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Culp posts wire-to-wire victory in GRUSBC Scratch Memorial; Mount Morris team sets record

By Mike Pettinella


The origin of what is now called the Genesee Region USBC Scratch Memorial Tournament is part of the legacy of the former Perry Bowling Association, which provided service for many years to bowlers in Wyoming and Livingston counties.

The scratch singles event continues today as a major tournament of the GRUSBC bowling association, an organzation of around 1,800 certified league bowlers with an expanded service area that also includes Genesee and Orleans counties.  But, as recent history shows, bowlers from the founding counties have been quite reluctant to let their neighbors from the north walk away with the first-place trophy.

Such was the case this year as high-revving right-hand Scott Culp of Honeoye Falls, a regular league bowler at Livingston Lanes in Geneseo, captured his fourth Scratch Memorial title on Jan. 5 at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

Culp, 41, has won three of the past four tournaments, while third-place finisher Kevin Gray Jr. of Warsaw was the champion in 2016 and 2019.

In fact, the last seven winners of the tournament have hailed from Wyoming or Livingston county. You have to go back to 2013 to find a winner from Genesee or Orleans county when the late Bob Foss Jr. (Medina) captured the crown.

This year, it was Culp posting a wire-to-wire victory as he led the qualifying round on Jan. 4 with an 888 four-game total and came back to lead the semifinal round on Jan. 5 with a 919 four-game total to earn the No. 1 seed for the five-bowler stepladder finals.

In the title match, he defeated the second-seeded John LaGeorge of Retsof, 215-174, for the $500 first prize.

LaGeorge, who won this tournament in 2001, pocketed $300 for placing second in this year’s event, which was contested on the Kegel Mercury 40-foot challenge pattern (qualifying rounds) and Kegel Route 66 V2 45-foot challenge pattern (semifinals and finals).

Defending champion Kevin Gray Jr. of Warsaw placed third, defeating fourth-place Scott Allis of Medina in the second stepladder match, 204-179, before falling to LaGeorge, 227-172, in third match. Gray also won this tournament in 2016.

Allis took the fourth spot with a 197-191 win over this bowling columnist in the first stepladder match, rolling a double in the 10th frame.

Gray won $250, Allis $200 and I took home $140.

Also cashing (in the top eight who advanced to the semifinal round) were Nathan Cordes of Batavia ($100), Brian Weber of Perry ($90) and Rick Pernicone of Dansville ($85).

The tourney drew 36 entrants.

Photo: Finalists in the Genesee Region USBC scratch memorial, from left, Mike Pettinella (tournament director), Scott Culp, John LaGeorge, Kevin Gray Jr. and Scott Allis.


Some of the best scratch bowlers in Western New York and beyond will converge upon Mount Morris Lanes this weekend to vie for the $1,500 first prize on the 42nd annual Mount Morris Pepsi Open.

Qualifying squad (four games) times are 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday. A “last chance” squad for those not qualifying is set for 4 p.m. Sunday, and the eliminator-style finals will begin around 5:30 p.m.

The entry fee is $70 ($50 to re-enter). One out of every five bowlers will cash. To enter, call 585-658-2540.

Legion Lanes in Le Roy is hosting the Help-R-Heroes 4-person handicap no-tap tournament on Jan. 24-26 with squad times at 7 p.m. on Jan. 24, noon and 3 p.m. on Jan. 25 and noon and 3 p.m. on Jan. 26.

First place, based on 40 teams, is $1,000 and the entry fee is $100 per team. Call 585-409-0459 to sign up.


-- Last January (Jan. 20 to be precise), the Toyota of Batavia team set a Genesee Region USBC five-person team scratch series record by posting a score of 3,580 in the league of the same name at Mancuso Bowling Center.

Well, almost a year later, the Medical Services team from Mount Morris went 30 pins better than that during competition in the Wednesday Night Classic League at Mount Morris Lanes.

Led by Dave DiSalvo’s 802 series, the team recorded 3,610 on scratch games of 1,200, 1,229 and 1,181 on lanes 5-6 on Jan. 8.

Fellow lefties Chad LaPiana and Bob Santini added 748 and 706, respectively, while righties Dan Shull and Steve Paddock posted 710 and 644, respectively. The 710 was Shull’s first 700 series at Mount Morris Lanes.

-- Word that Batavia High School has started an intramural bowling program at Mancuso Bowling Center has fueled (once again) talk that maybe BHS eventually would be able to field a team in the Monroe County League.

About a dozen students are participating in the bowling club, which will meet after school on Mondays and Wednesdays in January and February. Physical education teachers Teresa Morrill and Paul Pedersen are running the program.

The instructors said that the purpose of the program is to see if it can develop into a team that could compete against Rochester-area schools (hopefully starting next winter). It is a student-driven effort, with much of the impetus coming from BHS Co-Mayor Macayla Burke’s petition drive during her campaign.

-- Kevin Sass, owner of Letchworth Pines, completed his fourth year as proprietor of the Portageville facility and continues to promote his literacy program at area libraries.

Sass reported that he has reached out to public libraries in Castile, Warsaw, Nunda, Fillmore and Gainesville with the goal of inspiring students to read more. The incentive? Free game of bowling coupons to kids for every book they read, and a pizza party for classes that reach their reading goals.

He also is trying to get local schools on board, but so far as had mixed results.

Sass should be commended for his efforts in linking bowling – a family-oriented and lifetime sport – with higher education.

-- Finals of the PBA Hall of Fame Classic, the first event on the 2020 Go Bowling PBA Tour season, will air live on FS1 at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The tournament is taking place at bowling’s International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas, and coincides with PBA Hall of Fame ceremonies on Saturday night. Tommy Jones, a 19-time PBA Tour winner, and former PBA owners Mike Slade and Rob Glaser are this year’s inductees.

All qualifying and match play rounds will be covered live by PBA’s online livestreaming partner, FloBowling. For subscription and schedule information visit Results also will be posted as they happen on’s Live Scoring feature.

USBC to implement 'tiered' lane certification program; Scratch Memorial is this weekend

By Mike Pettinella

Just reported:

Matt Slocum of Perry finished in second place in the annual Mike and Ruth Rose scratch tournament at Bowl-A-Roll Lanes in Rochester on New Year's Day.

"Strapper" (as he is known) lost by one pin to PBA member Jason Sterner, 212-211, in the title match, but still earned $1,000 for his efforts.

Sterner won $2,000, while Rochester's Dave Werner placed third for $500 and Buffalo's Pete Maduri was fourth for $350.

The tournament drew 250 entrants.


For many years, Genesee Region USBC Director Jerry Davis has performed lane inspections as required by the United States Bowling Congress.

When he heard at the end of November that the USBC would no longer compel local association personnel to conduct these annual check-ups, his first thought was one of relief – not surprising, considering that crawling onto the lanes and pin decks to make sure everything is level and within guidelines is quite strenuous.

What the USBC’s Equipment Specifications Committee has determined – after collecting and analyzing much data – is that the current lane inspection process is not working.

“Very few centers actually meet 100 percent of the current specifications,” said Andrew Cain, committee chairperson during a conference call with the media last month. “At the end of our analysis of the data, it is apparent that the current model does not work, and our stakeholders – local associations, proprietors and technical consultants -- are guiding us to a better program.”

That program is a “tiered center certification” plan that will be fully developed over the next year, with final details scheduled to be announced at the 2021 USBC Convention.

Until then, bowling centers will have a grace period for two years -- no inspections necessary and no fees for inspections due for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. After that, all lane inspections will be performed by a national USBC inspection team.

Noting that the change is “quite the paradigm shift for us,” Cain reported that the USBC:

-- Will enlist a team of paid national inspectors that will be accountable to the national governing body;
-- Will publish the centers’ tier ratings (for example, Tier I, Tier II, Tier III) to get this information directly into the hands of membership;
-- Will not force proprietors to make repairs, but are banking on the owners’ desire to want to make the necessary improvements;
-- Will work over the next year to formulate operational details and “will make it the best it can be” prior to the announcement at the 2021 USBC Convention.

Some of the questions that came up during the conference call, which also included USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy and other USBC officials, focused on whether local associations were going to be phased out and what went into the Equipment Specifications Committee’s decision.

Murphy said there is no truth to rumors that the USBC is looking to eliminate local associations.

“We value our local associations and always have,” Murphy said, adding that the USBC has been proving that by offering Association Leadership Academy training for local association leaders at no charge.

Danny Speranza, senior director with the USBC Equipment Specifications team, said that “spot checking” was conducted by the USBC at nearly 4,000 bowling centers covering 85,000 lane beds in 2018 and at 3,300 centers covering 70,000 lane beds in 2019.

The outcome was that the USBC found a large discrepancy from the data reported by the local associations – and that very few centers met all specifications.

It is unknown at this time whether a bowling center’s tier ratings will be tied into bowler average classifications (regular, classified or sport), but that is a probable assumption.

Most local associations have their own inspection tools, which cost hundreds of dollars, and now are wondering what to do with them. That’s a question that Davis asked in communication with other Genesee Region USBC officers and directors.

The USBC is offering a buyback program to offset some of the cost for inspection equipment purchased since 2017, but that doesn’t help the Genesee Region USBC, which bought its equipment several years ago.

So, probably the best answer to that question is to hold on to everything for now and have the tools available for local bowling center proprietors that may want to check their lanes on their own or take tape readings to measure the amount and placement of oil on their lanes.


Two people who had a positive impact upon the local bowling scene for many years have passed away.

Carmella “Millie” (Mortellaro) McVay, 82, and Henry “Hank” Valerych, 92, left us on December 25th. It’s sort of ironic that they died on Christmas Day since they embodied such a “spirit of giving.”

Millie co-owned Joe’s Pro Shop & Trophies since 1975 (which is now operated by her son-in-law, Marty Hein). She always had a smile on her face and a plate of goodies on the table at the Ellicott Street store.

I remember fondly as she and her late daughter, Kathie, assisted the youth bowling program at Mancuso Bowling Center while I was the manager there, and worked tirelessly to churn out the trophies for all the participants.

She retired several years ago to a quiet yet active life, focusing on her loving family that included nine grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren. And no matter where I would run into her, she always was ready to offer a hug and a good word.

Hank simply was the engine that powered the charitable giving arm of the Arc of Genesee Orleans, helping those with developmental disabilities by chairing the organization’s membership drive, and Bowl-A-Thon and bowling tournament.

An estimated half-million dollars were raised through Hank’s efforts, much of that through the Bowl-A-Thon. Like clockwork, Hank would travel to Mancuso’s and the other Genesee County bowling centers each year, explaining how the Bowl-A-Thon worked, signing the kids up, collecting the pledges and awarding the trophies to the top fundraisers.

He never pushed, but was very effective. His obituary said it best, “He was a quiet, gentle man, but a force for change, love and respect.”

Speaking for the bowling community, our heartfelt condolences to the families of Millie and Hank.


