Frank Tardio has earned the right to have some thoughts about scratch bowling.

He has entered Beat the Champions since the beginning and finally reached the finals in the 57th year of the charity bowling event. He has bowled for 60 years, since he was 13.

The BTC men’s finals begin at 10 a.m. Sunday at Waveland Bowl. Tardio, a retired steelworker from Inverness, knows Waveland.

‘‘I used to be at Waveland all the time,’’ said Tardio, who attended Lane Tech (Class of 1962), which is located just down the street.

He will be there again after winning the Fox Valley sectional at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb.

Good luck helped Tardio advance out of the Thursday Mixed League at Poplar Creek Bowl. He was second during contest week, but the top league bowler, Tim Bujak, had the high average at Poplar Creek and advanced as the house bowler. So Tardio advanced as the league representative because of its 100 percent participation in BTC.

Tardio said he believes in BTC.

‘‘I’ve bowled this since it started,’’ Tardio said. ‘‘I truly believe people should get in it. It goes for charity, for one thing, and for $3 [entry fee], you got a shot at a car [now a top prize of $7,500].’’

In the first 56 years the Chicagoland Bowling Proprietors Association has held BTC, nearly 5.8 million entries have raised more than $2.85 million for charity. The Sun-Times is the media sponsor for BTC.

Now to Tardio’s thoughts about scratch bowling.

‘‘Your handicap should be near the top average,’’ he said.

Keep in mind that Tardio carries a 200 average and will get only 36 pins of handicap. He is not arguing for himself; he is arguing for fairness. His point is that there are higher averages because of house conditions and better equipment.

In BTC, handicap is 90 percent of the difference between a bowler’s average and 210. In the finals, bowlers will roll four games.

‘‘You should average off of 225 or at least 220,’’ he said. ‘‘Handicapping off of 210, [higher-average bowlers] are actually getting free pins.’’

Tardio’s point is well-taken. That discussion has gone on at the CBPA level for several years.

It is an interesting year to make his point. Seven of the 32 finalists average higher than 225, nine higher than 220 and 12 higher than 210.

Follow me on Twitter @BowmanOutside.

 

Jim Peach, one of the scratch bowlers in BTC, after winning the Section 1 sectional at Sunset Bowl in Waukegan.
Credit: Dale Bowman

* * * *

MEN”S FINALS

AVERAGES AND HANDICAP

At Waveland Bowl, Chicago

10 a.m. Sunday

Bowler, center Avg. Hdp.

Tony Baller, Habetler 196 50

Keith Banasiak, Palos 230 0

Timothy Barth, Stardust 217 0

John Bond, Waveland 180 108

Joseph Bowers, Lynwood 242 0

Anthonie Calvin, Skyway 149 219

Jamie Clemons, Lawn 179 111

Mike Cothard Jr., Suburbanite 200 36

Tony Dussel, Beverly 201 32

Louis Gorcos, Oak Forest 231 0

Larry Herman, Arena 185 90

Mike Herman, Thunder 202 28

Terrance House, BZ-River Grove 194 57

David Kadish, Sunset 197 46

Anthony Kornecki, Stardust 171 140

Keith Nelson, Centennial 227 0

Bobby Nunn, Town Hall 176 122

Tom Ollenberger, Oak Forest 197 46

Neal Outerbridge, Burr Oak 234 0

Brauc Palmer, Lakewood 187 82

Andy Parham, Hillside 184 93

Jim Peach, Beverly 217 0

Allan Pecka, Orland 242 0

Matt Prokash, Wood Dale 216 0

Sam Rolph, Oak Forest 229 0

Mike Ryan, Liberty 182 100

Mark Seferovic, Peotone 183 97

Joe Spoonmore, Hometown 223 0

Frank Tardio, Poplar Creek 200 36

Melvin Williams, Burr Oak 207 10

Herbert Wilson, Palos 223 0

Keith Woods, Lakeside 198 43