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74° Good Afternoon

Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship pays homage to history

Ever wonder what a basketball game today would be like without a shot clock, or a golf tournament with wooden clubs? It's unlikely we'll ever find out, but today's PBA Tour event, the second GEICO Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship at Babylon Lanes, will turn back the clock with throwback equipment and rules.

This competition - the PBA's homage to its history - will do away with the modern resin balls and each bowler will be issued two plastic ones; the kind that was popular in the '70s. The old-school balls tend to roll straight instead of hooking, forcing bowlers to make immediate adjustments.

"The thinking behind it was, 'What would happen if we required players to use technology from decades ago?' " PBA spokesman Jerry Schneider said. "It requires the player to use his physical and mental abilities rather than relying on different pieces of equipment or switching balls."

Roth, 58, a Brooklyn native and PBA Hall of Famer whom the event was named after, will be in attendance.

Among the top contenders will be Jeff Carter, last year's winner; Patchogue native Mike Fagan; Bill O'Neill, who leads the Player of the Year race; and Chris Barnes, a 12-time champion who took third in last year's event in Colorado.

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