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PBA League’s roster plan takes some heat

Scott Norton, at left, with Craig Woodward.
Scott Norton, at left, with Craig Woodward.
Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

The Professional Bowlers League’s plan to shake up the rosters of its eight teams for the 2015 season got a blast of criticism from one of its veteran players.

Scott Norton, who bowled the league's first two seasons on the New York City WTT KingPins, was reported to have sharply criticized the league’s roster move, according to an 11th Frame column by Jeff Richgels.

The PBA League disclosed Thursday that it would conduct a draft Oct. 31 to determine the rosters of its teams for its third season. Unlike its second season when teams could keep certain members, the PBA decided to start fresh with all rosters for 2015.

This change apparently did not sit well with Norton (shown in photo at left with Craig Woodward), whose KingPins won the PBA League title in 2013. That team included Norton, Pete Weber, John Szczerbinski, Tommy Jones and Jack Jurek. This season the KingPins kept its nucleus of Weber, Norton and Szczerbinski and added Stuart Williams and Jake Peters.

The Silver Lake (Calif.) Atom Splitters dethroned the KingPins for the Elias Cup title this season, but it was obvious that the 32-year-old Norton, a Mission Viejo resident with three PBA titles, liked the chemistry of his 2014 team.

Richgels wrote that Norton’s anger came out with his Facebook post on Friday:

“PBA League – New York City WTT Kingpins for life . . . If I’m not on the KingPins next year, I’m not bowling the league. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

“We are doing this PBA League because they want to watch us come together as a team. Well, my teammates are Stuart Williams, John Szczerbinski, Jake Peters and Pete Weber.

“No offense to the rest of the field, but I will stand by those guys any day of the week. Team competition is fun for the camaraderie, for having people be able to get behind a group of guys and root them on. Very disappointed.”

This column recently criticized the PBA League’s plan to revamp rosters, saying it wrecked the continuity of the teams and kept the home team’s fans from identifying with their city’s players.

Norton is a practicing attorney so we’ll see if his impassioned plea can make a difference.

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