Kevin Gray Jr. of Warsaw will attempt to defend his title this weekend as the 66th Genesee Region USBC Scratch Memorial Tournament unfolds at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

Gray, 38, defeated Rich Wagner of Batavia in a battle of left-handers last year for the title at Livingston Lanes in Geneseo.

Also signed up to bowl is Kevin’s father, Kevin Sr. of Honeoye Falls, who placed first in the Christmas Eve (morning) tournament at Domm’s Bowling Center in Rochester. Kevin Sr. rolled 268 and 220 in qualifying and went on to win four matches for the $700 top prize.

Frank Jarkiewicz of Byron and Julianna Allis of Medina also cashed, with Allis’ earning going into her SMART scholarship account.

Qualifying squads are scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday (and will be done before the Buffalo Bills game at 4:35 p.m.) and 10 a.m. on Sunday, with the semifinals and finals to follow. Re-entry is allowed.

The scratch singles event offers a $1,000 first prize (based on 80 entries) and features competition on two different oil patterns -- a 40-foot "Challenge" pattern during the qualifying rounds and a 45-foot "Challenge" pattern during the semifinals and finals.

The entry fee is $55. To enter, give me a call at 585-861-0404 or send an email to [email protected].


Raiders Lanes in Caledonia, Oak Orchard Bowl, Mount Morris Lanes and Le Roy Legion Lanes will be running tournaments this month.

-- The 6th annual Genesee Region USBC Adult-Junior Doubles handicap tournament will take place on Jan. 10-12 at Raider Lanes. Squad times are 7 p.m. on Jan. 10, noon and 3 p.m. on Jan. 11 and noon and 3 p.m. on Jan. 12. The entry fee is $45 per team. Competition will be held in two divisions -- 12 & under and 13 & over. Contact Tom Fluker at [email protected].

-- The 8th annual Scott Whittier Memorial 3-person handicap no-tap tournament is set for Saturday, Jan. 11 at Oak Orchard Bowl with squad times at 1, 3, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Entry fee is $60 per team and first place is $600. Call 585-589-6900 after 6 p.m. to sign up.

-- The 42nd annual Mount Morris Pepsi Open scratch singles tournament is scheduled for Jan. 17-19 with qualifying squads at 7 and 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 17, 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 18 and 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Jan. 19. Finals are set for 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 19. Entry fee is $70 ($55 re-entry fee). Call 585-658-2540 to enter.

-- The Help-R-Heroes 4-person handicap no-tap tournament is slated for Jan. 24-26 at Legion Lanes, with squad times at 7 p.m. on Jan. 24, noon and 3 p.m. on Jan. 25 and noon and 3 p.m. on Jan. 26. First place, based on 40 teams, is $1,000 and the entry fee is $100 per team. Call 585-409-0459 to sign up.

Hyde leads list of 700 series in Genesee Region leagues

By Mike Pettinella

Seven hundred series were sprinkled throughout Genesee Region leagues heading into Christmas week.

Mickey Hyde, of Le Roy, coming off a GRUSBC Senior Masters title last month, posted a 767 series in the Le Roy American Legion Thursday Men's League at Legion Lanes with consistent games of 268, 245 and 254.

Along with prize money earned at the Senior Masters event, Hyde won a free spot in the GRUSBC Scratch Memorial Tournament on Jan. 4-5 at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, and has signed up to compete on the 1 p.m. Saturday squad.

To enter, send an email to [email protected]. Qualifying squads are at 1 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 4) and 10 a.m. Sunday (Jan. 5).

Other 700 shooters last week included:

-- Rob Stefani, 740 in the G&W Vending League at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen;
-- Rich Wagner, 740 in the Toyota of Batavia Thursday League at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia;
-- Casey Palmer Jr., 736 in the Friday Night Mixers League at Oak Orchard Bowl;
-- Brian Green, 729 in the Mancuso Real Estate/Smokin' Eagle BBQ League at Mancuso's;
-- Reid Cole, 731 in the Sneezy's Monday Night League at Oak Orchard Bowl;
-- Tom Allis, 728, and Bruce Kraus, 727, in the County Line Stone League at Paris Lanes in Oakfield.

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

South opts for 'Sport' oil pattern, blitzes North to recapture Marth Cup; Scratch Memorial set for Jan. 4-5

By Mike Pettinella


Sometimes in sports, defense is the best offense.

That was the strategy employed by South team captain Ed Doody on Nov. 7 at the 26th annual Karl Marth Cup challenge match at Mancuso Bowling Center.

Doody, as the home team captain, had the responsibility of selecting the oil pattern for the tournament against the North team, and he chose a 39-foot Sport condition.

Since the pattern was much “flatter” than the normal house shot, it took away bowlers’ ability to swing the ball to the right (or left for the left-handers) and watch the ball roar back to the pocket.

Simply put, the advantage moved to those who could play straighter on the lane and not to those used to covering a lot of boards.

As a result, scores were much lower than in past years, with many matches won with games in the 170s and 180s.

For Doody, it was a bold move for sure and caused a bit of a stir as it took the North team by surprise.

The maneuver worked, however, and the South (primarily Batavia-area bowlers) took control early and rolled to an 89-34 victory, based on points awarded in Doubles, Singles and Team events.

Previously, the North (primarily Medina-area bowlers) claimed the Cup in 2017 and 2018 – and had won seven of the last eight matches.

Individually, Batavian Jim Pursel received the Scott Wright Memorial Award by averaging 203 and dominating his doubles and singles matches while Doody garnered the Joe Trigilio Memorial Award for becoming the first participant ever to capture all of his points.

The North team still leads the series, 15-11, and I’m sure will be fired up for the 2020 competition at its home center -- Medina Lanes.

Photo at top: Members of the winning South team are, front from left, Nathan Cordes, Geoff Harloff, Steve O’Dell, Mike Johnson; back, Josh Elliott, Dean Cadieux Jr., Paul Spiotta, Ed Doody, Scott Culp, Kevin Gray Jr., Matt Balduf, Jim Pursel.


Rob Sease of Brockport and Ryan Kretchmer of Rochester defeated Rochester residents Brandon Iamele and Emily Notebaert to claim the $800 first prize at the Striking Effects Pro Shop scratch doubles tournament on Saturday (Dec. 14) at Legion Lanes in Le Roy.

Sease and Kretchmer qualified off the first squad with a 920 two-game score and went on to top LeRoyans John Lowe and Tom Rohl, and Buffalo-area bowlers Bobby Vitagliano and Matt Burt to reach the finals.

Iamele and Notebaert tied for the final qualifying spot on the second squad and advanced due to having the higher game.  They went on to beat Rochester’s Rick Zinone and Josh Curtiss, and Dan Keenan and Kyle Keegan to reach the final round. They earned $400.

The tournament attracted 29 teams.


The Genesee Region USBC is gearing up to host a pair of tournaments on the first two weekends of January.

The 66th Scratch Memorial is scheduled for Jan. 4-5 at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

The scratch singles event offers a $1,000 top prize (based on 80 entries) and features competition on two different oil patterns -- a 40-foot "Challenge" pattern during the qualifying rounds and a 45-foot "Challenge" pattern during the semifinals and finals.

Qualifying squads are scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4 and 10 a.m. on Jan. 5, with the semifinals and finals to follow.

The entry fee is $55.

For more information, contact Mike Pettinella, association manager, at [email protected].

The 6th annual Adult-Junior Doubles handicap tournament will take place on Jan. 10-12 at Raider Lanes in Caledonia.

Squad times are 7 p.m. on Jan. 10, noon and 3 p.m. on Jan. 11 and noon and 3 p.m. on Jan. 12.

The entry fee is $45 per team, and competition will be held in two divisions -- 12 & under and 13 & over.

For more information, contact Tom Fluker, association director, at [email protected].

Tournament entry forms are available at Genesee Region USBC bowling centers or can be downloaded by going to the association website –


The Le Roy Legion Lanes defeated Rose Garden Bowl I, 20-8, to move into a tie for first place with the Bergen team in the Genesee Region Youth Travel League.

In recent action, at Legion Lanes, the hometown squad triumphed behind Aaron Leone’s 546 series. For Rose Garden Bowl I, Jillian Menzie posted a 593 series.

Oak Orchard Bowl I of Albion moved into third place, one point behind, with a 24-4 victory over Mount Morris Lanes. Ben Lennox led the way with a 231 game and 645 series.

Other high scores: Dennis Van Duser (Perry), 258 game, 605 series; Corinne Saluste (Mancuso’s), 226 game and 555 series.

The league is on a holiday break until Jan. 19 when it competes at Oak Orchard Bowl.


One for the thumb.

Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte captured his fifth Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year award last week and now is third in that category behind legends Walter Ray Williams Jr. (seven) and Earl Anthony (six).

In voting for other awards:

-- Mykel Holliman of Collierville, Tennessee, was recognized as 2019 Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year;

-- Bowl 4 Life founder Chuck Gardner of Charlotte, North Carolina, was named recipient of the 2019 Tony Reyes PBA Community Service Award;

-- Sweden’s Martin Larsen became the first international player selected by his peers as winner of the Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award twice.

The 36-year-old Belmonte dominated in 2019, winning the PBA Tournament of Champions for a record-tying third time and then winning the PBA World Championship to set the PBA record with 11 career major titles.

He also became the first player to reach the championship finals in four majors in a single season for the second time, finishing second in the PBA Players Championship and fourth in the U.S. Open to equal a feat he first accomplished in 2013.

Belmonte led the PBA Tour in earnings with $288,290 and points, and finished in the top five in 12 of the 18 tournaments he entered.

The four award winners will be honored on Jan. 18 during PBA Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Arlington, Texas.


-- PBA publicist Bill Vint reports that Mark Roth, PBA and New York State Hall of Famer, suffered another stroke recently and has been placed in a long-term care facility in New York. Fans are invited to send best wishes through Mark’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook/com/mark.roth374? or send a card to Mark Roth, 821 Forest Ave., Fulton, NY 13069.

-- I have been waiting to report on a change of ownership at Medina Lanes (something that had been in the works since the beginning of this season), but word out of the Orleans County village is that any potential deal has fallen through. Earlier this week, Jerry Allen said that the ownership group that has been in place for the past several years is still intact.

-- In case you didn’t know, the PBA has a YouTube channel and currently is running a segment called “Friday Five – the worst breaks of 2019. To re-live an emotionally painful collection of five of the most heart-breaking tough luck shots of the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season, click on this link:

-- The Tommy Kress 60-and-Over Tour lists two tournament stops in January: Jan. 5 at Doug Kent’s Rose Bowl Lanes in Newark and Jan. 26 at Parkview Bowl in Rochester. In action earlier this month at Bowl-A-Roll Lanes in Rochester, Bob Hodgson of Medina and Bill Neubert of Batavia were among the cashers.

