HUCK FINN TO TWEAK FORMAT

PETE DOUGHERTY BOWLING
Section: Sports,  Page: C7

Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Details aren't yet finalized, but the Huck Finn/Northeast Bowling Proprietors of New York scratch tour plans to incorporate a handicap division into four of its scratch tournaments next season.


The idea is to have two scratch and two handicap players advance to the "Capital Region Bowling" TV show. Bowlers would remain in their own division until the final, when the scratch and handicap winners would meet for the title, using handicap.


"There are five or six tournaments that just don't do well at all," Huck Finn tournament director Jeff Segel said. "These tournaments aren't designed to make money, but I don't want to worry any more about entries."


Because the tour gives $1,000 to the winner regardless of entries, money at times was drawn from membership dues to meet the guarantee. Segel said he would like to avoid that, since membership money is intended to supplement the prize fund for the season-ending Jack Scaccia Memorial.


The handicap bowlers, who had two tournaments this season for a chance to make the TV show, will have those opportunities doubled. In-house league qualifying will continue. Bowlers with averages less than 220 can put up $10 to enter. One in eight bowlers per NEBPONY center will advance to the rolloffs.


"Scratch tournaments will be exactly as they are now," Segel said, "with the exception of two bowlers will go to TV instead of four."


Tentative dates for the four combined tournaments are Nov. 3-4, Jan. 19-20, Feb. 23-24 and March 9-10.


Still to be worked out is whether the handicap rolloffs will be held concurrently with the scratch tournament or at a different center.


National news


John Martorella Sr., a 28-year-old right-hander from Greece (Monroe County), became the 19th bowler to roll a 900 series, pending approval by the U.S. Bowling Congress. Martorella's family has owned Domm's Bowling Center, a 16-lane center in Rochester, since 1971. ... An interesting tidbit in Sunday's PBA live telecast on ESPN. It is the first season since 1962 that no left-hander has won a title. Speaking for my fellow southpaws, that stinks.


Brian LeClair of Athens finished 63rd in last week's PBA Tournament of Champions. Only the top 36 cashed. ... The USBC Queens, which will be bowled this week in Euless, Texas, will move to Labor Day weekend next year in Las Vegas.


Local scene


The inaugural New Era Women's Tour, an adjunct to the New Era Senior Tour, attracted 36 bowlers to Sportsman's Bowl. That's 12 more than the established tour drew. The women produced two 300 games (none for the men), and Jessica DeVellis of Guilderland defeated Pete Linck of Valatie 230-226 in the "Battle of The Sexes" finale. ... Corey Buckley of Albany set a seven-game scoring record of 1,658 (236.9 average), then defeated Thomas Marr of Schenectady 254-157 to win the Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour event at Towne Academy.


This week's schedule


New York State Open Championships: 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday at Spare Time-South Glens Falls. Mike Pettinella, (585) 343-3736.


Blizzard Bowl: Doubles-singles 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Burnt Hills. Team event 9:45 p.m. Saturday at Boulevard Bowl. (518) 374-4141 or (518) 399-0999.


Huck Finn/NEBPONY qualifying: Jack Scaccia Memorial qualifying 1 p.m. (seniors only) and 3 p.m. Saturday at Town 'n Country. Jeff Segel, (518) 439-7628.


Pete Dougherty's column is published Tuesdays during the bowling season. Items to be considered for publication can be submitted by fax (518-454-5819) or pdougherty@timesunion.com.


BOX:


300 games


Bowler LANES Series


Jessica Brockmyer Sportsman's 862 *


Jessica DeVellis Sportsman's 973 *


Steve Hallenbeck Town 'n Country 990 *


* -- four-game series