Photo courtesy of TYTL. This season’s champions are from Oakfield Lanes in Brandon.

The Tampa Youth Travel League (TYTL), established in the early 80s, is a competitive travel league for youth bowlers. These bowlers are required to try out at one of the eight bowling centers (houses) located around the greater Tampa area.

The 12-team league was designed to encourage youth bowlers to have healthy competition against other bowlers in the Tampa Bay area. TYTL currently has about 70 youth members that travel from as far as Sarasota and Zephyrhills to compete with their teams each week. The ages range from preteen up to 18, and coaches assemble teams based on the abilities of the bowlers.

TYTL advisors Kelly Nelson, Rich Fiore and Lloyd O’Hara feel that they are in an exciting position to challenge their youth by teaching them both the physical and mental aspects of the game, allowing them to think for themselves, as well as helping prepare them for future endeavors.

The league meets 26 Saturdays throughout the school year. Each team earns points for the games bowled throughout the season, and the team with the highest total pins receives the championship traveling plaque to display at their bowling center for the year. This year’s current champions are from Oakfield Lanes in Brandon.

Todd Morrow coaches the teams that are affiliated with Brandon Crossroads Bowl in Tampa. His daughter always wanted to play in the league, and when she joined the league six years ago, Morrow joined as a coach.

According to Morrow, the bowlers receive money in their scholarship accounts when they win. At the end of the season anywhere from $1,000-$4,000 is given out in scholarship money. Morrow said that his daughter, who is now in college, earned about $8,000 for college from bowling.

Morrow enjoys helping the youth and watching them grow. Some of his bowlers will not be eligible for the league next season because they will reach the age limit of 18.

“I’ve seen them from 12 to 18 years old, just watching them grow and progress as bowlers and as youth into adulthood, it just makes your day,” said Morrow.

The league is currently looking for more players because of the age restriction after this season. If you are a youth bowler interested in joining the league, contact your local bowling alley.