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Local proprietor: Bowling industry is on the brink of disaster if centers aren't allowed to open soon

By Mike Pettinella

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.

State lawmakers go to bat for bowling proprietors disillusioned by prolonged shutdown

By Mike Pettinella

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.”

Bowling association cancels annual banquet, awards four scholarships, to hold grand prize drawing on Aug. 5

By Mike Pettinella

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]

Bowling industry reeling from mid-March shutdown, facing an uncertain future

By Mike Pettinella

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.”

'On the brink': L.I. proprietor leads campaign to persuade governor to allow bowling centers to open in Phase Three

By Mike Pettinella

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.

Information for bowling league secretaries in light of COVID-19

By Mike Pettinella

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

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.

Bowling association cancels tourney, moves awards banquet to July 25

By Mike Pettinella

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.

Bowling's state of affairs: It's so quiet you can('t) hear a pin drop

By Mike Pettinella

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, organized bowling at the local, state and national levels has come to a screeching halt -- putting the overwhelming majority of the 1.4 million members of the United States Bowling Congress on the sidelines heading into the peak of the tournament season and down the stretch of the league season.

Without question, it’s a punch to the gut.

Bowling, as is the case with other sports, is on hold while the country and the world deal with this awful situation.

Currently, bowling centers in the four GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming) area are closed – and their restaurants have been relegated to take-out or curbside venues.

The Genesee Region USBC, the local association that oversees certified bowling leagues, has postponed (likely canceled) its annual Team, Doubles & Singles Tournament that was scheduled to begin a two-weekend run on Friday at Rose Garden Bowl and Le Roy Legion Lanes.

The GR Youth Travel League banquet, which was supposed to take place last Sunday, has been postponed for at least four weeks. And the GR USBC’s annual banquet scheduled for May 9 at Batavia Downs is up in the air.

All New York State USBC championship tournaments – adult and youth – have been canceled and will not be rescheduled this season. That includes the NYS Women’s Championships in Syracuse, the NYS Open Championships in Schenectady, the NYS Queens in Syracuse, and the NYS Youth Team finals and Adult-Junior tournament in Syracuse, Youth Pepsi regionals at various locations and the Youth Pepsi finals in Rome.

The cancellation of these events affects thousands of bowlers, youth and old, and significantly affects the operation of the state association, which now will be refunding hundreds of entry fees.

As of this writing, the NYS USBC Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet scheduled for June 6 in Binghamton are still on the table.

Thousands of bowlers who participate each year in the United States Bowling Congress national tournaments have had their travel plans scuttled by the virus.

On Tuesday, the USBC moved the tentative start date for the 2020 USBC Open in Reno, Nev., and Women’s Championships in Las Vegas, Nev., to May 23 – two months after the original opening day -- and will extend the tournaments several more weeks to allow teams rescheduling flexibility.

According to a press release, USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy said that the USBC intends to conduct the major tournaments in 2020 and “will update the tentative start date based on current conditions and shift that start date back in the calendar as needed.”

He also said that, starting today, an updated reservation calendar will be available which includes expanded team dates for the Open Championships through Aug. 29 and expanded team dates for the Women’s Championships through July 31.

Registration for next year’s event, the 2021 USBC Open Championships in Las Vegas, will open on schedule, starting at 11 a.m. on March 23.

The USBC also has canceled the 2020 Intercollegiate Singles and Team Championships due to COVID-19 public health concerns. The event was scheduled to take place April 13-18 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Both the Professional Bowlers Association and the Professional Women’s Bowling Association are on hiatus as well.

The PBA, PBA50 and PBA Regional tours have been postponed, with the PBA Playoffs that were scheduled to start on April 6 as the first victim.

In a bit of irony, the final round of the PBA World Championship on Sunday was the only live major sporting event on television (FS1) in quite some time since the NBA, NHL, MLB and the NCAA’s March Madness have been shut down.

For those who didn’t watch, the five-man stepladder finals took place before an audience of a few PBA members, tournament officials and family members.

It turned out to be a crowning achievement for Australian Jason Belmonte, who defeated Anthony Simonson of Little Elm, Texas, 213-190, in a battle of two-handers to win his third consecutive PBA World Championship title.

The victory in Las Vegas extended Belmonte’s all-time career-leading major win total to 13 and padded his bank account by $150,000. And it was especially sweet since his wife, Kimberly; daughters, Aria and Sylvie, and son Hugo, were there to see him compete after flying in from Australia earlier in the week.

Not surprisingly, the show was FS1’s most-watch telecast last week. I am sure it drew in millions of non-bowling fans who are starving for live sports action.

PBA World Championship results:
Final Standings

1, Jason Belmonte, Australia $150,000.
2, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, $70,000.
3, EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., $40,000.
4, Francois Lavoie, Canada, $30,000.
5, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, $20,000.

Playoff Results
Match one – Lavoie def. Via, 269-258.
Match two – Simonsen def. Lavoie, 224-204.
Semifinal – Simonsen def. Tackett, 215-177.
Championship – Belmonte def. Simonsen, 213-190.