-- Mancuso Bowling Center is promoting a new doubles league for 6:45 p.m. on Tuesdays beginning Jan. 7 and already has a sponsor for the league – longtime bowling supporter Turnbull Heating & Air. The handicap league is set up to bowl 14 weeks (ending April 7), will be USBC- certified and will offer prize money to all participants. For those wishing to pick up another league or those looking for a way to prevent “cabin fever,” this could be the perfect opportunity. To sign up, contact Mike Sputore at 585-343-1319.

-- This is the final column for this year -- and for the decade for that matter. We'll be back with another edition of Pin Points on Jan. 2, 2020. Until then, to all my readers, have a Merry and Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year. Peace on Earth and good will to all men, women and children.

Brunswick's purchase of Ebonite brands shakes up bowling ball industry

By Mike Pettinella

Brunswick’s purchase of Ebonite International last month was more than surprising to a Professional Bowlers Tour standout who has represented the Ebonite bowling ball brands for the past 26 years.

“It was such a well-kept secret and it was news to me as well. It definitely was a shock-and-awe moment,” said Jason Couch, a 16-time champion on the PBA Tour, speaking by telephone on Friday from his home in Clermont, Fla.

Couch, a PBA and United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer, is best known for his “three-peat” in the PBA Tournament of Champions, winning the major tournament in 1999, 2000 and 2002 (it wasn’t held in 2001).

Ranked 10th in all-time PBA earnings, the left-hander turned 50 on Nov. 8 and said he is gearing up to compete in the PBA50 Tour starting in April.

He also is trying to get his head around the Brunswick-Ebonite development that has resulted in the loss of many jobs and closed down the Ebonite plant in Hopkinsville, Ky.

“It’s heartbreaking, especially for the 171 people who lost their jobs,” Couch said. “That’s corporate America, though … merging companies and getting bigger themselves.”

Couch said the bowling ball industry is highly competitive as sales have fallen off dramatically in recent years.

“Sales have declined for quite a while now,” he said. “It’s not like the good old days. I think there were 1.5 to 1.6 million (balls) sold worldwide last year (down from 2 million sold 15 years ago). That’s not a lot, especially when you’re looking at eight or nine brands.”

As a result of the acquisition, Brunswick now controls the manufacturing of its Brunswick, DV8 and Radical brands as well as the Ebonite, Hammer, Columbia 300 and Track brands that previously were part of the Ebonite lineup. All of those balls will be made at Brunswick’s plant in Reynosa, Mexico.

The industry’s other major ball manufacturers – Storm and MOTIV – will continue to make their products in the United States.

Couch noted that he was set to take on a new role with Ebonite – as the company’s PBA50 Tour rep – starting Jan. 1 and is hoping that those plans don’t change.

“I signed on to supply balls on the PBA truck (to PBA50 members) and keep inventory for those four (Ebonite) brands,” he said. “But I am waiting to find out what is going on.”

He said that Brunswick may be hiring some of the Ebonite staff, and put in a plug for Randy Teitloff, Ebonite’s vice president of research and development.

“Randy is the lead chemist at Ebonite and I really hope that Brnswick offers him a position. Randy is fantastic,” said Couch, who also has represented Turbo 2-N-1 Grips and Dexter shoes since the 1990s.

Brunswick CEO Corey Dykstra stated that Brunswick is extending severance pay to the 171 employees until Jan. 13 and will be looking to add jobs in management, marketing and distribution -- and that bodes well from some of the displaced Ebonite workers.

With more bowling balls being made outside of the United States, MOTIV President Scott Wilbur responded to a request for comment from this writer by emphasizing his company’s mission.

“In light of this news, we continue to look forward to the opportunity to showcase our exceptional line of bowling equipment to those of you who may be looking to support a company and workers making great bowling balls right here in the USA,” Wilbur said. “We are one of the largest producers of balls exclusively made in the USA..”

On a local level, Brian Green, owner of Striking Effects Pro Shop at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, said he doesn’t see the acquisition “as a bad thing.”

“I think this turns into an exciting time if you are a Brunswick or Ebonite International fan,” he said. “I personally have had success with all the Brunswick brands and the EBI brands over the years shooting several honor scores with them all.”

Green said he is worried over the “very high potential to have a lot of bowling balls having overlapping reactions when you have seven brands made by one manufacturer.”

“But with Brunswick being the leader in coverstock technology, I really feel the sky is the limit as to what we may see on the lanes in the future.”

Brad Buckert, owner of Begin’rs to Pro’s in Rochester, said Brunswick should be able to “ramp things up” since both plants weren’t running at full capacity, but he is saddened by the move out of the United States.

“I personally don't like the fact that more industry is leaving the U.S. I don't want to get political, but I hate the fact that these will be made out of the USA and like everything else the price won't show the impact of the company’s lower costs and greater profits,” he said.

With the purchase, Ebonite brands now would be subject to re-approval per the USBC Equipment Specifications and Certifications Manual.

The manual states that if manufacturing equipment of a previously approved product changes locations, that product must be re-submitted for approval testing, and all testing fees shall apply, and that any ball model which has shifted manufacturing facilities must be re-submitted for approval testing, and all testing fees shall apply.


Thanks to Batavia native Ray San Fratello for setting up the phone interview with Jason Couch.

Ray moved to Clermont 15 years ago after a successful tenure as the president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. He served in a similar capacity in Clermont, as president of the South Lake Chamber of Commerce for 12 years -- helping the Central Florida community grow in population from 15,000 to 40,000.

I was able to catch up with Ray last week during a “magical” trip to the Orlando area and am glad to report that he and his wife, Carol, are doing well – and that Ray is working part-time as a support staff member for the City of Clermont.

He is a bowling fan, having developed friendships with both Couch and PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke, another Clermont resident.



Jim Donk of Brockport defeated Greg Voytovich of Kenmore, 252-206, to win the Tommy Kress 60-and-Over Tour’s “Joe Trigilio Memorial” scratch singles tournament on Nov. 24 at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

Donk, a 66-year-old left-hander, advanced to the eliminator finals by posting a 630 series in the three-game qualifying round, and then added 215 and 259 to earn the No. 1 position for the four-man stepladder finals.

In the stepladder finals, Voytovich upended Bob Wiley of Victor, 258-194, and Wayne Potter of Shortsville, 228-185, to earn the right to face Donk in the title match.

The tournament, which attracted 44 bowlers, featured an appearance by Joe’s wife, Kathy, who presented the championship plaque to the winner, as well as special prizes donated by Batavia- and Rochester-area businesses as well as Mount Morris Lanes & Pro Shop.

Local bowlers who cashed were Batavians Gregg Wolff and John Wolff (no relation).

Photo – Kathy Trigilio presents the championship plaque to Jim Donk, center, as Tommy Kress looks on.


South team captain Ed Doody has brought in some new faces this year as his Batavia-area squad attempts to knock off the Medina-area squad in the 26th annual Karl Marth Cup challenge match at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mancuso Bowling Center.

“After a few tough losses, there was a lot of chatter that we needed some fresh blood on the team,” said Doody, a Batavia native now residing in Pavilion. “After consulting with members of the team, some very strong additions have been made.”

Doody said it was “difficult” to free up some spots on the 12-member squad, but nevertheless said he is confident that the 2019 version “gives us the best chance to compete against the firepower from the North.”

Additions include tournament tested Scott Culp of Honeoye Falls and Kevin Gray Jr. of Warsaw, along with three guys who bowl regularly (and consistently well) at Mancuso’s – Matt Balduf of South Byron, Josh Elliott of Attica and Nate Cordes of Batavia.

Rounding out the South team are Mancuso bowlers Jim Pursel, Geoff Harloff and Mike Johnson, all of Batavia, and longtime members Steve O’Dell and Dean Cadieux Jr., both of Oakfield, and Paul Spiotta of Batavia (the only person to participate in all 25 events).

Doody mentioned that one position opened this year by the untimely passing of South bowler Joe Trigilio, and said both teams are dedicating this year’s event in Joe’s memory.

Tom Allis of Medina once again is (non-competing) captain of the North team, which has won the past two years and seven of the last eight meetings. Overall, the North leads the series, 15-10.

Five other members of the Allis family are on the team – Roger, Hayden, Mike, Scott and Alex.

They will be joined by longtime North members Scott Gibson of Oakfield, Scott Shields of Batavia, and Aaron Verheyn, Jason Mahnke, Jim Foss, Mike Lavender and Rich Culver, all of Medina.

The participants will compete in Singles, Doubles, Baker Doubles and Baker Team events.

Keenan averages 254 en route to Triple O Mechanical tournament title

By Mike Pettinella


Dan Keenan enjoyed ‘to the max” a break from the toils of being a bowling weekend warrior by rolling a 300 game and capturing the 12th annual Triple O Mechanical Singles Handicap Tournament last Sunday at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

Keenan, a 37-year-old right-hander, defeated Ricky Zinone, a 33-year-old left-hander, 227-225 in a battle of Rochester bowlers in the title match.

The victory was worth $370 while Zinone took home $190 for placing second.

“I really like the format (three games of qualifying followed by eliminator-style finals) and it’s something fun to do on a Sunday – on a house pattern – which gives us a little break from the grind,” Keenan said.

In becoming the 12th different champion of the event, Keenan used a Radical Conspiracy Pearl ball for all seven of his tournament games – averaging a lofty 254 for the day.

After posting 258-268-238—761 in qualifying, he went on to roll 300, 246 and 244 before posting 227 in the final game.

“This ball allowed me to get through the fronts but have enough roll – not to flippy on the back end – and the right angle to kick out the 10-pin,” he said.

Still, he figured his efforts were going to fall short after finishing with 227 and seeing that Zinone, who rolled 737 in qualifying, needed a strike on his first ball in the 10th frame to win.

“Honestly, I didn’t think it would be enough, especially against a real tough competitor in Ricky,” he said.

Zinone put the ball firmly in the 1-2 pocket but was thwarted in his attempt for victory when the 7-pin failed to go down.

Both Keenan and Zinone bowl in leagues in Rochester and are regulars on the weekend bowling tournament circuit that features the best bowlers from miles around.  In fact, both of them cashed in the Livingston Lanes Open on Nov. 9 (see story below).

While Keenan grabbed the headlines at the Triple O event, 66-year-old Ray Bardol of Brockport became another storyline with his performance.

Bardol, the former longtime proprietor at Brockport Bowl, made it to the semifinals – along with his son, Chris – by rolling 632 scratch (752 with handicap)  in the qualifying round and following that with scratch games of 173 and 212 (213 and 252 with handicap) to reach the final four.

He ran out of gas, however, in the semifinals – exiting with a 151 scratch (191 with handicap).

Ray had been sidelined with serious vision issues stemming from diabetes.

He is blind in his right eye and has macular degeneration in his left eye, conditions that forced him to look at an area on the lane, just past the foul line.  When he leaves pins standing, fellow bowlers inform him of what the pins are to help him line up properly.

The Bardols each earned $85 for reaching the semis.

