Youth Bowling Canada
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YBC or Youth Bowling Canada, (formerly known as the Youth Bowling Council) is a non-profit sports organization with the mandate to promote organized 5 pin and 10 pin bowling to youth aged 3 to 21 in a cross-Canada league. The league is most commonly referred to as the YBC. Some 30,000 Canadian youth bowl weekly in the YBC, in bowling centres from coast-to-coast. They are coached by hundreds of adults, who volunteer their time to teach the game and to pass on their knowledge to the next generation of bowlers.
The YBC was founded in 1964 with the help of William (Mac) and his wife Zelda McIntyre and was originally known as the Youth Bowling Council. Initially, only a five-pin bowling program existed. The YBC's name was changed to Youth Bowling Canada in 2006.
The program only existed in Ontario, during the first year of the YBC's existence (the 1963-64 season). The following season (1964–65), the YBC was expanded onto a national scale with the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia joining. In later years, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Quebec, Nova Scotia, the Northwest Territories and Prince Edward Island joined, with the last region, Yukon, joining in the 1998-99 season. Nunavut is the only region of Canada not represented in the YBC as there are currently no bowling alleys in that territory, with the exception of 2 lanes at CFB Alert that are used by military personnel. Due to Ontario's vast size, the province is divided into two separate and independent regions, namely Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario.
The YBC's ten-pin program started in 1970 with the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario participating. Quebec joined in 1981, followed by New Brunswick in 1995. Other parts of Canada do not have any 10 pin bowling alleys.
In 2015, the organization was renamed to "Youth Bowl Canada".
Purpose of the YBC
When the YBC was established in 1964, it was designed to accomplish the following goals:
A) "To provide an interesting program that would encourage more youngsters to participate in the various games of bowling."
B) "To set up a program of crests and awards for the bowlers who achieve certain degrees of skill."
C) "To arrange and conduct a series of tournaments and championships that would be interesting and a challenge to all youth bowlers regardless of their skill."
D) "To set up a program that would encourage adult bowlers to take a greater interest in youth bowlers and in instructing youngsters in the etiquette, rules and customs of a properly organized and conducted league."
YBC at your local bowling centre
YBC is available at most bowling centres who are members of Bowl Canada.
The YBC offers three core divisions:
- Bantams - up to 10 years old.
- Juniors - up to 14 years old.
- Seniors - up to 19 years old (21 years old for tenpin).
Some bowling centres expand the Bantam division for the younger bowlers such as the following levels.
- Bowlasaurus - up to 5 years old.
- PeeWees - up to 7 years old.
At the younger age, the bowlers may bowl with two hands. They also bowl only one to two games weekly.
The operation of YBC varies by bowling centre. The bowling centre's manager or proprietor oversees the entire league and determines what time of the week YBC will bowl. One of the coaches is usually appointed by the proprietor as "Program Director" and coaches are also selected to serve as directors for each of the divisions. Coaches in the YBC require Level I coaching certification and the provinces require YBC coaches to be members in good standing of the provincial Master Bowler's Association. The proprietor may encourage bowlers in his adult league base to become coaches.
Some bowling centres have a YBC committee. This committee is composed of coaches and parents of YBC bowlers at the centre. The committee takes the responsibility for events such as local fundraising, additional prizes, special events, addressing issues in the league, and planning the year-end windup.
The YBC runs a national fundraising chocolate sale. The campaign usually starts at the end of September. The cornerstone product is chocolate coated almonds, however the YBC has also introduced items such as chocolate bars and nuggets of chocolate coated mint or caramel.
There are many YBC tournaments held annually at both the regional, provincial and national levels. The annual 4 Steps to Stardom tournament is considered to be the most prestigious YBC tournament event and are essentially the national youth bowling championships. Boys and girls compete in this event separately. The 4 Steps to Stardom is a scratch tournament and involves '4 steps' to achieve the gold medal at the national level. The steps are as follows:
- Qualifying as single (i.e. individual) or as a member of a team in your home bowling alley.
- Winning at the zone level (the city/region where you live, e.g. Hamilton).
- Winning at the provincial level.
- Getting to/winning at the national level.
In the 2009 season, the 4 Steps national tournament added a three-player combo event. This is the first YBC handicap based (scored as pins-over-average) national championship since the Kids and Golden Agers tournament in the 1990s. The three player event was played at the national level until 2012.
These YBC tournaments are run only at the home bowling alley level with no zone or provincial final:
- Buddy tournament - the YBC member invites a friend to bowl in the tournament.
- Family Twosome - a parent-child tournament. Most YBC leagues run this tournament with four divisions based on the genders of the parent and child.
- I Beat My Coach - the youths bowl and try to score a better score than one game bowled by the coaches. The coaches usually bowl in awkward manners to maximize the youths' chances of winning.
- I Beat My Average - the youths attempt to beat their current average in this one-day local tournament.
- Bowler of the Year - the top bowler in each month (usually based on cumulative pins over average) is declared as "Bowler of the Month" and thus qualifies for this year-end tournament.
These are YBC tournaments that may be offered in some provinces, culminating in a provincial championship. Most of these events are scored on a handicap basis. The tournaments may not be available in all provinces. In some cases, the host centers for the zone finals report their winners to a central headquarters via fax or Internet in order to declare a provincial champion.
- Combo Team - the bowling center qualifies a team that is composed of bowlers from each division of the YBC. Depending on the province, the team can vary from three (separate boys and girls teams) to six players (one co-ed team). Most provinces operate a provincial championship for this event.
- High Low Doubles - the bowling center creates doubles teams by pairing the highest average bowler with the lowest class bowler. The process is repeated until all the bowlers are paired. After a qualifying process at the home alley, successful teams may advance to a zone or provincial final.
- Kids and Golden Agers - Bowling centers offering YBC leagues as well as Golden Age (now known as Club 55+) leagues can qualify a team of four - a boy and girl from the Bantam division and a man and woman from a Club 55+ league. This tournament culminated in a national championship for several years, but now is scaled back to no further than a provincial final in some provinces.
- Master/Bantam/Junior - In some provinces, bowling centers can qualify a three-player team consisting of one bantam bowler, one junior bowler, and one Master Bowler. This tournament culminates in zone and provincial finals.
YBC team tournaments - particularly the 4 Steps provincial and national finals - are known as being notoriously loud from cheering bowlers and parents.