The Buffalo Bowling Association returns to the tournament scene with a new event, the Scratch Challenge on Oct. 22 at Leisure Land, with a guaranteed first prize of $1,000 and second place of $500.
For the time being, this is a one-shot deal. The BBA's Tournament Association, which staged a series of events on a membership basis over a two-year period, met its demise last season. The Tournament Association fizzled, not for a lack of total members, but lack of support at individual events.
If the Scratch Challenge proves successful, future events could be scheduled.
"Our board of directors and our tournament committee are committed to trying one more time to see if scratch bowlers will turn out," BBA executive director-treasurer Ben Palumbo said. "We'll give them a good tournament one time around and see what happens. They can make some good money."
Three sponsors have been secured -- R. Broad Concrete, Greg Merkle Investments and Buffalo Beverage -- to enhance the prize fund by nearly $2,000.
The format includes three-game qualifying squads at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. with all ABC members eligible. Entry is $50 if postmarked by Sunday and $60 thereafter. Re-entries are permitted. One bowler per five entries will qualify on total pins for single game eliminations.
The match game eliminations have a hybrid format to make the tournament a little different. Bowlers will be matched four to a pair of lanes with the high two on each pair moving to the next round. Scores on adjacent lanes will only matter to those bowlers. It probably won't happen, but if the four bowlers on a pair score in the 160s and the four on a neighboring pair are in the 200s, two of the 160s will advance and two of the 200s will not. As they say: It could be the luck of the draw.
Eliminations will be repeated until the field is reduced to about a half-dozen (the exact number has not been finalized) where one more game will determine the final two to bowl one game for the championship.
The final position on the prize list will receive double the entry fee. Entry blanks have been mailed to everyone on the BBA's Obenauer Masters list and the Tournament Association membership. Forms are also available at area centers or call the BBA at 842-6610.
Ujvari unveils new leagues
Bob Ujvari is winding up his first month as business manager of operations for Dave and Mary Grace Williamson's two centers -- Ideal and Spare Time.
"I'll be getting new leagues started and helping Dave in the pro shops," Ujvari said. "I'll be an overseer for him to free up more time for him."
One of Ujvari's projects will be a half-season handicap league covering three or four months in the second half of the season. "Sometimes people are brain-fried bowling every week," Ujvari said. "Maybe we can take away the edge doing it every other week."
Ideal has a new singles league on Wednesdays that filled quickly and was oversubscribed. "Actually, we turned a negative into a positive," Dave Williamson said.
"It started out as a disaster with a doubles league and only 10 teams showed up. They said they wouldn't bowl for the prize money that 10 teams would bring in.
"But a couple of the guys stayed around and said: 'Why don't we start a singles league?' We're bowling four on a lane and you bowl one game against each of the other three people. It's a handicap league and they love it. We've got a real mix of people with some averaging 160 and some 220."
Another project for Ujvari will be developing a junior league at Spare Time. Plans include a seminar featuring pro bowlers under contract to Storm Products.
"I've drilled a lot of equipment for (Storm's) bowlers and I know a couple of their staff members and sales reps from tournaments I've been in," Ujvari said.
"We'd have to do it after the first of the year and work around the pro tour schedule. But these guys have obligations to do clinics that are in their contracts."
Ujvari, 36, also hopes to bring a tournament to Ideal like the Western New York Open he ran successfully at Thruway. He joined Ideal and Spare Time after 10 years at Thruway where he worked mostly in the pro shop.
Junior leagues to meet
The Bowling Proprietors Association Troyer Farms, Dan-Dee and Sunny Delight junior traveling leagues will have an organizational meeting Oct. 8 at noon at Thruway and first-week bowling will start at 1 p.m.
The Troyer and Dan-Dee scratch leagues will use a Petersen system this season with points awarded for head-to-head victories and total pins, and team game totals and total pins.
League and team information is available at BPA-member centers.
Around the lanes
Jolene Scholl of Buffalo qualified second and finished second in the Handicap Division of the Youth Bowlers Tour opening tournament at Roseland Bowl in Canandaigua. Scholl defeated Michael Smith of Auburn in the semifinals, 222-167 (scores include handicap). In the title match she lost to high qualifier Walter Belloma of Elmira, 222-208. . . . Ray Bellet's 722 led first-place Kenmore over Alden, 29-4, in last Saturday's BPA Buffalo Beverage Miller Lite All Stars matches at Southgate. Kenmore leads runner-up Southgate by 20 1/2 points entering today's 2 p.m. matches at Spare Time. . . . The ABA has a $1,000 first place tournament today at Airport with the first of five squads at 9 a.m. and finals at 4:30 p.m.