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by Debbie Haggerty

Post season has officially started for collegiate bowling. The month starts off with the NJCAA Championships which was swept by Schenectady Community College. The following weekend was the Intercollegiate Team and Singles Championship Sectional Qualifiers. We had 142 of our 144 teams accept the sectional bids for this season. This was great since the last few seasons we have been in the upper 130’s. We also had over 1180 spots sold for the Sectional Singles Qualifier. This number once again set a record for singles entries at the sectional qualifier. Pretty exciting to see all of these numbers continue to grow. We spend most the time after sectionals getting things ready for the National Championships which will be held in Wichita, KS. This city is one of the best host cities we have for collegiate bowling as the community has two strong programs locally which are embraced by the community. One final note we are very excited to announce that CBS Sports Network and USBC Collegiate agreed to terms on to show the ITC’s once again on TV. In addition we will once again have expanded coverage for the team shows to 90 minutes and the singles shows will be 60 minutes. The airings will be: May 4 8pm Eastern – Women’s Singles May 11 8pm Eastern – Men’s Singles May 18 8pm Eastern – Women’s Team May 25 8pm Eastern – Men’s Team

The Junior Gold Championships are stronger than ever and on pace to break all records that were set last year. In March, we surpassed the total number of Junior Gold memberships for all of 2014. With more than 250 competitions left this year, we look to have more than 2600 goal for advancers.

Pepsi Youth Championships
A few states have made some changes to their rules due to increased participation or weather. As changes are made, rules are reviewed and then placed online to show the updates. All states have now completed their second level of competition and many have conducted their state championships. As participation numbers come in, Pepsi allocation is being sent to SMART to help award scholarships to the bowlers.

Youth Open Championships Registration for the 2015 Youth Open Championships is open and entries are slowly arriving. Although numbers are down from this time last year, the handicap option seems to be working and bringing in entries.

Youth Open Championships West Region
Registration for the 2015 Youth Open Championships West Region has opened and entries are as expected. Entries for this event are expected to start coming in towards the middle of May.

All American Family Tournament
The All American Family Tournament qualifying has been going on for a while and entries seem to be steadily rolling in. Although lower than expected, the number of spots sold and advancers does increase each week.

Western Territory Summary: 78 centers were visited during the month of March. The northern area of Los Angeles, CA and the state of Utah were the destinations. Of the centers that certified 0 youth, 24 were visited. Of the centers that certified less than 50 youth, 32 were visited. Of the centers that certified more than 50 youth, 13 were visited. 9 centers were unclassified. There was a tremendous amount of interest from many of the centers in the state of Utah to increase youth league participation and encourage participation in local, regional, and national tournaments as well. The surprising thing was that the majority of these centers came from outside of the Salt Lake City area. North of Salt Lake City centers were very interested in finding ways to get into the local schools. Two centers, in Brigham City and Logan, were very interested in hosting their own Teacher Development Day or Appreciation Day in order to promote the program to local educators. There was also a big push to start a bowling team at Utah State University. USA Bowling garnered a lot of interest in the southern part of the state where competitive bowling is ramped up a bit. Not a lot of high school teams in the area, but the centers are very competitive and love the format.

The trip to the Northern area of Los Angeles, CA was unlike the previous two to the City of Angels. While there were plenty of youth directors who were on vacation, many others went out of their way to schedule specific meeting times. League structure and ideas were popular topics. Many of these centers were running leagues for the first time in a long time or were just looking for ideas to shake things up. Many centers were also looking to add to their coaching roster. Trying to find coaches in this area can be extremely difficult, so knowing that there is a free coaching seminar for those interested definitely peaked their interest. Future opportunities for Bowler’s Ed in both of the states mentioned above are high possibilities with even one center working with us to get into the L.A. Unified School District which could be a huge opportunity for all of the centers in that area. Interest in USA Bowling Leagues has been sparse, however, many centers are beginning to be introduced to the topic and are understanding the reasoning behind it. A few leads have been generated and the next step will be to follow up with those leads and make sure that they commit to implementing the program.

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