Kyle Haines knows his Wizard of Oz characters extremely well. Unfortunately, he confesses that there are times he behaves more like the Scarecrow than the Wizard.
“Everbody knows I’m a little bit of a headcase on the lanes on occasion. I’m like the Scarecrow, because I need a brain,” said the 24-year-old Altamont resident.
Although the powerful Haines can get overly excited from time to time, he has a great sense of humor and plenty of natural ability. A case in point was his performance last weekend, when he qualified for his second Northeast Bowling Proprietors of New York/Huck Finn “Capital Region Bowling Show,” which will be taped Oct. 24 at Cove Lanes. He excelled on a tougher-than-usual qualifying condition at Spare Time-Clifton Park.
“I’m a little hard on myself, sometimes, but I think I should be further along than I am with my game by now,” he said.
Actually, Haines has done quite well for himself. He has collected 14 perfect games and four 800 triples, with a high of 863. While competing for Guilderland High School, he made the sectional all-star team, and while bowling for Hudson Valley Community College, he won a NJCAA national singles title.
“It makes me jealous when I watch some of the great young bowlers we have now, because they are making a lot of money without practicing much at all,” Haines said.
Practicing is one thing Haines isn’t afraid to do.
“I try to bowl every day — league or practice — except for Saturdays,” he said. “I work on everything. I’ll work on making my spares, I’ll work on my arm swing and my release. I also work very hard on my timing, because that’s something that can get away from me.”
Haines, who does his league bowling at Boulevard Bowl and Town ‘n Country Lanes, initially learned the game from his father, Bob, but then he picked up some pointers from Town ‘n Country proprietor Jack Scaccia Jr.
“My dad taught me when I first started out. Our family has been into bowling for a long time. It’s kind of a tradition,” he said.
“But then Jack Scaccia got involved when I became more serious about the game. The thing is that my dad rolled the ball a lot straighter than I do, and the game has changed quite a bit when it comes to style and equipment.”
Haines said he is not afraid to tinker with all kinds of bowling equipment.
“I’ve been a Hammer guy lately, but some Storm products caught my eye,” he said. “I had the Black Widow ball for a while, and then I switched to the Vibe series. I also had a Saucer ball. I do a little research before each season unwinds. I usually wait a couple of weeks into the season before I buy some new equipment so I can see what the other guys are using, and how they are doing on the lanes. I try to watch guys who have a similar game to mine.”
Haines is a power player who prefers to stand further left on the approach and fire the ball to the right. Deep inside lines are his favorite.
“I like to keep my ball in the oil when I can. If I’ve got to go right, I’ll go right, but normally, you’ll see me further left on the lane,” he said.
Haines said nothing irritates him more than missing a spare, especially an easy one. It’s one of the reasons why he sometimes loses his temper at the bowling center.
“My biggest thing is missing spares. If I miss one, it gets to me. Spares are so important. I hate missing them,” he said. “In tournaments, I’ll use a plastic ball so I can go straighter with my spares. The straighter lines are best.”
Haines is a regular entrant in the weekend scratch bowling events for both the Huck Finn and the Northern Bowlers Association. He finished in the top 10 in the NBA’s Cuby Cup standings last season.
“Someday, I would like to try the PBA Tour. I’d like to make a run at it in the future,” he said. “But I just got a new job as a product training specialist, and there is some traveling involved. I’m just hoping it doesn’t interfere with my tournament bowling too much. I definitely will bowl every chance I get, but my new job is a priority.”
Most average amateur handicap bowlers around the Capital Region would agree that there aren’t that many big-money tournaments for them.
Marty Capullo Jr. is trying to change all that with his first Handicap Team Tournament at Towne Bowling Academy. Top prize will be $4,000, with $2,000 for second.
Capullo said there will be 85 percent handicap up to 240. Entry fee will be $140 per team.
There will be plenty of brackets available, and also plenty of squads: Dec. 4 at 2 p.m., Dec. 10 at 9:15 p.m., Dec. 12 at 3 p.m., Dec. 19 at 10 a.m., Jan. 7 at 9:15 p.m. and Jan. 15 at both 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. There will be a free buffet lunch between squads on that date.
This event sounds like a great idea for the average bowler. I’ve promised Marty that I’ll give this tournament a try with some of my bowling buddies. You certainly can’t get more average than me.
