"Bowling is facing the same kinds of challenges that
most other youth sports are facing," explained Sheilagh Mayers.
"The numbers are going down, but the enthusiasm of those who remain
When asked why they thought the enrolment is decreasing,
Marlene Hyatt replied, "There are just too many options for young
people today. They have so much to do and keep busy with that bowling just
doesn't seem to fit."
Sheilagh went on to explain, "Parents today work all
day, and many have to travel for an hour or more from work to home. Once
they get home, they often just feel like sitting in the house and
relaxing. The last thing they want to do is go out to a bowling league.
Nevertheless, we find that the smaller communities are holding their own
with respect to league enrolment. It seems as if bowling is still very
much a social activity in smaller communities."
Indeed, when one looks at the cost of bowling, it is
definitely one of the most economical forms of recreation around. But when
deciding to commit to a 30 week bowling season, many people are simply not
willing to set aside one night a week every single week for on activity.
Most need some flexibility to adjust to work or personal schedules.
"Everyone you talk to has bowled at some time in
their life," stated Sheilagh. "And it seems as if the seniors
are coming back to the game in huge numbers. This will certainly have a
positive impact on the numbers of Young Bowlers in future years as they
model their grandparents. Today's young parents, however, are finding it
difficult to sign up for a league."
Despite the hectic schedules, most people do find time to
participate in open bowling, attend the odd bowling party, and/or take
part in a "Glow In The Dark" bowling fun event. It seems as if
more and more people are turning to bowling as a form of entertainment
instead of a form of recreation or competition.
On a positive note, Sheilagh has noticed that more parents
seem to be getting directly involved with their children in the Youth
Bowling League environment. They are helping with coaching or just being
there to watch their children participate. This parental involvement is
good for any organization.
To find out how the bowlers fared in the Nationals, go to