Norm Olsen has always been good with numbers, and that’s extremely fortunate for the Schenectady Bowling Association.
The affable Olsen has been the SBA’s treasurer for 27 years, and is one of the main reasons for that organization’s solvency, especially through some tough economic times.
Although he still does much of his work by hand rather than with a computer, Olsen knows his stuff. He should, after spending 371⁄2 years as a financial analyst for General Electric.
“[Late bowling columnist and former SBA president] Hal Buell got me involved with being the treasurer,” said Olsen. “He knew I was pretty good with numbers and with finance, so when Carl Pedersen was ready to retire, they asked me to take over.
“I’ve had a good time doing this. Usually, there are a bunch of good guys running the association, and a lot of them are very helpful to me. I make a report every month, pick up all the money, mark down where it came from and keep track of everything. It’s a lot of responsibility, but I enjoy it.”
Olsen said that although many administrators found it more difficult when the old American Bowling Congress gave way to the current United States Bowling Congress, his job basically remained the same.
“I just collect the money and distribute it. It’s not any tougher for me. I guess the guys like the way I do things, because nobody else wants to do it,” he said with a chuckle.
Olsen was born in Sullivan County, but moved to the Capital Region after meeting his wife, who also worked at General Electric before becoming a teacher.
He served in the Army and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, where he was injured and eventually got a transfer.
“I was always interested in bowling, so when I moved up here, I got into my first league in the 1960s,” he said.
“But I used to bowl just for fun. It was a league for Burnt Hills junior high school teachers, and as it turned out, the league eventually became the Just for Fun league. I was never serious about it. My best average was about 180.”
Olsen’s interest in bowling became even stronger when he became part-owner of Burnt Hills Lanes from 1984 until 2001. He and his wife used to run the lanes every Tuesday night.
“I like being the treasurer, and I guess I’ll keep doing it for at least a little while longer,” said Olsen, who doesn’t like talking about his age.
Put it this way. If he served in the Battle of the Bulge, which was the Nazi’s last major offensive against the Allies in 1944 and 1945, he’s no spring chicken. But he still as sharp as ever, and one of the nicest guys on the SBA’s board of directors.
At last Sunday’s Schenectady Bowling Association annual meeting, the association’s 80th annual City Bowling Championship was discussed, along with merger proposals with both the SBA Junior Association and the Schenectady-Scotia Women’s Bowling Association.
Merger talks are ongoing, and I believe they will lead to a merger of all three organizations in the next year. That’s good news, because it should eliminate wasted money and duplicate services.
The SBA City Championship, scheduled for Towne Bowling Academy, should be among the best ever. We are in the midst of making plans and recruiting sponsors.
The SBA is hoping for support from its entire membership to help celebrate the milestone event.
Jason Impellizzeri is still ripping racks, even though he competes just once a week these days.
The 35-year-old Schenectady native lives in Delmar, and doesn’t have time to bowl as often as he did a few years ago. He spends his spare time with his family — his wife Elizabeth and 12-year-old son Benjamin.
But the district sales manager for a local media company can still put up some impressive numbers, just like he did Tuesday night with his 1,090 four-game series in the Boulevard Bowl Classic. Included were games of 279 and 298.
“I’ve been in this league for about 17 years now, and I started back when it used to be at the old Rolling Greens,” said Impellizzeri, who still considers himself a power player.
“Over the years, Frank DePalma has run the league very well. He makes sure the teams stay strong, and he does what he needs to do to make sure all the teams keep coming back. Plus, [owner] Mike Scaccia does a fantastic job running the establishment.”
Impellizzeri, who covers plenty of boards with his crank shot, prefers tighter lane conditions, so he has more room for error, but he’s doing just fine this year with an average of 233, which places him among the top five in the league.
“These days, you can still bowl pretty good, even if you bowl just once a week, because of the equipment and the way the lane conditions are,” he said. “I get a ball drilled up for a house shot, and I know exactly where to stand for the night. Sure, you have to move a few boards now and then, but most of the guys can still score pretty well.”
Impellizzeri’s best average was a 236 a few years ago. He has 29 career perfect games, 17 800 triples and a high triple of 863, back when he used to bowl at the old Rolling Greens on Hamburg Street.
“Although you can score pretty well on a house shot, you can’t stay tournament-tough unless you bowl more than once a week,” said Impellizzeri, who used to bowl in both the Capital District All Star league and the Sportsman’s Majors at Sportsman’s Bowl.
“What I’m hoping to do this year is definitely get out and bowl some Huck Finn tournaments. My goal is to bowl in a doubles tournament or two with Seth Adams. We’ll see how it goes.”
