Cumberland Times-News

Howard Peterson - Bowling

April 25, 2010

Seeking a bowling career? Consider non-local tourneys

When the subject of bowling tournaments gets into a conversation, the talk is normally about where, when and do I have a chance to make some money by entering?

The above reaction is usually the case when considering annual bowling association championship tourneys. There are many tournaments where money returns are not a factor in entry decisions. All-Star tournaments attempt to sort out the best of the year’s performers based on bowlers that had the top averages in each of the association’s bowling centers. Results from these tournaments, although significant, are sometimes biased favoring the hosting bowling center. That bias is present in most association tournaments and the winners are mostly bowlers that bowl in several of the association’s bowling centers.

Money is not the major factor in youth tournaments, rather recognition and experience gained are more important. Youth bowlers’ profit from the competition with other youth and that competition is a challenge to improve their game. They also get valuable experience from bowling on lane conditions other than their home center. Most of our youth will continue bowling into their adult life primarily as an enjoyable exercise away from their daily work and duties. There are a few, however, that may be thinking about a future in the bowling industry. Tournaments to that group are stepping stones to scholarship offers from some of the best colleges. Outstanding performance has shown this to be the case for several of our high school youth bowlers.

The youth bowler seeking a career in this field must seriously consider tournaments outside of their local association. Travel expenses can be prohibitive and some families combine an out-of-town tourney with their vacation plans. I agree that attending an out-of-town tournament is good experience but for the high-school age bowlers it may only be a disappointment. The serious young bowler with aspirations of a career in bowling needs to be proficient in making spares, adjustment to changing lane conditions as well as having more than basic lane playing skills, releases and ball speed control. Collegiate bowling offers good coaching and is an attractive venue for advancing a bowling career. Summer camps are also advertised as solutions to improve your bowling technique and can be a plus to your resume of accomplishments.

The Youth All-Star tournament held at The Bowler will highlight our local future bowling headliners. There is another tournament that many of our local youth are anxiously awaiting. The 2010 USBC Youth Open will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana during July. So far, about 20 youth bowlers from White Oaks and The Bowler are scheduled to compete. The USBC Youth Open is the only national open tourney available to youth bowlers. The tournament format is scratch-only based on skill level, thus no boy and girl divisions. There are four average-based divisions with events: singles, doubles, four-person teams and all-events. Nine games are bowled if entered in each event. Team and doubles may be mixed and since the all-events awards will be separated with boys and girls awards, the event rankings will be tracked-gender based.

Competing in the USBC Youth Open will certainly cost a fair amount considering travel, meals and hotel/motel accommodations. Nancy Frost is heading up a fund-raising effort to help with those expenses and I am sure they would appreciate donations from individuals and businesses.

Nancy can be reached by e-mail at nfrost@frostburg.edu.

To all bowlers, and especially the youth tournament bowlers, “Good luck bowling and have fun striking out!”

Visit www.wmusbc.org  and report.

Howard “Pete” Peterson covers bowling for the Cumberland Times-News.    He can be reached at petesbowling@atlanticbb.net.

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Howard Peterson - Bowling
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