It’s not exactly a glowing hockey puck, but when Fox Sports premieres its PBA bowling coverage on Sunday it will unveil its unique Specto StrikeTrack ball-tracking graphics.
Fox and the PBA have inked a multi-year contract with Kegel to use the Specto technology, which provides a live trace of the ball as it rolls down the lane, as well as statistics on ball speed, location and revolutions per minutes.
“We are extremely excited about this new technology to debut on our PBA events,” said Zac Fields, senior VP, graphic technology & integration, Fox Sports. “StrikeTrack is able to give insight into a match like never before to tell the story of exactly what’s happening. We believe this will take bowling coverage to another level. Designed specifically for bowling, StrikeTrack compares to FlightTrack for golf, which Fox introduced in 2015 and it’s now a standard in golf broadcasts.”
When Fox Sports was young, it introduced FoxTrax, a glowing puck system that showed the speed and direction of shots during its coverage of the National Hockey League from 1996 to 1998. The innovation got mixed reviews, and was especially panned by hockey purists.
The time might be right for StrikeTrack.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. This lets the viewers see where the ball is going down the lane, the speed, power, and how it impacts the pins and why that resulted in a strike or not,” said Fox PBA analyst Randy Pedersen. “It really helps quantify my analysis.”
Fox’s bowling coverage kicks off with the PBA Clash, a 90-minute special held at Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, Fla. It features eight of 2018’s leading money winners including Jason Belmonte, Anthony Simonsen, Dom Barrett, Andrew Anderson, EJ Tackett, Marshall Kent, Stuart Williams and Jakob Butturff.
The PBA on Fox makes its 2019 debut on FS1 on Jan. 6 with live coverage of the PBA Hall of Fame Classic finals on from the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas.