St. Francis to add men’s, women’s bowling
From Submitted Reports December 10, 2012 8:44PM
Updated: January 12, 2013 6:12AM
Beginning in the fall 2013, University of St. Francis will add men’s and women’s bowling to its roster of intercollegiate sports, increasing the university’s varsity sport offerings to 21.
“After a thorough review of the sports landscape in college athletics today, we see that bowling is an up-and-coming sport and want to be at the forefront of offering it to our students,” USF director of athletics Dave Laketa said.
“One of the main factors in our decision to add bowling was the limited number of four-year colleges in Illinois that offer the sport. The fact that bowling should become a championship sport at the NAIA national level in the next few years was another key reason.”
Only two Illinois colleges sponsor bowling at the NAIA level and nine four-year colleges offer the sport statewide.
Bowling is classified as an NAIA Emerging Sport. It is recognized by the NAIA as a varsity program subject to the association’s rules and regulations but without an official national championship event.
Each of the past two years, the NAIA has held a national invitational event for bowling under the guidelines of Emerging Sports. Once 50 or more institutions have sponsored the sport, the NAIA may designate it as an official NAIA championship sport.
Thirty-one NAIA institutions offer men’s bowling, while 32 sponsor a women’s program.
“Another deciding factor for us is that the Will County area is a hotbed for bowling,” Laketa said. “We won’t need to go far to build a championship-caliber program with the success that this area has shown at the high school level.”
USF projects a roster size of 16 for both the men’s and women’s bowling programs.
A search for a coach will begin immediately.