With the continued growth of the Junior Gold program, including another record-setting year for entries in the Junior Gold Championships
presented by Storm, Roto Grip and Master, this year’s championships in Indianapolis will kick off with two days of special events, including an opening ceremony celebration.
Junior Gold membership reached an all-time high for the sixth consecutive year, with nearly 6,500 members, and spots sold for the Junior Gold Championships also hit a record high with more than 3,700.
The Junior Gold program, overseen by the International Bowling Campus Youth Development team, surpassed the 6,000-membership mark last season with 6,200 members and had more than 3,400 youth bowlers qualify for the 2015 Junior Gold Championships.
To accommodate the larger field, along with the families and fans who will attend this year’s tournament, IBC Youth Development will have athlete registration and the trade show that annually opens the Junior Gold Championships at the 73,000-squre-foot Elements Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
This year’s tournament will have the largest trade show in the event’s history, which will run Saturday, July 16, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
“In addition to the trade show, we’ll have outstanding presentations from some of the top coaches in the nation,” IBC Youth Development Managing Director Gary Brown (right) said. “We want to make it a special day for the athletes and their families, and provide them the opportunity to learn more about the sport and what it takes to be successful on the lanes.”
The Storm Seminars will feature USBC Gold coach Hank Boomershine‘s presentation titled “The Time is NOW”, and 2016 USBC Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kloempken will have a “How to Build the Proper Arsenal” seminar.
Each seminar will be presented three times, as Saturday also will be a practice day for competitors, but space will be limited so those wishing to attend will need to register at BOWL.com/Junior Gold under the Competitor’s Guide tab.
Storm also will host the Storm Day in The Park on Sunday from 2:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., a free event that will take place at White River State Park.
On Sunday, the Junior Gold Championships Opening Ceremony will be held at Victory Field, the home of minor league baseball team Indianapolis Indians. During the last few years, the event has held a closing ceremony but not all bowlers remained by the tournament’s end.
The opening ceremony will include a state-by-state athlete walkout, along with 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 have live music, contests, giveaways, and appearances by special celebrity bowlers and will be topped off by a fireworks show.
“Junior Gold continues to grow and that’s a great thing for bowling,” USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy (left) said.
“All six divisions this year are showing sustainable growth, which is a great indicator of where the program is headed. The local coordinators are driving the program to new heights and we certainly appreciate their passion and dedication. These kids are the future we continue to talk about and work for everyday, which makes it really fun to be a part of this outstanding youth program.”
In 2016, CBS Sports Network will televise the boy and girls finals of each division (U12, U15 and U20) of the Junior Gold Championships presented by Storm, Roto Grip and Master. The finals will air as a five-week series, starting Tuesday, July 26, and will include the title matches of the U15 and U12 divisions at the inaugural USA Bowling National Championships.
The first Junior Gold tournament, called the USA Junior Gold National Bowling Championships, was held in 1998 at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., and drew 538 participants.
To learn more about the Junior Gold program and the Junior Gold Championships, click here.
New schedule part of Junior Gold Championships improvements