INDIANAPOLIS – The top young bowlers from across the country are making their way to Indianapolis for the 2021 Junior Gold Championships.
The 2021 event started Monday with the official practice session in the 20-and-under division, and this year’s edition will run until July 17. More than 3,500 bowlers have qualified for the 2021 event, which is being held across six centers in the Indianapolis area.
Bowlers in four age-based divisions for boys and girls – U12, U15, U18 and U20 – will be competing for part of the largest scholarship fund in tournament history – $500,000 – with additional money be added from unassigned funds in the International Bowling Campus Youth Development SMART account.
Spots on Junior Team USA and Junior Team USA’s Developmental Team also will be up grabs in Indianapolis.
BowlTV.com will provide livestream coverage of every round of the 2021 event, including the stepladder finals in each division. Coverage will be limited to four of the six centers during the qualifying rounds for the U12, U15 and U18 divisions.
The centers being used for the 2021 Junior Gold Championships include All Star Bowl, Championship Lanes, Expo Bowl, Strike Force Lanes, Western Bowl and Woodland Bowl. The stepladder finals for each division will take place at Expo Bowl.
The U20 division will compete from July 6-9, with all competitors bowling four four-game qualifying blocks over two days to determine the players moving on to the advancers round.
Advancers will bowl an additional five games before a second cut is made, and a final five-game block will determine the 16 athletes in the boys and girls divisions advancing to the double-elimination match-play bracket.
Bracket matches will consist of two games, with total pinfall determining the winner. Three players will emerge from bracket play to compete in the stepladder finals to determine the champion. The two finalists in the match-play bracket will bowl to determine the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds for the stepladder, while the winner of the Elimination Bracket will be the No. 3 seed.
With the finals in each division being broadcast on BowlTV.com, the top overall seed for the stepladder would have to be defeated twice in the true double-elimination format.
The championship rounds in the U20 division will be held July 9 at 1 p.m. Eastern.
With the maximum age for United States Bowling Congress Youth membership changing to 18 with the start of the 2020-2021 season, the U20 division was moved to the first week of the event to break away the adult competitors from the youth divisions (U12, U15 and U18).
The Junior Gold Trade Show and registration for U12, U15 and U18 athletes will take place July 10 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. This year’s trade show will feature more than 90 total vendors, including 60 colleges and universities.
I Am Bowling, powered by Logo Infusion, is serving as the official jersey provider for the 2021 Junior Gold Championships. They will be giving competitors the chance to pick up their jerseys July 9 and 10 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
There will be no opening ceremony for the 2021 Junior Gold Championships.
The three youth divisions will have their official practice sessions from July 9-11, with competition running from July 12-17.
The U15 and U18 divisions will feature the same format as the U20 division. The qualifying rounds will be contested over four days, however, compared to two days for U20.
The U12 division also will have four four-game qualifying rounds over four days, before the first cut is made, and advancers will bowl an additional four games to determine the top eight competitors for double-elimination match play.
The stepladder finals in the U12 (10 a.m. Eastern), U15 (2 p.m. Eastern) and U18 (6 p.m. Eastern) divisions all will take place July 17.
In addition to the Junior Gold Championships, the Bowling.com Youth Open Championships also will be taking place in Indianapolis at All Star Bowl.
The Youth Open Championships, a non-qualifying tournament open to all USBC Youth bowlers, has competition in singles, doubles and four-person team. Squads will be held July 7-9, 16-18 and 24-25. U18 will be the oldest division for the event.