KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has elevated the sport of bowling to emerging sport status. The move by one of the nation's governing bodies for collegiate sports and leader in small college athletics puts bowling on the path to becoming a championship sport for dozens of colleges and universities.
"This is a fantastic development for bowling student-athletes,"
United States Bowling Congress Collegiate Manager Gary Brown said. "We
have crossed a key threshold on the path to bowling becoming an NAIA
Bowling reached emerging sport status when 25 or more NAIA member
declared to participate for the 2010-2011 academic year. The sport will
serve a one year provisional period and must certify eligibility for
participating student-athletes. This period will not include official
championship competition, however a coaches association will be
develop policies and procedures. Following the provisional period the
association may organize an NAIA invitational event, a defined
order for the sport to gain championship sport status.
In addition to a successful invitational event, 50 or more institutions
need to declare participation in order to complete the final requirement
bowling to reach championship sport status. Currently 27 men's and 29
women's bowling programs compete at NAIA member institutions.
Union has sponsored bowling as an intercollegiate sport since the 2008-09 season.
"Collegiate bowling has grown in popularity and our members are excited
about how this sport will add to the competitive sports experience
young men and women competing in the NAIA," said Lori
Thomas, NAIA Vice President for Championships. "I would
like to thank the United States Bowling Congress for their work to grow
intercollegiate bowling. We look forward to a collaborative
In the past season, USBC Collegiate has facilitated an overall growth of
than 16 percent in the number of institutions with bowling programs
In addition to the NAIA, the sport of bowling is now recognized by the
Collegiate Athletic Association and the National Junior College Athletic
The NAIA has more than 60,000 student-athletes participating at nearly
member colleges and universities throughout the United
States and Canada. Divided into 25 conferences
and the Association of Independent Institutions, the NAIA offers 23
championships in 13 sports.
All NAIA bowling programs are members of USBC Collegiate, including the
reigning women's USBC Intercollegiate Team Champion, Webber
(Fla.), and runner-up McKendree (Ill.).
Other women's NAIA teams that advanced to the 2010 ITCs from the NAIA
include Pikeville (Ky.), Lindenwood (Mo.), Robert Morris-Illinois and
St. Ambrose (Iowa). On the
men's side, McKendree, Robert Morris-Illinois, Lindenwood, Webber
International and the runner-up for the national title, Calumet College
are NAIA members. To learn more about emerging sports in the NAIA visit www.NAIA.org. To learn more about USBC visit www.BOWL.com.
Story provided by the NAIA.