Bowling Forums, Bowling Discussion and Bowling Talk
Sign up Calendar Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
thethunderchild

Registered:
Posts: 82
Reply with quote  #1 
I just found a brief clip on YouTube for the 1977 ABC Masters - Earl Anthony vs Jim Godman. It's short, only 3:36 minutes of highlights, but it seems to show that Anthony and Godman bowled four straight games on TV, with Earl coming out the winner.

This is the first time I've seen this type of televised competition, but it does make sense - 2 out of 3 at least would be more fair than a one game match to decide a champion!

Was it only in the Masters that this format was done?
Pullmyfinger

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,665
Reply with quote  #2 
I'd love to watch something like that, but on the flip side if one guy dominates it would be a real snoozer to watch on TV. Especially to the casual fan.

It not like pro wrestling where a "best of three falls" match always goes to the third fall. A best 2 out of 3 or 3 out of 5 match could easily be a sweep. Then you would have a lot of dead airtime to fill. Unless, of course, it was taped and you could fit two matches into one show. The PBA would never tape matches and show them on TV, would they? [crazy]
hailmaizeandblue

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 1,784
Reply with quote  #3 
I believe that was the only tournament that did hold 4 game matches, the Masters. Somewhere in the late 80's, early 90's, the Masters went to 3 game matches.

In true Masters form, that is how the champion should be decided...because it follows the same format of the rest of the match play portion of the tournament.
thethunderchild

Registered:
Posts: 82
Reply with quote  #4 
I think that up until 1963, bowling tournaments were decided by total pinfall after something like 56 games. Whoever was in the lead at the end just won.

When they started airing tourneys on TV, the PBA invented the "stepladder" format of the 5 top finishers playing four games, to make it more interesting for the viewers.

That actually makes sense. Many's the time the leader in pinfall after 56 games still lost in the championship game (i.e., Earl Anthony, who actually had more 2nd place finishes than 1st places, I believe), but many's the time he came from the 3rd or 2nd place to win!
BowlingOldies

Registered:
Posts: 1,763
Reply with quote  #5 

The PBA has used a variety of different formats for the TV show.  The one we most closely associate with the PBA is the classic stepladder.  But it took the PBA a few years of being on TV to develop that format.

In its earliest days on TV, the PBA used a single elimination, bracketed playoff system, with four semi-finalists bowling a semi-final bracket to decide who goes on to the final match.

Then, the PBA used a peculiar method in which four bowlers would make the TV show. Players 2, 3 and 4 would bowl a series of round-robin matches, with the 3 seed bowling the 4 seed in Match One.  The loser of that match would go on to meet the 2 seed.  And then the 2 seed would go on to meet the winner of the first match.  At the end of those three matches, if any one player emerged from the round robin with a 2-0 match play record, he would go on to meet the tournament leader for the title.  If all three of the round robin contestants ended up 1-1, then the player with the high pinfall for his two matches would advance to the championship match.

Somewhere along the way, someone dreamed up the stepladder format, which made its television debut in 1967.

Back in those days, if a tournament wasn't televised, it wouldn't have a stepladder finals (or a round robin, as was used in seasons prior).  Those were formats specifically designed for the televised "Championship Round" finals, and were deemed unnecessary when there was no TV.  Similarly, PBA Regional events have typically not incorporated a stepladder or other "Championship Round" format, since there was no TV.

In the case of the national tour events, when they got to the end of match play, the tournament was over.

The old PBA format was this:

18 games of qualifying (over 3 rounds of 6 game blocks in two days)
CUT to top 24 players
24 games of round robin match play (the final game being position round) (for a grand total of 42 games prior to the TV show)
CUT to top 5 players
Championship Round Finals (if there is TV)

The PBA also had a long format of 56 games, but it was only used for one or two of the majors (I forget which ones -- I think maybe the BPAA US Open was one of them, since that tournament replaced the old BPAA All-Star Tournament, which was truly the iron man event, with 100 games over a single week).

When the Microsoft group bought the PBA in the late '90s or early '00s (I forget the exact date), they started fiddling with the TV format and have used quite a number of different scenarios.  But for my money, none measures up to the classic stepladder format, which is uniquely associated to bowling.

As an aside, I can tell you that when I was programming a Top 40/Rock hybrid station in Dallas, TX, we would do an on-air "Battle of the Bands" on Super Bowl weekend each year.  We called it the "Super Bowl of Rock and Roll."  We would play two songs by one artist and two songs by another artist and invite listeners to call in and "vote" for which one they want to see win.  After three "wins" in a row, an artist would be retired until they came back up in the rotation several hours later.  Over the course of the weekend, we would keep a running tally of the W-L record of all the artists who "competed" in these head-to-head battles.  And then Sunday afternoon at around 3:00, we would rank the artists by their accrued W-L records and seed them into a 25-artist "stepladder" that would give artists/bands a chance to run the ladder to see who can become the champion for the year.

