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Local bowling: Youth-adult mixed tournaments catching on

Updated: January 15, 2013 6:08PM



It’s becoming a theme in area bowling — family-oriented events.

Maybe it’s a revelation to those who think the sport has suffered in recent years due to decline in league and tournament turnout, but some of the bigger participation numbers and spirited competition this season have been events in which adults and kids can bowl along side each other or together. The latest was Sunday’s Northwest Indiana Junior Tournament Players Association (NWIJTPA) second annual youth-adult event at Stardust III in Dyer.

The format is simple — an adult bowling with a youth, six games each before cutting to the top eight boys and top eight girls duos for best-of-three Baker match play (alternating frames with the youth required to be the anchor in match play).

Kudos go out to the adults since they get nothing for their $35 entry fee — United States Bowling Congress rules prohibit youth and adults bowling together for prize money. It must be scholarship only for the kids.

There were sidepots for the adults, but separate from the tournament. Basically, the adults put their aging bodies on the line for what amounted to more than 10 games — if they made it all the way to the championship match — for the kids.

The two champion duos kept it in the family as Gregg Schmied and his son Andy defeated Johnny Gorches and Shaun Ciesielski (nope, this aging bowler wasn’t confident he could hold up for six games, let alone 10, even though my son asked me to bowl) 2-1 in the boys final, while Gina Pritchett and her daughter, Jackie Rhoda, defeated Jackie Graan and Kelly Belzeski 2-1 in the girls final.

The event had 37 teams with a broad cross-section of the region’s best youth and adults. The list of adults included John Riffle, Bob Kammer Jr., Kevin Mikalouski, Tony Miller, Kelly Gough, Alexis Voiers, Kaity Galka and Crystal Bunton. Needless to say, there was some good shooting on the lanes, even with the 39-foot Kegel Winding Road sport shot being used.

King of the Hill no-tap: It’s still a couple months until the next King of the Hill session at Stardust III, but Sunday there will be a special edition of the popular sport shot event. The King of the Hill 9-pin No-Tap will start at 9:45 a.m. with an entry fee of $35 and first place paying $600, based on 72 entries. The format is four games across eight lanes, cutting to the top 32 for bracket match play finals. For more details, visit bowlstardust.com or call 322-3666.

Cross-Town Classic: Olympia Lanes in Hammond and Plaza Lanes in Highland will host another Cross-Town Classic singles scratch tournament on Jan. 27 (1 p.m. at Plaza, 6 p.m. at Olympia) or Jan. 28 (7 p.m. at Olympia) and Jan. 31 (7 p.m. at Plaza). The format is three games at each house at a cost of $40 with first place paying $600, based on 50 entries. The Indiana State Masters oil pattern will be used. For more details, call Olympia at 933-6677 or Plaza at 923-3800.

Lakeshore Association tourney: The Lakeshore USBC will hold its annual city tournament open to men and women starting Saturday with singles and doubles at Camelot Bowl in Portage. There are also singles and doubles squads on Sunday, Jan. 27 and Saturday, Feb. 9. Team event will start this Sunday, as well as Saturday, Jan. 26 and Sunday, Feb. 10, at Ray’s Lanes in Lake Station. The cost is $30 per event with all-events optional. There will also be a special award for seniors (ages 55-64) and super seniors (65-and-older), men and women. Handicap will be based on 2011-12 average and all entrants must have at least 15 games in a Lakeshore Association league this season, or 21 games last season. For more details, contact tournament manager Ken Laviolette at 741-4915 or kdlcsl89@hotmail.com.



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