If you are looking for an activity for your son or daughter now that summer is over, youth bowling teams for the 2012-2013 season are forming now. Bumper League (5-8 years old), Bantam League (9-12 years old), and Junior League (13-20 years old) bowlers meet at Circle Lanes in East Haven on Saturday mornings (9:30-noon) from September until April.
Dave Malaro has run the youth bowling league for the past 15 years. Dave’s daughter Michelle co-runs the program with him. The emphasis is on fun (including weekly raffles and holiday parties), although several USBC coaches are available to help kids who want to take their game to the next level. Bowlers are eligible for participation in County, State and National tournaments where they have the opportunity to win college scholarship money.
Twenty-four year old Marissa Gagliardi has been bowling since she was five and is now one of the bronze level USBC coaches. She attended Sacred Heart University on a bowling scholarship. Marissa credits Dave’s program with helping her learn the importance of team work and responsibility. Justin Reynolds, 16, of North Branford will be starting his sixth year of league bowling.
In addition to Saturday leagues, Justin participates in a travel league and both individual and team tournaments. Justin’s average is close to 200, and during one game last year he bowled an almost perfect 299. Justin likes the team events best: if one person is doing poorly on a given day but another team member is doing well, the team still has a chance to win.
Unlike other sports, nobody sits on the bench during bowling leagues; every team member is an active participant. Lasting friendships are formed. In fact, some of the parents of the current youth bowlers had bowled together in leagues when they were younger. Many of the parents and grandparents participate in one or more of Circle Lanes’ Adult Leagues.
For more information on youth bowling leagues, stop by Circle Lanes on Saturday morning to speak with Dave or Michelle, or contact Circle Lanes at any time (203-467-6351).