Adults, youth bowl side by side in Wichita Sport Bowling leagues
It isn't unusual for curious young bowlers to hang around adult Sport Bowling leagues to check things out or even bowl a few practice lines after league play ends.
"When the adults were starting their league, I thought it would be good to start a youth Sport league as well," Rash said. "That was really the only way we could practice on a Sport pattern." - Sean Rash, former Wichita State University and Team USA bowling star and current PBA exempt player In Wichita, Kan., the curiosity factor evolved into something more structured, thanks in part to the efforts of Sean Rash, former Wichita State University and Team USA bowling star and current PBA exempt player.
Joel Mumma, a Thunderbird Lanes employee and Wichita Bowling Association board member, was a key figure in putting Wichita 's first adult Sport league together.
"There are a number of bowlers in town who were looking for a more challenging condition," said ABC Hall of Famer and Director Mark Jensen, a member of the Greater Wichita Sport League. "Most of the bowlers in our league realize Sport Bowling makes other types of lane conditions play easier. It's especially important for kids who have grown up with the idea of stand left, throw the ball right. Sport Bowling requires accuracy. It will make kids better players in the future."
That message wasn't lost on Rash and some of his young friends.
"When the adults were starting their league, I thought it would be good to start a youth Sport league as well," Rash said. "That was really the only way we could practice on a Sport pattern."
Wichita 's adult Sport League was a three-game trio league that features one individual point per game plus series, and two team game and series points for a total of 20 points per session.
Adjacent to the Thursday night adult league was Rash's Sport singles league for youth bowlers.
"The youth league was mostly players from Wichita State, but we're getting a few high school kids from around Wichita," Rash said. "We followed a regular league schedule and bowled four games per night. It was a 27-week split season and we bowl for scholarship money. You could win two points per game and one for total."
Having a youth Sport league bowling next to an adult Sport league has advantages, Rash noted.
Wichita State University coaches Gordon Vadakin and Mark Lewis are among the members of the adult league. Having that kind of coaching talent keeping an eye on things is helpful, Rash said, and a number of parents also came out to watch and support the young players. To recruit bowlers, Rash handed out fliers at other bowling centers around town and recruited kids who tried out for the Shockers' team.
"Some of them made the team, others didn't," he said. "The Wichita State tryout process is a lot tougher than most people can imagine. If you can play well in the Sport Bowling league, you have a much better chance in going through the Wichita State tryout process."