ARLINGTON, Texas – More than 3,300 youth bowlers, the largest field in tournament history, are scheduled to compete at the 2016 Junior Gold Championships presented by Storm, Roto Grip and Master, and the week-long event will kick off with this weekend in Indianapolis with the trade show and opening ceremonies.
The Junior Gold Championships features the top youth bowlers in the country seeking national titles, spots on Junior Team USA and scholarship money. The tournament features 20-and-under, 15-and-under and 12-and-under divisions for both boys and girls, for six total divisions.
Athlete registration and the Junior Gold Championships trade show will take place Saturday, July 16, at Elements Financial Blue Ribbon Pavilion, the 73,000-square-foot facility at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. It will include the Collegiate Experience, plus two Storm Seminars – USBC Gold coach Hank Boomershine’s presentation “The Time is NOW”, and 2016 USBC Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kloempken will have a “How to Build the Proper Arsenal” seminar. Storm also will host the Storm Day in The Park on Sunday, July 17, from 2:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., a free event that will take place at White River State Park.
Also on Sunday, July 17, the Junior Gold Championships Opening Ceremony will be held at Victory Field, the home of Indianapolis’ minor league baseball team. The opening ceremony will include a state-by-state athlete walkout, presentations of 2015 Junior Team USA and the 2015 champions, and the presentation of the 2015-2016 Dexter/USBC All-American Team.
The opening ceremonies also will feature live music, contests, giveaways, appearances by three-time USBC Masters champion Jason Belmonte and Danielle McEwan, a Team USA member and two-time winner on the PWBA Tour, and will conclude with a fireworks show.
Tournament competition starts Monday, July 18, with the first round of qualifying and concludes Saturday, July 23, with the finals, which will be taped for national broadcast on CBS Sports Network. Competition will take place at five bowling centers in the Indianapolis area – All Star Bowl, Expo Bowl, Western Bowl and Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis, and Southern Bowl in Greenwood, Indiana. All finals will be held at Western Bowl.
Competitors in all divisions will bowl 16 qualifying games over four days before the field is cut. Bowlers in the U20 and U15 divisions will bowl an additional five games before a second cut is made (to a maximum of 64), and those making the second cut will bowl another five games to determine the 16 bowlers for match play. In the U12 division, after the initial cut, competitors will bowl an additional four games before the field is cut to the top eight for match play.
Match play for each division with be a double-elimination bracket to determine the TV finalists. Each match will be two games with total pinfall determining the winner.
Two of last year’s champions will return to defend their titles, while three champions from 2015 will move up a division.
Sierra Kanemoto of Dayton, Ohio, returns to defend her U20 girls title, as does Danielle Jedlicki of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in the U15 girls division. Tom Hankey of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, the U15 boys champion in 2015, now is in the U20 division, and U12 champions Amanda Naujokas of Lake Ronkonkoma, New York, and Spencer Robarge of Springfield, Missouri, now will compete in the U15 division.
BowlTV, Bowl.com’s live stream channel, will have live stream coverage of the Junior Gold Championships starting with the advancers round until TV finalists are determined.
Finals in all divisions will be taped Saturday, July 23, for broadcast on CBS Sports Network. The U12 finals will air July 26 at 10 p.m.Eastern, the U15 finals will air Aug. 2 at 9 p.m. Eastern and the U20 finals will air Aug. 9 at 9 p.m. Eastern.
Several competitors at the Junior Gold Championships also will earn a spot on 2017 Junior Team USA.
The top four boys and top four girls in the U20 division after 25 games of qualifying automatically qualify for 2017 Junior Team USA, if they are age-eligible. In addition, the winner and runner-up after bracket play in the U20 division also make the team. If one or both of the finalists in the bracket already earned a spot through qualifying, the next age-eligible athlete based on the qualifying standings will take the spot. Bowlers must be age 20 or younger as of Jan. 1, 2017, to be eligible.
The top age-eligible male and female bowler in the U15 divisions at the conclusion of 26 qualifying games and the U15 bracket champions automatically qualify for the U15 Developmental team. These individuals must be age 15 or younger as of January 1, 2017.
The Junior Gold Championships were first conducted in 1998 at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada, and drew 538 participants. Go to BOWL.com/JuniorGold to learn more about the Junior Gold program and the Junior Gold Championships, including a complete schedule.
BOWLING.COM USBC YOUTH OPEN STARTS THURSDAY
The Bowling.com Youth Open Championships, a non-qualifying tournament open to all USBC Youth members, also will be held in Indianapolis.
Competition will take place Thursday and Friday, July 14-15, at Expo Bowl and, after a break for the Junior Gold Championships, will continue July 22-25 and July 29-31.
In addition to determining national titles and awarding scholarships to the top performers, participants who roll a 300 game or 800 series during the tournament will receive a $100 scholarship from title sponsor Bowling.com.
For this year’s event, the tournament will have four age-based divisions – U20, U15, U12 and U10. The U10 division replaces the U8 division.
Go to BOWL.com/YouthOpen for more information on the Bowling.com Youth Open Championships.