School district consults with ITRC to expand high school bowling program

Coaches and administrators from the Butler, Pa., school district visited the International Training and Research Center this week to explore options for expanding high school bowling in their area.

Kevin Caparosa, a bowling proprietor who operates Family Bowlaway in Butler, Pa., is spearheading an effort to revive bowling instruction and participation at the junior high school level in his community.

The Butler school district enjoys a thriving high school bowling program that recently sent an undefeated girls’ varsity team to the Pennsylvania State Championships, where the team finished sixth in the 152-team field. But the sport of bowling has had a diminishing presence in the junior high curriculum due the retirement of a physical education teacher known for incorporating bowling into her class instruction.

“She was wonderful,” Caparosa said of that retired teacher. “She was very proactive at getting kids involved in the sport of bowling. We’re hoping that we’ll be able to duplicate her success.”

Bowlers and non-bowlers alike, including bronze-level coaches and physical education teachers, joined Caparosa on the trip to learn more about how to build an effective infrastructure through which once again they can offer bowling instruction and intramural play to their junior high school students.

ITRC coaches and staff treated the group to workshops on a range of topics, including strength and conditioning, level-1 and bronze-level coaching, scholarship opportunities that exist for high school bowlers looking to compete at the college level, and instruction on the basic fundamentals of the sport.

Ross, along Managing Director of the National Governing Body Neil Stremmel, also guided the group on a tour of all International Training and Research Center facilities, acquainting them with the research and specifications departments as well as the ITRC’s cutting-edge coaching technologies.

“It’s been fabulous,” Butler bowling coach and hall of famer Bill Fay said of his experience at the ITRC. “The staff here has been great. Everything they taught was so up to date; it was exactly what we were looking for. I can’t say enough about them.”

“The whole experience has been excellent,” Caparosa said. “We’ve learned a lot about techniques for training and instruction, exercising, making sure the bowlers have the flexibility they need. I think the group I brought down here will be much richer as a result of this experience.”

Rod Ross, head coach of Team USA and the ITRC, sees the group’s visit as an opportunity to facilitate continued growth in the increasingly popular realm of high school bowling, one of the fastest-growing high school sports in the country.

“There seems to be a gap between the grade school level and high school bowling, and there needs to be a feeder system to bridge the two together,” Ross said. “We have the capability to put together quite an interesting program where they can get credit hours, which is what the teachers need for accreditation anyway. This is another avenue that we want to take to help grow the sport.”