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2014-2015 USBC Youth Membership
Frequently Asked Questions
 

GENERAL QUESTIONS  

Q: Why is there a new membership product?
A:   Quicker data processing and a lower cost for families. This is the first step toward a model where the consumer self-registers. With the center operator responsible for processing, the goal is for customers to be offered self-registration. This model has proven successful in other youth sports and will eventually make the entire process more efficient.

Q: What is the cost of the new USBC Youth membership?
A: $4.

Q: What is included in that membership?
A: The membership provides:

  • USBC Youth membership card
  • USBC certified average 
  • USBC certified tournament eligibility

Q: When is the new membership available?
A: August 1, 2014.

Q: At $4, how is the youth department going to fund itself?
A: The Bowling Proprietors' Association of America (BPAA) and USBC are making a significant investment in youth bowling. The organizations will assist International Bowling Campus (IBC) Youth Development with operating funds for the immediate future; $5 million is committed from USBC and BPAA. No current programs are being discontinued as this is an investment in the future.

Q: How will the IBC Youth team use the $5 million provided by USBC/BPAA?
A:
USBC and BPAA are helping subsidize the IBC Youth department's operations costs, including programs such as USBC High School, USBC Collegiate and Bowlers Ed, during the next few seasons.

Q: Does a league still have to certify with USBC to purchase membership for its league members?
A:
Yes.

Q: Do bowling centers have a different role in processing this new membership?
A:
Yes. Bowling centers, rather than USBC local associations, will have processing responsibility under the new program.

Q: Can bowling centers have local USBC associations continue to process youth memberships?
A: Yes. If a center operator and USBC local association have a good customer service system and prefer to have the association continue to handle processing, the center and association are encouraged to collaborate on details of a mutually beneficial partnership. Funds for processing are not built into the membership.

Q: What is the new role of the local association for this membership?
A: Processing and funding structure is the only change. Associations will continue to conduct tournaments and execute the responsibilities listed in USBC Bylaws.

Q: Will there be a new Youth jersey available for purchase?
A:
No. The $4 USBC Youth membership provides bowlers a certified average, the ability to bowl in USBC-certified tournaments and a membership card.

Q: Are any upgrades available to the $4 USBC Youth membership?
A: Yes. The upgrades are:

  • Bowlopolis - $3.50
  • U12 Junior Gold - $10
  • U15/U20 Junior Gold - $30

More information on the upgrades is available in later questions.

Q: What is the Bowlopolis membership upgrade?
A: The Bowlopolis membership upgrade is $3.50 and can be purchased for any USBC Youth member. The benefits include:

  • A Bowlopolis DVD
  • A Bowlopolis Progress and Bowling Basics instructional guide with award stickers
  • Membership in the Bowlopolis Kids Club
  • One issue of Bowlopolis, The Mag

Q: What are the costs and member benefits of the Junior Gold membership upgrade?
A: The Junior Gold membership upgrade is $30 and is discounted to $10 for kids in the U12 division. It can be purchased for any USBC Youth member. For the 2014-15 season, a child born August 1, 2002 or later qualifies as U12. The benefits included with this membership are:

  • Opportunity to compete in the North Pointe Junior Gold Championships and qualifying events
  • USBC Junior Gold membership card
  • Gold Approach newsletter
  • Digital issues of Bowling This Month magazine

USBC YOUTH MEMBERSHIP DETAILS  

Q: Can someone bowl in a USBC Youth league or tournament without a current USBC Youth membership?
A: No. USBC requires ALL participants in USBC Youth certified competitions to have a current season membership. In place of the previous participation fee, youth tournament participants now will be required to purchase a USBC Youth membership.

Q: Does a USBC Youth member pay the $4 for each league in which they participate?
A: No. The USBC Youth membership is paid once per season and covers all USBC Youth certified leagues and tournament competition.

Q: When does the USBC Youth membership expire?
A: All USBC Youth memberships, including the Bowlopolis and Junior Gold upgrades, expire on July 31.

Q: Will USBC Youth averages be official?
A: Yes. Averages based on twelve (12) or more games in USBC Youth leagues are acceptable for USBC Youth tournaments in accordance with Rule 318.

Q: Will USBC Youth averages be posted on BOWL.com?
A: Yes. Averages will be part of each USBC Youth bowler's record.

Q: What tournament eligibility comes with this new USBC Youth membership?
A: USBC Youth members are eligible for their local and state association championship events without any additional membership fees. USBC Youth members are eligible for all USBC Youth certified competition unless eligibility rules require an upgraded level of USBC membership, such as a Junior Gold qualifying event.

Q: Can an individual with a USBC Youth membership participate in the Pepsi Tournament?
A: Yes. The USBC Youth membership is now the base level of required membership. All youth bowlers with a USBC Youth membership are eligible for all levels of Pepsi competition.


AWARDS  

Q: Are awards provided by USBC National to the leagues/members?
A: No. National awards are not part of the new USBC Youth Membership. All awards are purchasable.

Q: Are high score awards provided by USBC for 11-in-a-row, 300 games and 800 series?
A:  No. National awards are not part of the new USBC Youth Membership. All awards are purchasable.

Q: What awards does USBC have available for purchase and how are they ordered?
A:  A wide choice of special achievement and high score awards can be purchased from IBC Youth. More information can be found at BOWL.com/awards or orders can be placed by contacting the IBC Youth Team at contactus@ibcyouth.com.


MEMBERSHIP UPGRADE DETAILS  

Bowlopolis Membership Upgrade  

Q: Can the Bowlopolis membership upgrade be purchased without the $4 USBC Youth membership?
A: No. All participants in USBC Youth certified competitions must have a USBC Youth membership.

