Effective August 1, 2020 - USBC has lowered the MAXIMUM age for USBC Youth membership.Announced by USBC on July 25, 2019, the decision to lower the maximum youth age from 20 to 18 (with agreement from the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America and the International Bowling Campus Youth Committee) aligns bowling with other youth sports. For the 2020-2021 season, this change directly impacts approximately 4,000 youth bowlers or 3.3% of the total youth membership. Approximately 10,000 youth bowlers, or 8.2% of the total youth membership, will turn 18 during the bowling season. They will then be required to take the free online training through the U.S. Center for SafeSport in order to continue to bowl in a USBC youth league.
Currently, the Association has 2 centers that have Youth Bowling Programs in operation.Please contact Mr. Monte S. Cano for information regarding the program aboard MCB Camp Pendleton.
Or, contact Ms. Adella Myers for information on the program at Surf Bowl in Oceanside.
Scholarships and the SMART ProgramYOUTH SCHOLARSHIPS
Almost every youth bowling tournament awards scholarships. Youth leagues sometimes offer them at the end of the season as awards. However you earn them, make sure that you keep diligent/accurate records of what you have earned. Many youth bowlers start earning scholarships at age 5! That’s a long time before starting college. So, make sure you keep your records straight! And make a backup of that record as well, just in case. All USBC certified events must submit the scholarship to USBC SMART to be managed. They (USBC SMART) will hold and manage the funds for you.
SMART (Scholarship Management and Account Reporting for Tenpins) Program
On May 19, 2020 SMART expanded their policy on the use of scholarship funds. You can read about the changes HERE. The SMART Policy Manual can be viewed HERE.
In a nut shell, scholarship funds are available for eight years from the date of your high school graduation, or if you have already graduated from high school, eight years from the date you won the scholarship (exceptions may be granted to enlisted military). SMART does not allow expiration date extensions and unused scholarship funds are forfeited upon expiration. Please read the SMART Policy Manual to review what items are approved for your scholarship award, etc..
If you have any trouble accessing your account online, please contact SMART directly at (800) 514-2695 or email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, you can click HERE to manage your personal SMART account.
There are numerous scholarships and awards available, at multiple levels (Local, State and National).
Locally: The Billy Meyer Memorial Scholarship and the North County USBC Association Scholarship can be applied for.
California State USBC has three (3) scholarships.
The $2500 Star of Tomorrow Scholarship, the California USBC $1000 Youth Scholarship, and they have the $1000 Braheme Fmaily Memorial Youth Scholarship Award.
California State USBC also has a California State Youth Honor Awards form for Honor Scores.
More information on California State USBC Scholarships, awards and tournaments can be found HERE.
USBC also has SEVERAL scholarships available. Information on all of them can be found HERE.
TournamentsAll Association tournaments, except for the Fun tournament, allow for youth to earn scholarship money.
The Helen Duval, Pepsi (district and state), and California State Youth Championship tournaments (held at the state level) do the same.
The money saved in a Youth's SMART account is then available for subsequent use when attending college/university schools around the country.
Tournaments run by the California State USBC can be found HERE.
USBC Youth tournaments can be found Here.
As noted on the California State USBC web site, almost all youth bowling tournaments are scholarship events. All USBC certified tournaments require participants to have current USBC membership. With this membership, they are eligible for USBC awards and recognition, at the local, state and national levels. When entering a tournament, make sure to keep good records of how much scholarship money is won and who the tournament director in charge of that event was. All USBC certified events are required to have all scholarship funds processed through the USBC SMART program, in which case the participant will receive a receipt of the award from USBC. In the event you do not get a receipt from USBC, that is why you want to keep good records. Tournaments that are not USBC certified may offer scholarships, but again, be sure to note the date, location, tournament name and who the tournament director was. Maybe even keep a copy (paper/photo) of the entry form and results.
USBC Youth EligibilityUSBC youth membership is open to those who have NOT reached their 19th birthday as of August 1, 2020 of the current season and have maintained compliance with USBC Youth Rule 400.
Youth bowlers may not bowl in any activity (substitute or pace included), which offers any of the following as prizes:
- Cash or bonds
- Merchandise exceeding $500 in value
- The youth signs the USBC Singles Competition Prize Waiver and the competition agrees to award the youth's prize in the form of a scholarship; or
- The youth signs the USBC Singles Competition Prize Waiver waiving his/her rights to any prizes which may be in violation of this rule.
