ARLINGTON, Texas – The United States Bowling Congress announced a $ 3.5 million aid program to help support grassroots bowling. The move comes as a response to the unprecedented losses experienced in the sport nationwide due to COVID-19 shutdowns.
As part of the program, the USBC Board of Directors has approved an immediate cash transfer of $ 1.5 million from USBC’s reserve fund directly to USBC local associations. An additional $ 200,000 will be available for USBC state associations in the form of added prize money to their 2021 championship tournaments.
“USBC is forecasting a 40% decline in league membership this season due to COVID-19,” USBC Executive Director Chad Murphy said. “The situation is devastating financially for many local bowling operators across the country. USBC has cash reserves for an emergency, and we believe now is the time to use some of those funds and provide help back to the grassroots of our sport.”
The local aid program will send at least $ 1 per member back to all active standard USBC local associations based on 2018-2019 membership totals. Standard associations with less than 500 members will receive $ 500 in aid, and the largest USBC local association will receive about $ 40,000.
“USBC is not placing any restrictions on how these funds are used in support of bowling,” USBC President Melissa McDaniel said. “We know the needs on the ground locally are different everywhere and will trust our local associations to collaborate with their bowlers and proprietors to put the funds to good use for the sport.”
The state association aid program provides $ 200,000 in funding for USBC state associations in the form of added sponsorship prize money to USBC state championship tournaments. USBC state associations can choose to opt into the program, with the amount of funding for each state variable depending on the size of their membership. USBC plans to continue offering this annual $ 200,000 sponsorship pool to USBC state associations for the next 10 years.
“The state association aid program will further elevate the participation value for USBC state championships for the next decade,” McDaniel said. “The program is designed to drive interest, participation and lineage for USBC state events. Participating states will be asked to add a sponsor name to their events, and in turn, receive a consistent prize-fund subsidy for members for the next 10 years.”
USBC will be contacting state associations to share details on how to receive funding. Additional information about the USBC state association aid program, including the amount of funding available to each state, is published on BOWL.com.