Most of us know that one way to restore a part of bowling back is to focus on the collegiate and youth bowlers. So many younger people, from grade school to college age, bowl, but not on a regular basis. A lot of those who do bowl on a regular basis do not do it for the bowling; rather, they do it for the socialization, the food, the drinks (with or without alcohol), and on some cases, merely for the purpose of getting out of the house/dorm/apartment, voluntarily or not.
The reason why I bring the topic up is because in my bowling league, there are very few youth who appear to be focused on bowling, including me. I love the sport of bowling and as much as I do like bowling for fun, I continue to bowl because I want to better myself; I continue to bowl for the purpose of finally making a single lifetime commitment for once.
I am a little concerned about the fact that so few youth bowlers take it seriously in my area. I know that the collegiate bowlers take it slightly more seriously on average even though I don't know of any in my region of this state, but a lot of kids and teenagers do not take advantage of learning the sport (key word: sport; renting house shoes and one or more house balls do not exactly constitute the sport side of bowling to me). My high school is one of many [across the state and country] which do not offer bowling teams of any sort (no boys' or girls' divisions; no junior varsity or varsity divisions); this could be a contributing factor to the general lack of interest in bowling.
I think the economic deficiency is definitely, without a doubt, a factor in the lack of interest or funding going towards bowling leagues, tournaments, teams, et cetera. Not only has this occurred amongst youth and collegiate bowlers, but certainly also amongst adult bowlers.
In the future, I think I may be planning on becoming a USBC collegiate/youth ambassador or spokesperson and promote the sport in a non-invasive way, just enough to stir up a lot of interest. If not that, I might become a USBC-certified coach, especially for the younger bowlers; teaching the collegiate and youth bowlers fundamentals is so important to help turn bowling into a major success and for the retention of bowlers.
Sorry for the long-winded post; I just love bowling and would hate to watch it go down the drain completely. I keep thinking that one day, I may be the difference between the complete demise of bowling and the revival of bowling, though maybe that is slightly egotistical of me!
What is your take on the importance of collegiate and youth bowling?
HG: 193 (?)
HS: 516 (143-183-190) (?)
Bowled regularly in high school, am on hiatus for college.