ARLINGTON, Texas - The nation's top youth bowlers will descend upon the Detroit metro area starting this weekend to compete for nearly $275,000 in scholarships and spots on Junior Team USA at the 2013 North Pointe Junior Gold Championships.
The first round of competition gets underway Monday with a record 2,328 United States Bowling Congress youth members eligible to participate in the event, which is presented by Ebonite, Columbia 300, Track and Hammer.
The North Pointe Junior Gold Championships will take place at six bowling centers in suburban Detroit. The boys competition will be held at AMF Rose Bowl in Roseville and Sterling Lanes and Sunnybrook Lanes in Sterling Heights. The girls will compete at Astro Lanes in Madison Heights and 5 Star Lanes and Bowl One in Sterling Heights. The final two days for all competitors will be at Sunnybrook Lanes.
The competition will begin with 15 games of qualifying from July 15-17 for all participants. One out of every seven bowlers will advance to the next round, where an additional five games will be bowled July 18. After 20 games, as many as 64 bowlers in each division will advance to five final qualifying games the evening of July 18 before the field is cut to the top 16 in each division for the double-elimination match-play bracket July 19.
Bowlers will compete in four divisions - 20-and-under boys and girls, and 15-and-under boys and girls - and the format will be the same for each division for the entire tournament. In bracket play, matches will consist of two games with the highest pinfall advancing.
All four of the event's defending champions will return this year with their sights set on taking home another trophy. AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill., and Robyn Renslow of Brentwood, Calif., won the 20-and-under division, while Bradley Crouse of Nazareth, Pa., and Breanna Clemmer of Clover, S.C., won the 15-and-under division last year.
BOWL.com's BowlTV will have free live streaming of the event starting July 18 at 8 a.m. Eastern and continuing until the champions are crowned the afternoon of July 19.
Automatic Junior Team USA spots will be awarded to the top two boys and top two girls in the 20-and-under division after 25 games of qualifying. Additional automatic spots will be given to the winner and runner-up after bracket play in the 20-and-under division. If one or both of the finalists in the bracket already earned a spot through qualifying, the automatic spot becomes an at-large selection.
The National Selection Committee will select two boys and two girls from the match-play field, with all bowlers, including 15 and under, eligible for at-large selection. The final eight spots - four boys and four girls - on Junior Team USA will be determined at the USBC Team USA Trials in January.
The North Pointe Junior Gold Championships has a history that dates to 1998, when the event was held at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev. That event drew 538 participants.
This year's event has sold 2,328 spots, shattering the previous record of 2,102 set last year in Indianapolis.
For more information on the event, visit BOWL.com/JuniorGold.
USBC YOUTH OPEN BEGIN THURSDAY
The United States Bowling Congress Youth Open Championships begin Thursday at Sterling Lanes in Sterling Heights, Mich. The event takes place Thursday through Saturday and then returns July 18-28.
The non-qualifying tournament is patterned after the USBC Open Championships and USBC Women's Championships. Youth bowlers compete in team (four players), doubles, singles and all-events.
The tournament, which will award an estimated $90,000 in scholarships this year, has four age-based divisions - U8, U12, U15 and U20.