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The Alro Steel/Michigan Junior Masters Association began in 1986 and came out of conversations between Detroit area bowlers who didn’t want to travel to Ohio for other events. A parent of one of these bowlers approached Dan Ottman, a well known bowler in the Detroit area, to see if he was interested in helping out and starting such a tour. Ottman replied that he was, but he wanted to gauge the interest.
Dan called his long-time teammate Ken Hochstein, who was the proprietor of Cherry Hill Lanes North in Clarkston, which was very easy to get to from all of Southeastern Michigan. Dan told a couple of kids and their parents that word of mouth was going to be important. 47 kids showed up from Ohio and all over Michigan to bowl this inaugural event, which was won by Mike Emke of Center Line.
Dan was enthused over the response and with the help of one of the parents (Paulette Krajniak) embarked on setting up a monthly tournament schedule, which included tournaments at two collegiate bowling centers (Central Michigan and Michigan State) to give the kids a taste of college bowling. The MJMA was born and hit the ground running. Though encountering resistance from traveling leagues due to the perception of "infringement" on “their league”, the MJMA continued to thrive and at one point had members from 8 states as well as Canada.
A chance meeting resulted in the agreement to have Alro Steel become the presenting sponsor of the MJMA. One of the guidelines of the Association is to provide a competitive and professional atmosphere, including a dress code that is strictly enforced. The CEO of Alro Steel, Mr. Al Glick, happened to be at Airport Lanes in Jackson when the MJMA was there in 1999. He was so impressed at what he saw that he offered his assistance to the MJMA. Alro Steel has provided much financial backing, so much that in 2002 the organization became the Alro Steel/Michigan Junior Masters Association.
The MJMA has provided over $600,000 in scholarship money to over 400 bowlers during its first 21 years (during the 2001-02 season, one bowler won nearly $5,000 in scholarship monies)! The MJMA now averages 13 tournaments per year, and bowlers who have participated in the Alro Steel/MJMA have gone on to win National Professional Titles, Collegiate National titles and Junior National titles as well. This Association is not afraid to lay down more difficult lane conditions so that when the players leave and go on to the higher echelon, they will have seen and bowled on these tougher conditions and will have a distinct advantage over most.
Dan Ottman passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on July 31, 2004 on the eve of the 19th Alro Steel/MJMA season. His quest to deliver the best in youth competition has been carried on since then by a Board of Directors that was selected by Ottman to assist with running the events. That Board has continued the standards set by Ottman and will continue to do so. Jerry Tarabek, Tournament Director, heads the group of five adult and four junior Board members who are dedicated to Ottman’s ideals. They are focused on preserving the organization and all of its traditions and allow youth bowlers the chance to compete professionally and earn scholarship money for their continued education.
We invite you to participate in one of our tournaments and join our expanding membership. Come experience first-hand why the Alro Steel/Michigan Junior Masters Association is referred to as "the standard of junior scratch competition"!
Up Next: Mar. 18-19
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2016 - 2017 Schedule
Download the 2016-2017
Schedule (updated 10/15), Rules and Membership Application.