The Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship at AMF Thruway Lanes in March will be an out-of-the-ordinary event on the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour.
Beside being the final event before the season-ending Dick Weber PBA Playoffs, the Mark Roth has some other noteworthy aspects to it.
Most importantly, proceeds from the tournament will benefit a family of charities supported by the bowling industry through the sale of specially logoed bowling balls to the public. Each of the special balls will be created by On The Ball Bowling, which has the technology to process digitalized images, one at a time, on bowling balls and pins.
The sale of the commemorative balls will benefit Bowlers to Veterans Link, Bowl for the Cure (part of the Komen for the Cure's battle against breast cancer), the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, the new YES youth bowling initiative, and other charities supported by The Bowling Foundation.
Also unique is that the Mark Roth is a "throwback" event, which requires all PBA Tour players to use identical polyester bowling technology. The so-called "Plastic Ball Era" was when Roth dominated the PBA Tour, winning a record eight titles in 1978 followed by another seven-title season in 1979.
The Plastic Ball Championship was originated by the PBA in 2009. The event was held last year in West Babylon, L.I. and won by Brian Ziesig of Levittown, a non-member.
At the tournament bowling fans will be able to order the ball featuring the cover design with the logo of a participating charity or with logos of all charities serviced by The Bowling Foundation.
The Mark Roth will get underway March 2 with the Qualifying Round of seven games. A minimum of 10 players will advance to the Round of 64 the next day. There will be two seven-game segments in the Round of 64 with the top 32 advancing to nine games of round-robin match play on March 4. The top 16 will advance to another nine games of round-robin match play that night. The top four will move on to the live ESPN stepladder finals on March 6. March 5 has been reserved for a Pro-Am Fan Day. It will be the first PBA Tour visit since December 2008. The Tour did not come to Western New York in the 2009-10 season.
Zach Mangrum bowled one of three 300 games reported Dec. 15 by the Cold Spring Classic League at AMF Airport Lanes. Mangrum's came in a 771 series. The other perfectas were turned in by Michael Davis in a 653 series and Wayne "Jack" Jones in a 770 set. Actually, Davis' 300 was not bowled on the same night as the others, but was shot earlier in the month and not immediately reported.
Mangrum shot another 300 this Wednesday, his third of the season.
On the same night, veteran John Zak, 77, bowled his second 300 of the year in the Bowlers Choice Brunswick Senior League at Transit Lanes.
> Pin chasers
* Jon Kroll picked up some extra Christmas cash by defeating Phil Tabbi, 256-194, to capture his second Amateur Bowlers Tour title in the Year-End event at Airport. Next ABT event will be a handicap singles at Clover Lanes in Rochester on Jan. 9 with squads at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
* Terry Bennetti was named Lockport USBC Association's Adult Male Bowler of the Year for 2009-10. The award goes to the member determined to be the best bowler in association-sponsored competition. He averaged 235 for 93 games in the Midnight Bombers League at South Transit Lanes and 225 as a part-timer at Allie Brandt Lanes. He also captained the winning Open Scratch team in the 2010 Lockport City Championship.
In 2007, Bennetti bowled an association record 887 (290-297-300) at Allie Brandt Lanes, to erase Brandt's long-standing 886.
* Sunday's ESPN taped telecast of the PBA GEICO Shark Championship will make for some interesting viewing because it will feature two bowlers who use a two-handed delivery, Jason Belmonte of Australia and Osku Palermaa of Finland are among the five stepladder finalists. Dan MacLelland of Canada was the top qualifier.
* Bryon Smith of Roseburg, Ore., went 11-5 in match play for a 25-pin win over Tom Hess of Urbandale, Iowa in the Sands Regency Regional Tour Invitational at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.