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Where is high school bowling headed?

Ed Townsend - Columnist
Posted 3/11/21

Last week, I talked about the success high school bowling has had at Hancock Central School so this week I researched what is going on nationally with high school bowling.

USBC has a goal of a day …

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Where is high school bowling headed?


Last week, I talked about the success high school bowling has had at Hancock Central School so this week I researched what is going on nationally with high school bowling.

USBC has a goal of a day when high school bowling will be available in every state. Considering how far high school bowling has come over the years, that goal is closer than ever to becoming a reality.

High school bowling has made incredible strides since the first high school league hit the lanes in the 1930s. Thousands of schools across the country now offer high school bowling competition.

USBC High School actively offers guidance to all levels of high school bowling programs by providing rules, instruction, membership, awards and industry resources to ensure the success of high school bowling nationwide.

To help achieve those goals, USBC High School maintains strong relationships with the National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS), state athletic associations, the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America (BPAA) and USBC Coaching, as well as providing a stepping stone to further opportunities such as college bowling and the USBC Junior Gold program.

Whether you're a student, parent, school administrator, high school state athletic association official, state proprietor association representative or bowling industry leader, USBC High School is your ONE resource that will help you to create and maintain high school bowling programs.

Beginning with the 2020-2021 USBC bowling season, the age eligibility for USBC Youth membership will change from 20 to 18. This means that bowlers are eligible for USBC Youth membership if they have not turned 18, prior to August 1, 2020. High school bowlers who are not eligible to hold USBC Youth membership, but still want to certify as USBC members during their interscholastic season may do so, by purchasing a USBC Adult membership.

USBC Youth membership (National) costs $4 and provides the following benefits: USBC Youth Membership card.USBC official average (minimum of 12 games); Access to the Find A Member feature on BOWL.com; Eligible to bowl in USBC certified tournaments; Eligible to apply for all USBC scholarships; Eligible to apply for the Dexter High School All-American Team; Eligible to purchase USBC Youth Honor Scores (300 game, 800 series, 11 in a row).

To obtain membership, please contact your local center. Membership will be processed using the new USBC Youth processing system, with the league type classified as Scholastic High School. The member is responsible for providing end-of-season average information to the processor.

Looking for information about high school bowling? The USBC High School Guide is what you need. This informative, easy-to-use handbook includes everything you'll need to start a high school bowling program in your area such as: suggested playing rules, certifying post-season events through USBC, future opportunities for high school athletes and more. A great resource for school administrators, coaches and athletes.

This collaboration from USBC High School and USBC Coaching and Certification has everything needed to help grow your high school bowling team. From fundamentals to team drills, this guide offers the tools to aid any coach or volunteer looking to elevate their high school team to the next level.

Since high school bowling is just beginning to be recognized as a serious competitive sport in the high schools, there are very few experienced school staff members trained to either instruct or coach bowling. Currently, certified volunteers from local bowling centers, pro shops and membership organizations are being utilized.

USBC Coaching and Certification provides coaches of all levels the materials to help them learn how to coach young bowlers.

The USBC wants to ensure that all high school bowlers meet amateur eligibility requirements so they can enjoy the sport. But since rules about eligibility and awards for high school athletes are set at the state level, you should always check with your state organization to make sure you or your team is doing the right thing. Contact your state representative to find out which organization determines rules for high school athletes in your state.

Ed's Outlook

1st PBA National

Junior Champions

Jillian Martin and Spencer Robarge became the first PBA Jr. National Champions, each earning $7,500 in SMART Scholarships along with their titles. Martin won the girls division with a victory over Victoria Varano and Robarge defeated Nate Purches to win the boys division.

After 16-year-old Varano finished with a 246 game, Martin, also 16, needed two strikes in the 10th frame to win the girls division. Martin rolled all three strikes, giving her six in a row to finish with a 257 game and the title.

