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November 29, 2020 - 10:02am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling, sports.

Whether he's oiling the lanes, working on a pinsetter, helping out in the kitchen or bowling in a league, Robbie Hanks is known as someone who gives 100 percent to his father, Randy's, business -- Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

On Monday night, he was rewarded by rolling a 300 game while competing in the Sneezy's Monday League at Oak Orchard Bowl. His games were 225-237-300 for a 762 series.

The 28-year-old right-hander now has nine perfect games to go along with three 800 series, all at the Albion establishment.

Also in the league, Brandon Gurnsey started with a spare before stringing 11 straight strikes for a 290 game in a 746 series.

In other action around the Genesee Region:

-- Rodney Jopson posted 279--782 in the Wednesday Men's Handicap League at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen;

-- Justin Burdick fired 266--768 in the Tompkins Bank Monday Night NFL League at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia;

-- Tom Hahn spun 258--738 in the Mancuso Real Estate Monday Doubles League at Mancuso's.

In the Genesee Region Youth Travel League, Juliana Allis of Medina, a 15-year-old righty, rolled 199-241-236--676 to lead Oak Orchard Bowl 3 over Mancuso's, 23-5, on opening week at Mount Morris Lanes. 

The Oak Orchard Bowl 1 team posted a 21-7 win over Le Roy Legion Lanes as Jesse Keller posted 232--623.

The league bowls again at 1 p.m. Dec. 6 at Oak Orchard Bowl.

For a list of high scores last week, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

November 29, 2020 - 9:32am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling.

Through Nov. 29

Turnbull Heating Junior
High Series

Haylee Thornley 208--530
High Games
Megan Goras 155
Finnegan Herdlein 113
T.F. Brown’s Adult-Child
High Series

Mike Sputore 228--655
Nate Balduf 225--631
Charise Blew 220--581
High Games
Benjamin Sputore 201
Emma Balduf 156
Danny Balduf 136
Joshua Sprague 95
Mancuso Real Estate Doubles
High Series

Tom Hahn 256-258-224--738
Jason Quilliam 254--677
Lemar Leach 247--646
Jeremy Vallance 228--621
Tompkins Bank Monday NFL
High Series

Justin Burdick 264-238-266--768
Dave Carlson 220--602
Monday Night Independent Ladies
High Series

Kim Williams 192--551
High Games
Mary Beth Lovria 247
Laraine Caton 199
Kathy Murty 195
Val Cordes 186
Tina Pahuta 181
Turnbull Heating Tuesday Triples
High Series

Paul Spiotta 268--722
Mike Pettinella 247--706
Chris Bailey 256--651
Paul Bacon 244--636
Mike Johnson 625
Steve Lindemuth 234--615
Antique World Tuesday Coed
High Series

Ron Lawrence 250--651
Bill Neubert 607
Dave Carlson 605
Wednesday Nite Ladies
High Games
Kathy Pacino 189
Wednesday Nite Misfits
High Series

Gary Kuchler 222--638
Gary MacDonald 267--751
Wednesday Men’s Handicap
High Series

Rodney Jopson 279--782
Scott Gibson 232--682
Bob Cassidy 255--652
Pete Evinsky 258--643
Charles Gelsomino 267--640
Frank Stumpf 630
Frank Jarkiewicz 235--624
Harris Busmire 224--610
Laurie Morgante 211--598
High Games
Patricia Jopson 202
Thursday Owls
High Series

Kevin Gray Jr. 279--770
Tom Sardou 269--680
Mark Mack 243--668
Gary MacDonald 248--653
Dennis Meyer 234--618
Scott Gray 229--614
Kevin Gray Sr. 610
High Games
Harris Busmire 226
Jillian Menzie 209
Saturday Youth League
High Series

Brendan Pimm 235--617
Michael Sardou 225--590
Madelynn Pimm 216--522
Sneezy’s Monday Night
High Series

Robbie Hanks 300--762
Brandon Gurnsey 290--746
Paul Baney 257--704
Joshua Bennett 258--696
Alex Morris 256--683
Kevin Miller 257--678
Bill Logan 267--667
Josh Bowman 258--662
Heywood Whittier 251--642
Reid Cole 277--636
High Games
James Stymus 249
Matt Baker 235
Brett Boring 234
Le Roy Moose
High Series

Zach Plath 266--630
Mike Nailos 238--609
High Games
AJ Allenbrandt 225


November 22, 2020 - 8:29pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling, sports.

Warsaw's Kevin Gray Jr. continued his red-hot bowling in the Thursday Owls League at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen this week.

The left-hander popped a 279 game en route to a 770 series, his second big 700 set in the past four weeks. At the end of October, he rolled a 798 series.

Gray's latest effort raised his average to 233 after 30 games.

In other action around the Genesee Region USBC last week:

-- Gary MacDonald of Batavia fired a 751 series in the Wednesday Nite Misfits at Mancuso Bowling Center, raising his average to 229.

-- Laurie Morgante of Bergen rolled 658 in the Wednesday Handicap League at Rose Garden Bowl.

-- Darlene Balduf of South Byron spun a 261 game and 627 series in the Wednesday Nite Ladies League at Mancuso's.

For a list of high scores, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

November 17, 2020 - 10:43am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling, sports.


In a battle of former Golden Gophers, Mickey Hyde of Le Roy defeated Mark Brown of Attica, 279-213, on Sunday to capture the 13th annual Triple O Mechanical Handicap Singles Tournament at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

Hyde rolled 269 scratch (he received 10 pins handicap) to cap a high-scoring day and claim the $500 first prize.

It is the second local singles tourney victory for Hyde in a year for the Bank of Castile Le Roy branch manager, who placed first in the Genesee Region USBC Senior Masters last November at Mount Morris Lanes -- using his favorite ball, the Roto-Grip Uproar in both competitions.

Hyde averaged 239 scratch for his seven games – three in the qualifying round and four in the eliminator-style finals, where two of the four bowlers on each pair of lanes advance to the next round.

