There’s a little something for every type of bowler on this year’s Huck Finn “Capital Region Bowling Show” schedule.
Scratch bowlers, handicap bowlers, men, women, seniors, juniors and all types of family combinations will each get the chance to show their stuff on television and earn a little extra cash, as well.
The Northeast Bowling Proprietors of New York kick off their weekly events this weekend, with a scratch qualifier Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Hi-Way Recreation in Wynantskill and two more qualifiers Sunday at Spare Time-Latham, at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The finals follow immediately, at approximately 1:30 p.m.
The first show of the season will be taped Nov. 3 at 4 p.m. at Middleburgh Lanes.
New this year will be a switch in the television home for the only local bowling show of its kind in the country. Instead of Fox23, the “Capital Region Bowling Show” will now be seen on MY4 TV. Shows will be seen a half-hour earlier, at 10:30 a.m. instead of 11 a.m.
“We’re partnering with Channel 13 and MY4 TV this year, and they promise to give us a little more publicity,” said Carol Judge, who is both the manager of Spare Time-Latham and the executive director of the local proprietors’ organization.
Judge said that the area scratch bowlers should be aware that the qualifiers this weekend at her house won’t be using the house shot. Instead, the “middle of the road” Kegel shot will be used.
It seems like every season the proprietors try to tweak the tournament schedule, and this year is no different. Besides the switch in TV stations, the “Capital Region Bowling Show” will also feature several new tournaments. One of the new special events will be a King of the Hill series, named after the late Morris Cramer.
“When Morris Cramer had his bowling show, he had a King of the Hill format, and he had been talking to [tournament director] Jeff Segel about giving it a try on our show just before he passed away,” said Judge. “We tried it once last year, but this year we will have four tournaments in the King of the Hill series. The champion of the first week in the series will get the chance to bowl against the winner of the next show.”
Cramer, who died last summer, was not only one of the best bowlers in Capital Region history, but he was also a tireless promoter and innovator who was influential in starting the PBA Tour. Naming that special event after Cramer is a great idea.
Besides the King of the Hill series, another new twist will be a Family Mixed Doubles event, set for Nov. 10 at Sunset Recreation. Any family combination of adult family members can bowl together, with handicap, in this new format.
“As long as they are related and are adults, they can bowl together,” said Judge with a laugh.
That means brothers, cousins, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, uncles and aunts can all get into the act. Family reunions might get a head start if you’re trying to find the best bowler in your family to team up with.
The popular Adult-Child event, now named after the legendary Joey Schmidt, who passed away a year ago, is set for Feb. 16 at Middleburgh Lanes. Schmidt was not only an outstanding scratch bowler, but also a tireless supporter of junior bowling. The Junior Pro-Scoring traveling league is named after him.
There are also several shows for handicap bowlers, juniors and seniors, including the Joe Donato Senior Scratch Classic Jan. 11-12, with qualifiers at Sunset Recreation and Spare Time-East Greenbush, respectively.
Other popular events still on the schedule are the Mixed Doubles and Super Bowl Doubles, as well as an Over 50/Under 50 doubles event next month.
The long season winds down with the Ken Hall Tournament of Champions at Burnt Hills Lanes April 13 and the Jack Scaccia Senior Memorial during the month of April. The finals are set for
April 27 at Boulevard Bowl.
Versatile John Craig will continue to handle the play-by-play on the weekly telecasts, while Hall, a former member of the PBA Tour, will remain the color analyst — except for one week when he will give way to fellow pro Brian LeClair so he can watch the Green Bay Packers play.
“We like to try something a little different every year to keep everyone’s interest,” said Judge. “I think there is a little bit for everybody on this year’s schedule.”
It’s usually a good idea to make reservations for all Huck Finn tournaments. Call Segel at 454-5819 for reservations or for more information.
STRIKES & SPARES
Burnt Hills Lanes will host a Scratch Challenge Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. Bowlers will roll five games across five pairs, and they will drop their low game. One in five advance to a one-game roll-off, and every qualifier cashes. Entry fee is $30 per person. Call Chris (337-8128) or Burnt Hills Lane (399-0999) for reservations or more information. Limited walk-ins will be available.
Qualifying for the Huck Finn Capital Region Bowling Show handicap division continues all this month by using your league bowling scores. Entry fee is $10. Ask your local center for entry blanks.
Tom Donato’s Tavern Tournament is back on for Oct. 26 at 2 p.m. at Towne Bowling Academy. Entry fee remains $100 per four-person team. Top prize will be $400 to the winning squad, based on 20 teams. One in five teams will cash. Special prizes and a buffet will be included. Call Donato at 496-7812 or Towne Bowling Academy for more information.
Matt Sherman took the first individual major title of the season by winning the Towne Bowling Academy Scratch Challenge last Sunday. Sherman fired a 1,103 four-game series and earned a check for $800. Joe Mazuryk was second with a 1,087 and $400.
The 27th annual women’s senior singles tournament will be held Oct. 26, at 2 p.m. at Sportsman’s Bowl. Entry forms were given to all league secretaries. If you need an entry form, contact Sandy Knabner at 399-3759.
The Cohoes Men’s Individual league, which bowls Thursday mornings at 9:30 at Cohoes Arena, is looking for bowlers. The format is four games, and the weekly dues are $15. Contact Bob Weiner for more information.
The Menagerie league, which is in its 87th year, has five openings. The mixed league bowls 6:10 p.m. Fridays at Sportsman’s Bowl. Dues are $16 a week. Call Sportsman’s for more information.
The next New Era Women and Seniors bowling tournament will be Oct. 26 at 1 p.m. at Sunset Recreation. Entry fee is $50. One in five cash and advance to the match game finals.
The Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour resumes Saturday at 2 p.m. at Towne Bowling Academy. Call 982-0035 for reservations.
Barbecue Recreation in Hoosick Falls will host the 18th annual Troy Bowling Association 800 Club tournament Oct. 26. There are limited openings available. Call Mike Hodlick at 326-4238 for more information.
Six-time PBA Tour champion Dave D’Entremont, known as “Double D,” died suddenly over the weekend. D’Entremont also had 19 regional wins. His biggest win was the 1996 Brunswick World Tournament of Champions. He bowled on the PBA Tour for nearly a quarter of a century and was a regular when the PBA Tour competed in the Capital Region.
The Troy Bowling Association Hall of Fame dinner will be held Nov. 9 at the Watervliet Elks. New inductees are Darrell Coonrad, Don Michalski and Gerry Curran. Call 235-2548 for ticket reservations. They are $35 each.
The PBA Tour coverage on ESPN starts Sunday, Dec. 1, at 1 p.m.. Seven two-hour events will be shown from the World Series of Bowling V, beginning with the PBA Cheetah Championship and running consecutive Sundays through Jan. 12. In all, ESPN will air 36 hours of PBA action through April 13, but only three weeks will be live coverage. Mike Jakubowski will be the new play-by-play man and will team up with veteran color analyst Randy Pedersen.