As I sit at Buffaloe Lanes North on a Saturday morning and watch the 120 plus kids come in with their bowling balls, bags and shoes, I see the future of this great sport right before my eyes.
So many centers across the country are focused on open play, cosmic bowling and even adult leagues BUT, they forget to look towards tomorrow. Yes, there are fewer and fewer traditional bowling centers left but each of these centers must work that much harder to make bowling for kids more attractive.
Bowling may not be as glamorous as some other major sports like baseball, football, basketball, soccer…etc and that might be why kids are drawn to these other sports. Or is it?
While bowling is more visible in today’s pop culture with stars and athletes sharing Tweets, Facebook posts and posting pictures all over the internet, it still is not as mainstream as the big sports. Just the other day, there was a McDonald’s commercial on and right before the end of the commercial was a short video clip of some people bowling and having a great time.
Buffaloe Lanes Family Bowling Centers know the future of bowling is NOW
and continues working on building their youth programs year after year by making it “cool” to be a good youth bowler. About 5 years ago, Buffaloe Lanes started their own Junior Gold program based off of the USBC national program. These bowlers are rewarded for their hard work and excelling at the sport. Bowlers receive extra practice with top-level coaches on tough oil patterns, exclusive tournaments to qualify them for the national tournament and the recognition of their achievement with a shirt and their picture on a 2 foot by 3 foot poster hanging in each of the centers. They also have a chance to purchase individual pictures for family and friends. Their family and friends all over the world can also watch them compete in tournaments at the Buffaloe Lanes Centers “Live” via YouTube.
These young bowlers have opportunities to win scholarship money through their Buffaloe Lanes youth leagues as well as other local, state and national tournaments. So many of the younger bowlers now have a goal and dream to shoot for as they practice their skills so they can wear the shirt and have their picture and name on the wall at the center. The Buffaloe Lanes Junior Gold Program continues to make bowling “COOL” for the kids and provides the recognition that both kids and parents love. Today these young kids are the filling the lanes of the Buffaloe Lanes Family Bowling Centers and with the coaching, recognition and support from the staff, parents and friends, these kids will be the “Future” of bowling.