SCRATCH ELIMINATOR FINALISTS: From left, Brad Angelo, Phil Kaiser, tournament director Mark Brown, Rich Wagner, Scott Shields.

Phil Kaiser of Spencerport defeated Brad Angelo of Lockport and Batavians Scott Shields and Rich Wagner in the four-bowler finals Saturday to win the T.F. Brown’s Scratch Eliminator at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

The 52-year-old right-hander rolled a 209 game on a challenging “Sport” oil pattern to edge Angelo, a PBA Tour standout, by six pins for the $1,000 top prize. Angelo earned $500.

Shields posted 177 to place third, good for $400, while Wagner, the lone lefty in the finals, shot 173 to win $300.

The two-day event drew 56 entrants, with Shields and Wagner emerging as the only Genesee County residents to cash. Scott Culp of Honeoye Falls qualified through the last-chance roll-off and ended up winning $150.

Kaiser, competing on the Saturday 11:30 a.m. squad, and Rochester’s Kara Mangiola, competing on the Saturday 2 p.m. squad, were the high qualifiers with four-game totals of 914 (a 228 average).


Brockport residents Caycee Landers and Chris Bardol successfully defended their King & Queen Mixed Doubles Handicap Tournament crown on March 7, defeating Batavians Michele Larson and Rich Wagner in the title match.

The winning couple earned $500 while the runners-up split $300.

Landers and Bardol reached the title match with a victory over Kim Starken and Scott Culp while Larson and Wagner advanced by upending Heather D’Errico and Rob Gustke. The semifinalists earned $200 each.

Other local cashers were Jennifer Johnston and Chase Cone, Tracy Spanitz and Mark Brown, Jeanette Sease and Brady Weber, Kathy Trigilio and Geoff Harloff, Samantha Hyde and Shayne Herold, Naomi Hyde and Mickey Hyde, and Darleen and Matt Balduf.


Teams organized by Batavian Mike Johnson placed first and third in the 21st annual Bob Bertram Memorial five-person handicap no-tap tournament earlier this month at Mount Morris Lanes.

The $1,000 top prize went to Josh Elliott, Nathan Cordes, Gregg Wolff, Jim Lambert and Geoff Harloff while the $500 third prize went to Wolff, Lambert, AJ Allenbrandt, Tom Baker and Mike Johnson.

Fifty-two teams competed in the Team event and another 51 bowlers entered the optional Singles event. More than $1,400 was raised for both Teresa House and Livingston County Hospice.

Genesee Region USBC association bowling tournament is olff for March

By Mike Pettinella

Due to directives coming from the federal and state government concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, the Genesee Region USBC has no choice but to cancel its Association Team and Doubles & Singles Tournament scheduled for the next two weekends.

GRUSBC President Gary Kuchler made the announcement today after receiving information from Tom Sardou, proprietor of Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, and Scott O'Neill, manager of Legion Lanes in Le Roy, that their businesses have been drastically curtailed or completely shut down for an undetermined amount of time.

"We certainly respect the orders coming out of Washington and Albany and, in the best interest of the health and safety of our members, we will be postponing the Association Tournament -- both the Team event at Rose Garden Bowl and the Doubles & Singles at Legion Lanes," Kuchler said. "We will keep our bowlers informed of any developments through our website --"

It is unknown at this time whether league bowling will continue at area bowling centers. Bowlers are advised to contact their local bowling center for more information.

Four just miss honor scores in Genesee Region USBC league bowling action

By Mike Pettinella

Four Genesee Region USBC bowlers came "oh so close" to honor scores in league action last week.

At Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, Brady Weber of Perry rolled a 290 game on his way to a 730 series in the G&W Vending Tuesday night league, and Rob Husted of Bergen finished with a 278 game for a 793 series -- missing the coveted 800 by just seven pins -- in the Thursday Night Owls league.

At Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, Reid Cole of Albion had two big games -- 288 and 277 -- in a 784 series in the Sneezy's Monday Night league and at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, Geoff Harloff of Batavia spun a 290 game in a 714 series in the Toyota of Batavia Thursday Night league.

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

Alex Allis follows up first 300 with 299--834 while Hayden Allis posts his first perfect game

By Mike Pettinella

Over the past six decades, bowling headlines out of the former Medina association -- and now Genesee Region USBC -- have featured the Allis family name on a regular basis.

Now, a new generation of Medina's "first family" of bowling has burst onto the scene and is primed to carry on the tradition for many years to come.

High-revving right-handers Alex Allis (age 20) and his cousin, Hayden Allis (age 23), each bowled his first United States Bowling Congress-certified perfect games recently -- with Alex following that up by rolling his first certified 800 series on Sunday morning in the Sunday Rolloffs League at Medina Lanes.

Alex, a second-year student at Brockport State College, fired his 300 game on Feb. 20 and Hayden, an employee at Oetiker Clamp in Batavia, got his on March 5 -- both in the Thursday Firefighters League in Medina. Their three-game series were 713 and 717, respectively.

In the Sunday Rolloffs League yesterday, Alex put together games of 267-268-299 for an 834 series -- the top three-game total in the GRUSBC this season.

