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In the Pocket: NBA plans to build on success

Friday, April 17, 2009
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After a successful 2008-09 campaign, the future looks even brighter for the Western Diner Northern Bowlers Association.

The NBA paid out approximately $20,000 in prize money, and drew an average of 61 bowlers per event. In the annual Bob Guild Memorial, more than $4,500 was awarded in prize money. Fifteen bowlers were paid at least $100.

Several new twists should make things even better next year, according to tournament director Karl Bieber.

”We have some new sponsors, and hopefully, Western Diner will stay on board with us, as well,” said Bieber. “We will have more money, new sponsors and some different sites. And that’s just a start.”

The NBA’s board of directors has decided to add a tournament to the regular schedule, meaning there will be seven monthly tournaments, plus the season-ending Guild. Membership dues will increase from $10 to $15, and it will take three events, rather than two, to qualify for the Guild.

“We’re hoping that will keep more bowlers interested,” said Bieber.

The NBA has also decided to start all of its events at 9:30 a.m., instead of 10 a.m. Even next year’s Guild is tentatively scheduled for the morning, rather than the afternoon.

“That way, everyone can get on with the rest of the day. I think it will work out better for everyone,” said Bieber.

Perhaps the most exciting change for next year will be the addition of a point system, something this writer has been suggesting for a couple of years.

“We have a commitment from Ricci Guidarelli at Lee’s Trophies to sponsor our point system. Bowlers will get points for participation, plus, bowlers will be rewarded for finishing first, second and third on the point list.”

Bieber also said that a few new centers will be on the schedule, including Redwood, which has tentatively joined the sponsors’ list. Saratoga Strike Zone is also on the tentative 2009-10 schedule.

This year’s winners were Jim Thomas of Binghamton (Town ‘N Country), Eric Stangle of Ballston Spa (Hoe Bowl in Catskill), Steve Wagoner of Broadalbin (Towne Bowling Academy), Joe Mazuryk of Duanesburg (Sportsman’s Bowl), Mark Taylor of Rotterdam (Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy) and Dan Furman of Glenville (Bob Guild at Del Lanes).

QUEENS THIS WEEKEND

When the 38th annual New York State Queens Championship is held Saturday at Clover Lanes in Rochester, a large contingent of Capital Region bowlers will be competing.

This area has always done well in Queens competition. In fact, the late Barb Leicht was among the few multiple champions in this event. Debbie Capullo has won twice, and Marie Mazone and Carol Crandall are also former champs.

Among the area women scheduled to compete are Jessica

DeCrescente, Tina Blake, Karrie Romanowski, Jodi Musto, Pat Boguzski, Krystle Unser, Robin Fredenburgh and Kara Struf­folino.

The format has changed this year. Instead of a five-game qual­ifier, there will be a four-game qualifier, after which there will be a cut and three more games will be bowled. The top five advance to the stepladder finals.

Instead of two divisions — under 190 average and over 190 — there now will be three. A 55-and-over division has been added.

Last year, pro Liz Johnson took the title at Sunset Lanes.

LeCLAIR honored

Brian LeClair of Athens, who bowled the second half of the PBA Tour on a special exemption this season, was named the PBA East Region Player of the Year.

LeClair won two regional titles, and finished second twice. He cashed in 17 of 18 events, and made match play 10 times. LeClair averaged 216 in regional competition and earned $14,575.

His highest finish on the national tour is second place. He was the runner-up to Walter Ray Williams Jr. twice.

MAJORS SHOWDOWN

The first round of the second annual Monday Majors Showdown, for the benefit of the Schenectady Kiwanis Club’s program for

underprivileged children, will be held Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at Towne Bowling Academy.

The opening match features the Sportsman’s Major league all-stars against the Schenectady

League all-stars. Sportsman’s lineup includes Mike Guidarelli, Mike Smith, Mark Hilton and John

Leone. Schenectady’s lineup will have Tony Palumbo, Dave McLear, Cliff Ruth and Dennis Booth.

The winner of Sunday’s match takes on the City League all-stars April 29 at Sportsman’s Bowl. The City league team consists of Joe Vanderlinden, John Mango, Craig Taylor and Marty Capullo Jr.