STRIKES AND SPARES
u Bill Douglas won the inaugural Sportsman’s Eliminator tournament last Monday night. Cost is $15 per entry when qualifying during league play, and $20 when qualifying outside of league play or during specified qualifying squads. There will be qualifying squads every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and every Tuesday at 9:15 p.m. All finalists return the following Monday at 9:15. Call Sportsman’s Bowl at 355-4330 for more information.
u Speaking of Douglas, he is attempting to accomplish a fairly unusual accomplishment by bowling on the same team, both as a right-hander and as a left-hander, to fill two spots in the Daily Gazette league. Good luck.
u The Huck Finn Northeast Bowling Proprietors of New York’s “Capital Region Bowling Show” qualifiers continue this week on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Sunset Recreation (for both seniors and non-seniors) and on Sunday at Playdium at both 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Entry fee on Saturday is $45 and entry fee on Sunday is $55. There is a $40 re-entry fee. The taping for the TV finals will follow directly at Playdium on Sunday. Top prize is $1,000. Last week’s first Huck Finn tournament semifinals for Sunday’s taping at Playdium include Dan Furman, Mark Kepner, Mike Neumann and Darrel Coonrad.
u Julia DeBie (704 Class AA), Pat Clark (692 Class A), Jeanne McCartney (731 Class B), Betty Mae Belli (709 Class C) and Debbie Truelove (691 Class D) won their divisions at the Schenectady-Scotia Singles Tournament at Towne Bowling Academy.
u Burnt Hills Lanes will host a 500 Club Turkey Shoot Doubles Tournament on Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. Entrants must be a member of the USBC WBA and a member of the Schenectady/Scotia 500 Club. Contact Marie Moorhead (399-3063) or Marianne Hogle (393-8907) if you need an entry form.
u The New York State Women’s 600 Bowling Club will hold its annual Regional Tournament Nov. 10 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Olympic Lanes in Menands. You must be a member of the New York State Women’s 600 Bowling Club to bowl in the tournament. Contact Ann Torak (356-3281) or Hogle again for more information.
u When discussing some of the greatest bowlers in SBA history, don’t forget about SBA Hall of Famer Joe Amorosi, who was inducted in 2002. Amorosi made back-to-back “TV Tournament Time” appearances in 1959, the same year he rolled his only perfect game. He also has a composite SBA average of 205 from 1959 to 1986, which in those days was outstanding. He had a high triple of 765 and a high four-game series of 1,010.
u The Menagerie league, which bowls Friday nights at Boulevard Bowl at 6:15 p.m., still has three openings. Dues are $15. Contact Paul O’Brien at 421-5427 if interested.
u Local regional pro and Columbia High School bowling coach Bill Neumann recently bowled his 60th career perfect game during an 818 triple in the Del Lanes Classic. Neumann recently turned 60 years old.
u Noah Burke of Sunset Lanes rolled a 300 game in the senior boys’ division of the Joey Schmidt Capital District Junior Pro-Scoring League at Sportsman’s Bowl last weekend.
u The Town ’N Country Scotch Doubles tournaments begin Nov. 9 at 9 p.m. Entry fee will be $25 for the four games. Handicap will be 90 percent of 450.
u The TNC Bakers Tournament will take place Nov. 11 at noon. Cost per five-person team is $95 before Nov. 2 and $110 afterward. Handicap will be 90 percent of 1,125.
u The TNC Adult/Child league will start Nov. 4 and end Dec. 4. The league runs six weeks. Cost is $20 per team per week and includes two games of bowling, shoes, pizza and soda. Call Town ‘N Country at 456-1113 for more information.
u The third annual Al Heins Tournament will be held Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 3 at 9 p.m. at Rolling Greens Lanes. It’s a 9-pin, no-tap event, with five bowlers on a team. Cost is $60 per team, and prize payout will be one in 10. Handicap will be 75 percent of a 1,100 team average. Call Rolling Greens at 381-4848 for more information.
u Colombian native Clara Guerrero, of Pflugerville, Texas, became the fifth woman to win a PBA regional title last week when she posted a 7-4-1 match play record and a 25-game total of 5,869 pins to top Tyler Jewnsen of Fort Worth, Texas, by 26 pins in the PBA Southwest Region’s Young & Pratt Austin Open at Dart Bowl in Austin, Texas. The other women who have won PBA regional titles were Liz Johnson, Missy Parkin, Kelly Kulick and Shannon O’Keefe. Amy Stolz also won a regional, but she was not a PBA member at the time, and therefore didn’t receive credit for a PBA title.