ROCKIN’ BOWL to show WIU’s finest

TNN Public Relations

ROCKIN’ BOWL, a weekly bowling series featuring some of the nation’s top collegiate bowlers, premiers tomorrow at 7 p.m. on TNN.In this invitational, bowling teams from 16 universities and colleges compete in traditional and not-so-traditional bowling events to win bragging rights and nearly $50,000 in scholarship money for their universities’ bowling clubs.

The ROCKIN’ BOWL schedule for the first round of competition is as follows: tomorrow – WIU vs. California State University at Fullerton; Jan. 18 – Ball State University vs. San Jose State University; Jan. 25 – Wichita State University vs. Indiana State University; Feb. l – California State University at Fresno vs. University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana; Feb. 8 – Purdue University vs. University of Kansas; Feb. 15 – St. John’s University vs. Morehead State University; Feb. 22 – Michigan State University vs. Florida State University; and Feb. 29 – Erie Community College vs. West Texas A&M University.

Cal State-Fullerton’s Vince Wood and WIU’s Jeremy Sonnenfeld, two of only three people ever to bowl a sanctioned 900 series (36 straight strikes), will meet when their teams compete on the debut episode of ROCKIN’ BOWL tomorrow. Sonnenfeld was presented the first 900 series award in The American Bowling Congress’ 101-year history after rolling the first ABC-approved 900 series during a fund-raising tournament on Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln, Neb., on Feb. 2, 1997. Wood bowled his perfect series on Sept. 29, 1999 at Cadillac Bowl in Moreno Valley, Calif. Sonnenfeld was also named to TEAM USA 2000 along with junior teammate Derek Sapp. Only 10 people in the country are picked for the honor.

Each week, two five-member co-ed bowling teams will compete with the winner moving up in the rankings. The series tapes in Las Vegas at the All-American SportPark complete with customized lanes, cheerleaders and a rock band called The Pin Setters. Sportscaster Gary Seibel hosts the series. The ROCKIN’ BOWL lineup also includes pro bowler Randy Pedersen as color commentator and television correspondent Taylor Baldwin as roaming reporter.

The highest score wins, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Additional frames require special skills like bowling in the dark with glow-in-the-dark pins in “Your Pins are Showing” and bowling from a chair in “Recliner Bowling.” Others consist of attempting to accumulate 21 points with up to five balls in “Blackjack Bowling,” bowling with a plunger-like apparatus in “Shuffle Bowling,” welcoming a randomly-chosen audience member to your team for the “Frame of Chance” and working with your teammates to see how many points can be accumulated in 30 seconds while racing across the lane in “Rockin’ Relay.” Features on the bowlers are interspersed throughout the telecast.