Cyber Report #962, #963, #964,

E-dition Nos. 962-963-964 • Thursday, August 10, 2017

Special Triple Edition

Editor: Bob Johnson (


Bowling Mourns Loss of Bill Lillard and Mike McGrath


While the Cyber Report was on a brief hiatus, there was lots of news in the world of bowling — including the sad news of the passing of Bill Lillard and Mike McGrath on July 30.


Both men made their mark on the lanes as hall of fame-caliber bowlers, and then moved over to the business side of the industry, where they enjoyed additional success.


Lillard, of Houston, died following a battle with leukemia. He was 89. McGrath, who lived in Petaluma, Calif., told Bowlers Journal International two years ago that he was dealing with a form of Parkinson’s disease. More recently, he had been battling cancer. He was 71.


Lillard, elected to the USBC Hall of Fame in 1972, was an eight-time champion at the American Bowling Congress Tournament, now known as the USBC Open Championships, earning his first titles in Team and Team All-Events as a member of Detroit’s Pfeiffer Beer team in 1955.


The following year, he became the first of three bowlers in tournament history to claim four titles in the same year. Bowling with the Falstaffs team, he captured the Team and Team All-Events titles, paired with Stan Gifford to win Doubles, and also took individual All-Events.


He would add Classic Team victories in 1962 and 1971.


In 2015, during his 68th consecutive tournament appearance, he became the Open Championships’ career pinfall leader when he surpassed the mark set by late USBC Hall of Famer, Joe Norris.


Lillard, who was joined by his wife, Dorothy, for most of his appearances, had a career pinfall total of 124,087 at the Open Championships, an average of 196. He is one of 11 bowlers in 114 years of the tournament’s history to reach 65 years of participation.


Lillard was voted the Bowling Writers Association of America’s Bowler of the Year in 1956, and earned Bowling Magazine’s recognition for first-team All-American in 1956 and 1957. He was a charter member of the Professional Bowlers Association and claimed one title, the Miller High Life Open, in 1966. In December 1999, BJI had Lillard No. 15 on the list of the 100 greatest bowlers of the 20th century.


After his competitive bowling days were over, Lillard became a bowling center proprietor.


J.R. Schmidt will present a special remembrance of Lillard in the “Yesteryear” department of the September issue of BJI.


McGrath, a member of both the USBC and PBA Halls of Fame, was born on May 13, 1946, in Berkeley, Calif. He stormed onto the bowling scene at the age of 19 when he won the 1965 PBA Portland Open in his pro debut.


The left-hander would win 10 PBA Tour titles, and was ranked 39th on the 2009 list of the 50 Greatest Players in PBA History.


McGrath won the first of three Classic Team titles at the 1969 ABC Tournament in Madison, Wis.


The 1970 event in Knoxville, Tenn., saw the first Classic Team rolloff series at the tournament, and McGrath converted a 1-3-6-9 spare to give Merchant Enterprises the title by eight pins. That year, he also took home his second consecutive PBA National Championship, made four consecutive PBA television finals and led the tour in money won.


He teamed with Johnny Petraglia, Larry Lichstein, Dick Battista and Butch Gearhart for his third Classic Team title at the 1972 Open Championships in Long Beach, Calif.


In 1973, he became the first left-hander to win the U.S. Open when he beat fellow Hall of Famers Dick Ritger, Dave Davis and, in the title match, Earl Anthony, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.


After retiring from the tour, he used his business degree to become a successful salesperson, and later managed a bowling center. He also was a long-time member of the BJI family, penning the popular Q&A column known as “The Coach.”


Our “Strikes Me” column in the September issue of BJI will be devoted to McGrath.


Memorial services for Lillard were held on Aug. 4. Well-wishers also are invited to leave messages for the family using this link: Cards or letters should be sent to: Lillard family, c/o Copperfield Bowl, 15615 Glen Chase Drive, Houston, TX 77095-2708.