In other league action in the area:

-- Kevin Gray Jr. of Warsaw spun a 300 game and sparkling 761 series in the Thursday Owls League at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen. 

Gray, the 2019 GRUSBC Scratch Memorial champion, has several perfect games on his resume.

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

Note: Mike Pettinella's next Pin Points column will appear exclusively on The Batavian on March 19.

NYS Masters bowling finals on Facebook Live tonight

By Mike Pettinella

The finals of the NYS Masters Championship tonight at King Pin Lanes in Rome will be shown on Facebook Live tonight on the business page John Knight's Bowlers Shoppe. It is scheduled to begin around 8:40.

The title match features two Rochester bowlers -- Dan Keenan and Shanna Chepelsky -- competing for the $2,000 first prize and a paid entry to the 2021 USBC Masters.

Robbie Hanks notches fourth 300 of the season at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion

By Mike Pettinella

Robbie Hanks rolled his fourth United States Bowling Congress-certified 300 game in as many months on Friday night while substituting in the Friday Night Mixers League at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

Hanks, who turned 28 on Feb. 22, put together games of 200, 268 and 300 for a sparkling 768 series. 

The son of Oak Orchard Bowl proprietor Randy Hanks (and an employee at the 18-lane center), Robbie now has a perfect game in each of the past four months. The other three have come in the Thursday Night Triples League on Nov. 14, Dec. 12 and Jan. 30.

In other league bowling action this week:

-- Scott Allis of Medina set the pace this morning in the Sunday Rolloffs at Medina Lanes, posting a 289 game and 776 series.

A few nights earlier, Allis rolled a 262 game and 744 series in the Wednesday Community League, also at Medina Lanes.

-- Tom Baker and Matt Balduf led the way in the Toyota of Batavia Thursday League at Mancuso Bowling Center with 768 and 755, respectively.

-- Jeremy Vallance started with 268 in a 739 series in the Le Roy Moose League at Le Roy Legion Lanes.

-- Naomi Hyde of Le Roy fired a 269 game and 687 series as the Synergistic Online Solutions MNF League came to a close at Mancuso's.

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

Riggi Memorial event produces lofty scores; Oak Orchard youths capture GR Travel League crown

By Mike Pettinella

When some of the best scratch bowlers in Western New York converge upon Legion Lanes in Le Roy for the annual Ron Riggi Memorial four-person handicap tournament, you can expect fierce competition and high scores.

Last weekend’s 18th edition of the tribute to the late LeRoyan was no exception as it took a 228 average per bowler to win the team event and just shy of a 250 average to claim the singles title.

Thirty-eight teams competed over the three-day tourney and when the smoke had cleared, the JLU team of Jeanette Sease of Brockport and Rochesterians Traci Spanitz, Rob Gustke and Steve Meyer claimed the $1,000 top prize with a 3,628 score (all scratch).

In singles, Matt Balduf of South Byron led the way with a 995 (again, all scratch) for four games – a 248 average – to win $125.

Balduf also was a member of two cashing teams – third place with Jim Pursel of Batavia, Mark Brown of Attica and Scott Culp of Honeoye Falls and seventh with his wife, Darleen; Ron Brown of Bergen and AJ Allenbrandt of Le Roy.

Other teams cashing:

-- Rob Sease of Brockport, Mickey Hyde of Le Roy, Norm Bialuski of Rochester, Ryan Kretchmer of Rochester, 3,610, $500.
-- Pursel, Brown, Kai Clark of Rochester, Josh Elliott of Attica, 3,560, $230.
-- Derek Leach of Batavia, Nathan Cordes of Batavia, Devon Leach of Stafford, Paul Bacon of Lockport, 3,486, $220.
-- Bob Vitagliano of Niagara Falls, Kevin Volker of Tonawanda, Pete Maduri of North Tonawanda, Sam Capizzi of Rochester, 3,485, $210.

Brown placed third in the singles event with 976 while Hyde was sixth with 968.

On Feb. 8-9, Balduf and Elliott teamed with Mike Johnson of Batavia to win the Nunda Fire Department three-person no-tap tournament at Letchworth Pines in Portageville, recording 2,465 for three games to pocket the $750 top prize.

They were followed by the Letchworth-area team of Bob Gelser, Ryan Nugent and Craig Barkley with 2,377 ($375) and the team of Elliott, Tom Rohl of Le Roy and Brown with 2,374 ($255).

Sixty-three teams participated and raised around $2,000 for the Nunda FD.


Veteran Batavia right-hander Paul Spiotta returned to the lanes this past Sunday after a 40-day layoff due to serious medical issues by cashing in the highly-competitive Tommy Kress 60 & Over Tour “A Better Choice Pro Shop” tournament at AMF Gates Lanes in Rochester.

Spiotta, 62, rolled games of 205, 246, 227 for a 678 series to place in the top 16 and advance to the finals of the event, which featured some of the best 60-and-over bowlers in Western New York.

He followed that with a 206 game in the first round of the eliminator finals, but missed advancing further by about 20 pins. Still, the Genesee Region USBC Hall of Famer earned $150 for his efforts.

