With record scholarships on the line in 2012, the North Pointe Junior Gold Championships presented by Brunswick will shift to a double-elimination match-play bracket for the top 16 bowlers in each of four divisions.
The event, which will have $250,000 in scholarships up for grabs, is expected to draw nearly 2,000 bowlers from across the country to Indianapolis from July 14-20. In addition to scholarships, bowlers will be competing for spots on Junior Team USA.
The competition will begin with 15 games of qualifying for all participants. One out of every seven bowlers will advance to the next round, where an additional five games will be bowled. After 20 games, as many as 64 bowlers in each division will advance to five final qualifying games before the field is cut to the top 16 in each division for the double-elimination match-play bracket.
Bowlers will compete in four divisions - 20-and-under boys and girls, and 15-and-under boys and girls - and the format will be the same for each division for the entire tournament. In bracket play, matches will consist of two games with the highest pinfall advancing.
The top scholarships in each division are guaranteed to the winners. In the 20-and-under divisions, the boys' winner will be awarded a $15,000 scholarship and the girls' winner will receive a $10,000 scholarship. In the 15-and-under division, the boys' winner will earn a $6,000 scholarship, while the girls' champion will earn a $5,000 scholarship. In addition, scholarships will be awarded to all players finishing in the top 16 (minimum $1,000) and all players advancing after 15 games of qualifying (minimum $200). Additional scholarships will be awarded based on entries in each division with a minimum total of $250,000 awarded.
"This format will bring a new level of excitement to the Junior Gold Championships, similar to what we see in other major events such as the USBC Masters and USBC Queens," said Chad Murphy, International Bowling Campus Director of Youth Development. "The beauty of it is that any of the 16 players who advance to the bracket will have a chance to take home the title."
Automatic Junior Team USA spots will be awarded to the top two boys and top two girls in the 20-and-under division after 25 games of qualifying. Additional automatic spots will be given to the winner and runner-up after bracket play in the 20-and-under division. If one or both of the finalists in the bracket already earned a spot through qualifying, the automatic spot becomes an at-large selection.
The National Selection Committee will select two boys and two girls from the match-play field, with all bowlers, including 15 and under, eligible for at-large selection. The final eight spots - four boys and four girls - on Junior Team USA will continue to be determined at the United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials.
For high school bowlers competing in the event, a special scholarship fund has been created for both boys and girls. All participants who are in high school (must be enrolled in high school for the 2011-12 academic year) will be eligible. First place in each division is guaranteed a $3,000 scholarship.
The North Pointe Junior Gold Championships and its record-breaking prize fund were made possible by the merger of the USBC Junior Gold Championships and the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America's North Pointe High School Singles Championships into one event earlier this year. The event is open to youth bowlers who qualify throughout the season at regional Junior Gold events.
Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about the new format for the Junior Gold Championships.
For more information on the Junior Gold Championships, visit BOWL.com/juniorgold.