Brown, who rolled 202 scratch in the title game (11 pins handicap), pocketed $250 for placing second in the event, which drew 58 entries.

Both Hyde (1984) and Brown (1987) are graduates of Pavilion High School and are longtime friends.

They reached the title match by defeating a pair of 18-year-olds, Dennis Van Duser of Perry and Kyle Johnson of Batavia, in the semifinals.

With handicap, Brown rolled 246, Hyde 242, Van Duser 228 and Johnson 212.

Van Duser and Johnson each won $110.

Quarterfinalists, winning $55 apiece, were Peter Pilaroscia and Scott Dingman of Rochester, and Jerry Menzie Jr. and Rob Husted of Bergen. Husted rolled 234 in the second round, falling three pins short of overtaking Hyde for the second spot behind Johnson’s 262.

Other cashers ($40) were Frank Jarkiewicz of Byron, Mike Johnson of Batavia, Brian Weber of Perry, Jillian Menzie and Harris Busmire of Bergen, Chris Mathis and Marcus Germonto of Rochester, and Mark Mack of Le Roy.

Busmire (297) and Jarkiewicz (290) had the high games in the USBC-certified tournament.

In other tournament action:

  • Team Baney placed first in the PAWS Triples No-Tap Tournament at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion over the weekend, rolling 2,562 with handicap to outlast 43 other teams for the $465 top prize. Members were Sammy Oddo, Matt Nolan and Paul Baney.

They were followed by Sticks 'N' Stones (Alishia Foss, Corey Winters and Bailey Hudson), $330, and El Leach (Derek Leach, Devon Leach, Josh Elliott), $275.

The top eight teams cashed in the event, which raised close to $2,000 for the PAWS Animal Shelter in Albion.

  • Bonnie Willey of Geneseo took top honors in the Class AA (75-and-over) division of the 35th Gladys Ford Memorial Women's Senior Singles at Livingston Lanes in Geneseo, rolling a tournament-best 676 series for the $150 first prize.

Carole Flicker of Lakeville was second at 661, winning $100. Other cashers were Dawn Bertrand, Wyoming, 656, $80; Bonnie Wass, Warsaw, 628, $50, and Joanne Reed, Livonia, 596, $30.

In Class A (70-74), Bernie Hotchkiss of Mount Morris placed first with 607, good for $85.

In Class B (65-59), Betsy Flint of Portageville was first with 596 ($85).

In Class C (60-64), Marian Gerhardy of Albion was first with 634 ($85), followed by Dawn Luckenbach of Caledonia, 626 ($57).

In Class D (55-59), Penny Brown led the way with 633, winning $85, and Lisa Granger of Silver Springs was second with 584 ($57).

In Class E (50-54), Diane Hurlburt placed first with 584 $60).

Thirty-four GRUSBC members competed. The GRUSBC contributed $200 to the tournament.

Photo: Tom Sardou, proprietor of Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen; Mickey Hyde, Mark Brown. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

November 16, 2020 - 9:30am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling.

Alex Morris of Batavia came within a pin of his first United States Bowling Congress-certified perfect game last week in the Sneezy's Monday Night League at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

The 31-year-old right-hander strung 11 strikes before coming up high on the final ball -- leaving a 3-pin -- for a 299 game. It is the second 299 for Morris, who will receive an award from the Genesee Region USBC. He finished with a 691 series.

High series for the week included Scott Gibson of Oakfield, 750 in the Wednesday Men's Handicap League at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen; Curtis Foss, 749 in the Sneezy's League, and Jim Pursel, 741 in the Toyota of Batavia Thursday 5-Man at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

For a list of high scores, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of the home page.

November 9, 2020 - 9:27am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling.

Press Release:

A pair of 298 games and a 788 series highlighted Genesee Region USBC league bowling action this past week at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

In the Antique World Tuesday Coed League, 22-year-old right-hander James Townsend continued his stellar bowling this season with 246-276-266 for 788 on lanes 17-18.

The Walmart automotive employee rolled nine strikes in game one, 10 in game two (including the first nine in a row) and the first eight strikes in game three. He needed two strikes in the 10th frame for an 800 series but fell short, getting nine spare and eight on his final ball.

Steve Krna of Alexander flirted with perfection, rolling the first 11 strikes before leaving two pins on his final ball for 298. He finished with a 703 series.

In the Toyota of Batavia Thursday League, Devon Leach posted 11 in a row before leaving the 4-9 split for a 298. He finished with a 686 series.

In the Mancuso Real Estate Monday Night League, Jeremy Vallance led the way with 753.

At Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, Warsaw lefty Kevin Gray Jr. made it three straight 700 sets with 266--750 in the Thursday Owls League, while Rodney Jopson stayed in the groove with 256--725 in the Wednesday Night Handicap League.

For a list of high scores, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of the page.

November 1, 2020 - 3:54pm
posted by Press Release in sports, Bowling.

Press release:

Genesee Region USBC league bowlers produced one honor score and several near misses to close out the month of October.

A pair of Rochester residents led the way as Joshua Cummings posted a 300 game in the American Legion Thursday Men’s League at Le Roy Legion Lanes and Robert Manners registered a 299 and 786 series in the Wednesday Men’s Handicap League at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

Cummings, a 45-year-old right-hander, opened with perfection on lanes 1-2, catching a couple crossover strikes early before hitting the 1-3 pocket the rest of the way.

The 300 is his second (the first came at Dewey Garden Lanes in Rochester) to go with a 299 rolled in 1999 and an 812 series in 2009, both at Sunset Lanes in Rochester.

He said he used a Storm Match Up ball purchased last year specifically for Legion Lanes.

“I got the ball from Chris Lamb at Lightning Strikes (pro shop) just for Le Roy because I needed something to go long,” said Cummings, an employee of Panther Graphics in Rochester. “He polished it up and it has been working pretty well.”

Cummings lost his carry after game one, however, and finished with a 642 series. He averaged 195 in Le Roy last season and 215 at Sunset Lanes.

At Rose Garden Bowl, Manners, a 47-year-old righty, had the line from the start and kept in all night, rolling 299-267-220--786 in a substitute role.