A celebration of life will be held for McGrath at the home of Barry and Christy Asher in Costa Mesa, Calif., on Saturday, Aug. 26.



Confusion as to Why USOC Put USBC on Probation


The United States Bowling Congress must revise and clarify its process for handling grievances members file against the organization after the United States Olympic Committee placed USBC on probation in June due to concerns about whether their members receive federally mandated due process protections.


USBC now must work with USOC over a six-month period to better understand and implement USOC’s expectations for compliance with their due process guidelines, and potentially could get an extension should USBC’s progress be deemed substantial enough to warrant more time.


Past USBC executive directors dating back to Roger Dalkin expressed surprise over the USOC ruling, which deals with proper compliance with the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act. That act provides guidelines for handling athlete grievances against a sport’s national governing body. USBC is the NGB for bowling.


BJI Editor Gianmarc Manzione has put together a comprehensive report on the probationary status, how it came to be, and why former leaders of the USBC — including Dalkin, Kevin Dornberger, Stu Upson and Neil Stremmel — were surprised and confused by the USOC ruling. You can read Manzione’s full report here:



DuPage County to Host 2021 Women’s Championships


The USBC Women’s Championships will head to the Chicago area in 2021, with Stardust Bowl in Addison, Ill., serving as the host center.


Home to 20 percent of DuPage County’s manufacturing, Addison is 12 miles from O’Hare International Airport, 20 miles west of Chicago’s Loop, and convenient to major highways and mass transportation.


The site was determined through a “Request for Proposal” process, and the DuPage Convention and Visitors Bureau teamed with Stardust Bowl to deliver the proposal selected by USBC.


“We worked with USBC and Stardust Bowl on the Junior Gold Championships in 2015, and are excited to bring the USBC Women’s Championships to DuPage County,” Beth Marchetti, Executive Director of the DCVB, said. “This is simply a great opportunity for us to showcase the area to thousands of visitors and generate significant economic impact for our communities.”


Stardust Bowl is the largest bowling center in Illinois with 84 lanes. It has been the host of many national events, including the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2015 Junior Gold Championships. It has been a host center of the Intercollegiate Team and Singles Championships sectional events many times.


“We’re thrilled to host an event that has such a great history,” Stardust Bowl owner Henry Barber said. “I know the competitors in the 2021 Women’s Championships will have a great time in DuPage County, and our staff will be excited to welcome women bowlers from throughout the country to our center.”


The first Women’s Championships was held in 1916 in St. Louis, and the event made its first stop in Illinois when Chicago was host in 1920. It has made appearances in Peoria, Ill. (1933), had a second stop in Chicago (1935) and was in the Quad Cities, co-hosted by Illinois and Iowa, in 1998.


Before the Women’s Championships returns to the Midwest and Stardust Bowl in 2021, it will be in Reno, Nev., in 2018; will celebrate its 100th anniversary in Wichita, Kan., in 2019, and head to Las Vegas in 2020.


“Participants have asked us to take the Women’s Championships to venues throughout the country, particularly the Midwest, and we will make that happen over the next four years,” USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy said. “Henry Barber and his team at Stardust Bowl know what it takes to deliver a successful event and, along with the DuPage CVB, will be gracious hosts when the Women’s Championships hits the Chicago area.”


In addition to Addison, the communities of DuPage County include Bensenville, Bolingbrook, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, Itasca, Lombard, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Villa Park, Warrenville, Westmont and Willowbrook.



Strike Ten Ramps Up Promos for National Bowling Day


The bowling industry is celebrating National Bowling Day on Saturday by offering consumers a free game at participating bowling centers across the country.


Consumers can go to to find participating centers and download a coupon good for a free game on Aug. 12-13.


“With more than 67 million people taking to the lanes each year, bowling is the most popular participatory sport in the United States for people of all ages and skill levels,” said Nancy Schenk, President of the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America. “On Aug. 12-13, we want to encourage everyone — families, friends, couples — to visit their neighborhood bowling center and enjoy a game on us. Bowling truly is the original social media network where people gather, catch up and have fun together.”