It's the only other time I know of that the stepladder format has been used in something other than a bowling tournament.

mrbowling300

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 11,771
Reply with quote  #6 
When the Microsoft guys came in, it became an all exempt tour of 64 players, and the qualifying format was best of 7 game matches in a final 64 bracket.  I'm sure there was a 5 or 10 game qualifying to set up the seeing for the 64 player field, #1 vs. #64, and so forth.  The final 4 made TV in the stepladder format.  I believe there was also a period of time where there was 8 bowling at once too across 2 pairs of lanes for awhile.  
thethunderchild

Registered:
Posts: 82
Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BowlingOldies

The PBA has used a variety of different formats for the TV show.  The one we most closely associate with the PBA is the classic stepladder.  But it took the PBA a few years of being on TV to develop that format.

In its earliest days on TV, the PBA used a single elimination, bracketed playoff system, with four semi-finalists bowling a semi-final bracket to decide who goes on to the final match.

Then, the PBA used a peculiar method in which four bowlers would make the TV show. Players 2, 3 and 4 would bowl a series of round-robin matches, with the 3 seed bowling the 4 seed in Match One.  The loser of that match would go on to meet the 2 seed.  And then the 2 seed would go on to meet the winner of the first match.  At the end of those three matches, if any one player emerged from the round robin with a 2-0 match play record, he would go on to meet the tournament leader for the title.  If all three of the round robin contestants ended up 1-1, then the player with the high pinfall for his two matches would advance to the championship match.

Somewhere along the way, someone dreamed up the stepladder format, which made its television debut in 1967.

Back in those days, if a tournament wasn't televised, it wouldn't have a stepladder finals (or a round robin, as was used in seasons prior).  Those were formats specifically designed for the televised "Championship Round" finals, and were deemed unnecessary when there was no TV.  Similarly, PBA Regional events have typically not incorporated a stepladder or other "Championship Round" format, since there was no TV.

In the case of the national tour events, when they got to the end of match play, the tournament was over.

The old PBA format was this:

18 games of qualifying (over 3 rounds of 6 game blocks in two days)
CUT to top 24 players
24 games of round robin match play (the final game being position round) (for a grand total of 42 games prior to the TV show)
CUT to top 5 players
Championship Round Finals (if there is TV)

The PBA also had a long format of 56 games, but it was only used for one or two of the majors (I forget which ones -- I think maybe the BPAA US Open was one of them, since that tournament replaced the old BPAA All-Star Tournament, which was truly the iron man event, with 100 games over a single week).

When the Microsoft group bought the PBA in the late '90s or early '00s (I forget the exact date), they started fiddling with the TV format and have used quite a number of different scenarios.  But for my money, none measures up to the classic stepladder format, which is uniquely associated to bowling.

As an aside, I can tell you that when I was programming a Top 40/Rock hybrid station in Dallas, TX, we would do an on-air "Battle of the Bands" on Super Bowl weekend each year.  We called it the "Super Bowl of Rock and Roll."  We would play two songs by one artist and two songs by another artist and invite listeners to call in and "vote" for which one they want to see win.  After three "wins" in a row, an artist would be retired until they came back up in the rotation several hours later.  Over the course of the weekend, we would keep a running tally of the W-L record of all the artists who "competed" in these head-to-head battles.  And then Sunday afternoon at around 3:00, we would rank the artists by their accrued W-L records and seed them into a 25-artist "stepladder" that would give artists/bands a chance to run the ladder to see who can become the champion for the year.

It's the only other time I know of that the stepladder format has been used in something other than a bowling tournament.



Thank you so much for this info!   Much appreciated!
thethunderchild

Registered:
Posts: 82
Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbowling300
When the Microsoft guys came in, it became an all exempt tour of 64 players, and the qualifying format was best of 7 game matches in a final 64 bracket.  I'm sure there was a 5 or 10 game qualifying to set up the seeing for the 64 player field, #1 vs. #64, and so forth.  The final 4 made TV in the stepladder format.  I believe there was also a period of time where there was 8 bowling at once too across 2 pairs of lanes for awhile.  


I read an article just a few days ago...I forget the name of the bowler (McNeeley?...)...he was making a good living at bowling but as soon as they went to the 64  player format, his career was over - and probably so were the careers of lots of other former professionals...
mrbowling300

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 11,771
Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethunderchild


I read an article just a few days ago...I forget the name of the bowler (McNeeley?...)...he was making a good living at bowling but as soon as they went to the 64  player format, his career was over - and probably so were the careers of lots of other former professionals...


