Changes for Pepsi Youth Championships Terry Bigham July 10, 2012 ARLINGTON, Texas – The Pepsi Youth Championships will undergo several exciting changes for the 2012-13 season, including new divisions and the move to scratch competition.The Pepsi Youth Championships will feature five divisions for both boys and girls – U6, U8, U12, U15 and U20 – starting in 2012-13, and all divisions will use scratch scores. Previously, the Pepsi had divisions for 11 and under and 12 and over using handicap, and a scratch division for 12 and over.“Moving toward aged-based divisions and scratch competition is important for the growth of youth bowling,” said International Bowling Campus Managing Director of Youth Development Chad Murphy. “Nearly all mainstream sports use age-based divisions without score adjustment or handicap. While this is a significant change, it is important to align the Pepsi Youth Championships with the same format as scholastic competition, North Pointe Junior Gold, and USA Bowling.”The older divisions mirror those used in the North Pointe Junior Gold Championships, and starting in 2012-13 the top qualifier from each state in the U15 and U20 divisions of the Pepsi Youth Championships will receive a spot in the North Pointe Junior Gold Championships. Previously, the top two boys and top two girls in the 12 and over scratch division earned spots in the Junior Gold national tournament.Bowlers who qualify in the U15 division through Pepsi must compete in the U15 division at the North Pointe Junior Gold Championships. The U6 division is optional and may not be offered in every state. Local coordinators will need to check with their state coordinator to see if it is available.The decision to move to age-based divisions came after conducting research through the state Pepsi coordinators, and discussions by board members of Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America, the United States Bowling Congress and the USBC youth committee, Murphy said.“Based on the research, everyone agreed this was the right plan for the Pepsi Youth Championships moving forward,” Murphy said. “It is another example of this industry working together for the betterment of the sport.”The scholarship pool for the 2012-13 Pepsi Youth Championships will remain at $150,000, with $36,750 marked for the North Pointe Junior Gold Championships spots. States will receive a percentage of the scholarship pool based on membership and each state will receive a $500 scholarship.To learn more about the Pepsi Youth Championships, go to BOWL.com/pepsiyouth.