Martin, who finished second in the 2021 PWBA ITRC Classic in January, was the No. 2 seed after 10 games of match play, then defeated Alyssa Ballard to earn a spot in the televised finals against top-seeded Varano.

In the boys division title match, No. 1 seed Robarge, 18, posted a 227 game that held up when 17-year-old Purches, needing to fill 21 pins in the 10th frame, left the 4-7 on his first shot.

Following the PBA Jr. National Championship victories by Martin and Robarge, Purches teamed with Kyle Troup to win the Pro/Jr. Doubles Championship, combining to roll the first eight strikes in the title match before Purches left a 10 pin in the ninth frame.

Troup and Purches defeated Clara Guerrero and Martin in the championship match. In a five-frame semifinal match, Troup and Purches beat Jesper Svensson and Robarge by two pins, 98-96. Guerrero and Martin were one shot away from five-frame perfection, rolling 148 to eliminate Danielle McEwan and Varano.

The PBA Jr. National Championship began in September of 2020 with youth bowlers competing in five regions around the United States. The top 20 bowlers (two boys and two girls from each region) advanced to match play, held Feb. 20 in Jupiter, Fla. After 10 games of match play, the top seeds from each division (Robarge and Varano) advanced to the televised finals. Their opponents, Purches and Martin, advanced to the finals through a modified stepladder following match play.


Bowlero Jupiter - Jupiter, Fla., Girls Division - No. 2 Martin def. No. 1 Varano, 257-246, Boys Division - No. 1 Robarge def. No. 2 Purches, 227-214, PRO/JR. DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH SCORES, Semifinal 1 - Guerrero/Martin def. McEwan/Varano, 148-87 (five-frame match)

Semifinal 2 - Troup/Purches def. Svensson/Robarge, 98-96 (five-frame match)

Championship - Troup/Purches def. Guerrero/Martin, 268-197.

The Bowling Tip

By Mike Luongo

The gap between league bowler and the elite professional bowler grows larger each year.

Some league bowlers routinely average 230-plus on lane conditions that are engineered by bowling centers to allow recreational bowlers to get maximum pleasure from their league experience by carrying inflated averages that mean absolutely nothing in the real bowling world.

The USBC does absolutely nothing to preserve the integrity of the game. They only minimally regulate bowling balls and allow bowling centers to put out conditions that are so forgiving that honor scores are really a thing of the past as they are so common today for league bowlers.

When these same league bowlers go to the USBC Nationals each year, they are routinely deflated when they have to bowl on a lane condition that requires accuracy and repeat ability to yield high scores.

On the other hand, you have the PBA. Each year the Professional Bowlers Association comes up with new and more difficult oil patterns to challenge the game's elite players.

The newest patterns, introduced a couple of years ago, challenge the players to unheard of degrees. From the 32 feet Wolf pattern that reduce the greatest players in the world to using non-aggressive urethane equipment, to the 54 feet Badger pattern that leaves only eight feet of friction past the pattern for the ball to react.

The new patterns have put elite bowlers in the unenviable position of looking like rank amateurs on televised matches that are routinely viewed by league bowlers who have no understanding of the impact of oil patterns on bowling performance.

Something needs to happen at this critical fork in the road for bowling. Either the USBC needs to start regulating oil patterns at the league level, or the PBA needs to start putting out variations of house shots and let the best bowlers in the world carry 260 averages.

As putting out tougher house shots would undoubtedly result in the loss of a large percentage of house bowlers. The PBA softening up the pro patterns is really the only viable alternative.

Mike Luongo is a Certified IBPSIA Pro Shop Operator, Master Instructor, USBC Silver Level Coach and an Advisor-Special Events Assistant with the Storm and Roto Grip Bowling Ball Company. Have a question, email him at mikel@stormbowling.com.

The 700 Club

Kevin Stackhouse in the Tuesday Kiamesha Lanes Mixed Firefighter league scored a 759 off single games of 279, 268, 212 while Kyle Giordano lit up the 700 club scoreboard with a 779 scoring single game scores of 248, 279, 252.

