actually bowl to win the game…Your thoughts???

For those of you who missed it Jason Belmonte squeaked his way past the first two rounds by not leading his competitors, but rather by not losing to the last place guy in each of the rounds.  By not losing Jason Belmonte gave himself a chance to win the Chameleon Open against Sean Rash, and Belmo did just that.  Belmo won the match in convincing fashion with a 268 vs. Sean Rash’s 191.  I will say this though; I think you will see a lot more of the Sean Rash and Jason Belmonte in the final matches of events.  These guys are a rare breed of talent that can play some incredible angles to the pocket.  At one point Belmo was lofting the ball over the left gutter to keep it in the oil.  You have to give credit to Jason Belmonte, like a Chameleon, he figured out how to adapt to the changing environment, and earned every bit of that title.

A few things I took away from this week’s telecast were actually words of wisdom shared by the two finalists.  First Sean Rash in an interview explained that you will have ups and downs when trying to get to that next level.  He did a great job on putting that into perspective when he explained even the greatest players of the game like Walter Ray won 24 titles out of the 600 events he entered.  The other great words of wisdom from the event came from Jason Belmonte.  When he won the title and was being interviewed he thanked everyone that ever helped him get there.  He thanked Storm, The International Art of Bowling, and most importantly his family for all of their support.  Remember that if you truly want to take your game to that next level that it’s ok to get help along the way.  Ask others what you are doing wrong, get a coach, and thank your supports for supporting you along your journey of bowling.

Again, wants to make sure that you are taking your game to the next level, so we are giving away another Jet Bowling ball.  In order to become eligible for the bowling ball make sure you “like” taking your bowling game to the next level on facebook by clicking here.  Also, do not forget to follow the Crew on Twitter as you never know what cool things we will be giving away.  The crew on Twitter is as follows: – @above180

Mike Bonk –  The Messenger – @mikebonk84

Dustin Markowitz – What Happened to Bowling? – @DustinMarkowitz

Matt Kennedy –  The Journey – @mkhawk21

John Baker – Positive Access Point – @positveaccesspt

Until next time, Shred that Rack!


The Messenger



  1. I would whole-heartedly disagree with the assessment that the “Eliminator” format is bad; in fact, I would offer that it is good for the players, and for the PBA: it makes a more interesting TV show. Sometimes the stepladder format got slow and uninteresting; this format is new and exciting. I don’t think it should make its way into every finals, but a few stops per year is acceptable to me.

    I believe that we saw a few things going on in the WSOB with regards to scoring pace: First, the arena set-up was on a new surface, which really had not pre-defined track (friction) built in. The whole lane was much slicker compared to the South Point center in which qualifying was held. Second, in every show from that arena set up, the left lane was always the tougher of the two, which hinted (to me) at some topography issues. Ask anyone who knows lane building, and they’ll tell you — the temporary installations are always the hardest to get level and keep them that way. Third, each show seemed to have a bevy of high-rev players, so every other frame, the players were presented with transition. With three and then two other players on the pair, transition happened quickly, and with more variables than normal when compared to other finals. It was usually the final game when one player rose to the top, because it may have been a bit easier to stay on top of how the pattern was changing.

    I think that all of the players didn’t “try to survive” by monitoring scores as much as they were trying to find a rhythm and tried to survive by staying ahead of transition. That’s what makes the Eliminator format so special- the focus and drive each player required to succeed was at a much higher level than what we’ve seen in other finals formats. And without regard for how any one guy/gal finished, it was clear that the cream rose to the top each time.

    • Mike says:

      Mike it’s funny you mention the topography issues cause I noticed something really strange during the event. I DVR the event due to spending time with the family, etc. Did anyone else notice in the first game in the 4th frame Belmo shot the double wood on the left side with a ten pin and hit the double wood and the ten pin wiggles without anything coming close to it? I appreciate your insight on the Eliminator format and respect your opinion, as you make some great points as to how it can be good for the game.

      • I did notice the pins shaking/spinning also. The pin decks, being synthetic, are a separate component from the rest of the lane panels. I am uncertain how/if they share any common foundation stringers with the rest of the lane, but for sure, the pins were reacting to the pinfall around them.

        Did anyone else see Rash’s ball come back up the flat gutter out of the pit, when he shot for and missed a 10 pin? It may have come out as far forward as the sweep; I haven’t seen that since bowling on 82-30 machines! Those boys threw it HARD!

  2. Jerry says:

    The quality of spare shooting has suffered as well. I’m not sure if it’s due to the format or the surge of power players who are on the shows. Is throwing a 30mph rocket at the 10 pin really necessary? (That said, I wish I could do it!)

    One thing I do like about the Eliminator is that we get 9 full games packed into the show vs 6 with a 4 man stepladder. It also reduces the amount of fluff.

    • Mike says:

      Jerry I will have to agree with you about throwing a 30 mph ball at the ten is not necessary. I definitely don’t blink when Osku shoots at the ten pin as I don’t to miss out on the action. Thank you for your input and we look forward to your comments in the future.

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