Hard as it is to believe, we’re only a couple weeks away from school and September weather, which means it’s time to start thinking about indoor activities. One indoor activity to think about is bowling, and Lazy Loon Lanes has a Youth Bowling League for kids around the county.

“There’s a lot of different tournaments out there for kids and their skill and age don’t matter,” said Tammy Lueck, one of Lazy Loon Lanes’ owners.

Youth Bowling has been around since before Lueck and her husband purchased the bowling alley. The League operates like any sports league, with tournaments, teams, and conferences around the state. The leagues around the state are also sanctioned, allowing participants to ear scholarships through their time with the league.

“My son, he just started bowling last year at 18, and he just bowled in his adult league and got a $200 scholarship,” said Lueck. “And depending on where the kids end up, they can earn scholarships for any kind of post-secondary education for them.”

The scholarships given out by the leagues in Minnesota average out to about $22,000 a year, meaning many children in the program receive scholarships. Bowling leagues are also one of the few programs that allow scholarships to be given to children as young as five, which is very helpful if the child eventually wants to attend college. Even if they don’t, though, it’s still a fun program for them to enjoy throughout their childhood.

Despite the scholarship opportunities, though, Lueck said that Youth Bowling hasn’t seen as many people signing up in recent years. In fact, most of the sign-ups over the years have been the same bunch of kids, which Lueck finds unfortunate for all young bowlers, especially high schoolers.

“Up until a couple years ago, [Norwood] had a high school team up in different locations, and what happened is bowling alleys and interest in them backed out,” she said. “So now we can’t get enough interest in our high school teams to have a local conference, which means if Norwood kids would like to join high school bowling, they’d have to join a conference far away.”

Lueck is hoping that between the Youth Bowling League and some community outreach that a conference will eventually pop back up in Carver County so it’s closer to the kids interested. Though kids can join different conferences, such as Lueck’s children joining Shakopee’s conference, the traveling can be difficult for all involved. And Lueck, if the conference started back up, would welcome teams from Glencoe and Cologne in order to keep it up.

Trying to reach the kids has been difficult, according to Lueck. Last year, for example, she handed out flyers at every school in the area and she didn’t get a single new student in the league. Waconia High School has had a Physical Education program that covers more activities outside of the school, and has approached Lueck for a couple sessions, but she would happily welcome more schools coming in with the opportunity as well. Otherwise, the league has currently been the same group every year.

And so far, to her, the biggest benefit for the kids in these leagues is the team play.

“Most of the kids join up with their friends, and it’s just a good way for them to spend time together,” she said.

The Youth Bowling League will feature at least two sessions for the year, and more if enough people sign up. The first starts on September 14 and goes until December 14. The second begins January 11 and ends April 4. Each session is $125, and the kids are not required to purchase their own shoes or bowling ball. For those interested in the September session, a registration event is taking place during Stiftungsfest on August 22 during Family Night from 5-8pm. Otherwise, the Lazy Loon Brewery will also have an event on August 27 from 1-3pm in its parking lot. For any questions regarding the league and signing up, contact Lueck at tammy@lovetheloon.com.

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