Note: There are no limits on scholarship amounts or entry fees (must be paid directly to the tournament director/manager) and reimbursement of actual travel expenses into the next higher level of competition or any tournament or event. (Receipts must be provided upon request.) The prizes authorized by a state high school athletic association or collegiate athletic association recognized by USBC and USBC Collegiate are not subject to the limitations of this rule.
Rule 400 revised for Youth Bowling AwardsThe United States Bowling Congress Board of Directors has approved the modification of Youth Membership Eligibility Rule 400, effective immediately, to expand the awards deemed acceptable under the terms of USBC Youth membership. In addition to previously allowed symbolic awards, USBC Youth members are now eligible to be awarded bowling equipment, gift certificates, apparel and other merchandise prizes with a total value not greater than $500 in any one event, excluding scholarships.
The modifications also allow for USBC Youth members to compete in singles competition where cash and/or bonds are awarded, as well as merchandise prizes exceeding $500 in total in any one event, but must waive rights to these awards by signing and completing the USBC Prize Waiver form prior to their participation in that competition.
Acceptance of awards of cash or bonds of any amount or any merchandise prizes with a total value higher than $500 per event remain prohibited for youth members under USBC's revised Rule 400. Violations of the terms of Rule 400 could result in the loss or suspension of youth membership.
There also remains no limit on the value of scholarships that can be awarded in youth competition. The scholarship funds from USBC certified events and leagues will continue to be required to be deposited with USBC's SMART program. USBC Youth members may be awarded scholarships from singles competition in which cash and/or bonds are awarded. “The USBC Board determined that the former Rule 400 placed unnecessary restrictions on everyone associated with USBC Youth membership and concluded the best course of action to alleviate this issue was to modify Rule 400 effective immediately,” USBC President Michael Carroll said. The previous version of Rule 400 intended to protect the current and future interscholastic sports eligibility of USBC Youth members through the most restrictive interpretations and limitations. The USBC Board concluded that placing these restrictions on all USBC Youth members was unnecessary due to the lack of uniform eligibility standards for interscholastic sports nationally.
"The new structure of USBC allows for addressing of significant issues to be handled in an expedited manner," said USBC Chief Executive Officer Roger Dalkin. “The previous version of Rule 400 placed undue and unintended restrictions on USBC Youth members, league and association coordinators and proprietors. The USBC Board modified Rule 400 to address these restrictions and expand acceptable awards that promote and enhance the participation in youth bowling.”
The USBC Board concluded that compliance with local/state interscholastic eligibility rules and policies is the responsibility of the individual member and his/her legal guardian. However, USBC will continue to educate USBC Youth members and their legal guardians that competing in USBC certified competitions and acceptance of some awards now acceptable under Rule 400 could jeopardize individual member's interscholastic sports amateur eligibility.
These changes do not affect the USBC Youth High Score Awards program.
“USBC's Youth membership program, certified tournaments and leagues, as well as USBC's dedication to the growth of high school and collegiate bowling, offer youth of all ages many choices to be active in the sport of bowling,” said Mitch Mitchell, chairman of the USBC Youth Committee.
For help with interpretation of the USBC youth eligibility Rule 400, contact USBC's Rules department at (800) 514-BOWL, ext. 3155 or visit Bowl.com.
USBC Youth MembershipInformation regarding USBC Youth Membership.
USBC Youth bowling is a unique opportunity to get involved with a lifetime sport.
USBC Youth bowling has membership options designed to meet the needs of all youth bowlers. More than $6 million in annual scholarships are awarded to youth bowlers each season based on academic, leadership and on-lane performances. USBC Youth provides opportunities for coaching and instruction, fun and friendly competition, fair play, teamwork, and leadership development.
If you or your child would like to get involved with a cool sport that anyone can play, and one that helps build their future, join USBC Youth bowling today!
Standard USBC Youth membership is $4. As provided by USBC, this Association also has an additional $7 service fee ($2 to California State USBC & $5 to the local Association) that covers costs associated with the local award programs. This one membership has three upgrade options: U12 Junior Gold ($10), U15/U17/U20 Junior Gold ($30) and Bowlopolis ($3.50).
- Membership options
Bowlopolis upgrade options
FREE Bowlopolis upgrade
- Junior Gold upgrade options (U12/U15/U17/U20)
- Membership FAQ
- Youth league poster
- Special Olympics
The USBC offers several ways to process youth memberships through associations and centers:
IBC Youth Department
800-514-BOWL, ext. 8426
Junior Gold membership and tournament
800-514-BOWL, ext. 8426
Youth Open and Pepsi Youth tournaments
800-514-BOWL, ext. 8426
I'm working on more!