Other cashers were Brady Weber of Perry (the high qualifier with 792), Rodney Jopson of Belfast, Bob Wiley of Rochester and Sam Capizzi of Rochester, $65 each, and Gary Kinyon of Lockport, Frank Jarkiewicz of Byron, Kevin Gray Sr. of Honeoye Falls, and Rochester residents Frank Fitzmaurice, Pete Pilaroscia, John Martorella Sr., Steve Meyer and Bill Stoddard, $50 apiece.

Photo at top: Tom Sardou, proprietor; Dan Keenan, Ricky Zinone and Mike Pettinella, tournament director, following the Triple O Mechanical Singles Handicap tournament on Nov. 17 at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.


The team of veteran bowlers Mike Kime of Honeoye Falls, John LaGeorge of Retsof and Jerry Davis of Pavilion – all who have been involved in bowling center management over the years – took top honors at the annual Brian Morasco Memorial three-person handicap no-tap tournament on Saturday at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

The trio registered a score of 2,535 (845 per man) for the three games to outdistance the second-place team of Tyler and Jonah Whipple and Fred Blair of Rochester by 42 pins.

Kime, LaGeorge and Davis earned $200 each for their efforts, while second place paid $300.

Also cashing were Adam Philp, Brady Weber and Brian Cline with 2,456, $200; Alex Morris, Mike Johnson and Jason Quilliam, 2,426, $180; Rob Sease, Jen Schwaed and Roger Thaine, 2,416, $170, and John Lowe, Scott O’Neill and Sam Steffenella, 2,414, $160.

The tournament drew 38 teams and raised $1,270 for charity.

Sease was part of the winning team the previous weekend, along with Kai Clark and Mark Brown, at the fifth annual PAWS triples no-tap tournament at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

The trio shot 2,581 with handicap – 46 pins more than second-place Sidney Scott, Michelle Pierce and George Pierce Jr., and 95 more than third-place Tyler Hartigan, Alex Allis and Scott Allis.

Sixty-five teams generated $2,300 to benefit the PAWS Animal Shelter in Albion.


Rochester lefty Dan Vick, arguably the best left-hander in New York State, added another jewel to his tournament victory crown on Nov. 9 by winning the Livingston Lanes Open in Geneseo.

Vick registered games of 253 and 298 to coast past Dan McClelland of Canada and Jason Sterner and Matt Wallace of Rochester. McClelland and Sterner are PBA members.

The star-studded field included PBA member Brad Angelo of Lockport, PBA50 standout Brian LeClair of Albany and just about all the top amateurs from the Rochester area.


Sparked by Aaron Leone’s 685 series, the Le Roy Legion Lanes team moved into third place on Nov. 10 in the Genesee Region Youth Travel League at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

Leone posted a 255 game in the big series as Le Roy downed Rose Garden Bowl II, 18-10, to jump into the third spot – four points behind Rose Garden Bowl I and 11 in back of Oak Orchard Bowl I.

Other high scores for the week:

Boys – Dennis Van Duser, Perry, 627, and Tony Sprague, Mancuso’s, 601.
Girls – Emma Miller, Mancuso’s, 533, and Brooke Jarkiewicz, Rose Garden Bowl I, 518.

The next league session is scheduled for 1 p.m. Dec. 1 at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

To see the complete standings and individual scores, go to and click on the Jr. Travel League tab.


A special tribute to Joe Trigilio, Batavia area bowling legend who passed away on Sept. 1, will take place during this Sunday’s Tommy Kress 60-and-over Tour event at Mancuso Bowling Center.

Joe competed regularly on the Tour, winning a couple tournaments and cashing numerous times. He became a popular member of the group, just as he was in the Genesee Region and throughout New York State.

Some local businesses have donated gift certificates that will be awarded after the competition, and I have confirmed that Joe’s wife, Kathy, will be there to congratulate the champion of this memorial event.

The annual Legion Lanes Scratch Doubles Tournament is set for Dec. 14 with qualifying squads at 1:15 and 2:45 p.m. First place, based on 32 teams, is $800, and the entry fee is $80 per team.

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


Another significant development in the bowling industry took place last week in the form of Brunswick’s acquisition of Ebonite International. The purchase transfers all assets of EBI to Brunswick and shuts down the Ebonite plant in Hopkinsville, Ky. – ending a 52-year business in that community and resulting in the loss of more than 150 jobs.

Ebonite brands include Columbia 300, Hammer, Ebonite, Track, Power House and Robby’s. Brunswick officials reported that they will continue to offer these products, but manufacturing will now move to Brunswick’s plant in Reynosa, Mexico.

Watch for more details – including reaction from local and national bowling industry personnel – in my column on Dec. 5.

Trio of perfect games at Medina Lanes, Oak Orchard Bowl

By Mike Pettinella

Orleans County bowlers found a great deal of league success last week as three men posted perfect games at Medina Lanes and Oak Orchard Bowl.

All three 300 games were rolled on Thursday with Jacob Rosenbeck and Scott Allis finding perfection in the Firefighters League at Medina Lanes, and Robbie Hanks stringing 12 consecutive strikes in the Thursday Triples League at Oak Orchard Bowl.

Rosenbeck notched his first USBC-certified 300 on lanes 11-12 while Allis added to his long list of perfect games on lanes 9-10, both in the second game.

Hanks registered his fifth 300 game en route to a 752 series at his place of employment, Oak Orchard Bowl.

In the Sunday Rolloffs League at Medina Lanes, Alex Allis had a 290 game in a 752 series, and in the Wednesday Men's Handicap League at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, Rodney Jopson posted a 279 game in a 757 series.

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

Mike Pettinella's Pin Points column is scheduled for this Thursday, exclusively on The Batavian.

Jim Foss rolls 298--823 in Sunday Rolloffs League in Medina; Cole and Balduf post 299 games

By Mike Pettinella

Talk about making up for lost time!

Out of action since the beginning of the season due to a partial left knee replacement, Medina's Jim Foss erupted for an 823 series on Sunday (Nov. 10) in the Sunday Rolloffs League at Medina Lanes.

The 57-year-old right-hander and 2019 inductee into the Genesee Region USBC Hall of Fame posted games of 258-267-298 while substituting in the singles league. It was just his fourth league series as he is coming back from the April 30 surgery.

Bowling on three different pairs per the league format, Foss, co-manager at Medina Lanes, started with at least six strikes in all three games, stretching the string to 11 in the last game before leaving the 4-8 on his last ball.

Still, the 823 is his high series, eclipsing his previous best of 815.

Elsewhere around the Genesee Region, Matt Balduf stayed hot in the Toyota of Batavia Thursday night league at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia with a 299 game and 766. The previous week. Baluf recorded a 300 game and 768 series.

At Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, Reid Cole rolled a 299 game and Robbie Hanks registered a 763 series to lead the way.

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

LeRoyan Hyde wins GRUSBC Senior Masters; Fluker triumphs in Handicap Bracket Challenge

By Mike Pettinella


The old bowling axiom, “hook is for show, straight is for dough,” came into play over the weekend at the 14th annual Genesee Region USBC Senior Masters Tournament at Mount Morris Lanes.

Bowling in the tournament for the first time, 53-year-old right-hander Mickey Hyde of Le Roy utilized that strategy to emerge victorious against 42 other entrants on Sunday.

“I pretty much stayed straight up the alley,” said Hyde, who averaged 234 for his seven games, capped by a 246-208 victory over Tim Fonte of Dansville in the title match. “Normally, that shot doesn’t work for me any place else, but it has here before.”

Hyde, manager of the Tompkins Bank of Castile Le Roy branch, earned $270 plus a free entry into the GRUSBC Scratch Memorial Tournament in January and a plaque from Joe’s Trophies & Awards.

The three-person stepladder finals in the event for association members 50 and over featured three first-time Senior Masters participants -- Hyde, Fonte and Batavian Bill Neubert.

Fonte downed Neubert, 218-173, in the first stepladder match to earn the right to face Hyde, who secured the top seed by virtue of a 714 series in the three-game qualifying round and 463 in the two-game second round.

Fonte, 71, pocketed $170 for his runner-up finish while Neubert, 69, won $120 for placing third. Both Fonte and Neubert played a direct line, and it carried them to the stepladder round.

Reaching the semis were Dave DiSalvo of Mount Morris, Mike Pettinella of Batavia (this writer) and Kevin Gray of Honeoye Falls. They each won $70.

Other cashers were Paul Spiotta, Jim Pursel and Scott Shields, all of Batavia; Marty Weaver of Castile; John Lowe of Le Roy, and Bob Hodgson of Medina. They won $55 apiece.

DiSalvo was the high qualifier with 758, followed by Spiotta (724), Pursel (723) and Hyde, and also had the high score in the two-game semifinals with 472, followed by Pettinella (463) and Hyde (463).

Hyde, Fonte and Neubert advanced to the finals with games of 221, 215 and 210, respectively.

The field was cut to 12 after the qualifying round and to six after the two-game second round. The one-game semifinal round determined the stepladder finalists.

This year’s champion said he used his “old (Roto Grip) Uproar” to conquer the synthetic lanes, concentrating on keeping the ball from getting too far right.

“If I swung it out, I didn’t carry any 10-pins,” he said. “I stayed in the middle of the lane and that seemed to be, for me, the only shot that carried consistently.”

He thanked Spiotta for running the tournament and credited proprietor Bob Santini for putting up a fair lane condition.

Photo at top: Mickey Hyde, left, and Tim Fonte, Genesee Region USBC Senior Masters finalists.



Batavia’s Tom Fluker won the tournament while Albion’s Bailee Snook won the hearts of bowlers and spectators, alike, on Oct. 26 at the 1st Genesee Region Handicap Bracket Challenge tournament at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

Fluker defeated Sam Oddo of Batavia, 224-202, in the title match to claim the $275 first prize in the event, which attracted 32 bowlers.

The entrants were divided into four eight-player brackets with the top four averages as the No. 1 seeds in each bracket and the remaining players drawing for their seedings. The first round consisted of two-game matches and the ensuing rounds were one-game matches.

Fluker opened by defeating Bailee’s sister, Paige, and then went on to win three more matches to face Oddo. In the semifinals, he just got past 13-year-old Bailee by five pins.

He rolled a 211 game scratch – 241 with handicap – while Snook rolled 149 and received 87 pins handicap based on her 133 average.

For the tournament, Snook averaged 159, much better than her average, in posting a 3-1 match play record. One of her games was 200, her first 200 ever.

Oddo reached the finals with a 248-216 win over Shayne Herold of Batavia (200-176 scratch), and earned $150 for his second-place finish.

Snook and Herold won $95 each (with Snook’s prize money going into her SMART scholarship account). Other cashers were Batavians Geoff Harloff, Tom McJury and Scott Shields and Attica’s Mark Brown.

Matt Balduf of South Byron had the tournament’s high game of 299, leaving a solid 10-pin on the final ball.

Photo: Tom Fluker, left, and Sam Oddo, finalists in the GRUSBC Handicap Bracket Challenge.


Four businesses from the Mount Morris area, including three of them affiliated with Director Sharon Willett, have signed on as Genesee Region USBC sponsors for the 2019-20 season.

