State US Bowling Congress Youth Championships a Sure Strike for Grand Rapids
16 Mar, 2009
The 27th Annual Michigan State U.S. Bowling Conference (USBC) Youth Championship gets underway at noon Saturday, March 21st at Eastbrook Lanes and will continue with tournaments at Eastbrook and Grandville-Fairlanes each weekend through May 10.
Over 3,400 youth bowlers from throughout the state will come to Grand Rapids to compete in singles, doubles and team events in 15 performance-based divisions. Athletes range in age from four to 21.
Each bowler competes in one singles, one doubles and up to two team events. Championship standings in each division are determined by an individual's composite scores.
According to Tournament Director Sharon Schildroth, top bowlers in this tournament will be crowned Michigan State USBC Youth Champions and will earn scholarship opportunities.
"Michigan awards more scholarships to youth bowlers than any other state in the country," said Schildroth.
This is the biggest multi-event youth bowling tournament in Michigan. The event rotates throughout the state, landing in West Michigan every four years.
"We have teams coming from as far away as the UP," said Roger Schildroth, president of the Michigan State USBC Youth Association. "We're expecting 855 teams over the course of the tournament. Bowlers typically travel with six to 10 other teams from their area, plus their coaches, parents and family members. That translates to several thousand visitors to West Michigan throughout the eight-week tournament."
According to the West Michigan Sports Commission, estimated economic impact of the event is significant.
"We expect this event to generate about $337,000 for our regional economy," stated WMSC Executive Director Mike Guswiler. "Youth events make a particularly strong impact because participants travel with their families and take advantage of various dining, entertainment and retail opportunities while they're in town."
Opening ceremonies begin at 12:00 noon on the 21st at Eastbrook Lanes with the youngest registered participants – one boy and one girl – throwing out the first ball. Tournament play will continue Saturdays and Sundays (except Easter Sunday), Mar. 21 – May 10, from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Eastbrook Lanes on Lake Eastbrook Blvd. in Kentwood and Fairlanes Recreation Center on Fairlanes Ave. in Grandville.