Fellow Batavian Fred Gravanda (Spiotta’s cousin) fell a bit short from advancing but did grab the final cashing spot ($80).

Rick Jewell of Rochester won the $1,000 first prize with a 227-181 win over John Rosati, also of Rochester. Jewell registered a 300 game during the qualifying round.

The Tour’s next stop is on March 15 at Miller Lanes in Honeoye Falls.


The Oak Orchard Bowl I team of Bailee Snook, Jesse Keller, Ben Lennox and Paige Snook captured the 2019-20 Genesee Region Youth Travel League championship in a three-team race that went down to the wire.

Paige Snook rolled a 563 series, Keller had 557 and Lennox 553 during position-round action at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen last Sunday to upend Le Roy Legion Lanes, 16-12, and move past the LeRoyans for the title.

Oak Orchard Bowl I posted a 129-95 record, a point-and-a-half better than Mount Morris and two points ahead of Le Roy, which held the top spot going into the position round.

Individual season leaders are as follows:

High game scratch – Dennis Van Duser, Perry, 277 (recorded on the final day).
High series scratch – Gavin Baney, Oak Orchard Bowl II, 708.
High game handicap – Baney, 310.
High series handicap – Baney, 867.
High average – Van Duser, 199.

High game scratch – Jillian Menzie, Rose Garden Bowl I, 237.
High series scratch – Menzie, 647.
High game handicap – Corinne Saluste, Mancuso Strike Force, 268.
High series handicap – Brooke Jarkiewicz, Rose Garden Bowl I, 733.
High average – Menzie, 196.

The travel league’s no-tap tournament and banquet are scheduled for March 15 at Mount Morris Lanes.

In recent youth league competition at Rose Garden Bowl, Menzie rolled a 279 game and 653 series.

The Genesee Region USBC Youth Doubles Tournament is set for March 7-8 at Oak Orchard Bowl, with squads at 1 p.m. on both days. To enter, contact Tom Fluker at 585-354-2199.


Entry forms for the 14th annual Genesee Region USBC Association Tournament are available for download from the association’s website – -- and at association bowling centers.

The tournament is scheduled for March 20-22, 27-29, with the Team event at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen and Doubles & Singles at Legion Lanes in Le Roy.

Several teams have already submitted their entry forms to the association office. In fact, the noon squad on Sunday, March 22 is full at eight teams.

To make reservations, call 585-861-0404 or send an email to [email protected].

Four other local handicap tournaments are on tap for this weekend:

Mount Morris Lanes – 21st annual Bob Bertram Memorial 5-person no-tap, this Friday through Sunday and next Friday through Sunday. First place is $1,000 guaranteed and the entry fee is $125 per team. Call 585-658-2540 to enter.

Medina Lanes – 8th annual Mark Wengrzycki Memorial 3-person no-tap, Saturday, with squads at 2, 4 and 6 p.m. Entry fee is $75 per team and first place is $750 (one in six teams will cash). Call 585-318-4474 to enter.

Perry Bowling Center – Sonny Yencer 3-person, this Saturday and Sunday with four squads on Saturday and two on Sunday. Entry fee is $75 per team. Call 585-237-6358 to enter.

Oak Orchard Bowl – The Gamerz 3-person no-tap fundraiser lists three squads on Saturday, starting at 12:30 p.m. The entry fee is $60 per team. Call 585-589-6900 to enter.

By the way, Oak Orchard Bowl celebrated its 60th year in business earlier this month.

You can find a feature story about Elsie Boring, who has bowled in leagues there since the center opened, by going to


After a pair of subpar performances in TV finals the previous two weeks, Australian Jason Belmonte added the U.S. Open title to his unbelievable Professional Bowlers Association Tour resume on Sunday with a 226-201 victory over top-seeded Anthony Simonson of Little Elm, Texas, at Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln, Neb.

The victory was worth $30,000 for Belmonte, who has a record 12 major titles and now has 23 career victories on the PBA Tour.

It also enables him to join Mike Aulby as the only players in PBA history to complete the Super Slam, which includes the U.S. Open, USBC Masters, PBA Tournament of Champions, PBA World Championship and PBA Players Championship.

He sealed the win over Simonson, a fellow two-hander, by converting the difficult 3-6-9-10 spare in the 10th frame.

Belmonte had struggled on TV of late, having rolled a 185 game in a loss to eventual champion Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., in the finals of the PBA Players Championship on Feb. 15 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus (Ohio) Bowl.

O’Neill captured the title and $75,000 first prize by rolling two strikes and nine pins in the 10th frame to edge EJ Tackett of Bluffton, Ind., 233-232.

This week’s finals of the PBA Indianapolis Open will be televised live at 8:30 p.m. Saturday on FS1.

The finalists for the show are as follows:

1, Jesper Svensson, Sweden.

2, Shawn Maldonado, Houston.

3, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas.

4, Nicholas Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.

5, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich.

BHS senior Kyle Johnson rolls first 300 game while bowling with his dad at Mancuso Bowling Center

By Mike Pettinella

Batavia teenager Kyle Johnson rolled his first United States Bowling Congress-certified 300 game on Sunday, joining his father and big brother on bowling’s honor score list.

