Several leagues cater to these young bowlers – leagues ranging from the Mighty Bumpers, Bumper Power and Bumper Buddies (for the 7 and under bunch) to the Spare Masters, Lucky Strikers and Pin Busters (7-11) to the Strike Masters, High Rollers and Hard Hitters (12-21).
The leagues meet on Wednesday and Friday afternoons, and Saturday mornings. Serious and competitive bowlers can get involved in the Tuesday night Junior Team USA Experience scratch league. And to encourage parents to get involved, Harvest Park offers a Sunday night Generation Gap League – teams made up of youth and adult bowlers.
Youth Director Natalie Paris and four assistant coaches teach basics such as proper bowling techniques as well as etiquette and sportsmanship. “These young bowlers are developing into good bowlers – but more importantly, into fine young adults,” said Paris.
Many of these kids are also involved in baseball, basketball, soccer and swimming. They’re busy with sports and still maintain good grades in school.
Youth scholarships are a product of the Boosters. Youth tournaments, held frequently within the area, allow the kids to compete for prize (scholarship) money. Since 1997, more than $175,000 has been awarded in scholarships, helping many young bowlers achieve their educational goals. An annual Crab Feed – one of the Youth Program’s major fundraisers – is held in January.
Summer Youth leagues start the week of May 16. Those interested in getting their child involved in the Youth Bowling Program should call Paris at 925-516-1221 or visit Harvest Park Bowl Wednesdays at 4 p.m., Fridays at 4:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. or Sundays at 6 p.m. and see the action for themselves.