Riviera Bowl: youth duckpin hotbed


Carol Yingling, director of the National Youth Duckpin Association, confirmed Steve Sandusky's suspicions.

His Riviera Bowl center in Pasadena has the largest number of sanctioned youth duckpin bowlers in the nation.

"Right now we have approximately 500 youngsters in league play," Sandusky said.

With that many youths bowling every week, is there room for more?

"Certainly," Sandusky said. "We'll always have room for more kids."

John Dolch, youth director at Riviera Bowl, said, "The only thing I'd like to have is more coaches. We have 16 now but we can always use more. And Steve's right, we can always find room for more kids to bowl."

Every Saturday morning and afternoon more than 325 youngsters are in action in five divisions ranked by age: Pee Wees, ages 4-6; Preps 7-9; Bantams 10-12; Juniors 13-15 and Majors 16-21.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at about 3:30 p.m. the center is flooded with more youths for the after-school program, pushing the total figure to 500.

If you'd like your children to learn a sport that they can play all their lives, here's a great chance. Just call Riviera Bowl and ask about the NDYA program.

Good head start

Matthews Dietz attends Pre-K, a Head Start school; in May he'll be 5 years old.

He's got a head start on picking up bowling trophies, too.

He lives in Brooklyn Park and bowls in the Saturday morning NDYA league at Brooklyn Duckpin Lanes.

Using the classic two-handed throw-the-ball-through-the-legs style of the littlest kids, Matthew carries an average over 50 -- without bumpers.

"He's never, never, used bumpers," said his mother, Gloria. "Even when he was just a little guy [he started bowling when he was 3] he never used the bumpers."

And he doesn't need them.

In the Thanksgiving youth tournament Matthew captured a trophy for winning his division; a few days later, in early December, bowling with his grandmother, Agnes Dietz, in an adult/youth tournament he picked up another trophy.

Four years old, two trophies. That's a head start.

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