In an era when high-level regional bowling competition has become an endangered species, the New England Bowlers Assn. is ready to begin its 50th season.
No organization has been running monthly scratch tournaments longer — dating back to when Joe Picanzo won the very first NEBA event in January 1963.
NEBA is kicking off this special season in style with a 50th Anniversary Tournament this weekend at AMF Silver Lanes in East Hartford, Conn. With $3,500 in added money, it’s expected that first place will pay $3,000 and the last cashing spot will be worth $250.
Many pro bowlers cut their competitive teeth in NEBA before joining the PBA, and through the years, the organization has run 755 tournaments and crowned 401 different champions. Mike Lichstein, son of former PBA Player Services Direcotr Larry Lichstein, is the all-time title leader with 27. The NEBA website (http://www.bowlneba.com/champions.cfm) has a complete list of champions.