The 17-year-old right-hander put together 12 straight strikes in the middle game during the T.F. Brown’s Adult-Child League at Mancuso Bowling Center. His other games were 208 and 209, giving him a personal-best 717 series.


For more local and national bowling news, check out Mike Pettinella’s Pin Points bowling column that appears every Thursday exclusively on The Batavian.


Using a MOTIV Venom Shock ball (the only ball in his possession besides a plastic spare ball), the Batavia High School senior bettered his previous high game of 279 – and can claim his USBC award for his first 300 as a youth bowler. He also will be eligible for a USBC adult award when he posts his first perfect game after the age of 18.

He is the second local teen to roll his first 300 game in the past two weeks; classmate Tony Sprague registered 300 on Feb. 16 at Medina Lanes.

Johnson, who bowls in the doubles league with his father, Mike, said he wasn’t nervous.

“Once I got to the 10th frame, I noticed after the first ball what I was going for,” he said. “I was thinking just make a good shot. If I made a good shot and I didn’t strike, I couldn’t really be mad.”

Mike Johnson, a lefty, has several 300 games and four 800 series, and Kyle’s brother, Bryan, also had a 300 game (which he rolled as a 19-year-old on March 2014).

Kyle said he got back into bowling recently after an 18-month layoff, but found that he was having problems with his release.

He said that a trip to Lightning Strikes Pro Shop in Rochester, owned by Chris Lamb, resulting in changing the pitch of his finger holes.

“My ring finger is a lot shorter than my middle finger, so we had to take an eighth of an inch back towards my thumb on my ring finger and leave my middle finger in the same spot,” he said. “Before that, it was catching on my thumb, and I was squeezing the ball.”

Johnson says he plans to compete in the Brockmyre Classic singles scratch tournament in Newark this weekend – an event that traditionally features a very challenging oil pattern.

“We’ll give it a try,” he said. “It will be good experience.”


On several occasions over his 15 years as a regular league bowler at his hometown Le Roy Legion Lanes, Mickey Hyde came oh so close to perfection. He’s had 298 and 299 games, but never could seal the deal.

All that changed last Thursday night when the 53-year-old righty placed 12 consecutive balls in the pocket – and carried them all – for a 300 game in the Le Roy American Legion Men’s League. He finished with a 741 series on lanes 1-2.

“I used the original (Hammer) Black Widow ball that was drilled about 14 years ago by Bill Beachner (then at Perry Bowling Center),” Hyde said. “It feels really good to finally get one here.”

Hyde, manager of Tompkins Bank of Castile in Le Roy, had a 300 in 2010 at Scopano’s Lanes in Oakfield.

He won the Genesee Region USBC Senior Masters at Mount Morris Lanes in November, and has enjoyed success in a variety of tournaments over the years.

While the 300 topped the “high game” list in the league last Thursday, his 741 was second-best to the 749 posted by his nephew, Shayne Herold.

Warsaw woman rolls GRUSBC-record 815 series at Perry Bowling Center

By Mike Pettinella

Diane Hurlburt of Warsaw rolled an 815 series last night in the Monday Nite 5 League at Perry Bowling Center, setting a Genesee Region USBC record for women's high series.

The 49-year-old right-hander posted games of 258, 278 and 279 on lanes 3-4 to eclipse the 791 recorded by Rochester's Kara Mangiola at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen on Nov. 15, 2015 and the 782 registered by Caycee Landers of Brockport on Feb. 13, 2018, also at Rose Garden Bowl.

Hurlburt had eight strikes in the first game, 11 in the second game (including the front seven) and 10 in the third game.

"I knew there was a possibility of getting it (an 800 series) after the second game, but I didn't try to figure out what I needed and I didn't want to know," said Hurlburt, who has her own house cleaning business.

She said she got a fortunate break in the ninth frame of the third game, breaking up a potential split to continue a long string of strikes.

"I didn't throw a very good shot and it came high on the nose," she said. "The 4-6 was staring at me and somehow they both fell. I said, 'Oh my gosh, there is a God."

She proceeded to strike on the first ball in the 10th frame and finished with a spare to seal the deal.

"It's really unbelievable," said Hurlburt, who is averaging 193 in the Monday league and 209 in the Thursday night league in Perry.

She in the leadoff bowler for the Charlie's Rollers team that includes her husband, Jason; son, Matthew, and friends Gene Standish and Brian Tiede.

Hurlburt used a Hammer Statement ball that she purchased and had drilled at Bowler's World in Rochester.

Last year, she had an association-high for women with a 763 series and 200 average.

Batavia teen Tony Sprague rolls 300 game in GRUSBC youth tournament at Medina Lanes

By Mike Pettinella


A perfect game by Tony Sprague powered the Mancuso Mean Machine team to victory today in the Genesee Region USBC Association Youth Team Tournament at Medina Lanes.

Sprague, a Batavia High School senior who will turn 18 on March 16, posted his first United States Bowling Congress-certified 300 game in the second game of the team’s three-game series on lanes 17-18.

His other games were 187 and 222 for a 709 series.


