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Up Front

Free agent frenzy alters PBA League rosters

So much for team loyalty! Wholesale roster changes

followed the eight-team PBA League’s re-signing period in August, with free agency seeing numerous players changing jerseys for the 2014 season. Heavyweights like Tommy

Jones, Wes Malott, Mika Koivuniemi and newly minted PBA champion Chris Loschetter found new homes for 2014. Only the Dallas Strikers will return four players from its 2013 roster. With each team

automatically retaining their “franchise player,” teams were allowed to re-sign up to three players from the remaining four roster spots prior to Aug. 31. Players not re-signed before the deadline were declared free agents and allowed sign with another team. To help with the process, each team was assigned a general manager, whose duties include player acquisition, trades and submitting match lineups.



WTT Kings opted not to re-sign 2013 second-round pick Jones, instead re-signing Scott Norton (at the team’s second-highest salary — $17,500) and John Szczerbinski, and adding Brit Stuart Williams to replace Jack Jurek. “There will be a few changes

next season,” said WTT Kings franchise player, Pete Weber. “One thing that won’t change is the outcome. I had the best team last year, and I’ll have the best team next season, too.” The fi nal roster spot for each

team will be determined by a one-round draft Nov. 4, at the conclusion of the PBA World Series of Bowling in Las Vegas. The 2014 PBA League will

Show me the money: Chris Loschetter (left) and Mika Koivuniemi (right) were just two of the players who switched teams ahead of the 2014 PBA League season.

With $20,000 of the $71,000 team salary

cap already committed to each squad’s franchise player, GMs were forced to exercise fi scal restraint in building their rosters. Loschetter, who recently won his fi rst PBA title, and veteran Koivuniemi garnered the

largest contracts ($18,000). Both players left Kevin Hart’s Philadelphia Hitmen for greener pastures. Loschetter inked a deal with Jerome Bettis’ Motown Muscle, while Koivuniemi signed with Chris Paul’s Los Angeles X. The defending champion New York City

feature preliminary rounds Jan. 1-7 at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich. Competition will include single matches, alternate- ball doubles, Baker trios and four- player Baker, as well as traditional round-robin team competition. The

playoff s will be conducted in conjunction with the USBC Masters in February at Brunswick Zone Carolier in North Brunswick, N.J. The winning team will earn $130,000 from the $300,000 prize fund.

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September 2013

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