Elsewhere around the region:

-- Veteran Batavia bowler Mike Pettinella stayed hot in the Turnbull Heating Tuesday Triples League at Mancuso Bowling Center, recording 268-247-259—774. The big series followed a 744 set the previous week.

-- Warsaw lefty Kevin Gray Jr. notched a 298 game and 739 series to take top honors in the Thursday Owls League at Rose Garden Bowl, edging his father, Kevin Sr., who rolled 279—733. Gray Jr. had a 798 series the week before.

-- Jeremy Vallance of Warsaw registered 269-237-244—750 to lead the Mancuso Real Estate Monday Doubles League at Mancuso’s, while Matt Balduf of South Byron put up the same score with 267-246-237—750 in the Toyota of Batavia Thursday 5-Man at Mancuso’s. Geoff Harloff of Batavia was next with 236-259-253—748.

-- At Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, Bill Logan of Albion had games of 267, 257 and 223 in a 747 series in the Sneezy’s Monday Night League.

For a list of high scores through Oct. 31, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

September 29, 2020 - 10:26am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Curtis Foss, Bowling.

Face coverings, plastic sheeting between the seating area and social distancing are no match for Medina resident Curtis Foss, the Genesee Region USBC's high average champion (246) for the 2019-20 season.

The 33-year-old right-hander is off to an unbelievable start in this COVID-19-hampered season, rolling a 300 game, two 299 games and three 800 series in league play over the past 10 days at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

Foss rolled 300--813 in the Friday Singles League on Sept. 18, 299--803 in the Thursday Men's Triples League on Sept. 24 and 299--811 in the Sneezy's Monday Night League last night.

Elsewhere around the Genesee Region: Robbie Hanks fired 269--766 in the Sneezy's Monday Night League at Oak Orchard Bowl; Kevin Gray Jr. of Warsaw rolled 258--751 in the Thursday Owls League at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen; Rodney Jopson recorded 269--747 in the Wednesday Men's Handicap League at Rose Garden Bowl; and Darleen Balduf of Byron registered 244--652 in the Wednesday Nite Ladies League at Mancuso Bowling Center.

Click on the Pin Points tab above for a list of early-season high scores.

August 26, 2020 - 11:59am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling, Gov. Cuomo, bowling centers.

League bowlers who have been objecting to the one-lane rule received some good news on Tuesday, but the same can’t be said for those who are protesting having to wear a face covering while delivering the ball.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office ruled that leagues can be conducted as normal – switching each frame between two lanes over the course of a game – as long as “appropriate physical barriers” are put up between lanes.

Bowling proprietors throughout the state have been buying plastic sheeting, shower curtains and plexiglass, and are in the process of using those materials to separate bowlers in the seating area and at the ball return.

According to an email blast from the New York State Bowling Proprietors Association, the latest guidelines include the answer to two questions:

Q. Leagues typically use a pair of lanes when they are bowling. Is it permissible for teams to swap lanes (team bowls on the left lane, next time they bowl on the right lane) with the barrier still in place between the lanes and they stay seated on one side at all times?

A. Yes, if they don’t interact and otherwise maintain social distancing when switching.

Q. With regards to the number of players to any event (other than a regular league) at the facility being restricted to 50 or fewer, can that group bowl on consecutive lanes without barriers? For example, if a family of 10 comes in to bowl together they would normally bowl on two lanes next to each other. Do they need to have a barrier between their lanes even though they are together? This would be similar to a family out dining together.

A. No barrier needed here if part of the same group.

While league members will be pleased to know that two lanes can be used during competition, the rule stating that face coverings must be worn at all times for patrons/players is “the biggest issue” right now, said Mike Sputore, manager of Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

Sputore said the reaction at league meetings this week has been decidedly against the directive that masks have to be worn while actually rolling the ball.

“Our numbers are going to be way down if this isn’t changed, but I am optimistic that it will be,” Sputore said, noting that the number of bowlers in a few leagues that have met thus far has declined as much as 50 percent from last season. “The mask rule should be the same as with the restaurant – when you’re seated a table you can remove your mask. If a bowler is social distanced on the lane, why does he or she need to wear the mask then?”

He also said people are concerned about being able to breathe properly and those with glasses have problems with their glasses fogging up while wearing a face covering.

Other guidelines still in place for bowling are as follows:

  • Restrict facility capacity to no more than 50 percent of the maximum occupancy for a particular area as set by the certificate of occupancy, inclusive of employees and patrons/players;
  • Strictly enforce social distancing of at least six feet between parties of patrons/players, including during play by closing adjacent bowling lanes or enacting appropriate physical barriers between lanes;
  •  Ensure patrons/players interact only with their party at their assigned lane (i.e., no comingling of parties);
  • Rigorously clean and disinfect any rented or shared equipment (e.g., bowling balls, bowling shoes) between each patron’s/player’s or party’s use;
  • Limit the number of patrons/players to any event at the facility to no more than the current social gathering restrictions that are in effect for the region as a part of the State’s phased reopening (i.e., 50 or fewer people in Phase 4 regions, as of Aug. 15, 2020); and Adhere to the Department of Health's “Interim Guidance for Food Services during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency” and all other applicable state-issued guidance (e.g., State Liquor Authority) for food and beverage service on the premise of the facility; provided, however, that indoor food and beverage service remains prohibited in New York City until further notice, as of Aug. 15, 2020.

Further, responsible parties of bowling centers and alleys may consider these additional public health and safety measures:

  • Encourage patron/player visits be made in advance by reservation only, where practicable;
  • Consider measures to reduce interpersonal contact and congregation, such as: “blocking off” operating times to allow for enhanced cleaning and disinfection; implementing “sign-up” policies, so patrons/players only play during their allotted time; and/or offering “equipment valets” where employees retrieve equipment for patrons/players (e.g., employees retrieve bowling balls from rack for use);
  • Post signage and issue audio reminders for patrons/players to clean and disinfect equipment before and after use;
  • Impose reasonable limits on rentals of facility owned equipment (e.g., a single individual may only use one bowling ball for the duration of the patron’s/player’s play); and/or
  • Encourage patrons/players to bring and use their own equipment (e.g., bowling balls).

