Superior Lanes taking part in new national program

Today, this bowling column will be the last vestige, the last hanger-on of winter – I hope – as I’ve officially outlawed any more snow until at least Thanksgiving in Marquette.

If you want to ski or snowmobile between now and then, just head up to Negaunee or Ishpeming. I’m sure they’ve got some Fourth of July snowball rolling contests planned for this summer.

I’ve even considered putting my bowling balls in storage until the kids get back to school in September, but actually, I’m sure they’ll be rolling around in the trunk of my car, in case I decide at the last minute to take part in Clay Sandberg’s Monday King of the Hill or Tuesday Super King of the Hill tournaments on occasion at Red Rock Lanes in Ishpeming.

Today, though, is about the kids, teenagers specifically.

First off, Superior Lanes in Marquette will try another Junior Gold tournament on Saturday, May 31, like it had at the beginning of this month.

The format will be the same – youth-eligible bowlers roll a four-game qualifying block, then go on to knockout rounds of match play.

Cost is $60 per bowler, plus any U.S. Bowling Congress youth sanctioning you may have to purchase. Depending on how many entries they have, at least one top scorer will qualify for free entry into the Junior Gold Nationals in the Buffalo, N.Y., area in July.

Superior manager Amy Manning is also organizing a USBC Youth Leader Program through her center.

“It’s as much about community service, maybe more, than it is about bowling,” she told me last week.

She explained that it’s a new program the USBC has tested and put together where the students in grades 8-12 make most of the decisions about what kind of projects they want to get involved in. There will be adult advisers, but they’ll be just that, advisers.

“The kids involved get the experience of being on a board of directors, elect officers and get involved in volunteer service,” Manning said.

It’s the kind of activity that looks good on a college resume, or I would guess, scholarship applications, too. And it’s a good way to get involved and give something back to your community.

The big thing is that those involved don’t have to be high-average bowlers. Heck, they don’t even really need to be low-average bowlers. Non-bowlers can get involved and maybe learn just enough tips to keep the ball more often on the lane than in the gutter when they get a chance to go on an outing.

Manning said she’s had her best response from several church youth groups, but is also contacting schools and their National Honor Societies.

The group figures to meet about once a month, probably mostly during the school year, then have a chance to bowl for free afterwards at Superior Lanes.

The projects the group picks don’t have to have anything to do with bowling, but they could with the house’s support system in place.

If you’re a student who might be interested or wants more information, or you know one who might be, contact Amy at Superior Lanes at 225-9230 or email her at

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246. His email address is