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


The right-hander’s big series helped his team record a 2,596 total with handicap to edge The Strikers of Oak Orchard Bowl by nine pins for the tournament title.

Sprague and teammates Ben Sputore, Corinne Saluste and Emma Miller each will receive a $100 scholarship and a trophy.  Members of the second- and third-place teams each will receive a trophy.

Taking some advice from Coach Tom Fluker, Sprague said he moved his line from the second arrow to the third arrow after the first game – and also switched bowling balls – to consistently hit the 1-3 pocket.

“I switched from the Storm IQ Pearl Emerald to the Storm IQ Tour (black) and moved five boards to the left and played a pretty tight line,” said Sprague, noting that the first ball in the second game crossed over for a Brooklyn strike.

He proceeded to put the next eight balls in the pocket and said he didn't feel nervous heading into the 10th frame 

“I felt pretty confident,” said Sprague, whose previous high game was 276 and whose high series is the 752 he rolled in the Turnbull Heating Junior League at Mancuso’s in November. He averages over 200 in a couple of different youth leagues.

After the final strike, he exchanged high-fives and hugs from everyone around, including his mother, Jacqueline. His father, Todd, was unable to attend due to work commitments.

Sprague qualifies to receive awards from the USBC and Genesee Region USBC for his perfect game.

He also said he was rewarded by his mom on the way home.

“Yeah, I got a Shamrock Shake (from McDonald’s) out of it,” he said.

Bowlers on the second-place team were Adelynn Neal, Jayden Neal, Gavin Baney and Zachary Neal and members of the third-place Oak Orchard I team that registered 2,555 were Ryleigh Culver, Gracelin Mahnke, Juliana Allis and Paige Snook.


Bardol places fourth in mega-tournament in Las Vegas; Brennan Jr. wins Super Bull event at Mancuso's

By Mike Pettinella

They say that “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” and that may be true when it comes to the various activities associated with the famed Las Vegas Strip.


But when you’re talking about the mega-tournament bowling that is a huge part of the Nevada city’s scene, good news travels fast.

Brockport’s Chris Bardol, a member of the Genesee Region USBC as a league bowler at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, enjoyed a profitable week in Las Vegas from Jan. 27 through Feb. 2 as an entrant in the 20th anniversary True Amateur Tournaments national competition at the 70-lane center at The Orleans Hotel & Casino.

“The bowling and the brackets (side action) and the gambling were good,” said Bardol, the former three-time All-American at Robert Morris College who is celebrating his 32nd birthday today.

Bardol flew into Las Vegas on a Tuesday and proceeded to bowl in tournament qualifiers and sweepers the next five days.

He bowled well enough to place first in the 35 & Under Scratch division -- earning a $5,000 check -- and to advance to the grand finals on Sunday with a chance to up that amount to a cool $25,000.

“There were five divisions and the winners of all five made it to the finals,” Bardol said. “From there it was just one more game, with the top score taking the $25,000.”

The other divisions were 189 & Under Handicap, 215 & Under Handicap, 36-50 Scratch and 51 & Over Senior Scratch.

Bardol said he averaged around 220 for nearly 40 games on challenging lane conditions throughout the week. In the grand finals, however, he posted a 180 game and finished in fourth place.

Still, he was able to increase his winnings from the $5,000 to $6,000.

Bardol said he also won an additional $3,000 in other events so, all in all, subtracting the $900 in entry fees and expenses, he flew back to Western New York in much better financial shape than when he left.

The TAT drew around 4,800 entries (spread across the five divisions) from the U.S., Canada and Mexico, Bardol said, noting that the overall champion, Rafi Shwartz, was one of 180 bowlers in one group that came over from south of the border.

Several other Genesee Region USBC bowlers competed, including Brian Weber, who cashed for $500.


LeRoyan Gary Brennan Jr. captured his first tournament title on Super Bowl Sunday when he defeated Scott Shields of Batavia, 180-178, in the finals of the Super Bull Handicap Singles event at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

Brennan, a 58-year-old right-hander, entered the tournament with a 179 average and proceeded to put together scratch games of 225, 201, 183 and 192 in the qualifying round. His 938 total with handicap placed seventh (out of 29 entries) and was good enough to advance to the match play rounds.

In match play, he upended Rick Underhill of Batavia and Chase Cone of Bergen, rolling scratch games of 201 and 179, to earn the right to face Shields, who was the eighth and final qualifier with 929.

Both bowlers struggled a bit in the title match but still went home with decent prize money, with Brennan earning $400 and Shields pocketing $300.

Brennan, a supervisor at Orleans Correctional Facility, said he doesn’t bowl in many tournaments – “only if it’s handicap and not on the first day of deer season.”

Other cashers were Devon Leach of Stafford and Cone ($120 each), and Vin Pontillo of Batavia, Mark Brown of Attica, Fred Gravanda of Batavia and Underhill ($90 each).

Pontillo was the high qualifier with a 1,003 total with handicap, a pin better than Underhill.


Batavian Tony Sprague put on an impressive shot-making display in front of the hometown fans last Saturday when Mancuso Bowling Center hosted the Rochester Youth Travel League.