Also, billiards are not allowed to be open at this time.

August 24, 2020 - 3:50pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling, notify, mancuso bowling center.



Mancuso Bowling Center opened its doors for business at 3 p.m. today, welcoming bowlers back for the first time since being forced to shutdown in mid-March due to COVID-19.

Former Batavian Randy Johnson (top photo), an avid bowler, drove in from Buffalo to get in some practice time. Photo at bottom shows a sign -- Please Social Distance 6 Ft. Apart -- as part of New York State's reopening requirements.

Other changes include hand sanitizing stations throughout the faciliity and instructions on face coverings, food service and proper use of house bowling balls and rental shoes. Manager Mike Sputore said league meetings are being held this week.

Photos by Mike Pettinella.

Previously: Amid confusion, public health director responds to questions about bowling league guidelines

August 21, 2020 - 1:43pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling, notify.

Bowling center proprietors and managers are reaching out to state and local bowling association representatives and to the New York State Bowling Proprietors Association to find out what they can and cannot do when it comes to running their leagues for the 2020-21 season.

Normally, fall leagues begin just before or right after Labor Day, which is on Sept. 7th this year.

Last Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that bowling centers would be able to reopen on Aug. 17, ending a five-month shutdown of the state’s nearly 300 bowling establishments as New York dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor’s press release listed the following safety protocols for bowling centers:

  • Operating at 50-percent maximum occupancy limit;
  • Face coverings and social distancing will be required at all times;
  • Every other lane must be closed;
  • Patrons need to stay with the party at their assigned lane;
  • Thorough cleaning and disinfection of shared or rented equipment between each use;
  • All food service must follow all state-issued guidance.

Furthermore, in New York City, due to restrictions on indoor dining, food and beverage service will not be allowed in New York City bowling centers.

Still, those who operate these facilities have expressed a degree of confusion, seeking more specifics. They also have varying ideas of how they believe (to some extent, wishful thinking) things should proceed.

Proprietors and managers -- judging by initial conversations with league secretaries -- are anticipating a drop off in membership as a result of one-lane only and face covering mandates.

In an effort to answer their questions, The Batavian reached out to Paul Pettit, Genesee/Orleans public health director, with the following:

Q. Can a team in a league, let’s say of four members, bowl on a pair of lanes (as is normally the case) – having just one bowler on the approach at a time – and have the pair of lanes next to them dark? For example, one team on lanes 1-2, lanes 3-4 dark, another team on lanes 5-6, lanes 7-8 dark, another team on lanes 9-10, and so forth? This still meets the 50-percent occupancy requirement.

A. On Aug. 14, the Governor’s office published a press release outlining the stipulations for bowling alleys to safely reopen (see above). An interim guidance has yet to be released by the State. Based on the press release, every other lane must be closed.

Q. Do masks have to be worn on the approach, or can a bowler remove the mask as he or she steps onto the lane, and then put the mask back on when stepping off the approach?

A. Face masks must be work at all times.

Q. How is the 50-percent capacity determined?

A. The 50-percent capacity would be based on the establishments building occupancy (not by multiplying the number of lanes by a specific number).

Q. Is there a chance these restrictions could be eased?

A. These restrictions are set forth by the state. Locally, we do not have the jurisdiction to alter or lessen the state requirements. If the restrictions are lifted or lessened, the state would be in charge of making that formal announcement.

Q. What else can you share at this time?

A. Again, we are waiting for the state to deliver the formal guidance for bowling alleys. This is not the first time the state has allowed a business to reopen with little to no guidance.

Facilities should monitor the New York Forward website for specific guidelines when they are released. Facilities can also email specific questions to the Finger Lakes Regional Control Room at: [email protected]. We appreciate the patience of the community as we wait for the state to release the guidance.


Doug Bohannon of Glens Falls, president of the New York State Bowling Proprietors Association, provided information about what is considered a “group or event”:

“We are allowed to operate at 50-percent capacity. The part in the guidance about ‘limiting the number of patrons/players to any event at the facility to no more than the current social gathering restrictions that are in effect for the region as a part of the State's phased reopening (i.e., 50 or fewer people in Phase Four 4 regions, as of Aug. 15, 2020)’ is confusing but I have obtained clarification from Albany which states that a league is not a group or event.

“This part of the guidance refers to, for example, a church group or a summer camp that wants to book an outing to your center. If that type of group wants to book an outing, then they are limited to 50 people.”

August 15, 2020 - 10:16am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, notify, Genesee Region USBC, Bowling.

Bowling center proprietors have crossed one giant hurdle, finally convincing Gov. Andrew Cuomo that they can reopen their establishments safely, but now they face another significant challenge in figuring out how to run their leagues.

On Friday, the governor announced that centers will be allowed to reopen starting this Monday – good news for managers who rely on the weeks before Labor Day to determine the strength of their leagues and recruit new bowlers.

However, with the mandate to limit capacity to 50 percent and to keep every other lane closed due to social distancing, deciding where and when leagues will be able to bowl when they begin in early September likely will take on the look of musical chairs.

Normally, league opponents are set up to bowl on two adjoining lanes – lanes 1-2, for example – and to alternate lanes for each frame over the course of their three-game match.

In the first game, the team starting on lane 1 would bowl frames 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 on lane 1 and frames 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 on lane 2. The alternating pattern would continue through the next two games.

Rule Changes Allow Bowling on One Lane

Fortunately, several weeks ago the United States Bowling Congress, the governing body of the sport, temporarily waived USBC Playing Rules 106a, 106b, 320a and 320b, which state two lanes must be used for competition and bowlers must alternate lanes – bowling five frames on each lane of the pair.

The USBC also waived the requirement that both lanes must be used for a bowler to be eligible for awards and average recognition.

Those rule changes open the door for leagues to continue, but league bowling teams are going to have to be flexible and be willing to bowl on just one lane until the time comes when Albany loosens the limitations on lane usage and capacity.

