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Bowling's Getting SMART

Volume 6, Issue 1, The 131th Edition
By Angel Zobel-Rodriguez


      It's been a long time in coming, but the SMART scholarship system, collected and disbursed by USBC has gone online in a big way. For those without youth bowlers in the family, bowling is big bucks in the form of scholarships. USBC created SMART (Scholarship Management and Reporting for Tenpins) as a centralized place for a variety of organizations--youth leagues, tournament clubs, associations, and the like--to send the scholarship dollars and allow the recipients to request the scholarships. First mentioned roughly two years ago, the online portion of the program finally went live early this spring.

      I became acquainted with SMART very soon after becoming a youth coordinator. A local center was going out of business and was having a scholarship tournament to disburse their final funds. My son won his first scholarship that day--in 6th grade. Soon after I started having some scholarships awarded out of my own center.

      Which brings me to last Friday evening. I wanted to make a few disbursements to some bowlers as youth leagues had ended that week in my center. I pulled up the SMART webpage, entered my account and password, and up comes the website. In literally less than five minutes, I was able to award over $600 to more than half a dozen recipients. Since I was using previously unused funds in my SMART account, had any of those bowlers wanted to request their scholarships that night, they were available. Gone is filling out the paperwork and needing to look in one file cabinet for addresses and another drawer for their bowler ID numbers. I hit print to receive a confirmation print out, so no more wasting half a tree in paper making copies, and no more trips to the post office with an envelope as thick as a telephone book. SMART had the most up-to-date addresses of the bowlers that I know had moved during the season, so USBC is keeping up with the postal changes. I can now do my work on my time from home.

Gotta Split,

Angel


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