The 17-year-old right-hander rolled games of 222, 220 and 243 for a 685 for the Mancuso’s team, which is in fourth place in the 10-team league.

In Genesee Region Youth Travel League last Saturday at Perry Bowling Center, Oak Orchard Bowl I of Albion moved within two points of first-place Le Roy Legion Lanes with a 20-8 victory over Rose Garden Bowl I of Bergen.

Le Roy, a 15-13 winner over Mount Morris Lanes, has a 115-81 record going into the league’s position round on Feb. 23 at Rose Garden Bowl.

Individually, Sprague had the high series for the boys with 597, followed by Trent Willis of Mount Morris at 591 and Dennis Van Duser of Perry at 563, while Emma Miller of Mancuso Strike Force led the girls with a 233 game and 576 series followed by Paige Snook of Oak Orchard I at 563.


Fans of the Professional Bowlers Association Tour have to be pleased that major networks FOX Sports and CBS Sports have made a solid commitment to live broadcasting of PBA events.

In 2018, FOX Sports announced that it had acquired the television rights for the PBA Tour, replacing ESPN, and proceeded to give us 26 broadcasts on FOX Sports 1 and four on Fox in 2019.

That expanded coverage continues this season with six telecasts on FOX, the most PBA action on network broadcast TV since 1999. Plus, there will be 25 shows on FS1 and a total of 23 live broadcasts, the most in 12 years (up from 19 live shows last year).

Altogether, the 2020 TV schedule includes more than 60 hours of coverage.

CBS Sports Network’s contract with the PBA calls for the televising of 17 shows in 2020, including live coverage of seven PWBA stepladder finals in 2020, including all majors, plus four shows from the Intercollegiate Team and Singles Championships, the finals of all four divisions of the Junior Gold Championships, and the two title matches at the USA Bowling National Championships.

That’s a great deal of bowling on TV. Now, if the PBA can only find a partner to carry the PBA50 Tour, that would be icing on the cake.

Programming note: The finals of the PBA Players Championships will be televised live at 5:30 p.m. Saturday on FS1. A $1 million bonus will be paid if the winning player bowls a 300 game in the title match.


Medina Central School once again is competing in the Unified Bowling League, which lists six matches in February (two of which have been completed).

The program consists of special education students bowling with general education students.

The schedule is as follows:

Feb.11 -- Akron @ Medina
Feb. 13 -- Medina @ Starpoint, Brad Angelo Lanes in Lockport.
Feb. 25 -- Medina @ Grand Island, Mallwitz's Lanes
Feb. 27 -- Medina @ Sweet Home, Manor II, Amherst.

The season ends with a "culmination event" on March 2 at AMF Airport Lanes in Cheektowaga..

Tournaments abound: Vick rules in Mount Morris; Batavia, Le Roy events support worthy causes

By Mike Pettinella

Rochester left-hander Dan Vick showed once again why he is arguably the best bowler in Western New York as he captured the 42nd annual Mount Morris Pepsi Open scratch singles tournament on Jan. 19 at Mount Morris Lanes.

The 33-year-old Vick, a former Rochester Institute of Technology bowling standout, made the flat 1:1 oil pattern look easy on his way to pocketing the $1,500 first prize.

In the four-game qualifying round, Vick posted a 910 total (227.5 average) to place second out of the 16 qualifiers – behind Rochester’s Mike Rose Jr.’s 917 – and went on to average over 200 in the finals, defeating Batavian Rich Wagner and Perry’s Brett Van Duser before topping Canada’s Dan McClelland, 219-187, in the title match.

Followers of the Professional Bowlers Association Tour may remember that McClelland, a former Canadian Bowler of the Year, finished fourth in the 2014 PBA Tournament of Champions.

Besides Wagner and Van Duser, Nathan Tackentien of Arcade also cashed at the tournament, which drew 87 entries.

In other tournament action:

-- Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia hosted the annual Curt Haight Memorial four-person handicap no-tap tournament on Jan. 18, drawing 29 teams. Proceeds from the event ($1,200) were donated to Genesee Cancer Assistance.

The team of Geoff Harloff, Tom McJury, Ed Doody and Scott Culp took the $600 top prize with a score of 3,291.

They were followed by the teams of Matt Balduf, Mike Johnson, Jim Pursel and George Beckman with 3,270 ($350); Jonnah and Tyler Whipple, Fred Blair and Judy Ward ($300); John Wolff, Steve Krna, Ron Lawrence and Bill Neubert ($250) and Sam Oddo, Alex Morris, Andrew Fowler and Chris Fowler ($200).

-- Le Roy Legion Lanes’ annual fundraiser – the Help-R-Hero’s four-person handicap no-tap tournament – attracted 37 teams last weekend and raised $3,000 for the cause, the most yet, according to Scott O’Neill, tourney director.

The top six teams cashed. The first three are as follows:

First place – Quiet Thunder (Blair, Ward, Whipple, Whipple), 3,282, $840. By the way, this combination has won and cashed in several tournaments this season.

Second place – Big Pocket (Mike Hackett, Ron Brown, Darleen Balduf, Sam Hilburger), 3,216, $580.

