Date Posted: July 25th, 2019
The decision to lower to the maximum age from 20 to 18, with agreement from the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America and the International Bowling Campus Youth Committee, will align bowling with other youth sports.
“Over the last decade, we have made changes to USBC Youth programs and tournaments to provide a model comparable with other youth sports,” IBC Youth Managing Director of Youth Development Gary Brown said. “We moved to age-based divisions, as opposed to average, for events, to provide peer-to-peer competition. Setting the maximum age for youth bowlers to 18 aligns us with the standard of other national youth sports organizations.”
A U18 division will become the top division for the Pepsi Youth and Bowling.com Youth Open Championships for the 2020-2021 season. During the next season, USBC will address how the age change will impact the 2021 Junior Gold Championships, which will have a separate U20 division.
Please visit BOWL.com/YouthAgeChange for additional information.
Starting with the 2020-2021 season, USBC Youth membership policy will state youth membership is available to individuals who have not reached the age of 18 prior to Aug. 1 of the current bowling season. The decision to lower the maximum age will directly impact 3.3 percent of the total youth membership. The change also better aligns USBC Youth membership with new regulations from the U.S. Center for SafeSport requiring training for those over 18 who participate in a sport with minors.
Any USBC Youth member who reaches the age of 18 during the bowling season is required to complete the U.S. Center for SafeSport online education program, which is free, to continue to compete in leagues that have participants under age 18. This requirement was announced with the release of the revised Registered Volunteer Program (RVP) handbook.
The new age limit marks the second time the USBC Youth maximum age has been lowered. In 2009, USBC lowered the maximum age for youth bowlers from 22 to 20.