“It’s tough,” said Mike Sputore, manager of the 24-lane Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, which plans to open on Aug. 24. “We’ve come up with a couple thought processes, but there’s no perfect plan … bowlers are going to have to work with us.”

Sputore said the only fair way to get the ball rolling is to “offer all of our leagues an opportunity to have a meeting and gauge the total number of league bowlers willing to still bowl (considering the restrictions).”

“One of our thoughts is to run double shifts for all the leagues, for instance, our Tuesday league that bowls on lanes 1 through 10 would be able to have five teams bowl on that first shift – maybe go odd (team numbers) the first week and even (team numbers) on the second shift,” he said. “That’s the only fair way to allow all of the teams to participate.”

Will League Bowlers Start Earlier?

He also said the weekly starting times could be moved up, so instead of the league starting at 7 p.m., it would be willing to start around 5:30. That way the second shift would be able to begin around 7:30 or 8 p.m. – the exact times determined by the number of bowlers on each team.

Sputore also said an option could be to have all the bowlers in one league bowl on the first shift on the first and third weeks of the month, and another league scheduled for that particular night having the first shift on the second and fourth weeks of the month.

That way, all members of a 12-team league, for example, would be able to bowl at the same time, but spread out over the 24 lanes, skipping every other lane.

Mancuso’s has the most lanes of all the centers serviced by the Genesee Region USBC, with other “larger” centers being Medina Lanes (20), Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion (18) and Livingston Lanes in Geneseo (16).

Finding something that works at the smaller centers will be all the more difficult.

Eight Isn't Enough

“I’m really hoping that the guidelines change again by the time we start our leagues,” said Bob Santini, proprietor of Mount Morris Lanes, which has eight lanes and a full weekly schedule of leagues, including two with five members per team. “If we have to go every other lane, it’s going to be tough.”

Santini, like Sputore, mentioned the first and second shift notion, but bemoaned the fact that the second squad of a five-person league wouldn’t finish until around 11 p.m.

He said the other option would be to allow half of a particular league to bowl on week one of the month, and the other half of the league to bowl on week two of the month. However, that would reduce the number of sessions for each group to 16 (for a 32-week league), effectively cutting his income in half.

“There’s two options and neither one of them are very good,” he said.

Santini also wondered if the requirement out of Albany that everyone has to wear a face covering applied when the bowler is actually on the lane, making his or her delivery. He mentioned that masks aren’t required when people are sitting down at a table eating.

“We’ve had two league meetings thus far and for the most part, everybody’s good with everything, except the masks,” he said.

The other Genesee Region USBC bowling centers with certified leagues are Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen (8 lanes), Paris Lanes in Oakfield (12 lanes), Perry Bowling Center (8 lanes), Letchworth Pines in Portageville (12 lanes), and Legion Lanes in Le Roy (8 lanes).

Waiting for More Guidelines

Doug Bohannon, of Glens Falls, president of the New York State Bowling Proprietors Association, said he is waiting for further details on the guidelines, including if face coverings have to be worn at all times.

“I know in Texas you have to wear a mask even when you’re bowling, and Florida it might be that way, but all the states surrounding us, you don’t have to wear the masks when you bowl,” he said. “The state has let us open, but they really haven’t given us the full set of rules yet.”

As far as all the requirements, Bohannon said proprietors will just have to make it work.

“It’s much better than staying closed,” he said. “If everybody just keeps doing what they’re doing (in terms of health and safety protocols), I think we will see a loosening in the restrictions.”

Other guidelines for bowling centers include: social distancing required at all times; bowlers need to stay at their assigned lanes; thorough cleaning and disinfection of shared or rented equipment between each use will be required; and all food service must follow all state-issued guidance.

August 14, 2020 - 4:19pm
posted by Press Release in steve hawley, Bowling, sports.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is celebrating the state’s decision to allow local bowling alleys to reopen at 50-percent capacity this upcoming Monday.

All bowling alleys will be able to start up with food being served by wait staff, ensuring that local economies receive the boost in revenue they need while also allowing locals to get in some exercise and play after being cooped up inside for so long.

“I’m thrilled to hear that progress continues to be made with the reopening of the state,” Hawley said. “I had written a letter some time ago to the governor asking for bowling alleys to be opened as soon as possible for the sake of local economies alongside the service they provide citizens in stretching their legs and having some light fun.

"Our conference had then sent another letter requesting much of the same. It’s good to hear that the governor is hearing us and taking into account the steps needed to ensure that people are protected and remain healthy during this continually challenging time.”

August 4, 2020 - 12:54pm

The proprietor of Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia believes the future of the industry is at stake if Gov. Andrew Cuomo doesn’t allow bowling centers to reopen immediately.

Rick Mancuso, in a letter sent to Assemblyman Stephen Hawley today, is imploring the governor to let bowling centers reopen in a safe and conscientious manner, adding that the month of August sets the stage for operations continuing into next spring.

“If we do not get our leagues signed up and committed, bowlers will find other options for entertainment,” Mancuso wrote. “There will be no coming back for this recreational past time that has provided for local communities in a multitude of ways.”

Mancuso is speaking for proprietors of nearly 300 bowling centers and close to 9,000 employees in New York State, many of whom have written similar letters, signed petitions and sent emails, held press conferences – and even sent bowling pins featuring pleas to reopen to the governor – in an effort to solicit a response from Albany.

Bowling centers were forced to close in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, wiping out the end of their league seasons and any tournaments on their schedule. And while centers in Connecticut and New Jersey have reopened; halls in New York remain dark. At least two centers in the state have closed for good, including Miller Lanes in Honeoye Falls.

A fixture in the community for nine decades, Mancuso Bowling Center is one of 10 centers serviced by the Genesee Region USBC, a local association affiliated with the United States Bowling Congress. The USBC cancelled its national tournaments in 2020 and, more recently, announced that it will not conduct any events through the rest of this year.

Mancuso said he is very concerned for the future of individual businesses and the industry, in general.