In the Monday Men's league at Kiamesha Lanes Keith Smith scored a 703 with single game scores of 248, 260, 195 and Paul Minton had a 719 with single game scores of 227, 213, 279. 700 scores in the Friday Mixed league included Pedro Agapito III with a 734 off single games of 239, 269, 226, Philip Norris a 704 with single games of 223, 217, 264.

Up at the Hancock Fox Bowling Center in the Thursday Night 3 league Dale Conklin scored a 715 with single game scores of 211, 278, 226.

Local Scores

Kiamesha Lanes

Monday Men's

Joe Smith 237, 615, Rich Bradford 269, 654, Kyle Matthews 242, Bob Feeney 229, Bobby Sze 234, 635, Frank Scuderi 245, 632, William Schubert 235, 644, Russell Bivins 233, 654, Bobby Patel 223, 602, Vinny Collura 244, 230, 649, Gene Smith 226, Jim VanAken 236, 279, 685, Jonathan Wilhelm 221, 224, 624, Jaryl Scott 232, 637.

Tuesday Mixed Firefighter

William VanAken 232, 625, Karen Martin 181, 504, Philip Norris 234, 653, Steve Belgiovene 221, Jonathan Wilhelm 238, 664, Laresko Niifa 235, Anne Kaplan 178, Keith Smith 226, 612, Trasey Barres 185, 509, Carena Collura 171, Stanley Gilmore 267, 231, 698.

Friday Mixed

Greg Kuchar 225, 626, Bill Schubert 227, 233, 665, Kevin Stackhouse 258, 225, 699, Bob Sze 236, 245, 693, Esther Barber 178, Lauren Blume 176, Lisa Cartwright 185, Susette Goldsmith 179, Anne Kaplan 203, 516, Michele Macedonio 180, Wendy Swan 208, Naomi Sze 188.

Fox Bowling Center

Wed. Independent

Andrew Bullis 237, 608, Brian Drumm 232, 603, Mike Dufton 220, 613, Randy Evanitsky Jr. 222, 613, Chad Gardepe 217, 616, Bill Gleim 213, 248, 225, 685, Rob Johnson 236, Dan Keesler 233, 601, Donnie Marino 266, 667, Mitch Persbacker 225, 247, 676, Dick Price 245, 648, Zach Russell 238, Scott Wahl 227, 264, 696, Roger Widmann 238.

Thursday Night 3

Nick Dunlap 231, Scott Ellis 221, 634, Bill Gleim 237, 228, 666, Dan Keesler 218, 601.

Friday Couples

Andy Bullis 217, 215, 635, Samantha Card 198, Dale Conklin 234, 648, Janet Ellis 192, 515, Scott Ellis 240, 262, 678, Gino Jones 216, 224, 619, Mindy McElroy 509, Brianna Meres 215, 189, 563, Tia Robinson 183, 500, Scott Wahl 219, 210, 616, Dan Wormuth 222, 630, Jay Wormuth 235, 635.

Sat. Youth Mixed

Landon Fuller 124, 139, 125, Ashbee Gately 115, 116, Olivia Johnson 116, 114, Preston Johnson 105, Landyn Robinson 134, 117, 122, Carter Wormuth 123, 114, 122, Cooper Wormuth 137, 139, 144.

Sunday Mixed Fun

Landyn Fuller (youth) 120, 129, 125, Anthony Gately 232, Garry Mills 563, Gabe Rynearson (youth) 211, 212, 570, Fred Shakelton 564.

Ed Townsend is a Public Relations Consultant to the sport of bowling and brings over 60-years of sports journalism experience in writing and compiling the information for this column. If you have league or tournament information, bowl a 300 game or 800 series, let Ed know at 845-439-8177, email to bght75@gmail.com or fax at 845-205-4474. View this column and Ed's photos at http://bght.blogspot.com We are also on Facebook and Twitter.


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