PBA TOUR CHANGES
When the PBA World Series of Bowling kicks off Oct. 25 at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas, there will be several changes in the original field, including Iroquois Lanes proprietor and local regional pro Jeff Voght.
Voght, Jim Tomek Jr. of Camp Hill, Pa., Don Allen III of Vancouver, Wash., Jerry Johnson Jr. of Las Vegas and Kevin Croucher of Grants Pass, Ore., will replace Steve Harman (Indianapolis), Tom Hess (Urbandale, Iowa), Allan Pomatto (Goose Creek, S.C.), Ronie Horton (Christianburg, Va.) and Yosif Fatah (Bahrain), who withdrew. The replacements came from a first-come, first-served waiting list.
Harman, who also resigned his PBA Tour exemption for the 2010-11 season due to personal reasons, will be replaced on the exempt roster by Nathan Bohr of Wichita, Kan., who was next in line on the PBA Tour points list.
The PBA’s 52nd season includes 21 original telecasts, beginning with the second annual PBA World Series of Bowling, a 14-day event that runs Oct. 25-Nov. 6 and contains five separate five-man stepladder finals on tape delay for ESPN telecasts, which begin Nov. 28.
The “live” portion of the PBA Tour schedule begins in January.
Another major change with the PBA Tour this year will be the return of the PBA Tournament of Champions to ABC TV on Jan. 22. It will be the first ABC live bowling coverage since 1997. The richest prize in pro bowling history ($250,000) will be awarded.
STRIKES AND SPARES
The next Huck Finn “Capital Region Bowling Show” scratch qualifiers will be Saturday at 3 p.m. at Playdium and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at Spare Time-East Greenbush. Entry fees are $45 for the Saturday squads, $55 for the Sunday squads and $50 for re-entry. As always, all scratch singles shows award $1,000 for first place. Call Jeff Segel at 439-7628 for reservations.
Speaking of Huck Finn qualifiers, the adult handicap qualifiers continue for in-house qualifying through your own league. Entry fee is $10.
The Jacqueline S. Rockefeller Memorial Tournament for Breast Cancer No-Tap Tournament will be held at Rolling Greens Oct. 29 (6:30 p.m.), Oct. 30 (9:15 pm.) and Oct. 31 (1 p.m.). Entry fee is $60 per five-person team.
The Menagerie league (6 p.m. Fridays at Boulevard Bowl), the Cosmopolitan league (6 p.m. Mondays at Sportsman’s Bowl) and the Daily Gazette league (noon Tuesdays at Sportsman’s Bowl) still have league openings. Call the respective centers for more information.
There will be a special Benefit No-Tap tournament Nov. 19 at 9 p.m. at Towne Bowling Academy to help defray the medical costs for Mike Nolan and his wife, Amber. Mike, a longtime bowler at Towne, is the son of Towne Bowling Academy pro shop operator Bill Nolan, who is also the Schenectady Youth Bowling Association president and a longtime SBA board member. Amber Nolan has been undergoing aggressive treatment both locally and in Boston for breast cancer, but when her family leave from work ended, she lost her health insurance benefits and her job. Proceeds will go directly to the family. Call Towne at 355-3939 for more information.
The Schenectady-Scotia 500 Club’s Trick or Treat No-Tap Singles Tournament will be held Oct. 30 at 2:30 p.m. at Towne Bowling Academy. Entry fee is $15, and handicap is 100 percent of 220. There will be a 9-pin no-tap event for bowlers with an a verage of 150 and over, and an 8-pin no-tap event for bowlers with an average of 149 and lower. Make checks payable to 500 Club Schenectady-Scotia, and mail them to Marie Moorhead, 6 Jane Drive, Scotia, NY 12302. For more information, call Towne Bowling Academy.
Redwood Lanes’ annual Tavern Tournament is scheduled for Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. The five-person team event is open to men’s, women’s and mixed teams. Handicap is 100 percent of 220. Entry fee is $125 per team, and first place is $500, based on 24 teams. A hot buffet is included with the entry. Call Redwood at 869-3581 for more information.
Sportsman’s Bowl’s annual Tavern Tournament will be held Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. Entry fee is $120 per team, and one in six teams will cash. Top prize is $550, based on 28 teams. Handicap is 100 percent of 220. A hot buffet is included, and there also will be 50-50 raffles, prize giveways and drink specials. Call Sportsman’s at 355-4330 for more information.
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