Q: Is the Bowlopolis membership upgrade fee paid for each league in which a bowler participates?
A: No. The Bowlopolis membership upgrade fee is paid once per season and the member will receive one membership benefit kit each season.

Q: When does the Bowlopolis membership upgrade expire?
A: All USBC Youth memberships, including the Bowlopolis upgrade, expire on July 31.

Q: Is the Bowlopolis membership upgrade exclusively for bumper leagues?
A: No. The Bowlopolis membership upgrade is designed to provide benefits and educational tools for young beginning bowlers. Leagues utilizing the Bowlopolis membership upgrade option can be either bumper or non-bumper.

Bumper Bowlers

Q: Can bumper and/or peewee leagues be certified?
A: Yes.  Bumper or peewee leagues can be certified.

Q: Can an association offer a bumper division in their tournament and are there any special limitations?
A: Yes. However, all entrants will be bowling scratch. No bumper averages will be recorded.

Junior Gold Membership Upgrade  

Q: Can an individual purchase the Junior Gold membership upgrade without the $4 USBC Youth membership?
A: No. All participants in USBC Youth certified competitions must have a USBC Youth membership. An individual without a current USBC Youth membership cannot purchase a Junior Gold membership upgrade.

Q: Does a U12 Junior Gold member receive the same benefits for $10 as the older Junior Gold members receive for $30?
A: Yes. The membership benefit packages are identical.

Q: Does a USBC Youth member pay the Junior Gold membership upgrade fee for each league/competition in which they participate?
A: No. The Junior Gold membership upgrade is paid once per season.

Q: When does the Junior Gold membership upgrade expire?
A: All USBC Youth memberships, including the Junior Gold upgrade, expire on July 31.

Q: In what competitions is a USBC Youth member with a Junior Gold upgrade eligible to compete?
A: USBC Youth members are required to have a current Junior Gold membership upgrade to participate in qualifying events (both league and tournament) for the North Pointe Junior Gold Championships.


MEMBERSHIP DELIVERY AND SERVICES  

Q: Who determines how memberships will be processed?
A: As the host of youth activities, the bowling center operators will have processing responsibility under the new program. If a center operator and USBC local association have a good customer service system and prefer the association continue to handle processing, the center and association are encouraged to collaborate on details of a mutually beneficial partnership.

Q: I don't see any information here about how to process. Where is that information?
A: A new online portal will be introduced for bowling centers to process youth memberships. More details about the new membership processing system are scheduled to be available in spring of 2014.

Q: What are the responsibilities of the Processing Agent?
A: The Processing Agreement consists of two components:

  • Membership Processing. Input member data and submit dues to USBC.
  • Final Average Submission. Input final average information for all participants in USBC Youth certified competitions.

Q: What are the required timelines for the completion of the Processing Agent duties?
A: USBC rules require the league secretary to submit membership applications and payment to the Processing Agent within 30 days from the start of the season. Additional memberships are to be forwarded to the Processing Agent within 30 days of receipt.

Final Average data is to be provided to the Processing Agent as soon as the league season ends and preferably before the distribution of prizes.

Q: Will the Processing Agent still be required to input award information for members?
A: No.

Q: What is the process that is followed for a center to become aProcessing Agent?
A: Centers will need to complete a registration form in the new USBC Membership Processing System. The request will be verified and the center notified when they can begin processing.

Q: How does the Processing Agent order league supplies?
A: League supplies are ordered through email at contactus@ibcyouth.com.

Q: Who does the Processing Agent contact with questions about services?
A: Support questions should be emailed to contactus@ibcyouth.com.

Q: Currently, if a league/center is delinquent in turning in memberships, or if they have bowlers participate that are not members, the local association is responsible for going to the league/bowler/center for the memberships. How will this be handled for the Youth?
A:
If the center chooses to process youth memberships and does not follow through on its responsibilities by certifying their Youth bowlers, the center will need to answer to the parents and Youth bowlers. If violations of USBC rule occur, the processing agent, league officers and center will be held responsible.

Q: Will associations receive membership data from the centers that do processing so the associations are able to market their tournaments and bowling opportunities to the bowlers?
A:
The online portal for youth registration will be tied into the new USBC database. Once members are entered into the database, the appropriate local associations will have the ability to see and use the membership information to promote their events.

Q: If an association has five centers, and three of them partner with the association to provide services and benefits, can the association charge the bowlers additional funds to participate in their events during the year?
A:
No, not in the area of membership, local dues or local fees. Associations CAN charge whatever they like as an entry fee to bowl, but everyone bowling would need to be charged the same no matter where the membership was processed.

Q: Can youth bowlers purchase a USBC Youth membership without being in a league? Can they buy it on BOWL.com?
A:
No. Youth memberships must be purchased through the center.

Q: How will the centers/associations know if the Youth member who bowls in another center already has paid for a membership?
A:
The new registration portal will be a national database. Once a bowler is entered into the system, anyone trying to enter the same bowler into the system will be notified the bowler already has a national membership.

Q: How will Alliance at Large/State BPA local associations be handled?
A:
The association will need to collaborate with the centers in their jurisdiction what products and services they want to provide and at what cost.

Q: Our center does not want to handle membership processing. Can they give the association their login information and have the association pay for the $4 national membership out of their bank account/credit card?
A:
Yes. Centers can let associations handle Youth membership processing.

Q: Can state associations charge a dues amount per member?
A:
No. State USBC Youth associations no longer will receive funds from Youth membership. State association support should come through state tournaments and fundraising.

Q: What if a state youth association decides to dissolve?
A:
If state youth association board members choose not to be involved, we ask they seek new volunteers to serve on the board instead of attempting to dissolve the state association.

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