Loretta's Beauty Shop, Willett's Rentals and Willett's Farm, owned by Dan and Sharon Willett, and Mount Morris Lanes, owned by Bob Santini, each have contributed $250 to the GRUSBC to help support the local association's scholarship fund, youth bowling and tournament bowling.

As Silver Sponsors, each will receive a free ticket to the GRUSBC Annual Banquet in May and space in the Sponsors section of the GRUSBC website –


Albion residents Laurie Cole and Susan Boring captured age group titles over the weekend at the Gladys Ford Senior Women’s handicap singles tournament conducted by the Genesee Region USBC at Perry Bowling Center.

Cole won Class C (60-64) with a 633 series with handicap while Boring took Class D (55-59) with a 590 series.

Projected “cashers” pending verification of averages are as follows:

Class AA (75-and-Over) – Margaret Shepard, Castile, 667; Caroline Appleby, Warsaw, 643; Fran Matthews, Silver Lake, 638; Joanne Reed, Livonia, 624.

Class A (70-74) – Gail Riley, Dansville, 649; Barbara Sales, Geneseo, 606; Georgene Della Penna, Batavia, 589.

Class B (65-69) – Barbara Heim, Perry, 632; Pat Gilbertson, Gainesville, 594.

Class C (60-64) – Cole, 633; Judy Bzduch, Perry, 631; Chris Bovee, Dansville, 624.

Class D (55-59) – Boring, 590.

Class E (50-54) – Dawn Johnston, Livonia, 660 (618 scratch).


The Oak Orchard Bowl I team moved into first place in the Genesee Region Youth Travel League with a 20-8 victory over Batavia Strike Force in recent action at Mancuso Bowling Center.

Paige Snook led the way with a 543 series for the Albion squad, which vaulted past Rose Garden Bowl I of Bergen by two points. Tony Sprague posted 566 for Strike Force.

Individual honors for the week went to Jillian Menzie with a sparkling 647 series on games of 222-237-188.

Dennis Van Duser of Perry Bowling Center led the boys with a 248 game and 608 series.

The league bowls again at 1 p.m. this Sunday at Oak Orchard Bowl.


-- Thursday, Nov. 7-Sunday, Nov. 10  -- Livingston Lanes 2019 Open, scratch singles, Geneseo.

First place is guaranteed at $5,000. Squads are tonight and Friday night, day and night on Saturday, with finals at noon on Sunday. Call 585-243-1760 to enter or for more information.

-- Sunday, Nov. 10 – Rochester/GRUSBC BVL, Pleasure Lanes, Hilton. Genesee Region USBC members are eligible to bowl in the fundraiser.  Entry forms can be downloaded from

-- Saturday, Nov. 16 -- Brian Morasco Memorial 3 –person handicap, Mancuso Bowling Center.

-- Sunday, Nov. 17 -- Triple O Mechanical Handicap Singles, Rose Garden Bowl, Bergen.

-- Sunday, Nov. 24 – Tommy Kress 60-and-Over Tour stop, Mancuso Bowling Center, Batavia, noon (tribute to Joe Trigilio).

Teen posts 752 series, Balduf racks up another 300 at Mancuso Bowling Center

By Mike Pettinella

The first USBC-certified* 700 series for a Batavia youth bowler and a ninth USBC-certified perfect game by a South Byron adult league bowler highlighted this past week’s action around the Genesee Region.


Tony Sprague (photo at right), a 17-year-old senior at Batavia High School, posted a sparkling 752 series while participating in the Turnbull Heating Junior League at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

Sprague, a lean right-hander, registered games of 236-258-258 using a Storm IQ Tour Emerald ball to eclipse his previous high series of 694.

He said he used more of a “swing” shot than normal, standing left and launching the ball to the outside boards to consistently hit the 1-3 pocket. He also felt some added pressure toward the end of the set.

“I was pretty calm the first two games but I knew I was getting close (to the 700 mark), so I got a little nervous,” he said.

He kept it together very well, however, to raise his league average to 203. He also has a 201 average in the Rochester Youth Travel League, with a 276 game last week at Empire Lanes to his credit. In that game, he started with nine strikes before leaving a 4-pin.

Balduf finished with a 300 game for a 768 series in the Toyota of Batavia Thursday League at Mancuso’s.

The 51-year-old righty had a 299 on Oct. 26 in the Handicap Bracket Challenge Tournament at Mancuso’s (more on that event in Mike Pettinella’s Pin Points column this Thursday).

At Livingston Lanes in Geneseo, Scott Culp of Honeoye Falls added to his lengthy list of honor scores with 290—823 in the Monday Ontario-Livingston League.

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

*(United States Bowling Congress)

Canadian Lavoie captures second U.S. Open title

By Mike Pettinella

MOORESVILLE, N.C. - For the second time in his short professional career, Canada's Francois Lavoie donned the coveted green jacket at the U.S. Open.

The 26-year-old right-hander defeated 14-time Professional Bowlers Association Tour champion and top seed Sean Rash of Montgomery, Illinois, 221-172, on Wednesday night to become the 12th bowler in history to win the prestigious title multiple times.

His first time hoisting the U.S. Open trophy was in 2016 on the way to PBA Rookie of the Year honors.

The latest win gave Lavoie his fourth PBA Tour title and made the fourth-year professional the first foreign-born player to win the U.S. Open more than once. Finland's Mika Koivuniemi (2001) and Dom Barrett of England (2018) also have won the event.

Wednesday's star-studded stepladder at Victory Lanes was broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.

Along with the iconic outerwear, Lavoie also earned a $30,000 top prize. The U.S. Open was the fifth, and final, major of the 2019 PBA Tour season. The win was Lavoie's first since 2017.

"This is so surreal, and I don't even know where to begin," Lavoie said. "To win the first one was unbelievable and a dream come true. Winning the second one, wow. Especially with the way the season started, I never could've expected this. It's not something you think will happen again, and definitely not this year of all years. I feel so fortunate."

Lavoie started the final match with five consecutive strikes and cruised to the title. Rash opened with a strike but did not throw another until the ninth frame when his third major title already was out of reach.

Rash was in a familiar position as the No. 1 seed, having won the 2007 United States Bowling Congress Masters and 2012 PBA Tournament of Champions from there.

"I'm great, honestly," Rash said. "I led the U.S. Open, which is a dream come true. I've always wanted to make this show. Frankie bowled unbelievable. He started with the front five on a pair that was extremely brutal. He's a two-time champion at this event for a reason. It was a great performance, and he out-bowled me. I'm happy with my preparation and thought process and everything that was going on. I have no regrets from today, and I feel like this still was one of my best seasons overall."

Despite the loss, Rash indeed is winding down one of his best seasons in a career that began in 2005. His 2019 campaign includes two titles and more than $145,000 in earnings. He took home $15,000 for Wednesday's runner-up finish.

In the night's four matches, there only were three strings of strikes longer than a double, and Lavoie had two of them on what he considered the most challenging of the week's four oil patterns.

His keys to success on all the patterns were surface management and different hand positions.

"I wasn't ever really comfortable on this pattern for the 32 games we bowled on it, and going into match play, I was pretty nervous about holding onto a spot on the show for another 24 games," said Lavoie, who averaged less than 200 for his first eight games on the week's final oil pattern. "I had a hard time getting my hand to do what I wanted to get the right ball motion, but we stuck with it and stayed in it. Throwing the front five in the final game was huge, especially since our plan was just to try to hit the 1-3 every time. That pair was really hard."

On the way to his first U.S. Open title in Las Vegas, Lavoie also managed to string strikes in what is considered one of the sport's toughest environments. That year, he also was the second seed and advanced to the title match by becoming the first bowler in history to roll a perfect game on a U.S. Open television show.

Lavoie rolled into this year's championship match simply by filling frames, another key to success on the demanding conditions at the U.S. Open.

The Team Canada member posted a clean 214-164 win against two-time major champion Anthony Simonsen, 22, of Little Elm, Texas, who was looking to earn his eighth PBA Tour title and become the youngest player to win three majors.

Simonsen, who won the 2016 USBC Masters and 2019 PBA Players Championship, advanced to Wednesday's semifinal with a 187-148 win against 11-time major champion and 2019 PBA Player of the Year front-runner Jason Belmonte of Australia.

After three solid shots to start the match, Belmonte failed to get more than six pins on four of his next five first balls. The 36-year-old two-hander tried everything to get back in the match, including a switch to a urethane ball in the seventh frame and moving from the left side of the lane to the right.

The move worked on the right lane, but the 22-time PBA Tour champion split twice on the left lane, including the 2-8-10 combination in his final frame. A missed 10 pin from Simonsen in the ninth frame gave Belmonte an opportunity to at least force Simonsen to mark, but the final split ended his chances for a fifth title in 2019.

A win Wednesday would've given Belmonte his first U.S. Open title, and he would've joined USBC and PBA Hall of Famer Mike Aulby as the only players to win the Super Slam.

Belmonte has four wins at the USBC Masters, three PBA Tournament of Champions titles, two victories at the PBA World Championship and two wins at the PBA Players Championship.

His 148 game was the lowest he has bowled on TV. His previous low came in a 214-156 loss to Wes Malott in the title match of the 2013 U.S. Open.

In Wednesday's opening match, neither Simonsen nor Bill O'Neill of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, looked immediately comfortable on the fresh 40-foot oil pattern, but two rolled 10 pins early in the game gave Simonsen a small advantage over O'Neill, who didn't deliver his first strike until the fifth frame.

A 2-8-10 split from O'Neill in the sixth frame widened the deficit, and Simonsen followed the first commercial break with four consecutive strikes to pull away for a 226-193 victory.

O'Neill, the 2010 U.S. Open winner, also was looking to become the 12th bowler in history to win the event multiple times. The 38-year-old right-hander owns 11 PBA Tour titles, including two this season.

The field this week started with 144 players, all of whom bowled 24 games of qualifying over three days (eight games each day). Each round featured a different oil pattern, and a fourth lane condition was introduced for the cashers' round, match play and championship round.

All rounds leading up to the TV show were broadcast live at and simulcast on FloBowling.

2019 U.S. Open
At Victory Lanes, Mooresville, N.C.
Wednesday's results

1, Francois Lavoie, Canada, 435 (two games), $30,000
2, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Illinois, 172 (one game), $15,000
3, Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, 577 (three games), $12,000
4, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 148 (one game), $10,000
5, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 193 (one game), $8,000

Match No. 1 - Simonsen def. O'Neill, 226-193
Match No. 2 - Simonsen def. Belmonte, 187-148
Semifinal - Lavoie def. Simonsen, 214-164
Championship - Lavoie def. Rash, 221-172

Rash earns top seed for U.S. Open stepladder finals on CBS Sports Network tonight

By Mike Pettinella

MOORESVILLE, N.C. - After 56 games over five days, five competitors have advanced to the championship round of the 2019 U.S. Open.

