Kids bowling on Saturday and/or Sunday mornings in an organized and monitored junior bowling program are the future of our sport.
I grew up in a junior bowling program that bowled on Saturday mornings. That was the greatest thing that could have happened because it took me off the streets and away from getting into trouble. My circle of friends changed from the government housing arena to a group bowling in an organized, well-coached, and chaperoned club.
The head coach became my surrogate father and he made sure that we worked hard to remain in the club. Our report cards and all school work went to him first so that our eligibility for continued membership rested in our hands. Very simply, if you wanted to continue in the kids bowling program, you made sure you had passing grades.
From 1960 through 1966, youth bowling was organized nationwide under the American Junior Bowling Congress (AJBC) and later, the Youth Bowling Association (YBA). This would later become the current Young American Bowling Alliance (YABA). Regardless of the governing body, getting kids involved with an organized junior bowling program from a young age helps them to develop into responsible adults having learned about teamwork, organization and taking leadership.
By age groups and divisions, a good program they will have elected officers such as President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. This helps the youngsters to build their self-esteem and develop their sense of responsibility. They are taught bowling etiquette and courtesy, help to increase their math skills learning how to keep a score sheet manually, and learn general respect for each other and the bowling accessories and equipment. Learning how to socialize with their peers is another important aspect of them belonging to a kids bowling program.
It should not be overlooked that with regards to YABA and the United States Bowling Congress (USBC), many events have scholarships as prizes. This means that beginning at an early age, kids can win funds for college. While medals, patches, and trophies may be nice for immediate recognition, winning scholarship money can spur and direct them into thinking about getting a higher education.
Any way you want to look at it, getting children involved with a junior bowling program as early as they show interest can be very beneficial for parents. I know that my mother was very grateful as she remarked quite a few times that when we began taking an interest in bowling, she rested easy because we weren't running around creating mischief. With many of our friends ending up on the wrong side of the law in later years, she had much to be thankful for.