“The timeline for events in the bowling business begins from the beginning of August to the middle of August for the upcoming 30-week season and the startup of leagues is generally immediately after Labor Day,” he indicated in his letter. “We need to get some guidance and communication now as to what the plan is for bowling centers across the state … a plan as to how we are going to survive and move forward.”

He also noted that the bowling industry has been in a steady decline over the last couple decades due to a number of factors, mostly unrelated to the owners’ own actions.

“This (present) time is threatening to push the industry over the edge and force closure of centers. Hundreds of thousands of square feet of buildings will become vacant, which will affect not only local/state taxes but the quality of life in hundreds of communities,” Mancuso said.

In a related development, Randy Hanks, owner of Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, was on a Zoom videoconference this morning, and he reported that the New York State Bowling Proprietors Association will be distributing a two-minute public service announcement to NYS proprietors.

“It will explain what we’re doing in regard to social distancing, disinfecting and other measures to ensure that we open safely for everyone – customers and our employees,” he said.

NYS BPA President Doug Bohannon, proprietor of Kingpin’s Alley Family Fun Center in South Glens Falls, said that proprietors will be reimbursed up to $50 for posting the “Safe, Sanitized and Ready to Roll” commercial spot and sharing it with as many people as possible.

“We are working hard to get the governor’s attention … to keep the awareness up there concerning our situation,” Bohannon said.

He also mentioned that fitness center and gym owners are in the process of filing a class action suit against the governor, but that the NYS BPA is not considering going down that route at this time.

July 17, 2020 - 5:26pm

New York State bowling center proprietors are going on the offensive in an effort to convince Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allow their businesses to reopen.

Rebuffed in their attempts to be part of the state’s Phase Three reopening plan, proprietors are becoming increasingly frustrated and worried after not being able to resume operations when Phase Four went into effect on June 26.

With backing from the Bowling Proprietors Association of America and the New York State Bowling Proprietors Association, bowling center owners have reached out to state lawmakers, hoping to impress upon them – and ultimately, the governor -- that with proper social distancing and disinfecting protocols in place, bowling can resume in a safe environment.

Local Assemblyman Stephen Hawley and Long Island Assemblyman Joseph DeStefano as well as Senator Daphne Jordan, who represents an area including Saratoga Springs, have written letters to the Cuomo on behalf of the bowling industry.

Hawley’s letter in June, pushing for a Phase Three opening, was signed by 17 other state legislators.

DeStefano hosted a press conference via Zoom videoconferencing last week and another at noon today that was broadcast on Facebook Live today from Coram Country Lanes in Suffolk County.

Today’s event attracted bowling proprietors and bowlers from across the state.

'We're Ready, Willing and Able'

“We know that bowling centers are supposed to be within Phase Four. We’re in Phase Four but yet the bowling community has not been advised as to what to do about reopening,” DeStefano said. “We’re here today to show everybody that the bowling community is ready, willing and able to do the things necessary to reopen.”

DeStefano said bowling centers “are not looking for a handout, we’re not looking for something for nothing … we want to do what is right for our communities. This is something that both sides agree on and the only person who hasn’t been listening is the governor.”

Nassau County Assemblyman John Mikulin said that bowling proprietors, like other business owners, want everyone to be safe.

“Bowling centers have a plan and can implement that plan and maintain social distancing,” he said. “Bowling contributes much to our communities.”

Approximately 300 bowling centers in New York employee around 8,700 people.

“Those are 8,700 people that are no longer working since March,” DeStefano said. “We need to get these people back to work and off the unemployment rolls.”

Looking for Clear Direction

Robert Martinez, representing Tom Muratore, Suffolk County legislator, said “if the pandemic does not hurt us, keeping our businesses closed and keeping people sitting home and waiting to work will certainly destroy us.”

DeStefano echoed the proprietors’ disappointment over the lack of direction from Albany.

“There are plenty of things that we have done so far to try and get these centers open again,” he said. “Unfortunately, for whatever reason, we’ve reached out to the Department of Health, we’ve reached out to the governor’s office, we’ve had a Zoom conference with the governor’s office and today we still haven’t heard … any guidance.”

Joe LaSpina, proprietor of Maple Family Centers on Long Island (and a center in Florida that has reopened), displayed his company’s 30-page reopening document that underscores customer safety, employee safety and exceeding the Center for Disease Control guidelines.

“We’re ready to embrace testing and social distancing. A pair of lanes is 11 ½ feet wide; that’s ample space for social distancing,” he said. “Our bowlers are aching to come back.”

At the Mercy of the Governor

Anthony Palumbo, another Long Island assemblyman, questioned Cuomo’s motivation in not responding to the proprietors.

“It’s almost if the governor is relishing in the fact that he can arbitrarily decide what is going to open and what isn’t going to open,” he said. “We’re all adults; we can do this safely and smartly. These small businesses will never reopen unless they allow us some leeway to do it smartly and safely.”

Chris Keller, owner of The All Star, a bowling center in Riverhead, said that since the shutdown, proprietors have focused on developing a plan for “clean, responsible and safe reopening when it was time.”

“Well, it is time. It’s time for the governor to trust in us; it’s time to let us open our doors again; it’s time to rehire our 8,700 employees; it’s time to enjoy our wonderful sport again,” he said.

John LaSpina, Joe’s father and longtime industry leader, pointed out that 40 years ago, bowling proprietors joined forces with the NYS Insurance Fund to create a safety group for all member centers.

“Through all of those years we have made significant strides in workplace safety, we have benefited by our collective exchange, reaped the benefits of discounted premiums and annual rebates based on our own safe performance. As you can see, safety is nothing new to us,” he said.

Bowling Supports Youth, Veterans

He also talked about the USBC’s commitment to youth bowling, noting that $80 million is being held in SMART accounts as scholarships earned by boys and girls across the nation. And that bowling has raised more than $50 million for veterans through the Bowlers to Veterans Link since the fund’s inception in 1942.

John LaSpina brought up that bowlers in the Downstate area are traveling to New Jersey and Connecticut to bowl.

