On this week’s telecast we returned back the WSOB for the Shark Open.  The format for the Shark Open is the eliminator format in which the lowest score loses, and is eliminated from the tournament, hence the name ELIMINATOR format.  In my previous article “Chameleon”, I mentioned that I am not much of a fan of the eliminator format due to the fact the best bowler for the day doesn’t necessarily seem to win.  It was almost Deja Vu in regards to my statements made earlier.

The top seeds for this event were as follows: #1 Chris Barnes, #2 Jason Belmonte, #3 Sean Rash, #4 Mika Koivuniemi.  In the first match #2 seed Jason Belmonte squeeked past Mika Koivuniemi, due an open in the 10th. (190-172) Barnes shot a great match shooting 234, and Rash shot a very respectable 205.  In match two Chris Barnes got off to a great start rolling a HAMBONE to start the match.  Rash and Belmo put on a spare clinic, specifically Rash on how to make baby split, and for Belmo the single pin spare.  The match was in hand for Barnes by the 6th frame when he was up 64 pins on both Belmo, and Rash.  Barnes continued on the strike train all the way to the tenth frame, and notably gave his two sons and wife a high five after each shot.   Chris Barnes went on to shoot a 300, and afterwards immediately ran over to his wife and kids to give them each a hug!  In case you missed Chris Barnes 300, I have attached a link for you to see it HERE.  Rash could not avoid the splits and lost to Belmonte(215-182).

The title match came down to #1 seed Chris Barnes, and the #2 seed Jason Belmonte.  Both bowlers got off to a great start and got the first three strikes each.  Barnes was the first to miss on a ringer ten pin, in which he picked up his spare.  Belmo made a big adjustment on the lanes and went with a more aggressive ball.  It paid off for Belmo as he struck the front 7.  Barnes lost carry and had three 9 spares in a row, followed up by a pocket 7, 10 split.  Barnes open two frames in a row, and lost the match to Jason Belmonte. (243-213) So, although Barnes shot 99 pins better on the day, he still ends up in second place.

In the title match Barnes made a comment to the fact that he made an adjustment too soon.  Barnes also said “Must have been the wrong hand position”.  I think we can learn a lot from this small comment in the fact that even after Barnes 300 game the lanes can transition, and we may need to not only adjust our feet, but also our hand position to control the speed, or even turn our hand in a little to put a little extra crank on the ball.

Please feel free to comment your thoughts on the ELIMINATOR format, and whether you like this, find it exciting, and believe the best bowler wins.  Thanks!

I would also like to congratulate our two months previous winners Sean Brady, and Tim Klein on winning a Jet Bowling ball.  All they did to win these great prizes was like us on facebook at “Taking Your Bowling Game to the Next Level”. We will continue to have great prizes and giveaways, so like us on facebook, and also follow us all on Twitter.  Our twitter names are as follows:

Above180.com – @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. Jerry P says:

    I thought it was a good show. Loved the interaction between Barnes and his family. I never mind seeing a bit of struggling to overcome the transitions. Being able to make the right moves is part of what makes them the best and we can all learn from that. I also continue to like the eliminator in that we get to see more bowling than we would from a 4 man step ladder. 9 games as opposed to 6.

  2. Mike says:


    Thanks for the comments! We appreciate it.

  3. Alan Westendorf says:

    I have to say, I kind of enjoy the eliminator formats. There is a little bit more strategy involved when playing the lanes with multiple bowlers on them rather than just the pair. I think it gives all four bowlers an equal chance to win. How many times in recent history of a step ladder final has the number one seed win? The winner of the previous match seems to always have the advantage because they have been playing the pair and reading what the transition is. The number 1 seed has to come in “cold” (not to say they are not warmed up and ready to bowl) and must get a read of the the lane condition and how it applies to their game and plan of attack in only 3-4 minutes. In the eliminator the players that advance have had equal time on the lane and can make better adjustments.
    I also think it helps the television coverage as it imparts a bit more action and pace to the game versus 1 bowler rolling 2 frames, sitting down and the other bowler getting up and doing the same thing. I think both formats have their place. I still like the stepladder for the majors, but the animal patterns can continue with the eliminator in my opinion.

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