“Southwestern Christian University ‘STRIKES’ up another sport”

Bowling bags and college textbooks may seem like an unlikely pair, but this fall they will become a common sight around the campus of Southwestern Christian University. Starting in the fall of 2010, Southwestern Christian University athletics will offer collegiate bowling as an official NAIA sport for both men and women.

Recently accepted in the NAIA, Southwestern Christian University’s athletic program will be adding multiple sports this fall including, women’s soccer, women’s golf, and men’s and women’s bowling. “Bowling is becoming a very popular sport at the collegiate level. SCU will be the first university in the state of Oklahoma to add collegiate bowling and accommodate this recruiting base” said Mark Arthur, Athletic Director at Southwestern Christian University. “It is already a very popular sport in Oklahoma high schools. It would be great if those athletes turned to SCU to spark their collegiate bowling careers.”

On June 8, 2010 the NAIA announced that it would “elevate bowling to emerging sport status.” Previously, bowling has only been a part of NCAA and NJCAA athletic programs. However, because of its rising popularity in collegiate athletics, the NAIA has decided to offer it for a one-year trial period. All schools taking part in the bowling program will also be a part of the United State Bowling Congress.
Currently SCU, along with other NAIA college teams participating in bowling, will not be able to compete for a championship title in the 2010-2011 season because it is has not been declared a national championship sport yet. After the one-year trial period, NAIA teams participating in bowling will have the chance to attend an invitational event. If the event goes well, a national championship venue will be slated if 50 or more teams decide to announce their participation in the sport. “We plan to keep bowling in our athletics’ program. It is a wonderful opportunity for both the NAIA as well as Southwestern Christian University,” said Mark Arthur.

SCU is part of 27 men’s teams and 29 women’s teams participating in the NAIA bowling program in the fall of 2010. If the program goes as anticipated, in as little as one year the Eagles could have a chance to achieve their first national championship title in bowling. For more information, visit the United States Bowling Congress at www.bowl.com or the NAIA at www.naia.org.