In the Pocket: Officials want to make 80th City Tournament a special event
If you are a member of the Schenectady USBC Bowling Association, competing in the organization’s milestone event should be extremely high on your must-do list.
It’s not only a great way to support the backbone of the game in one of the country’s most loyal fan bases, but it’s also just a lot of fun.
The 80th annual Schenectady USBC Bowling Association Championship Tournament, better known as the City Tournament, will be held at Towne Bowling Academy, beginning March 16. There will be several scheduling gaps in between before it wraps up the final week of April with one of two Scratch Challenges April 29 at 6:30 p.m.
The Daily Gazette has jumped on board as one of the primary sponsors.
Entries have been sliding for the last several years, but SBA officials are hopeful that this special anniversary season will turn things around.
“We want to make this tournament something special,” said tournament co-director Chet Ciembronowicz, who has been a member of the SBA board of directors since 1991. Sharon Sager, longtime standout bowler and junior bowling coach/administrator, is also a tournament co-director, and SBA Hall of Famer Keith Lawyer is also a member of the tournament committee.
“The tournament has been dwindling for the last couple of years, but we want to bring it back and make it something special, like it used to be,” said Ciembronowicz, who is a former SBA president. “We’ve taken the tournament for granted, and other tournaments have stepped up and overshadowed us. We not only want to make this tournament special because of our anniversary season, but we also want it to continue to be a strong event for years to come.”
There are several changes in this year’s tournament. Ciembronowicz wants there to be a perpetual championship cup for the winner of the Scratch Challenge, and he wants that trophy to remain with the team’s sponsor or host bowling center until the following season.
Ciembronowicz is also looking for tournament boosters and sponsors to help with special giveaways.
“We really want to make this tournament special,” he said. “The more sponsors and boosters we have the better. If anyone wants to either help sponsor the tournament or be one of our boosters, they can call me at 577-8562.
“There is a lot of enthusiasm from everyone who is involved with this year’s tournament. Marty Capullo [Towne Bowling Academy proprietor] has pledged his support, and we’re really hoping that everyone comes out and have a good time, just like the old days.”
The Towne Bowling Academy staff will be on hand throughout the tournament to run brackets.
According to SBA president Steve Renzi, the association’s
premier event should be back in the forefront for area bowlers.
“We really want to get the entries up,” Renzi said. “I would love to get at least 100 teams. I’d be overjoyed if we could get 100 or more. We’ve been averaging 50 to 60 for the last several years.”
Renzi said the scattered schedule could help the tournament.
“When we ran the event strictly at the end of the bowling season, some of the guys were more interested in playing golf,” he said. “That’s why we’re going to have at least a couple of shifts early. Then, we’ll take a couple of weeks off and return to bowl again later in April. We’re also going to have two Scratch Challenges instead of one.”
Renzi said there are plenty of sponsorships available, and they will be rated from gold to silver to bronze. All the sponsors’ names will be placed in a special tournament program.
Tournament officials are still working on providing a special keepsake for all tournament competitors.
The Schenectady USBC Bowling Association Championship Tournament will be held March 16 at 2:30 p.m., March 17 at both 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., April 7 at 3:30 p.m., April 23 at 6:30 p.m., April 24 at 6:30 p.m., April 25 at 6:30 p.m., April 26 at 6:30 p.m. and April 29 a 6:30 p.m. The March 17 3:30 p.m. squad and the April 29 squad are Scratch Challenge squads only.
The tournament will offer a top prize of $1,200 for the four-person team event, based on 120 entries. First place for the team scratch champion will be $600. Handicap is based on 90 percent of 240.
Entry fee will be $22 per event, plus a $5 all-events fee. Walk-in entries will be accepted, but they will be charged $25 per event. Besides the team event, there will be singles and doubles.
Only Schenectady USBC Bowling Association members are eligible. Multiple participation is permitted in teams and doubles events, but in the team event, only two people can bowl together more than once. Individuals may bowl more than once in doubles, as long as they have a different partner. Singles may bowl only once.
Get your league buddies together and plan on competing at least once in this worthwhile event.
HUCK FINN CORNER
The Huck Finn/Northeast Bowling Proprietors of New York’s Super Bowl Doubles was a big success, as a full field competed at Boulevard Bowl. Advancing to Sunday’s TV finals at Iroquois Lanes will be the teams of Mark James with Nick Galusha, Joe Mazuryk with Mike Drexel, Brian LeClair with his son, Connor, and Nick Miseno with Steve Wagoner.
This week’s Huck Finn event will be the Mixed Doubles Sunday at 10 a.m. at Sportsman’s Bowl, with the finals to follow at 1 p.m. The top four teams also will advance to the TV finals later that night at Iroquois.
The men bowl scratch, while the women receive 100 percent handicap to 220. Top prize will be $1,400. There are only a couple of spots left. Call Jeff Segel at 439-7628 for reservations.
