Mark Roth

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Mark Roth
Born (1951-04-10) April 10, 1951 (age 67)
Years active1970-2009
Height5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Bowling Information
Rookie year1970
Dominant handRight
Wins34 PBA Tour (2 majors)
2 PBA50 Tour

Mark Roth (born April 10, 1951) is an American retired professional bowler. He is known for being the first bowler with a "cranker" style delivery (high speed, high revolutions), which is used by many modern bowlers, as well as his accuracy in converting spares. He is also known for being the first professional bowler to convert a 7-10 split on national television.[1]

Bowling career[edit]

Roth is a member of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Hall of Fame (inducted 1987) and the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Hall of Fame (inducted 2009).[2] His 34 PBA titles place him sixth on the all-time PBA Tour winners list, behind Walter Ray Williams Jr., Earl Anthony, Norm Duke, Pete Weber and Parker Bohn III.[citation needed] He is a four-time winner of the PBA Player of the Year award.

He was the second professional bowler to surpass $1,000,000 in career winnings, with Anthony being the first. His eight titles won in 1978 are still the PBA record for a single season, topping the previous mark of seven titles held by Dick Weber (1961) and Billy Hardwick (1969). Roth won another six titles in the 1979 season while collecting his third consecutive PBA Player of the Year award. He won his only two major titles in 1984, at the U.S. Open and Angle Touring Players Championship, while winning his fourth PBA Player of the Year award that season.[citation needed]

Originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., Roth attacked the Tour in 1970 with a cranking, hard-throwing style that created a generation of imitators now prevalent throughout the sport. After finishing 2nd to Don Johnson in the 1972 Brunswick World Open, Mark's first televised appearance, he followed that up with a fifth-place finish in the PBA National Championship.[citation needed] It was then that Roth decided to bowl on the Tour full-time. Roth shot a 299 during the televised finals to win his first PBA title at the 1975 King Louie Open in Overland Park, Kansas. Roth repeated the feat, shooting a 299 during the televised finals of the 1987 Greater Buffalo Open in Cheektowaga, New York.[citation needed]

Roth not only surpassed the great Earl Anthony's all-time PBA earnings record on the 1987 Fall Tour, but also added his 33rd PBA title in the Greater Buffalo Open and won the No. 7 PBA Invitational (not counted as an official PBA title) in Toronto a week later.[citation needed] Roth won PBA Player of the Year honors in 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1984. He won the George Young Memorial Award for the highest average on Tour in six different seasons, including a then-record 221.699 in '79. That same year Mark also won the "Great and Greatest" tournament paired with Don Ellis (also not counted as an official PBA title). Roth finished his career with $1,619,136 in earnings.[citation needed]

He also owns two PBA50 Tour titles. On October 6, 2006, Roth won the very first Generations Bowling Tour event, defeating Dale Eagle in the final, 237-234, and averaging 241 over the three-game stepladder final. Despite the power he generated, Roth was also one of the best spare shooters of all time. He is notable for being the first bowler to pick up the 7-10 Split on television on January 5, 1980 at the ARC Alameda Open at Mel's Southshore Bowl in Alameda, California.[3] In addition, Roth utilized a unique delivery, primarily five steps, but sometimes six or seven steps.

Awards and recognition[edit]


On June 4, 2009, Roth suffered a stroke which has left him partially paralyzed on his left side.[6]

His rehabilitation is ongoing, but Roth was seen in late March 2010 on his feet and moving around at the Geico Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship, a PBA Tournament named in his honor.[7]

Roth made a special guest appearance at the "2nd Annual Upstate University Hospital - Strikes Against Stroke" at Flamingo Bowl in Liverpool, New York in May 2010.

On March 6, 2011, as part of the 2011 Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship, he rolled the honorary first ball for the televised finals and downed seven pins.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Roth and his wife Denise[8] reside in Fulton, New York.[6] He is Jewish.[4][5] Mark is an avid model railroader. He also enjoys the New York Rangers, Mets, Jets, and Knicks.

In the media[edit]

  • Roth makes a brief appearance in the bowling movie Kingpin, along with several other professional bowlers.
  • Roth also appears in a 1979 episode of Fantasy Island along with fellow pro-bowlers Marshall Holman and the late Dick Weber. He plays an opponent of a 153-average bowler (Al Molinaro) fulfilling a fantasy to compete and win against professionals.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ PBABowling, PBA 60th Anniversary Most Memorable Moments #8 - Mark Roth Converts 7-10 Split, retrieved 2019-01-12
  2. ^ Vint, Bill. "Roth, Petraglia, Macpherson elected to USBC Hall of Fame",, 7 January 2009.
  3. ^ Mark Roth's 1980 televised 7-10 Split spare on YouTube
  4. ^ a b [1]
  5. ^ a b National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame induction,; accessed June 4, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Waggoner, Jim (June 5, 2009). "Bowling hall-of-famer Mark Roth recovering from recent stroke". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
  7. ^ Schneider, Jerry. "Roth-Petraglia Reunion at PBA Geico Mark Roth Championship Brings Back Tour Memories",, March 25, 2010.
  8. ^ Official website for Mark Roth

External links[edit]