Jun
16

One Month to Gold: USBC Junior Gold Championships

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The Junior Gold Championships are just around the corner. This year they will be held on July 11 – 19 in Indianapolis.

bowling-junior-gold-2009

Gender Specific Squads. This year the squads will be separated by gender which is a first for the tournament. From what I’ve heard this is because guys tend to have higher rev rates and play deeper inside making it extremely difficult for the girls who are playing the outside part of the lane. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and if they will continue with this format in the future.

Qualifying Format. The tournament is broken up into 3 days where bowlers will compete at three different bowling centers.  Each day is comprised of six games and a different oil pattern.  Bowlers move to different lane pairs after every game.  This is important in case there is a particular part of the house that tends to score higher than another.  Bowling this style format makes it pretty fair as bowlers will be competing on short, medium and long oil patterns, so no one style of play will be favored over another (theoretically).

Semifinals and beyond. The qualifying round cuts to 150 guys and 78 girls.  Bowlers in a tie situation for a bottom spot will advance as well.  Bowlers in the semifinals will roll another 12 games at the host center (Woodland Bowl).  From there 16 guys and girls will advance to match play.  During match play another 16 games will be bowled where they will fight to get on Team USA.  Top 4 from each division make the team while the remaining 2 will be chosen by the selection committee.

Equipment. Being limited to six bowling balls, it is important that there is some consideration for each ball.  I find that most bowlers will bring a spare ball leaving room for just 5 additional balls.  Ensure you have a variety of surfaces and layouts as having balls that are too similar could be detrimental to your score.  I’ve seen a lot of youth carrying all sanded or all polished arsenals lately, which is pretty concerning.  Additionally bringing some scuff pads to adjust the surfaces of your balls on the fly is a great idea.  There will be times to practice on the tournament condition beforehand so experiment during those sessions to determine what surfaces work for each ball.

Having different slide soles for your bowling shoes will help as well because the bowling approach at each center will likely behave differently.

Centers and Lane Play Considerations.Woodland Bowl, Expo Bowl and Western Bowl are the bowling centers for this years tournament.  All the centers have 80 synthetic lanes with Brunswick Scoring Systems.  Expo Bowl is a two sided house so it will be interesting to see how that affects the scoring if at all.  The other centers are just a straight 80 lanes. Woodland Bowl has what is called a Pro Anvilane surface which tends to soften the backend reaction of the ball.  In this case a polished ball with a fairly aggressive layout might be advantageous to get the ball back to the pocket.

Practice Sessions. It is important to learn every bit of information from each practice session.  Once you get comfortable in a particular part of the lane, try experimenting with other parts to determine where you might move in case your shot diminishes.  Watching other bowlers can definitely help, but ensure you focus first and foremost on what you plan on doing.  Having a notepad or someone to take notes for you can pay dividends as bowlers often forget things they learn while practicing.

Home Preparation. With one month to go the most important things to work on during practice is targeting and spares.  Your physical game shouldn’t be changing much aside from minor tweaks as anything learned now wouldn’t be perfected in time for the tournament.  Practicing on similar patterns is a must and understanding your equipment will pay huge dividends if you plan on doing well.

Best wishes to all the youth bowling at this years Junior Gold Championship!

PS If you need some help on targeting and lane play Joe Slowinski & Del Warren have some excellent videos posted on showing how to attack short, medium and long patterns.  You can check that out by clicking here.

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Comments

  1. Frank Tornabene says:

    Hello and thanks for the great write up that can only help us first timers…. My daughter is competing in the 12U division and I have yet to locate anything on the oil patterns that will be used for the yutes lol. Any info you can share would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks Frank

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