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      August 02, 2001:

-YABA Membership Increases During 2000-2001 Season

08/02/2001 - Bowling Headquarters
      For the first time in nearly 10 years, the membership decline in sanctioned bowling, at the youth level, has been halted. The Young American Bowling Alliance (YABA), the premier international youth membership organization in the sport of tenpin bowling has announced an increase in membership for the 2000-2001 season.

      As of Aug. 1, YABA has surpassed last season's total of 409,465 by almost 2,000 members. This is the first increase in membership from the previous year for YABA since the 1991-92 season.

      "YABA is very excited to announce an increase in membership," said YABA Executive Director Jim Zebehazy. "It's a testament to the hard work of a lot of people, the success of many new programs and a renewed interest in youth bowling throughout the bowling industry."

      The renewed interest includes the American Bowling Congress (ABC) and the Women's International Bowling Congress (WIBC) increasing their support of YABA through sponsorship agreements. A close working relationship with the Bowling Proprietors Association of America (BPAA) has also led to advancements in the high school bowling program and a stronger relationship with proprietors. Strike Ten Entertainment has developed relationships with the Cartoon Network and Post Cereals that have promoted YABA and youth bowling. A stronger relationship between YABA and its local associations has also been vital to the recent success.

      In addition, the Junior Gold Program, Xpress, YABA's membership magazine and Bowl.com, the official Web site of bowling, have been well-received by YABA members. Xpress and Bowl.com have increased the lines of communication directly to members, which has led to an increase in instant feedback and communication.

      "Communication has been a major theme for YABA the past two seasons," added Zebehazy. "Through initiatives such as Xpress, there has been an increase in communication with not only our members, but also with the many volunteers, parents and proprietors that play a huge role in the success of our organization."

      The increase in interest in youth bowling has also increased the amount of scholarship money available to members, which has reached over $3 million annually. In addition, nearly $8 million currently sits in the SMART Program, YABA's scholarship management program.

      The Young American Bowling Alliance is the premier international youth membership organization in the sport of tenpin bowling. YABA is committed to providing fun, excitement and opportunities for the personal development of youth. YABA currently serves more than 400,000 members worldwide.


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