Junior Gold Championships to Get Underway in Cleveland with Record-Setting Field

by Aaron Smith, USBC Communications 0

ARLINGTON, Texas – The 2017 Junior Gold Championships presented by the Brands of Ebonite International will have a record field of approximately 3,500 youth bowlers when the 20th edition of the premier event begins competition Monday in Cleveland.

The Junior Gold Championships features the top youth bowlers in the country seeking national titles, spots on Junior Team USA and part of a $320,000 scholarship fund, also a tournament record. The tournament has 20-and-under, 15-and-under and 12-and-under divisions for both boys and girls, for six total divisions.

The tournament will take place in seven centers across the greater Cleveland area – Freeway Lanes of Parma, Wickliffe Lanes, Yorktown Lanes, AMF Brookgate Lanes, Game of Mentor, Roseland Lanes and Game of Wickliffe.

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, 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 will be a double-elimination bracket to determine the TV finalists. Each match will be two games with total pinfall determining the winner.

The finals in each division will be taped Saturday, July 22, for broadcast on CBS Sports Network. The U12 finals will air July 25 at 8 p.m. Eastern, the U15 finals will air Aug. 1 at 8 p.m. Eastern and the U20 finals will air Aug. 8 at 8 p.m. Eastern.

BowlTV will provide livestream coverage of the Junior Gold Championships, starting with the advancers round in each division, until the TV finalists are determined.

Five of the six champions from the 2016 event in Indianapolis return in 2017, including three participants looking to defend their titles.

Jeffery Mann of West Lafayette, Indiana, will return in hopes of adding a second U20 title to his collection, while both U15 champions, Solomon Salama of Beverly Hills, California, and Mabel Cummins of Elburn, Illinois, also return in the same age-based division.

Both U12 champions, Edgar Burgos of Dorado, Puerto Rico, and Hannah Diem of Seminole, Florida, will move up to the U15 division in 2017.

Several competitors at the Junior Gold Championships also will earn spots on 2018 Junior Team USA.

The top four boys and top four girls in the U20 division after 26 games of qualifying automatically qualify for 2018 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, 2018 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 Jan. 1, 2018.

Prior to the start of competition Monday, competitors will have the opportunity to experience a trade show, the tournament’s Opening Ceremony and prepare for the 2017 event with the official practice sessions.

The trade show will take place Saturday, July 15, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. at Huntington Convention Center Hall C, while the Opening Ceremony will be Sunday, July 16, at the Cleveland Public Auditorium with doors opening at 7 p.m. Practice will take place both days.

The 2017 Bowling.com Youth Open Championships also will take place in Cleveland, starting July 13.

This year’s event will be held at Game of Mentor on July 13-14, 21-24 and 29-30 and feature four age-based divisions – U10, U12, U15 and U20 – in team, doubles, singles and all-events competition.

For more information on the Junior Gold Championships presented by the Brands of Ebonite International, visit BOWL.com/JuniorGold. To learn more about the Bowling.com Youth Open Championships, visit BOWL.com/YouthOpen.

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