The quintet conquered four challenging oil patterns at Victory Lanes and now will battle for the for the $30,000 top prize, coveted green jacket and final major championship on the 2019 Professional Bowlers Association Tour schedule live on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

The standings seemed to be on a continuous spin cycle throughout the final round of match play Tuesday evening, with three different people topping the leaderboard during the eight-game block.

Sean Rash of Montgomery, Illinois, a 14-time PBA Tour champion, spent the most time out in front and held a 60-pin advantage over 2016 U.S. Open champion Francois Lavoie of Canada heading into the day-ending position round.

Though Lavoie was able to win the position-round matchup, 217-211, Rash had enough of a lead to claim the top seed for the TV stepladder by 24 pins.

Lavoie held on for the No. 2 spot, which is the same place he qualified the year he won. He and Rash will be joined on the show by Australia's Jason Belmonte, Bill O'Neill of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, and Anthony Simonsen of Little Elm, Texas. All five are major champions.

"I have one game to bowl for a title, which is something I've done six, seven or eight times this year, and it's a great feeling," said Rash, who was the No. 1 seed for both of his major titles - the 2007 United States Bowling Congress Masters and 2012 PBA Tournament of Champions. "There's four unbelievable players on the show with me, all major champions, so it's going to be an amazing show. I'm extremely happy right now, but there's still so much left to do."

Rash, who set the pace through 32 games of qualifying and led the final 24 players into the match-play portion of the event, finished with a 56-game pinfall total of 12,379, which included 30 bonus pins for each of his 12 wins in match play. He started match play with seven consecutive losses.

Lavoie finished with a 12,355 total, Belmonte closed with a 266-233 win over Houston's Shawn Maldonado to jump from fifth place to third (12,312), O'Neill finished with 12,303 and Simonsen held on to the final spot with 12,261, just 27 pins ahead of Maldonado.

"Tonight was very much needed and something I felt was coming," said Belmonte, a 22-time PBA Tour champion. "I finished the second round with 279 and realized that game put me back in contention. I was about 100 out of the show and thought I could get there with a couple good games in a row. Through the middle of the last block, I did some of the best bowling I've done in a really long time."

The star-studded stepladder includes some amazing storylines.

Rash is looking for his third title of 2019 and third career major. A win would make Lavoie the first foreign-born player to win the event twice, while he and O'Neill, the 2010 winner, both have a chance to become the 12th bowler in history to win multiple times.

Belmonte and Simonsen both have found the winner's circle in majors this season. Belmonte won the PBA Tournament of Champions and PBA World Series of Bowling X PBA World Championship, and he was the runner-up to Simonsen at the 2019 PBA Players Championship.

Belmonte's win at the 2019 PBA World Championship was the 11th major victory of his career and moved him past PBA Hall of Famers Earl Anthony and Pete Weber on the all-time list. They each own 10 major titles.

Simonsen, who along with O'Neill has won twice this year, is looking to become the youngest player with three majors - he also won the 2016 Masters - and Belmonte is hoping to extend his record. The U.S. Open is the major that has eluded him. The Australian's best finish at the event was a second-place effort in 2013.

"This has put me in a position to have a crack at No. 12, and I'm excited and nervous and can't wait to get out there and leave it all on the lanes," said Belmonte, a four-time champion in 2019. "I'll give it everything I've got, and if the pins want to fall, it'll be my year. I know there will be plenty more U.S. Opens, but I'm kind of hoping they fall for me this time."

Defending champion Dom Barrett of England also made match play this week and finished 14th, one spot ahead of 2017 champion Rhino Page of Orlando, Florida.

The field this week started with 144 players, all of whom bowled 24 games of qualifying over three days (eight games each day). Each round featured a different oil pattern, and a fourth lane condition was introduced for the cashers' round, match play and championship round.

All rounds leading up to the TV show were broadcast live at and simulcast on FloBowling.

The U.S. Open is conducted jointly by USBC and the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America.

For more information on the U.S. Open, visit

About International Bowling Campus
The International Bowling Campus (IBC) is the headquarters for the bowling industry and directly serves the more than 69 million bowlers in the United States. The IBC houses the resources of the United States Bowling Congress, the governing body and membership organization for the sport; the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America, representing the business interests of bowling centers; IBC Youth Development; Strike Ten Entertainment, the marketing arm for the industry; the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame; the International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association; the International Bowling Media Association; the Bowling News Network; the Billiard and Bowling Institute of America; and the International Training and Research Center.

2019 U.S. Open
At Victory Lanes, Mooresville, N.C.

Tuesday's results

(56 games, 30 bonus pins for a win, 15 bonus pins for a tie)

      1, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 12-12-0, 12,379. 2, Francois Lavoie, Wichita, Kan., 15-8-1, 12,355. 3, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 13-11-0, 12,312. 4, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 13-10-1, 12,303. 5, Anthony Simonsen, Princeton, Texas, 14-10-0, 12,261.

(Will be live Wednesday on CBS Sports Network at 8 p.m. Eastern)

Match No. 1: O'Neill vs. Simonsen
Match No. 2: Belmonte vs. Match No. 1 winner
Semifinal: Lavoie vs. Match No. 2 winner
Final: Rash vs. semifinal winner


      6, Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 15-9-0, 12,234. 7, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 18-6-0, 12,221. 8, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 14-10-0, 12,207. 9, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., 13-11-0, 12,169. 10, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 12-12-0, 12,121. 11, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 11-11-2, 12,105. 12, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, 12-12-0, 12,087.
      13, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 13-11-0, 11,993. 14, Dominic Barrett, England, 12-12-0, 11,991. 15, Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 12-12-0, 11,958. 16, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 11-13-0, 11,920. 17, Kim Bolleby, Thailand, 11-12-1, 11,899. 18, Kyle Sherman, O'Fallon, Mo., 11-12-1, 11,860.
      19, Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, 10-14-0, 11,838. 20, Kristopher Prather, Plainfield, Ill., 8-16-0, 11,797. 21, Greg Ostrander (a), Freehold, N.J., 11-12-1, 11,764. 22, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 7-17-0, 11,612. 23, Thomas Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 8-16-0, 11,542. 24, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 8-15-1, 11,494.

James Townsend notches first 300 game in Monday league at Mancuso's

By Mike Pettinella

Twenty-one-year-old James Townsend, just two years out of youth bowling, recorded his first United States Bowling Congress-certified 300 game last Monday in the Mancuso Real Estate Doubles League at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

Townsend, an employee of Walmart Automotive in Batavia, started his series on lanes 7-8 with 12 consecutive strikes and followed that up with 212 and 220 for a 732 series.

The right-hander said he had the jitters on the 12th ball, but came through in fine fashion by putting his MOTIV Golden Jackal bowling ball squarely in the 1-3 pocket.

"My nerves were high, having my first 11 in a row and a lot of people were watching me – a lot of my friends," he said. "But as soon as it left my hand I knew it was going to be in the pocket – it was just a matter of carrying the 10-pin.”

Townsend has improved dramatically over the years and he was quick to credit his father, Paul Townsend, and Tom Fluker – coaches in the Turnbull Heating Junior League -- for working with him.

Also that night and in the same league,Jason Quilliam of Batavia rolled a 299 game – also in the first game – on the pair right next to Townsend – 9 and 10. Jason ended up with a 787 series.

In the Toyota of Batavia League at Mancuso's on Thursday night, Bill Neubert of Batavia led the way with a 755 series.

U.S. Open to bring out the best of bowling's professionals; finals to air live next Wednesday

By Mike Pettinella

The U.S. Open, professional bowling’s true test of versatility and stamina, opened its weeklong run at Victory Lanes Family Recreation Center in Mooresville, N.C., on Wednesday.

Competition the Professional Bowlers Association’s last tournament of the season -- arguably the “crown jewel” of major tournaments – continues through Oct. 30 with the stepladder finals broadcast live at 8 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network.

Dom Barrett of England is attempting to defend his title, while Jason Belmonte of Australia and Jakob Butturff of Chandler, Ariz., each hope to bowl well enough to capture PBA Player of the Year honors.

The 144-player field features several New Yorkers, including Justin Wyman of Fairport, who advanced through yesterday’s eight-game PTQ (Pro Tournament Qualifier) and Jason Sterner of Rochester.

Household names on the roster include Chris Barnes, Parker Bohn III, Ryan Ciminelli, Norm Duke, Tommy Jones, Marshall Kent, Wes Malott, Bill O’Neill, Rhino Page, Sean Rash, Anthony Simonsen, EJ Tackett, Pete Weber and Walter Ray Williams Jr.

Qualifying consists of three eight-game rounds – all on different oil patterns – before the field is cut to the top 36 bowlers. Those advancing then roll eight more games of qualifying, with the top 24 advancing to match play.

It doesn’t get any easier from there as those 24 will bowl 24 games of round-robin match play with the top five making the TV show. Adding another degree of difficulty, the Round of 36, match play and stepladder finals will be bowled on a fourth lane condition.

All rounds (except the stepladder finals) can be seen live on FloBowling.

The schedule is as follows (all times Eastern):

Wednesday, Oct. 23 -- 9 a.m. - PTQ

Friday, Oct. 25 -- 8 a.m. – Qualifying Round 1, Squad A (eight games); 1 p.m. – Qualifying Round 1, Squad B (eight games); 6 p.m. – Qualifying Round 1, Squad C (eight games).

Saturday, Oct. 26 -- 8 a.m. – Qualifying Round 2, Squad B (eight games); 1 p.m. – Qualifying Round 2, Squad C (eight games); 6 p.m. – Qualifying Round 2, Squad A (eight games).

Sunday, Oct. 27 -- 8 a.m. – Qualifying Round 3, Squad C (eight games); 1 p.m. – Qualifying Round 3, Squad A (eight games); 6 p.m. – Qualifying Round 3, Squad B (eight games).

Monday, Oct. 28 -- 10 a.m. – Round of 36 (eight games); 5 p.m. – Match Play Round 1 (eight games).

Tuesday, Oct. 29 -- 10 a.m. – Match Play Round 2 (eight games); 5 p.m. – Match Play Round 3 (eight games).

Wednesday, Oct. 30 -- 8 p.m. – Stepladder Finals (top five) – Broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.


As I expected, 19-time title winner Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., was unanimously elected to the Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Fame last week.

Jones was voted in to the Superior Performance category by a panel of veteran bowling writers (that includes this writer) and PBA Hall of Famers. He will be enshrined on Jan. 18 at the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame and the Arlington (Texas) Hilton as part of PBA Hall of Fame Classic tournament weekend.

Joining Jones in the Class of 2020 will be former PBA ownership partners Mike Slade and Rob Glaser (both for Meritorious Service).

Followers of the PBA will recall that Slade and Glaser joined forces with Chris Peters to purchase the PBA in 2000.  The trio of former Microsoft executives pooled their money at the time to keep the PBA from having to file bankruptcy.

Jones is one of five PBA players to win both PBA Rookie (2001-02) and Player of the Year (2005-06) honors and has earned more than $1.7 million in his 20-year PBA career. The 41-year-old power player owns 17 standard PBA Tour titles plus two majors: the 2006 U.S. Open and 2007 PBA Tournament of Champions.


