Jeff and his wife Sonia have been running these tournaments for about 10+ years, they have 2 daughters, both who have bowled in college, and have experienced the Jr Gold Nationals throughout the years. We try to run a competitive but fun and safe environment for youth bowlers to compete with their peers, all the while teaching youth the importance of the mental side of bowling, and also giving basic tools the bowlers need to advance to the next level of competitive bowling. We are in contact with most of the College Coaches around the United States, and some will frequent our tournaments, scouting for next few year’s college team rosters. We also host a college showcase once a year – where bowlers can meet/greet/bowl in front of several college coaches. We also have a college recruiting resource, where a youth can upload a resume, photo, video for all college coaches to see. We hope you start your youth bowler early, and use our tournaments as a stepping stone for growth, not only on the lanes but off the lanes into their adult lives. We are a 501_(c)3 non profit organization.
Great Lakes JR Gold Tour
Great Lakes JR Gold Tour, is a USBC Youth scratch Tournament qualifier for the prestigious USBC National Youth JR Gold Championships. Winners of each event earn a paid entry to this major event. Top qualifying bowlers also earn College Scholarships in SMART FUNDS, in compliance with H.S. rule of amateur award status. Winners will also receive award medals.
We are one of few Tour programs running all 4 age divisions: U12, U15, U18,U20+. Boys & Girls in separate groups per minimum bowlers required ratio – U12 is 1:4, U15 is 1:5, U18 is 1:6, U20+ (pending USBC ruling May 16,2023) is 1:4 for Jr Gold Spots. In the event there are less than minimum bowlers in a group, the tournament Director has the right to to merge the same age groups to create one field of bowlers, competing for the gold spot opportunity. See tournament rules for more information.
Why bowl in Jr Gold events?
USBC Jr Gold Championship is the only National Youth Bowling Tournament offered in the United States. I like to equate it to Super Bowl in Youth Bowling. Held once per year in various cities across the United States. College Bowling Coaches will be on hand to scout out future prospects for their programs. A great way to make college contacts at the College Coaches Show exhibit room prior to the competition. You will see 40-60 College Coaches tables set up, along with many Pro bowlers representing their bowling brands. A great way to see, and be seen by potential colleges that you may have interest in. USBC will be awarding thousands of dollars in college scholarships to the top performers in each group. Also up for grabs are spots on the elite Junior Team U.S.A. , along with training from today’s top coaches in the world, and practice at the International Bowling Training facility. In order to bowl in the Jr Gold Championships, a bowler must compete in a tournament qualifier, which is what all of our GLJGT events are considered to be.
High School bowling is great. It teaches team spirit, lane play, and mental toughness. But that is not enough when it comes to being prepared for college bowling. Most H.S. programs bowl on 1 pattern. In our tournaments, each event will feature a different sport oil pattern. Usually found on the popular Kegel, or WTBA websites. We try to follow what JR Gold competes on. These patterns are just what your bowler will experience when they compete at college level. Exactly what today’s college bound bowlers need. Sport bowling takes time and experience to master the different lane play, ball changes, reading ball/lane reaction, mental focus. I can’t stress how important the mental game is. Ask any Pro athlete, they spend a great deal of time on their mental game. With experience in sport bowling, many of our youths will progress to the level of what H.S. Bowling alone will do. These youths will be better prepared for the challenge of college bowling, and take their game to the next level on these conditions. This is not for everyone, but if your bowler has a desire to compete in college bowling, this experience is necessary. Waiting until a bowler is ready, is of the past. To get better, you need to experience real competition, situation events, we will give you just that, so the earlier you start the opportunities are better for your youth bowler.
Division – U12
Bowlers ages of 4-12 in this field. Yes, we had a 4 year old competing in our tournaments, He was and still is an amazing kid. He was having a blast, and wanted to be there. You start your youths young, they will quickly excel. We try our best to make our tournaments both fun and competitive.
Division – U15
Division – U15: Most of the kids are in Late Elementary/ Jr High. We go by USBC age divisions. (See bowl.com for more info)
Division – U18
Division – U18: Most youths are Freshmans thru Seniors in H.S. Some H.S. Seniors pending when their D.O.B is. NO College bowlers in this division.
Division – U20+ (PENDING USBC RULING (MAY 16,2023)
Division – U20: Some bowlers are Seniors in H.S(pending age) and/or 1st, 2nd year College. By the 3rd year they age out for Junior Gold – however we will run a U20+ division where a bowler can earn smart scholarships up until age 26 or 8 years past HS graduation year.
Jr Gold Championships
Jr Gold Championships run each year, for a week in July, at different locations around the United States, (see Bowl.com for more info) also note, other events will be going on before/after Nationals that will also be in town: USBC Youth Opens, USBC USA Bowling, Turbo College Expo., Survivor tournament. Consider these events, make it an extended vacation.
We hope you consider bringing your youth bowler to one or more of our events. We insure you will have a great time and know that every opportunity given to your youth bowler will be a successful one.
To all of our bowling families – Yes, we consider you family, and we thank you!
Jeff and Sonia Wirtz