There were a lot of bowlers who competed every week, who did not qualify for the top 64, and they were left out in the dark.  Each year before the season, they would have a tour trials competition to get the 64 bowlers.  If you won a major tournament, then you would get a 3 year exemption, or if you won a title, then you remained exempt for the next season.  Anyone else, had to re-qualify at the next tour trials to get into the 64 player field.  The good news was, once you part of the 64 all exempt field, you received an automatic paycheck everyweek, as everyone cashed.
BowlingOldies

Registered:
Posts: 1,763
Reply with quote  #10 

They had various different TV formats as well.  Sometimes 3 or even more bowlers would bowl a game at the same time, with only one or two players advancing.

Perhaps the most convoluted and confusing format I remember seeing them use was an oddball permutation of the stepladder idea where the first game would be between the 6th, 7th and 8th place finishers, with the winner advancing.  The second match would be the winner of the first game against the 4th and 5th place finishers.  The winner of that match would face the 2nd and 3rd place finishers.  And the winner of that match would face the tournament leader in a one-on-one match.  The idea, I suppose, was to get more bowlers on to the TV show.  But for the TV viewer, it was a total clusterf*ck.  And God help the announcers trying to call it.  Whoever dreamed up this awful format should be taken out to the bowling center parking lot, lined up against a wall and shot.

The Microsoft guys came in with the idea that bowling needed a faster, more upbeat presentation on TV to make it relevant to the younger demographic.  That's why they brought in Dave Ryan and later Rob Stone, as well as Randy Pedersen.  And while the choices for announcer may be debated until the end of time, they were wrong, of course, with regard to the need for a faster pace of bowling with no breaks between bowlers.  What bowling needed (and what it still needs) are exciting young (and preferably, ATTRACTIVE -- i.e., "camera friendly") faces that can draw in more viewers, and the added drama of LIVE COMPETITION that connects with local communities (something you will only get by having an actual TOUR of different cities).  What they didn't realize when they started tinkering with the TV format was that the beauty of the stepladder (and in particular, the one-on-one, head-to-head match play format) was the HUMAN DRAMA that could be played out in close-ups of the players faces.  Who will ever forget seeing Pete McCordick's face trembling as he was down to the final shots of his 300 in '87?  That kind of shot was unique to bowling telecasts, and you can't get it if the action is going too fast.

Dare

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 1,395
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethunderchild


I read an article just a few days ago...I forget the name of the bowler (McNeeley?...)...he was making a good living at bowling but as soon as they went to the 64  player format, his career was over - and probably so were the careers of lots of other former professionals...



Many good bowlers got the short stick.Houchins didn't make the cut,Voss didn't make
it either the first or second year.Amleto didn't one year.To m this brainstorm helped in
the downfall of the PBA

And another thing a huge number competed every week in the tourney's with no hope of
winning but their entry fees sure came in handy

__________________
Pink Black Widow   Pyramid Curse

Web Tour
hailmaizeandblue

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 1,784
Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BowlingOldies

They had various different TV formats as well.  Sometimes 3 or even more bowlers would bowl a game at the same time, with only one or two players advancing.

Perhaps the most convoluted and confusing format I remember seeing them use was an oddball permutation of the stepladder idea where the first game would be between the 6th, 7th and 8th place finishers, with the winner advancing.  The second match would be the winner of the first game against the 4th and 5th place finishers.  The winner of that match would face the 2nd and 3rd place finishers.  And the winner of that match would face the tournament leader in a one-on-one match.  The idea, I suppose, was to get more bowlers on to the TV show.  But for the TV viewer, it was a total clusterf*ck.  And God help the announcers trying to call it.  Whoever dreamed up this awful format should be taken out to the bowling center parking lot, lined up against a wall and shot.

The Microsoft guys came in with the idea that bowling needed a faster, more upbeat presentation on TV to make it relevant to the younger demographic.  That's why they brought in Dave Ryan and later Rob Stone, as well as Randy Pedersen.  And while the choices for announcer may be debated until the end of time, they were wrong, of course, with regard to the need for a faster pace of bowling with no breaks between bowlers.  What bowling needed (and what it still needs) are exciting young (and preferably, ATTRACTIVE -- i.e., "camera friendly") faces that can draw in more viewers, and the added drama of LIVE COMPETITION that connects with local communities (something you will only get by having an actual TOUR of different cities).  What they didn't realize when they started tinkering with the TV format was that the beauty of the stepladder (and in particular, the one-on-one, head-to-head match play format) was the HUMAN DRAMA that could be played out in close-ups of the players faces.  Who will ever forget seeing Pete McCordick's face trembling as he was down to the final shots of his 300 in '87?  That kind of shot was unique to bowling telecasts, and you can't get it if the action is going too fast.



Randy, what I love about watching that show is how Chris and Bo could not stop talking about it for the remaining time, even though Mats Karlsson bowled well and run the other 3 matches, whenever a recap of the prior match was shown, or they came out of a break, it was always Chris saying...(paraphrased)"and what excitement we had here today! Pete McCordic from Houston shot 300 for $100,000".....Human Drama at its finest!
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.