After Sweden’s Jesper Svensson
bowled a 300 game at the World Bowling Youth Championships on Wednesday, it set off a firestorm of criticism as to how the four-time PBA champion could be allowed to compete in a youth tournament.
People also questioned why Junior Team USA members Anthony Simonsen (two PBA titles) and Wesley Low (three PBA regional titles) were competing as well.
Pictured right is the author, Lucas Wiseman, who has covered bowling events around the world for more than a decade. You can follow him on Twitter at @Lucas_Wiseman.
The answer is simple. The only qualification to bowl the World Youth Championships is age, nothing else. According to World Bowling’s rules, “the players in WYC must not have reached the age of 21 years on 1st January of the year of the championships.”
Just because a young player is so talented that they can beat players at the professional level should not exclude them from competing for a world youth title.
Professionals compete alongside amateurs in other sports at the Olympics and other regional competitions like the Pan American Games.
The bottom line is if you want to be the best in the world, you have to beat the best in the world. Shutting out players like Svensson, Simonsen and Low only lessens the credibility of the championships.
It’s not the players who decide who competes, they just compete. And it’s wrong for people to take shots at these talented young players on social media for competing. Svensson took to the USBC Facebook page to defend himself from the criticism.
“I am sorry to make you guys upset, but it’s not me who makes the rules,” Svensson said. “I am just honored to be young enough to represent my youth national team.”
People on social media are so quick to hate when they should be celebrating a player’s success instead.
I say congrats to Svensson on his 300 game and congrats to Low on winning the singles title Wednesday night at the WYC.
They’ve earned my respect for their performance on the lanes. I hope they’ve earned yours, too.
By Lucas Wiseman