ARLINGTON, Texas – International Bowling Campus Youth Development has canceled its national youth championships events, including the Junior Gold Championships presented by Hammer, scheduled for July in Las Vegas.
The cancellation of events includes the USA Bowling National Championships, the Bowling.com Youth Open Championships, and the Survivor tournament.
More than 4,000 youths already had qualified for the events, set to take place at seven bowling centers in Las Vegas from July 8-26.
“All of us at IBC Youth understand and share in the disappointment, as July is our time to celebrate youth bowling with the athletes, families, coaches, and volunteers,” said Gary Brown, IBC Youth Managing Director. “But this summer is the time to ensure the focus is on the safety and welfare of our bowling families.”
The COVID-19 pandemic already has had a damaging financial impact on families throughout the country and likely will affect the ability of many athletes to attend. Others may choose not to attend out of travel concerns, and IBC Youth does not feel it is proper to put any additional stress on our advancers’ families.
“We appreciate everyone’s understanding and support as we navigate through this,” USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy said. “The tournaments already were impacted as Junior Gold local qualifiers and USA Bowling regional qualifying events could not be held in the past month, which was the right thing to do as we protect our families.”
Over the next few weeks, every 2020 Junior Gold qualifier will have their qualifying fee ($100, $150 or $200) deposited into their SMART account. IBC Youth will add an additional $70,000 to the scholarship pool, which will be distributed evenly to the advancers.
Refunds for Spectator Passes, along with Youth Open and Survivor entry fees, also will be processed during this time, and any tournament coordinator who was unable to conduct their event will have their entry fee refunded.
All scholarships and refunds will be completed by the end of April.
IBC Youth considered postponing the events, but once we looked at the uncertainties about when local quarantines will be lifted and the logistical factors of an event that covers a few weeks and numerous bowling centers, moving to other dates was not a viable option.
And, of course, bowling centers also have been greatly impacted. As mentioned, local qualifying events were canceled and, with centers having been closed for at least a month, athletes likely would have taken part in their biggest tournament of the year without the ability to practice and train.
“Everyone has seen how businesses have been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic over the last month, and that includes bowling centers,” Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America Executive Director Frank DeSocio said. “Canceling the events has a financial impact on the centers but everyone understands protecting our communities is the goal. Hopefully, we are able to open our doors soon and get everyone back on the lanes.”
The qualifying season for the 2021 Junior Gold Championships still will kick off on May 1, 2020. IBC Youth Development encourages local coordinators to follow local guidelines before hosting a qualifying event.
Qualifying spots earned for the 2020 Junior Gold Championships and 2020 USA Bowling National Championships will not carry over to 2021 event. Age-division waivers will not be granted, and all athletes will be required to qualify in their appropriate age division during the 2020-2021 qualifying season.
The teams that qualified for the 2020 USA Bowling National Championships are considered champions for their region, and IBC Youth will ship your team its national jerseys.