Third place – Sease (Rob Sease, Aaron Philp, Kai Clark, Dave Emler), 3,152, $320.

-- Two Genesee Region USBC bowlers – Bob Hodgson of Medina and Mike Pettinella of Batavia (this columnist) cashed at the Tommy Kress 60-and-Over Tour stop at Parkview Bowl in Rochester on Sunday afternoon.

Pettinella rolled 654 and Hodgson 641 during the qualifying round to advance but were eliminated in the first round of the finals, with Pettinella’s 205 missing out by four pins. Each earned $65.

Left-hander Gary Reynolds of Groton won three matches in the stepladder finals with games of 256, 246 and 233 to claim the $250 first prize.

The next event on the scratch singles tour schedule is the 3rd annual Super Senior Championship sponsored by A Better Choice Pro Shop at 1 p.m. Feb. 23 at AMF Gates Lanes in Rochester.

First prize is $1,000 guaranteed and the entry fee is $70. The top 16 after the three-game qualifying round, including leaders of four age groups (60-64, 65-69, 70-74 and 75 & over), will advance to the eliminator finals.

To enter, contact Kress at 595-739-3097 or Kevin Martin at 585-355-7590.

The remainder of the 60-and-Over Tour schedule:

-- March 15, Miller Lanes, Honeoye Falls;
-- April 6, Pleasure Lanes, Hilton;
-- May 3, Brad Angelo Lanes, Lockport;
-- May 17, Sunset Lanes, Rochester.


The T.F. Brown’s Super Bull Handicap Singles tournament is scheduled for noon Sunday at Mancuso Bowling Center, offering a top prize of $500 based on 30 entries. The entry fee is $45.

The format calls for a four-game qualifying round (just one round at noon) with one in four bowlers advancing to head-to-head match play (one game) until a winner is determined.

Handicap is based on 100 percent of 215, using last year’s highest average unless the current average is 10 or more pins higher.

To enter, contact Mark Brown at 716-474-7960.


With Batavian Paul Spiotta opting not to run the Masters scratch singles tournament this season, the Genesee Region USBC has replaced it with the first 5-Person Baker Scratch tourney, which is scheduled for Feb. 8 at Livingston Lanes in Geneseo.

A first-place prize of $1,000 is being offered, based on the maximum 32 teams. Entry fee is $100 per team.

Qualifying squads (max of 16 teams per squad) are set for noon and 2:30 p.m. Each team will roll five Baker-style games – where team members alternate frames – and one in four teams from each squad will advance to the finals.

It is important to note that the team average is capped at 1,075, using bowlers’ highest USBC average from either the 2017-18 or 2018-19 seasons.

For more information or to enter, send an email to [email protected].


On Feb. 8-9, Letchworth Pines is hosting a three-person handicap no-tap tournament to benefit the Nunda Fire Department.

First place, based on 40 entries is $700 and one in 10 entries will cash. The entry fee is $75 per team.

Squad times are noon, 2 and 4 p.m. on Feb. 8 and 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. on Feb. 9.

Contact Dana Cotton at 585-261-5799 to enter.


Gavin Baney of Albion, a member of the Oak Orchard Bowl youth program, is still looking for his first 600 series, but he’s not too concerned about it after recording his first United States Bowling Congress-certified 700 series last Sunday.

The 14-year-old right-hander exploded for games of 206, 257 and 245 for a 708 series while competing in the Genesee Region Youth Travel League at his home center.

Baney raised his average from 151 to 168 with the big series and helped his Oak Orchard Bowl II team defeat Mancuso’s Strike Force, 21-7. He now has the league’s high scratch and handicap series (867) and high handicap game (310).

First place Le Roy Legion Lanes defeated Oak Orchard Bowl I, 17-11, to stay on top but Mount Morris Lanes gained a lot of ground with a 25-3 win over Rose Garden Bowl I. Josh Morris and Trent Willis paced Mount Morris with 596 and 571, respectively, while Jillian Menzie rolled a 592 series for Rose Garden Bowl I.

The league bowls again on Feb. 9 at Perry Bowling Center.


Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., posted his 15th career title by winning four consecutive matches on Sunday, defeating top qualifier Ryan Ciminelli of Lancaster, S.C. (formerly of Cheektowaga), in the finale, 289-234, of the PBA Oklahoma Open.

The victory was worth $30,000 while Ciminelli took home $15,000.

The next stop on the 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour is the PBA Jonesboro Open at Hijinx in Jonesboro, Ark. The finals will air live on FS1 Saturday at 4:30 p.m. EST. All preliminary rounds are being livestreamed by

AMF Riviera Lanes in Fairlawn, Ohio, will host the PBA Tournament of Champions from Feb. 3-9, with the finals of the major tournament airing live at 5 p.m. on Feb. 9 on FOX.

Australian Jason Belmonte will attempt to defend his title. He is the career leader in major titles with 11, having moved past PBA Hall of Famers Earl Anthony and Pete Weber, who each have 10 major tournament victories.

The winner of this year’s T of C will earn $100,000. In fact, three PBA majors are offering 100 grand on top with the World Championship and Playoffs being the others.

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