The Oak Orchard Bowl I team from Albion and the Mount Morris team won 22 and 21 points, respectively, on Oct. 13 as the Genesee Region Youth Travel League got under way at Mount Morris Lanes.

Oak Orchard Bowl I defeated Oak Orchard Bowl II, 22-6, as Paige Snook led the way with 222-202-165—589. Ben Lennox posted a 559 series for Oak Orchard II.

Mount Morris Lanes downed Perry Bowling Center, 21-7, as Austin Hawker rolled a 587 series. Dennis Van Duser led the way for Perry with a 213 game and 591 series.

Individually, Tony Sprague of Mancuso Strike Force took top honors with a 228 game and 632 series while teammate Emma Miller paced the girls with a 245 game and 592 series. Jillian Menzie of Rose Garden Bowl I notched a 205 game and 549 series.

The league resumes at 12:45 p.m. this Sunday at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

A meeting of the Genesee Region USBC board of directors is scheduled at T.F. Brown’s for 12:30 p.m. Sunday.


The Genesee Region USBC has had trouble getting an early-season tournament off the ground in recent years, but is hoping for a decent turnout this Saturday for the first Handicap Bracket Challenge event at Mancuso Bowling Center.

The tournament, scheduled for noon, features all match play – two-game matches from start to finish. As of Wednesday, 24 names were on the list of entrants at the bowling center.

It’s not too late to enter – just call Mancuso’s at 558-343-1319 or send an email to [email protected]. The entry fee is $35.

Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen is hosting a Tommy Kress 60-and-Over Tour event on Sunday with squads at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. For more information about the scratch singles tournament, contact Kress at [email protected].

Future local tournaments include:

Saturday, Sunday, Nov. 2-3 – GRUSBC Gladys Ford Senior Women, Perry Bowling Center

Sunday, Nov. 3 – GRUSBC Senior Masters, Mount Morris Lanes

Sunday, Nov. 10 – Rochester/GRUSBC BVL, Pleasure Lanes, Hilton

Saturday, Nov. 16 -- Brian Morasco Memorial 3 –person handicap, Mancuso Bowling Center

Sunday, Nov. 17 -- Triple O Mechanical Handicap Singles, Rose Garden Bowl, Bergen


I recently learned that the Cornerstone League on Monday nights at Clarence Bowling Center has changed its name to the Joe Triggs Memorial League in honor of Joe Trigilio, Genesee Region USBC Hall of Famer who passed away on Sept. 1.

Joe bowled in the league for the past few years along with several other Batavia-area bowlers. This year’s league roster includes local bowlers Matt Balduf, Dean Cadieux Jr., Fred Gravanda, Geoff Harloff, Mike Johnson, Rich Mortellaro, Steve O’Dell, Jim Pursel and Scott Shields.

It is heartwarming to know – and not surprising at all -- that Joe was thought highly enough by the Greater Buffalo USBC league officials to continue his legacy in this way.

Condolences to the families of longtime area bowlers who left us in the past few weeks:

-- Robert “Bob” Radley of Batavia, a steady member of the Polish Falcons and 55 Alive leagues at Mancuso Bowling Center;

-- Bernice George of North Java, a Sunday Mixed League bowler for many years at the former Valley View Lanes in Warsaw and, more recently, at Letchworth Pines in Portageville;

-- Dorothy “Dot” Koziej of Batavia, a standout bowler in the 1970s and ‘80s who worked for several years at Mancuso Bowling Center (then Mancuso Lanes).

-- James “Jim” Marciniak of Corfu, a scratch league bowler for many years with numerous honor scores and awards to his credit.

I feel it is important to remember those who have contributed so much to the sport of bowling in the Genesee Region. I invite any and all readers to inform me of a bowler’s passing so I can include his or her name in this column. I can be reached at [email protected].

Great Scott! Joseph strikes for another 300 game at Rose Garden Bowl

By Mike Pettinella

For the second time in three weeks, Joseph Scott, a 37-year-old right-hander from Pavilion, recorded a 300 game in the Wednesday Men’s Handicap League at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

Scott's latest effort came on Oct. 16 on lanes 1-2 on his way to a sparkling 751 series.

On Sept. 25th, Scott – who works for Logwell Acres dairy farm in his hometown – rolled a perfect game on lanes 7-8 en route to a 717 series.

At Paris Lanes in Oakifield, three bowlers hit the 700 mark last week – Dean Cadieux Jr. of Oakfield 750, Marty Hein of Batavia 719 – with a 299 game – and Scott Shields of Batavia – 707.

Hein's attempt at a 300 game was thwarted when the 10-pin failed to fall on the final ball.

In other league action around the Genesee Region USBC, Jeremy Vallance of Warsaw opened with a 297 game and finished with 759 in the Le Roy Moose League at Legion Lanes, and Tony Sprague popped a 256 game and 694 series in the Turnbull Heating Junior League at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

Allis shines as Sunday Rolloffs league gets under way at Medina Lanes

By Mike Pettinella

Medina standout Scott Allis took top honors as the Sunday Rolloffs handicap singles league kicked off its season over the weekend.

Allis, a 38-year-old right-hander, fired games of 226-240-258 for a 724 series, and went on to capture first place in the rolloffs, upending Garry Smith in the finals.

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

Youth bowling leaders reeling over USBC edicts on maximum age, minor abuse prevention training

By Mike Pettinella

Two announcements from the United States Bowling Congress dealing with the maximum age of a “youth” bowler and the prevention of minor athlete abuse over the past couple of months have caused a bit of a stir among local association officers and junior program leaders.

In late July, the USBC – the sport of bowling’s governing body – issued a directive stating that it will be lowering the maximum age for USBC Youth membership to 18 starting with the 2020-21 season.

The decision to lower the top age from 20 to 18 impacts 3.3 percent of the current youth membership, which (in my estimation) is several thousand bowlers nationwide.

Gary Brown, managing director of youth development for the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas, said the changes to USBC Youth programs and tournaments “provide a model comparable with other youth sports.”

“We moved to age-based divisions, as opposed to average, for events, to provide peer-to-peer competition. Setting the maximum age for youth bowlers to 18 aligns us with the standard of other national youth sports organizations,” he reasoned.

For the Pepsi Youth and Youth Open Championships in 2020-21, the U18 division will become the top division. Brown said the USBC will address how the age change will impact the 2021 Junior Gold Championships, which will have a separate U20 division.

The effect on hometown youth programs will be felt next season as USBC members who were 19 or 20 years old will no longer be able to compete in youth leagues and, as a result, will miss out on the potential to earn scholarships for college.

When asked to comment about these developments, Brad Buckert of Rochester, longtime youth bowling coach and tournament director (and former coach of the Rochester Institute of Technology bowling team), said he has “mixed feelings.”

“I’m glad that they (USBC) appear to be waiting until the 2020-21 season to implement changes for Junior Gold, because kids would have already qualified for 2019-20 without the new rules in effect,” he said. “As far as for the lowering the youth age from 20 to 18, I have mixed feelings about that.”

“Is it the right thing to do because of the other sports? Bowling is sort of unique because kids can earn scholarship money to help pay for college until they are 20 as it exists now. This will be taken away.

“Does that mean that colleges will offer more scholarships to bowlers than they do now? We know that girls can be NCAA athletes for bowling and get up to a full ride scholarship. Boys do not have this opportunity because of Title IX. Not sure how that will work itself out.

“Also it forces 18-year-olds to become adult bowlers, which to me is a way for the USBC to get more money, increase its paying membership and will also stop the kids from being able to bowl in scholarship tournaments at that point. They would have to join an adult league which some people will argue there are forms of gambling going on and we know that can only hurt the kids’ collegiate eligibility.”

Buckert said he is upset that kids will be losing two years of (scholarship) earning power and worries that once they turn 18, that these young people will leave the game.

“We all know we can't afford to lose any more membership in our sport and maybe the kids won't join Adult leagues -- and then they could be gone.”

The second announcement that I referred to in the opening paragraph requires any USBC Youth member who reaches the age of 18 during the bowling season to complete the U.S. Center for SafeSport online education program, which is free, to continue to compete in leagues that have participants under age 18.

Katrina Smoot, rules coordinator for USBC, said she has received a lot of feedback – much of it negative – about this rule.

“What our members are more concerned about is the SafeSport policy, per federal law, that requires any adult 18 and older competing in a USBC league with minors 17-and-under must complete the SafeSport training and the officers of the league must complete the Registered Volunteer Program background check process,” she said.

A perfect example of this is an Adult-Child League where all those 18 and over would be required to take the two-hour online course through The course is free to all USBC members from 2018-19 or 2019-20 through Dec. 31, 2019.

Smoot said the USBC’s appeal to the U.S. Center for SafeSport to be exempt from these requirements due to the unique structure of league bowling was denied.

“We tried to explain that our programs are a little different than other sports, but we were told that we have to comply just like other sport national governing bodies,” she said. “We will continue to try to talk to them and monitor policy that may be changing, but for now, this is the way it is.”

The SafeSport training for 18-and-over bowlers doesn’t pertain to tournaments, although the tournament manager where minors are participating must go through the RVP screening and the SafeSport online training.

Additionally, all officers and directors on USBC state and local boards of directors are required to be RVP and SafeSport-certified.

Topics covered through the SafeSport Trained course include mandatory reporting, sexual misconduct awareness education, and emotional and physical misconduct.

For more about the RVP and SafeSport policies, go to, scroll over the Youth tab at the top of the page and click on Registered Volunteer Program.



Albion’s Reid Cole and Batavia’s Paul Spiotta were among the “cashers” Sunday at the first Tommy Kress 60-and-Over Singles Tour event at Brockport Bowl.

Spiotta qualified in the fourth position following an 872 four-game total while Cole was the No. 9 qualifier with 839. Twelve of the 41 entrants advanced to the eliminator rounds.

Both local keglers were eliminated in the first round (one game) as they failed to place in the top six.

Mike Feola of Rochester took top honors, qualifying fifth with 869, before going on to roll games of 206, 205 and 230 in the eliminator rounds. John Danielewicz of Sanborn placed second and Gary Kinyon of Lockport was third.

Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen will host the next tournament on Oct. 27. Kress announced that there will be two squads – 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., with a three-game qualifier.

For more information or to enter, contact Kress at [email protected].


The Genesee Region Youth Travel League gets under way this Sunday with competition set for 12:30 p.m. at Mount Morris Lanes.

The league has eight teams this season, representing Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, Mount Morris Lanes, Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, Rose Garden Bowl, Legion Lanes in Le Roy and Perry Bowling Center.

The schedule is as follows. Bowling starts at 12:45 p.m., except for this Sunday.