In recognition of National Bowling Day, is setting up lanes on the set of “Fox & Friends” in New York on Saturday from 6-10 a.m. Eastern. Schenk, along with Professional Women’s Bowling Association stars Kelly Kulick and Diana Zavjalova, will be promoting the free-coupon giveaway and bowling with the hosts of the show.


Widespread exposure for bowling will continue on Sunday, as Go Bowling will once again sponsor Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the No. 17 Ford Fusion, in the Monster Energy Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway. The Stenhouse car will be wrapped in a bowling lane theme design, complete with a bowling ball, bowling pins and the Go Bowling logo.


“It’s going to be a big weekend for bowling and the Go Bowling brand,” said John Harbuck, President of Strike Ten Entertainment, the marketing arm of the bowling industry. “Celebrating National Bowling Day Saturday on Fox and having our Go Bowling car in the NASCAR race Sunday on NBCSN gives us back-to-back days of nationally televised coverage, building top-of-mind awareness for bowling.”



Turning Stone Named Official USBC Open Partner


Turning Stone Resort Casino, a premier destination resort in upstate New York, will be the official casino and gaming partner of the USBC Open Championships when the event heads to Syracuse, N.Y., in 2018.


The 115th edition of the event will take place March 31 through July 7 at the OnCenter Convention Center in downtown Syracuse.


“With all of our award-winning amenities, including more than 700 guest rooms, we’re excited to showcase our world-class resort to the more than 50,000 guests visiting upstate New York for this remarkable tournament,” said Oneida Nation Representative and Nation Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter. “There is a lot of excitement about the Open Championships coming to upstate New York, and we’re honored to be part of it.”


Turning Stone Resort Casino is a 3,400-acre resort that includes an all-new 125,000-sq.-ft. gaming floor, four hotel options (including The Lodge, a Forbes four-star hotel, and the newly renovated Tower hotel) two spas, five golf courses, more than 20 restaurants and dining options, a cabaret-style showroom, a 5,000-seat arena, and several nightlife venues with live weekend entertainment.


“We seek to provide Open Championships bowlers with entertainment opportunities during their time away from the lanes, and Turning Stone Resort Casino has much to offer our bowlers,” USBC Managing Director of Marketing, Tramon Thomas, said. “We look forward to working with Turning Stone Resort on special offers for the competitors.”


Read more here:



Bowling World Promotes Alex Handback, Ryan McCorvey


Jeff McCorvey has announced that Alex Handback and Ryan McCorvey have both been promoted to new positions at McCorvey’s Bowling World, which operates pro shops in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee and Virginia.


Each has been named a Senior Vice President of the company, which will expand their roles and responsibilities.


Handback joined the company in June 2002 at the age of 16, working and learning the trade at its second location inside Madison Bowling Center in Madison, Ala.


“He was integral to our initial growth as he eagerly agreed to relocate to New Orleans and manage our busiest pro shop — at AMF All Star Lanes in Kenner — while becoming my youngest store manager at age 21,” McCorvey said. “He thrived in that busy store, setting multiple company sales records.”


When the opportunity arose for McCorvey’s company to operate a booth at the Women’s Championship in Las Vegas, Handback again proved up to the challenge. Since then, he has moved back to the Huntsville area and taken on many roles. The majority of his work involves traveling to stores and providing assistance as needed.


“Basically, he is doing much of what I did,” McCorvey said. “His work ethic and outgoing personality, combined with his exceptional technical skills, make him ideally suited for this position.”


Handback is a USBC-certified coach and a graduate of IBPSIA’s Advanced Technical course.


“Ryan, of course, was literally born into the business,” McCorvey said of his son. “With both parents and grandfathers [being] members of bowling halls of fame, he had little choice. He officially started working for the company in June of 2003 at the age of 12, assisting with various chores in the pro shop.