“So, we wave and wish them luck on the lanes and remind them of all those tolls,” he said.

What he really would love, he said, is to have a “private conversation” with the governor.

“I would tell him that I was glued to the TV for almost every one of his briefings and that I salute him for making hard decisions, which is what leadership is all about,” he said. “Give us clear guidance of your expectations and we will deliver. We will enforce social distancing, lower occupancy and follow all sanitation protocols.

“We are ready, we are smart, we are safe … it’s time for you to open our doors and let us show you what we can do.”

July 16, 2020 - 3:25pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in notify, Bowling, Genesee Region USBC, sports.

The Genesee Region United States Bowling Congress Board of Directors has voted to cancel the Annual Banquet that was scheduled for July 25 at Batavia Downs Gaming.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing mandates that go with it, the board felt that it would be best to hold off on any large gatherings at this time.

The plan is to hold the banquet, including the Hall of Fame ceremony, on May 8, 2021, at Batavia Downs Gaming.

The association’s leaders in league high average, high game and high series – for both adults and youth – will be recognized with the presenting of plaques at the 2021 ceremony.

The 2019-20 leaders are as follows:

High Game – Men, 300, held by many; Women, 279, Diane Hurlburt, Warsaw; Youth, 300, Boys, Tony Sprague, Batavia, and Kyle Johnson, Batavia; Girls, 279, Jillian Menzie, Bergen.

High Series – Men, 834, Alex Allis, Medina; Women, 815, Diane Hurlburt, Warsaw; Youth, Boys, 752, Tony Sprague, Batavia; Girls, 653, Jillian Menzie, Bergen.

High Average – Men, 246.2, Curtis Foss, Medina; Women, 211, Amanda Coniglio, Mount Morris; Youth, Boys, 199, Dennis Van Duser, Perry; Girls, 196, Jillian Menzie, Bergen.


The association voted to honor four graduating senior bowlers with scholarships for the 2019-20 season. All four will receive scholarships in the amount of $600.

This year’s recipients are Jillian Menzie of Bergen (Rose Garden Bowl), Tony Sprague of Batavia (Mancuso Bowling Center), Emma Miller of Le Roy (Mancuso’s), and Dennis Van Duser of Perry (Perry Bowling Center).


The board did agree, however, to conduct the association’s annual “grand prize drawing” at its next board meeting, tentatively slated for 6 p.m. Aug. 5.

Three $500 prizes and four $25 prizes will be awarded in a random drawing of “entries” accumulated by bowlers through the association’s awards program.


In other action, the board agreed to set Tuesday, Aug. 11 and Thursday, Aug. 13 as the league supply distribution dates for the 2020-21 season.

Secretaries of USBC leagues that bowl at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, Le Roy Legion Lanes, Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, Paris Lanes in Oakfield, Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion and Medina Lanes will be able to pick up their supplies after 6 p.m. on Aug. 11 at Mancuso Bowling Center.

Secretaries of USBC leagues that bowl at Mount Morris Lanes, Perry Bowling Center, Letchworth Pines in Portageville, Livingston Lanes in Geneseo and Raider Lanes in Caledonia will be able to pick up their supplies after 6 p.m. on Aug. 13 at Mount Morris Lanes.

The supply packet will include membership cards, high score applications, league sanction application and updated league information.

President Gary Kuchler, Association Manager Mike Pettinella and Director John Wood plan on being present on both dates to answer questions, and are hopeful that bowling centers will be reopened by then.


Kuchler announced that board of director positions will be extended for another year since the Annual Banquet is on hold.

At its most recent meeting, the board elected Jerry Davis of Pavilion as vice president.

Four association members – Rich Culver of Medina, AJ Allenbrandt of Le Roy, and Batavians Brian Green and Mike Johnson -- have indicated their desire to fill vacancies on the board and have been recommended by the board for appointment at the August meeting.

Two other openings on the board are vacant.

GRUSBC members interested in serving on the board are asked to contact Kuchler at (585) 356-5915 or by sending an email to: [email protected]

May 31, 2020 - 1:29pm

The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt devastating blows to businesses of all types and sizes, but not many have been hit harder than the bowling industry.

The 2019-20 bowling season was cut short when the virus hit in mid-March, forcing leagues to cancel their seasons with four to eight weeks remaining.

As the crisis continued, tournaments at the national, state and local levels were cancelled – keeping bowlers on the sidelines and preventing organizations and center proprietors from generating millions of dollars in budgeted revenue.

With June a day away, bowling centers remain closed in most states. In New York, bowling has been lumped together with other forms of entertainment into Phase Four of the state’s reopening plan and it likely will be at least another month before centers are allowed to open their doors.

Proprietors, reeling from end-of-season losses, also have seen their spring and summer league programs washed away. They are uncertain about the start of the 2020-21 season in late August and early September, and wonder what league bowling will look like going forward.

“Bowling is not going to be the same for a while,” said Jack Moran, proprietor of Roseland Family Fun Center in Canandaigua, a facility that offers 34 traditional bowling lanes as well as eight VIP lanes, café, sports bar, and an arcade with laser tag and bumper cars.

Social distancing parameters – requirements that people stay at least six feet away from each other – have prompted the United States Bowling Congress to temporarily waive playing rules stating that two lanes must be used for competition and that bowlers must alternate lanes.

The USBC also waived the requirement that both lanes must be used for a bowler to be eligible for awards and average recognition.

What that means is, for league play, a team could bowl the entire game on lane one, for example, and its opposing team, could bowl its entire game on lane three.

Additionally, bowlers will be allowed to use isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) to clean their bowling balls during competition – a change from the current rule that states that no cleaners can be used during competition.

Although it is yet to be seen whether those new rules will be put into play, proprietors hoping to run summer leagues after reopening may have no alternatives.

“What are we going to do for six to eight weeks of summer leagues? We’re better off trying to run a special promotion to get people in the doors again, so that they feel safe,” said Moran, a past president of the NYS Bowling Proprietors Association. “We’re not even sure if people coming back in September are going to feel safe.”

