Spare and Strike Supremacy at Stake

Auburndale – Some of the best and the brightest bowlers in the state – and surely the youngest – will soon descend on Cypress Lanes in Winter Haven for the youth bowling championship, commonly known as “The Pepsi Tournament.” Over five weekends, from the end of March throughout April, more than 3,000 participants will battle each other for strike and spare supremacy during the 2017 Pepsi Florida State Youth Championship of the Florida State United States Bowling Congress Youth Bowling Association.

But this isn’t the first time Cypress Lanes has hosted the event. This year, beating out three different Florida destinations in the final round of presentations in Ocala, was the staff from Polk County Sports Marketing.

“We could not have been awarded this event without the support of the Polk County Sports Marketing team,” said Michael Ducat, the owner of Cypress Lanes. “They were critical in us getting the event.”

Cypress Bowler Inside Track

Last year, the event was held in Brandon, Florida. The significance of returning to Winter Haven was not lost on event organizers.

“It’s been six years since Cypress Lanes last hosted our event so we’re excited to be returning to the area,” said Allen Solomon, tournament director. “Winter Haven offers easy access for almost every region of Florida, and some of our largest events have been held there. We look forward to working with the entire staff at the Cypress Lanes – they are like a big family, and treat us like family too."

Youth bowlers must qualify for the tournament though competition at their home centers, before coming to Polk County to compete in 14 divisions spanning ages 4 to 19. The Pepsi Tournament is expected to draw nearly 3,000 young athletes from more than 110 bowling centers all over Florida. Including participants, coaches, family members and spectators, the tournament is projected to generate $2.3 million in economic impact for Polk County.

Dates of the event are March 25-26, April 1-2, 8-9, 22-23 and 29-30.  There will be no bowling Easter weekend April 15-16.