“When Ryan enrolled at Auburn, we opened a pro shop there for him to expand his real-world management skills,” McCorvey added. “During the summer months of high school and college, he worked on building and opening new stores, learning basic construction skills.”


After graduating from Auburn with a degree in management, Ryan moved to Birmingham and took on a new role with the company: inventory management. He then became the company’s demo coordinator, and most recently became Bowling World’s social media director, tasked with building brand awareness.


Ryan also is a USBC-certified coach and IBPSIA-certified technician.



Aloma to Mark 40th Birthday With ‘Throwback’ Specials


Aloma Bowling Centers will ring in the company’s 40th birthday with a week-long celebration at all three of its Florida venues.


The anniversary celebration kicks off with deals from 9 p.m. to closing time each night from Monday, Aug. 14 to Thursday, Aug. 17, at Aloma Bowl in Winter Park. Airport Lanes in Sanford and Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando also will offer specials on those nights, beginning an hour earlier.


All week long, guests can enjoy throwback pricing from when the Aloma centers first opened. Games of bowling will cost 90 cents, shoe rentals will be 40 cents, and arcade games will cost 25 cents.


The festivities will culminate with a party from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19 at the original Aloma Bowling Centers location — Aloma Bowl. In addition to the aforementioned deals, burgers and fries will cost just $3, and Bud Light on draft will be priced at $1.


That night, live music and a costume contest will be featured. Guests are invited to show off their bellbottoms and disco duds to celebrate Aloma’s 1970s roots.


Also, five guests will get to keep the good times rolling after the party with free bowling for a year. Everyone who attends the party will be entered in a drawing, and guests who wear ’70s attire will receive five additional entries.


Keith Baldwin, Regional General Manager for Aloma Bowling Centers, said the birthday bash is an opportunity to celebrate with the community.


“The community has supported and loved Aloma Bowl the past 40 years,” he said. “This is our way to thank the community we grew up in.”


To learn more about Aloma Bowl, visit


Earlier this year, a plan was in place to level the center and build a new Orchard Supply Hardware store on the site. But Winter Park City Commissioners rejected the plan, and it was decided to continue operating the center.


Now, Colonial Lanes, a 32-lane center in Orlando, is being eyed by developers, who would like to replace it with a storage unit facility. You can read more about that here:



New Bowling Facility Planned for Cape Cod Mall


Ryan Family Amusements and Chapin’s Restaurant Group are teaming up to open the Ten Pin Eatery at the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis, Mass. The facility will include 11 bowling lanes, a private three-lane area for parties, a two-story laser tag arena, an arcade with 50 games, a full-service Chapin’s Restaurant and a full-service bar.


Ryan Family Amusements dates back to 1958 when James A. Ryan opened an eight-lane bowling alley under the Post Office in Needham, Mass. Today, the company operates six bowling facilities — a mix of tenpin, candlepin and duckpin — along with three game locations.


“Food and fun for everyone!” has been the Chapin’s Restaurant Group’s mantra for success. The company delivers fresh, quality food in a fun and casual atmosphere, and supports its local community in a number of ways. “It’s our intention to offer our customers a memorable dining experience that will make them come back again and again,” a Chapin’s spokesperson says.


Cape Cod Mall, the Cape & Islands’ only indoor, regional shopping center, is anchored by Macy’s Apparel, Macy’s Men/Home and Sears, along with Best Buy, Marshalls and Barnes & Noble. The mall is home to nearly 90 shops, a 400-seat international food court and a Regal Cinemas 12-theater megaplex.


Construction on the Ten Pin Eatery, which will take over several storefronts in the Macy Men’s wing of the mall, is expected to begin this fall, with a spring 2018 opening planned.