Randy Hanks, proprietor of the 18-lane Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, said he is planning to separate customers by around 15 feet for open bowling.

“If a family’s is using a pair (of lanes) and they’re on lanes one and two, the next one used will be lane five – 15 to 20 feet away,” he said. “Plus, I’m going to have them prepay, leave the (house) balls and shoes on the ball return, and we’ll sanitize them after everybody is done.”

The NYS BPA already has drafted a long list of health- and safety-related protocols that proprietors will use to ensure a safe environment. Details can be found in the article below.

Hanks said the restaurant portion of his business has been open for take-out only, but revenue pales in comparison to normal operation.

“We lost four summer league, including our adult-junior league that would have ended the day we maybe can open up – June 26th,” Hanks said. “I don’t even want to look to see how much I lost since March 15 compared to the same time the last two years.”

Moran said his staff has been working hard to implement the protocols – markings on the floor, plexiglass shields, acquiring digital thermometers to check everyone’s temperature coming into one specified entrance, and so on.

“From what we’re being told, we will be allowed to open at 50 percent of our occupancy,” he said. “In my case, it equates to about 120 people in my center.”

He said he has talked to colleagues in other states to get a pulse on the situation.

“Talking to my friends in Ohio and Florida – they have been able to open up but it’s limited hours and every other lane for social distancing,” he said. “Right now, we’re trying to look at what the league structure will be like in September – and it’s not looking good if this thing goes six months.”

Mike Sputore, manager of Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, said he is looking to reopen the 24-lane center in mid- to late-August with all the protocols in place.

Echoing the concerns of the whole industry, he said time will tell on how to proceed.

“There are just too many uncertainties at this time,” he said. “How do we run the leagues? Do we use just one lane? How much time will it take to bowl? Will more than one league be able to bowl at a time? I just hope people don’t give up league bowling.”

May 31, 2020 - 1:24pm

Numerous bowling centers around the nation – and especially in New York State – are “on the brink” of closing for good, according to a well-known Long Island proprietor who is spearheading a grassroots campaign to persuade Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allow these recreational facilities to open up sooner than currently planned.

“We want to make everyone aware that bowling centers are more like restaurants, and should be permitted to reopen in Phase Three (of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan) instead of Phase Four,” said John LaSpina, president of Maple Family Centers, a chain of four bowling centers in the New York City area and another location in Florida.

La Spina has held numerous bowling leadership positions at the national, state, and local levels over a 60-year career. He has received multiple honors, including being selected as the International Bowling Industry Person of the Year in 1994 and to the New York State Hall of Fame in 2016.

He is calling upon New York state bowling association officers, league bowlers, and local government officials to contact their local legislators and request that the governor places bowling into Phase Three, a move that would enable bowlers to enjoy their sport two weeks earlier than currently planned.

Bowling is not the same as professional sports played in huge stadiums, and events staged in arenas and the theater, La Spina said.

“As bowlers centers have plenty of room and as proprietors understand the challenges we face, there is no reason why we can’t open up bowling in Phase Three so we may save some of the centers that are on the brink,” he said. “We respect the rules of social distancing and can easily and safely accommodate bowlers in our large facilities with 50 percent occupancy sooner rather than later.”

LaSpina said he is afraid that more and more businesses, not just bowling centers, will be closing their doors and may not come back as a result of the devastation caused by the coronavirus.

He and others representing the NYS Bowling Proprietors Association have drafted a letter that includes “talking points” and a list of protocols that bowling center personnel has put in place to protect the health of customers and staff.

Just a few of the protocols include:

-- Cleaning the seating, ball return, and scoring area using a disinfectant rated for COVID-19 between each lane usage;
-- Disinfecting each bowling center rental ball before and after each use, and each rental shoe before and after each use;
-- Providing social distancing throughout the facility to eliminate shared spaces;
-- Providing cashless payment options where possible;
-- Providing a separate entrance and exit for guests;
-- Installing plexiglass barriers at counters, between employees and customers;
-- Limiting group reservations to six or less.

He also said that people can email him at [email protected] if they need to identify members of the state Senate and Assembly in their area.

“We’re appealing to anyone – local mayors, police commissioners, restaurateurs and owners of other businesses – who can help us make our case, who know that bowling is a safe activity and that those who operate bowling are responsible people with a plan to keep everyone safe and to keep their facilities clean,” LaSpina said.

April 4, 2020 - 10:11am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling.

The COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to league bowling in the Genesee Region in mid-March, forcing keglers to the sidelines with anywhere from three to six weeks remaining on their schedules.

Many league secretaries have questions regarding their options for ending the season earlier than expected.

To view a Frequently Asked Questions document from the United States Bowling Congress and a guideline to adjusting prize lists, go to www.bowlgr.com.

Secretaries are welcome to contact the Genesee Region USBC office at [email protected] or contact their bowling center proprietors/managers for additional information or assistance.

April 1, 2020 - 10:01am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling.

The Genesee Region USBC has cancelled its annual Association Tournament and postponed its Awards Banquet due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

GRUSBC President Gary Kuchler today announced that the Team, Doubles & Singles tournament that was scheduled for Rose Garden Bowl and Le Roy Legion Lanes last month will not take place this year.

Team captains who prepaid will be receiving refund checks this week.

He also said that the Awards Banquet set for May 9 will be moved (tentatively) to July 25 at Batavia Downs Gaming.

“Hopefully, we will be able to hold our banquet to recognize this season’s top bowlers, Hall of Fame inductees and scholarship recipients,” Kuchler said, adding that he plans to call a board of directors’ meeting when conditions allow or possibly conduct a meeting by conference call.

He also asked league secretaries to submit their final average sheets to the GRUSBC office, 55 Edgewood Drive, Batavia, as soon as possible or to contact Association Manager Mike Pettinella for assistance ([email protected] or 343-3736).

In another bowling development, the remainder of the Tommy Kress 60-and-Over Tour schedule has been cancelled.

Kress said that all funds designated for the season-ending final tournament will be carried over to next season. His 10-event slate for 2020-21 is set to begin on Oct. 18.

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