The Schenectady County Community College men’s bowling team is ranked No. 2 in the country among junior colleges and is ranked 40th overall for both two-year and four-year schools.
The Royals have a big weekend scheduled, weather permitting, with the Boulevard Bowl Collegiate Classic today at 11:30 a.m. and the 19th annual SCCC Collegiate Invitational, also at Boulevard, Sunday at 8:30 a.m. Competing today will be Niagara, Herkimer County CC, Canisius, Medaille, Cayuga CC, Clarkson, Mohawk Valley CC, Bryant, Sacred Heart, UAlbany and Utica. Sunday’s field includes St. Thomas Aquinas, New Haven, Stonehill, Niagara, William Paterson, Canisius, Medaille, Adirondack CC, Columbia-Greene CC, Cayuga, Clarkson, Mohawk Valley CC, Hudson Valley CC and UAlbany.
STRIKES AND SPARES
u Stephanie Malette recorded her first career 700 triple with a 738 in the Towne Majors this week.
u Sunset Recreation hosts the next Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour event today.
u Playdium Bowling Center will host the Bowl for Our Veterans
3-6-9 Tournament March 2 at noon and 2 p.m. Entry fee is $12. Proceeds help provide recreational and entertainment services to hospitalized veterans in VA Medical Centers. Food, baked goods and raffles will be available. Call Kathy Nucci at 458-7639 for more information.
u Bill Offenbacker had a night to remember in the G.E. Retired Men league this week with a 300 game and an 834 triple. Not bad for a senior league! He had the best score of the day by nearly 200 pins.
u Christian Brothers Academy, coached by Tom Donato, won the Big 10 championship this week and could be a factor in next week’s Section II Class A tournament at Boulevard Bowl.
u Following are the winners of the Schenectady/Scotia 500 Club Snowball Scotch Doubles at Sportsman’s Bowl: Dawn Jacob and Maria Barnum, 1397; Betty Mae Belli and Marianne Hogle 1304; Eileen Nicodemi and Debbie Truelove, 1275.
u Mike White collected his first 300 game and first 800 triple (807), and Joe Lavare recorded his first career 800 triple (804) recently in the Rt. 5 Merchants league.
u The United States Bowling Congress Women’s Championships will make a major change in 2014 by moving to a four-player team format with new divisions. In addition to switching from the traditional five-person teams to four, the event will switch to an all-scratch format. Teams will be divided into four divisions, based on their combined averages, and there will be six average-based divisions for doubles, singles and all-events.
u The third annual Iroquois Lanes Youth Challenge will be held Feb. 17 with squads at noon and 2:30 p.m. The finals will follow immediately. Entry fee is $20. Bowlers will be divided into two average groups: 150 and above; and 149 and below. Both will receive 100 percent handicap to 220. All competitors roll three games, with the top five in each group advancing to the stepladder finals. Call Millard Snell at 993-2965 or Ken Smith Jr. at 607-264-3164 for reservations.
u Towne Bowling Academy’s Open Double Scratch Challenge will hold qualifiers Feb. 16 at 2:30 p.m., and Feb. 17 at both 9 a.m. and noon. The finals will start 3 p.m. Feb. 17. First place will be $2,000, and second place will be $1,000. Entry fee is $130. Teams will bowl four games, skipping pairs after each game. One in five teams advance to the semifinals. The top eight teams move on to the bracket finals, with the top team off each squad receiving an automatic berth into the bracket finals. The semi-finals will have a two-game format, with five teams advancing. A sport pattern will be used. Call Towne at 355-3939 for reservations or more information.
u The Troy Bowling Association’s annual 700 Tournament will be held at Hi-Way Recreation in Wynantskill Feb. 16. To be eligible, a bowler must have a sanctioned 700 triple in the TBA. Three-game qualifying squads will be 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The top four bowlers from each division will compete in a stepladder finals. Cost is $30. Call Mike Hodlik at 326-4238 for reservations. Jeff Zielonko is the defending champion.
u One of the premier events in women’s bowling, the 43rd annual Women’s Doubles Invitational will be held Feb. 23 at Boulevard Bowl. For information, contact Kathy Nucci at 458-7639. Entry deadline is Friday.
u Sports Are For Everyone (SAFE), a not-for-profit organization that runs sports programs for kids with special needs, launches a bowling program at Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy on Saturdays at 10 a.m. The program will run from Feb. 16 to March 23. Participants 5 years old and older with mental and physical challenges are encouraged to participate at any point during that period. Call 383-8076 for more information.
u The annual Electric City 600 Club Tournament will be at Sportsman’s Bowl Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. Entry forms have been delivered to the lanes and labeled with the names of the bowlers that have bowled a 600 series. All entry forms must be turned in before Thursday. Contact Marianne Hogle at 393-8907 if you need a form.