Business Briefs…


* Chad Murphy has agreed to a three-year contract extension as Executive Director of the United States Bowling Congress, extending his tenure into 2020. He was first named Executive Director in June of 2014. “Over the past three years, the USBC staff has delivered consistent improvement in operational execution and customer service under Chad Murphy’s leadership,” USBC President Frank Wilkinson said. “The USBC Board of Directors has great confidence in the staff, and this agreement shows our desire to maintain stability in our leadership for years to come.” Read more here:


* Suburban Bowl in Batavia, Ohio, has been acquired by members of the Bedinghaus family, who have been involved in bowling for three generations. The family has renamed the center Batavia Bowl, and plans to place a strong emphasis on food sales, as well as craft beers. Other plans for the 16-lane facility include the installation of high-definition projection screens and an outdoor patio. Batavia is situated along the Appalachian Highway in central Ohio, and serves as the county seat of Ohio’s Clermont County. Read more here:


* A new location of Pinstripes — with its “sophisticated fun” concept that melds bowling, bocce and upscale dining — has opened in North Bethesda, Md. The facility occupies 37,000 square feet in its two-story space within the Pike & Rose development. By the numbers: 14 bowling lanes, 12 bocce courts, three bars and an overall capacity of 1,500. Read more here:


* Parkville Lanes, a Baltimore-area duckpin center that had been closed for about nine months due to water damage and presumed shuttered for good, is being brought back to life by four new owners, including a former local disc jockey. Chris Roth used to be heard on WQSR radio; now, he and three partners have invested in repairs and are re-opening the 26-lane facility. A wide-ranging marketing campaign is planned to spread the news that Parkside Lanes is back in business and duckpin bowling is fun. More:


* Santikos Entertainment is opening a new theater complex in Cibolo, Texas. In addition to theaters with laser digital technology, Dolby ATMOS sound systems and luxury recliner seating, the complex will include bowling lanes, an arcade, a restaurant and a sports bar. The development in which the theater is sited will include retail, restaurants and luxury apartments. Cibolo is located about 25 miles northeast of San Antonio. Read more here:


* What happens to a bowling center when there is no plan of succession in place? In the case of Rensselaer Bowling Center in Rensselaer, Ind., it closes. The decision to not re-open the center this fall following its traditional summer shutdown was made by its octogenarian owners, Dick and Barbara Arnott, who said they did not have adequate help to run it. The center originally was named Maple Lanes, and later became Collegeville Bowl before adopting the name of its hometown. More:


* A similar fate awaits Lanes & Games in Cambridge, Mass. Sunday will mark the center’s final day of operation as the two brothers who own it — Tony and John Martignetti — have decided to retire, and their children no longer wish to run it. The center opened in 1942 under the name Turnpike Bowladrome, and was acquired by the brothers during the 1980s. The closure is a major loss for two sports as the center has been home to 28 tenpin lanes and 26 candlepin lanes.


* Following in the footsteps of one downtown Denver development, the Sterling Bay company is planning a major renovation of its building at 311 W. Monroe in Chicago’s Loop to include a tenant lounge, fitness center, yoga room and a four-lane bowling installation. The amenities are designed to attract tenants to the building and help tenants recruit younger workers. The facilities also could be used by tenants to entertain guests. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Sterling Bay paid $61 for the 388,000-sq.-ft. building, and plans to invest $45 million or more in its renovation.


* There have been countless variations of bowling introduced through the years, but this is the first time we’ve heard of “Tomahawk Bowling.” It’s being introduced at the center long known as Ravenna Bowl in Ravenna, Mich., which was acquired by Brian and Kathleen Leiby in 2015. Now, the center has been re-christened Kat’s Alley and Tomahawk Lanes, and you can view a video of this new activity here: Yes, the game uses real tomahawks.



