NCAA Women's Bowling
As the number of women's collegiate programs exceeded the required 40 for National College Athletic Association championship sport status, the NCAA officially recognized women's bowling as a championship sport in the 2003-04 season. The NCAA originally granted Women's bowling "emerging sport" status on Sept. 1, 1994 to help institutions provide greater opportunities for female student-athletes in athletics and to comply with Title IX guidelines and requirements for revenue distribution, minimum financial aid awards, minimum sports-sponsorship and player distribution numbers.
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference was the first to secure NCAA sanctioning for women's bowling by adopting the sport prior to the1996-97 school year. The MEAC includes such schools as Coppin State University, Howard University, South Carolina State University andthe University of Maryland-Eastern Shore. Former University of Nebraska standout Jennifer Daugherty became the first woman to receive a full-ride athletic scholarship when the Cornhuskers added women's bowling to their athletic program prior to the 1997-98 school year.
Bowling joined rowing, ice hockey and water polo as women's sports that have been elevated to NCAA championship sport status since the adoption of emerging sport legislation for women. In the 2008-09 season, nearly 60 schools offered women's bowling at the varsity level-all vying to advance to the cross-divisional NCAA National Collegiate Women's Bowling Championship.
The first NCAA National Collegiate Women's Bowling Championship was held April 8-10, 2004 at Emerald Bowl in Houston, Texas. The University of Nebraska won the first two national championships, with Fairleigh Dickinson breaking through and winning this title in2006.
USBC Collegiate remains dedicated to assisting the NCAA and their member institutions in implementing varsity bowling opportunities. This process includes continuing the education of university administrators, athletics personnel, prospective student-athletes and the general public of the benefits to having avarsity bowling program on their campus.
NCAA Women's Bowling National Champions:
- 2004 - University of Nebraska
- 2005 - University of Nebraska
- 2006 - Fairleigh Dickinson University
- 2007 - Vanderbilt University
- 2008 - University of Maryland-Eastern Shore
More than 140 institutions offer competitive bowling programs at the junior college, NAIA and club sport levels for women. The seprograms have an opportunity to compete in any of more than 80 regional and national tournaments held throughout the season. In addition, these teams can qualify for the USBC ITC.
If your institution is interested in implementing a NCAA Women's Bowling program, please contact USBC Collegiate for additional information at (800) 514-BOWL, ext. 8979 or e-mail USBCcollegiate@bowl.com.
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