STRIKES & SPARES

u The national branch of the USBC will be holding a meeting to form a new USBC Empire State Men’s Bowling Association on

May 30 at 1 p.m. at Stanley Theature on Genesee Street in Utica. A new state board will be elected. Delegates and state association members are invited to participate and to vote for a new board of directors. If anyone is interested in running for state office, they must send in an application by May 8. Details can be found on bowl.com.

u Mohawk Skill Games captured the second half title in the Schenec­tady League Monday night at Rolling Greens, and will face first-half champions TJ’s Auto Monday at 6 p.m. for the overall league title. Left-hander Tony Palumbo won the league average championship, followed by Dave McLear (224), Dick Peckham (222) and Cliff Ruth (221). The league is looking for one team or any four bowlers to complete a team for next season. Interested bowlers should contact Cliff Ruth at 355-5753 or CLRuth@aol.com. They can also contact the lanes at 381-4848.

u The Northeast Bowling

Proprietors of New York/Huck Finn’s Jack Scaccia Sr. Mem­orial Tournament will hold its final qualifiers this weekend. Town ‘N Country will hold qualifiers Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m., while Boulevard Bowl will hold two more qualifiers Sunday at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Bowlers must have six tournament credits to compete. The semifinals and finals will be televised live at

11 a.m. at Town ‘n Country on April 26. Top prize is $4,000 guaranteed. Call Jeff Segel at 439-7628 for qualifying squad reservations. Mark James, who filled in for an ailing Bill Neumann, is the defending champion.

u Heath Boyle shot a 258-711 for his first career 700 triple in the

Automasters league at Towne Bowling Academy.

u The Polar Bears won the second half title in the Menagerie league, and will take on the Lab­radors in the league roll-off

April 24 at 6 p.m. Joe Belli collected his first 700 triple with a 244-722 during the regular-season finale.

u Team Luanne won the championship in the Monday’s Funnies league. Betty Belli, Pat Clark and Marie Palmer comprised the winning team.

u “Juggernaut” won both halves of the Gazette league championship at Sportsman’s Bowl. The winning team included Frank Impellizzeri Jr., Jim Riley, Dave Kozak and Ted Sacawa, who missed the second half because of illness. Mike Kingsley was the average champion with a 224. Riley and Paul Tariello were the high-low champs.

u The 14th annual Blizzard Bowl, in memory of Jack Scaccia Sr. and for the benefit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady, will have its final squad Saturday night at 9:30 at Boulevard Bowl. Top prize in the four-person team event will be $2,000. Singles and doubles div­isions are also available. Entry fee is $60 per team, $10 per doubles tandem and $5 for singles. Call 374-4171 to reserve your spot.

u Burnt Hills Lanes will host the 76th annual Schenectady USBC Bowling Association City Championship May 3-17. Handicap will be 90 percent of 240. The event is open to all Schenectady USBC BA members. Entry fee for the four-person team event is $80. Doubles will be $40 per tandem, and singles will be $20. All-events is $5. Entries close May 3. Top prize for the handicap team event will be $1,200, based on 120 entries. There also will be a scratch team event on

May 3 at 6 p.m. An extra fee of $5 will be changed for the Scratch Team Challenge, and all the extra money will go to the winning scratch team, which also receives championship trophies and free admission to the annual SBA banquet. For more information, call tourn­ament directors Steve Renzi (399-2942) or Lloyd Denny

(355-5632).

u The PBA Tour has granted an exemption for the 2009-10 season to Jason Sterner because of the unusual circumstances surrounding last week’s U.S. Open. Three bowlers withdrew because of

injury, and Mike Edwards, who finished 36th and was 12 places out of the cut when round-robin match play began, replaced Pete Weber, who withdrew just prior to the start of the final eight-game block. At the time, Edwards was 37th on the PBA point list, one spot behind Sterner. That would have allowed Sterner to retain his exemption for next season. But by bowling as an alternate, Edwards earned enough points to surpass Sterner and bump him from the final exempt spot. The PBA decided that to deny Sterner an exemption under those circumstances was wrong. So the PBA Tour granted exemptions to both Edwards and Sterner. The extra exemption spot will mean there will be one less spot available for the weekly Tournament Qualifying Round next season.

 
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