Other News You Can Use…


* PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber won the PBA50 DeHayes Insurance Group Championship Presented by Pro Bowl West and Ebonite for his 100th overall title in PBA competition Tuesday in Fort Wayne, Ind. Weber, who was the top seed for the finals, won his first PBA50 Tour title of the season by defeating Duke in the title match, 279-255, for his 11th career title on the tour for players 50 years and older. For a full report, and to learn who was named PBA50 Player of the year, click here:


* Liz Johnson defeated Daria Pajak, 188-176, to win the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open at Plano Super Bowl in Plano, Texas, on Sunday, marking the fourth consecutive time — and sixth time in her career — that she has claimed the coveted green jacket. The win, which was broadcast live on CBS Sports Network, was the record 10th major victory of her career and second of the season. She earned $20,000 for the win, while Pajak took home $10,000 for the runner-up finish. Full report:


* Jason Sterner and “replacement” partner Birgit Poppler defeated Jason Belmonte and Diandra Asbaty in the final game to win the 18th PBA-PWBA Xtra Frame Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles title at Copperfield Bowl in Houston on Sunday. Sterner, who won his only PBA Tour title in the 2013 Don Carter Classic in Detroit, teamed up with Poppler, a PWBA player from Germany, after his original partner was forced to cancel due to an injury. Trailing Asbaty and Belmonte by 10 pins heading into the final position-round match, Sterner shot 258 and Poppler rolled 204 for a 462 game, topping Asbatay’s 178 and Belmonte’s 254 by 30 pins to overcome the deficit. Full story:


* Rico Kristie Lopez, a Wichita State University Shocker bowler and member of Team Puerto, is the winner of the 2017 PBA Billy Welu Scholarship Award. Entering her senior year at Wichita State with a 3.5 grade point average, Lopez, who is from Ponce, Puerto Rico, is majoring in graphic design with a minor in marketing and management. More:


* The members of Junior Team USA went into the 2017 Lee Evans Tournament of the Americas with two goals: 1. to gain experience against international competition, and 2. to win gold medals. The group of eight young bowlers accomplished both goals, earning 16 of 18 possible gold medals in the Junior A (ages 16-19) and Junior B (ages 12-15) divisions at Strikers Family Sportscenter in Sunrise, Fla. The United States also was well represented in the Senior and Super Senior categories, adding an additional 13 gold medals. For a full list of medal winners, go to:


* While America’s representatives fared well at the World Games in Wroclaw, Poland, they did not dominate. For a report on the final day of competition and a complete list of medal winners, go to:


* The 2017 Junior Gold Championships Presented by the Brands of Ebonite International was contested at seven bowling centers in the Cleveland area from July 17-22, concluding with six titles being handed out over three CBS Sports Network broadcasts. The finals for each of the event’s three divisions — 12-and-under, 15-and-under and 20-and-under — were taped at Game of Wickliffe for broadcast on CBS Sports Network. Each crowned a girls and a boys champion, and we’ll have a full report in the September issue of BJI. Also in that issue, Keith Hamilton will devote his “Leading Off” column to his impressions of the event, along with a bonus page of photos.


* If you haven’t checked out BJI Editor Gianmarc Manzione’s interview with USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy about the decision to not reveal the lane pattern at the USBC Open Championships until after the event’s conclusion, you should. It provides great insight into the thinking behind the decision, and how it played out at the 2017 tournament. You’ll find that Q&A here:


* Marvin Sontz, former co-owner of Del Lanes in Delmar, N.Y., pleaded guilty in June to child pornography charges. He was accused of sending pornography as his Instagram profile picture to a 14-year-old girl. Now, Sontz has been sentenced to two years in prison. The 61-year-old, who also was a school bowling coach, was additionally sentenced to 10 years of post-release supervision, which will include registering as a sex offender. Read more here:


* Ground has been broken in the north Texas town of Terrell for a new Film Alley Movie Entertainment Center, a 74,000-sq.-ft. facility that will include bowling lanes and an arcade among its amenities. The complex will be part of the new Crossroads of Terrell development, about 30 miles east of Dallas. Read more here:



* CONTACT: Please send business news, event information, etc. to Bob Johnson at For breaking business news, visit or, and “Like” Bowling Center Management and Bowlers Journal International on Facebook. BJI Cyber Reports are now archived at



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