-- Oct. 13, Mount Morris Lanes
-- Oct. 27, Mancuso Bowling Center
-- Nov. 10, Oak Orchard Bowl
-- Dec. 1, Rose Garden Bowl
-- Dec. 15, Legion Lanes
-- Dec. 29, Rose Garden Bowl
-- Jan. 19, Oak Orchard Bowl
-- Feb. 9, Perry Bowling Center
-- Feb. 23, Mount Morris Lanes (no-tap and banquet)



Bill Hayes, sponsor of the Turnbull Heating Junior League at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, congratulates (from left) Elianna Shisler (Prep division), Jaydon Winspear (Junior-Senior division) and Jeremy Summers (Bumper division) after they were selected in a random drawing to win a free season of youth bowling courtesy of Turnbull Heating.


I received my invitation earlier this week from the Professional Bowlers Association media relations staff to cast my vote for the Hall of Fame.

This year, only one member is eligible, that being Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., 41, a PBA member since 2000.

It didn’t take me very long to return the email with the word “YES” as, without a doubt, Jones is worthy of enshrinement. The ceremony is scheduled for Jan. 18 as part of the PBA Hall of Fame Classic tournament weekend at the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas.

Jones, a high-revving right-hander, has amassed $1.7 million in prize money over his 19-year career with 19 PBA regular tour titles and another 13 PBA regional titles. He has two major championships on his resume – the 2006 U.S. Open at North Brunswick, N.J., and the 2007 PBA Tournament of Champions in Uncasville, Conn.

Ranked in 2009 as No. 30 on the list of PBA’s 50 greatest players, Jones was selected as the Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year in 2001-02 and earned the Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year award in 2005-06.


Saturday, Oct. 26 – GRUSBC Handicap Bracket Challenge, Mancuso Bowling Center

Saturday, Sunday, Nov. 2-3 – GRUSBC Gladys Ford Senior Women, Perry Bowling Center

Sunday, Nov. 3 – GRUSBC Senior Masters, Mount Morris Lanes

Sunday, Nov. 10 – Rochester/GRUSBC BVL, Pleasure Lanes, Hilton

Saturday, Nov. 16 -- Brian Morasco Memorial 3 –person handicap, Mancuso Bowling Center

Sunday, Nov. 17 -- Triple O Mechanical Handicap Singles, Rose Garden Bowl, Bergen

Batavian Johnson spins 822 series in Toyota league at Mancuso's

By Mike Pettinella

Batavian Mike Johnson grabbed the spotlight in league bowling action last week by rolling a lofty 822 series in the Toyota of Batavia Thursday night league at Mancuso Bowling Center.

The 52-year-old left-hander put together games of 279-255-288 for the Eastown Beverage team for his fifth United States Bowling Congress-certified 800 series to go along with a handful of 300 games.

Johnson – an employee of MTM Property Management in Rochester – rolled 10 strikes in the opening game and eight more in game two before stringing 10 consecutive strikes in game three. His bid for a perfect game was thwarted by a stubborn 7 pin on the 11th ball – but he had the 800 well in hand by that point.

He used a Radical Intel bowling ball, drilled by Brian Green of Striking Effects Pro Shop, for the first time.

Johnson said he plans on competing in the Genesee Region USBC’s first tournament of the season -- the Handicap Bracket Challenge singles event on Saturday, Oct. 26th at Mancuso Bowling Center – and in the Genesee Region USBC Senior Masters Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 3rd at Mount Morris Lanes.

For a list of high scores from area bowling centers, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of the page. Mike Pettinella's next Pin Points column is scheduled to run this Thursday.

PBA Tour's future in hands of corporate giant Bowlero Corp.; Mancuso's to host 60-and-Over event

By Mike Pettinella

AMF Bowling, now part of Bowlero Corp., hasn’t endeared itself to the league bowling community in recent years.

As the association manager of the New York State USBC, I have been contacted by more than a few league officials who reported that leagues were either booted out or had their days and times changed by proprietors of AMF centers. The major reason for this, you ask? To accommodate corporate and birthday parties and other social events.

I certainly understand that the bowling business is not what it used to be and that to bowling center owners, especially large corporations such as Bowlero, it’s all about the bottom line. However, the manner in which you go about instilling change – how you treat the league bowlers who have supported you for many years – does make a difference.

Things seemed to have settled down in recent months; league bowlers are adjusting to the new normal, but the perception that AMF doesn’t care about league and competitive bowling is still there.

News earlier this month that Bowlero, owner of more than 300 centers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, has purchased the Professional Bowlers Association Tour may be a step in shifting that negative opinion.

Already Bowlero has increased tournament prize money, doubling the first prize check for next month’s Clash to $50,000, and promises to bring more technology and insight into the life of the professional bowler to its telecasts.

In an interview with FloBowling’s Lucas Wiseman, Bowlero Chief Customer Officer Colie Edison said she did not agree with the thought that Bowlero is against league bowling.  She will be taking over as the CEO of the PBA while current CEO/Commissioner Tom Clark will continue as the commissioner.

“Shocker – I don’t think it’s a fair assessment, but I understand where people are coming from,” she said. “First and foremost, Bowlero Corp. is a for-profit organization and you have to remember a lot of what we have done is to keep bowling alive. If we don’t find ways to earn money at the centers, then the bowling centers go away.”

She said Bowlero has purchased AMF and Brunswick Zone centers to align with its top priority of getting “more people involved in bowling – whether that means bowling recreationally at our centers, bowling league in our centers or watching bowling on television.”

Edison acknowledged that many leagues had to be shifted (primarily off the weekends) but said the company has “put our money where our mouth is” by starting the Bowlero league series which has awarded more than $500,000 in prize money, sponsoring leagues and hosting youth tournaments.

Now, she touts the fact that Bowlero has stepped up to “write the check” with the purchase of the PBA, which has been experiencing an upswing since joining forces with FOX Sports. By the way, longtime PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark will continue with the PBA as the commissioner, focusing more on the tournament competition

When asked what her “dreams” for the PBA were five years down the road, Edison mentioned increased TV rights fees, player prize money and viewership.

“I want to see $20 to $50 million in rights fees … and not be relegated to the lower tiers. There’s no reason we can’t be up there with the other major pro sports. Will this happen in five years? It may be a bit further off in the distance.”

She also said the PBA Tour players deserve to “earn great money” and “not have to worry about where their next pay check is coming from” and seeks to attract millions of viewers and have as many shows as possible on live TV.

“We want the PBA to make money,” she said. “It’s an investment of time and money … using our resources to get sponsors, advertisers to support the prize funds.”

Getting back to the PBA Clash, the field of the top eight money earners for 2019 is set for the Oct. 21 competition at the Kegel Training Center in Lake Wales, Fla. Unfortunately, the event will not be broadcast live, but it will be shown on Nov. 3 on FOX.

Vying for the $50,000 top prize are Jason Belmonte, Australia, $275,290; Jakob Butturff, Mesa, Ariz., $185,780; Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., $177,148;  Kris Prather, Plainfield, Ill., $175,248; EJ Tackett, Bluffton, Ind., $170,445;  Anthony Simonsen, Little Elm, Texas, $159,340; Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., $127,968;  Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., $97,415.


The Tommy Kress 60-and-Over singles tour schedule includes a tournament at Mancuso Bowling Center that will be conducted in memory of Genesee Region USBC Hall of Famer Joe Trigilio, who passed away on Sept. 1.

“We lost one of the truly good guys that bowled just about every event (and won a couple),” Kress said. “We’ll be dedicating this tournament to Joe.”

The Batavia tournament is set for Sunday, Nov. 24, with check-in at 11 a.m. and bowling to start at noon.

The 60-and-Over tour schedule is as follows:

Oct. 6, Brockport Bowl.
Oct. 27, Rose Garden Bowl, Bergen.
Nov. 24, Mancuso Bowling Center, Batavia.
Dec. 8, Bowl-A-Roll, Rochester
Jan. 5, Doug Kent’s Rose Bowl Lanes, Newark
Jan. 26, Parkview, Rochester.
Feb. 23, TBA, sponsored by A Better Choice pro shop
March 15, Miller Lanes, Honeoye Falls.
April 5, Pleasure Lanes, Hilton.
May 3, Brad Angelo Lanes, Lockport.
TBA, Year-end tournament.

For more information or to enter, contact Kress at [email protected]


-- Shannon O’Keefe of Shiloh, Ill., a former Rochester resident (her husband, Bryan, is from the Flower City), completed a spectacular season on the Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour earlier this month by winning the PWBA Tour Championship in Richmond, Va.

The 40-year-old righty captured five titles in 2019 en route to her second straight PWBA Player of the Year award. She posted an 11-2 record in her seven championship round appearances.

-- Rochester NY USBC President Barry Vee announced that his board of directors has approved opening its annual Bowlers to Veterans Link fund-raising tournament to men and women members of the Genesee Region USBC.

The handicap tournament is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10 at Pleasure Lanes in Hilton. It’s a five-person Baker-style event with a buffet following competition included. The entry fee is $75 per team. All proceeds will go to the BVL fund to serve hospitalized veterans.

To enter, contact Vee at [email protected] or go to the Rochester NY USBC website – to download an entry form from the home page.

-- A pair of youth travel leagues for kids in our area is finalizing their schedules.

The Genesee Region Youth Travel League will open its season on Sunday, Oct. 13 at Mount Morris Lanes. Bowling begins promptly at 1 p.m.

Other tournaments on the slate thus far are Oct. 27 at Mancuso Bowling Center and Nov. 10 at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

Organizers are expecting seven to eight teams from centers in the GLOW region.

The Rochester Youth Travel League once again will include a team representing Mancuso Bowling Center.

It gets under way on Saturday, Oct. 5 at AMF Dewey Garden Lanes in Rochester, with bowling beginning at 2 p.m. AMF Empire Lanes in Webster will host the Oct. 12 session.

Coach Tom Fluker said six members of the Turnbull Heating Junior League will be participating – Haylee Thornley, Zach Wester, Emma Miller, Tony Sprague, Ben Sputore and Corinne Saluste.

Three keglers record early-season perfect games

By Mike Pettinella

The league bowling season is in full swing now and it didn’t take long for keglers in the GLOW region to find perfection.

Dave Farruggia of Mount Morris put together 12 consecutive strikes in the opening game of the Monday Night Early League at his hometown center on Sept. 9. The 47-year-old right-hander kept the hot hand through the evening – adding games of 266 and 202 for a sparkling 768 series.

On Sept. 16 at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, 29-year-old Josh Bowman of Albion fired a 300 game in the Sneezy’s Monday Night League.

And on Sept. 19, righty Mark Brown of Attica and lefty Rich Wagner of Batavia found themselves in the spotlight in the Toyota of Batavia League at Mancuso Bowling Center.

Brown rolled a 300 game and 667 series while Wagner registered a 299 game on his way to a 760 series.

Darleen Balduf of South Byron rolled a 276 game and 613 series in the JE Currier/Rebel Liners Wednesday Night Ladies League this week at Mancuso’s.

At Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, Jeff Parton's 265--754 and Laurie Morgante's 231--671 set the pace in the Wednesday Handicap League.

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

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