Getting Started With College Bowling – Part 1

A bowler's guide to college recruitment

Getting Started With College Bowling - Part 1

Every year, hundreds of kids join college bowling teams, but at the same time, thousands of perfectly talented bowlers do not bowl collegiately. So why do all these high school bowlers slip through the cracks and not bowl in college? For many, it’s simply a case of not knowing that they can go to college and bowl, or not knowing how best to put themselves out there. In this article, I will talk about different ways to get recruited to bowl in college, as well as the overall recruiting process.

Before I talk in-depth about what you should be looking for in a college, let me begin by talking about the governing bodies. Most schools compete under the jurisdiction of the USBC Collegiate program. Additionally, women’s bowling is an NCAA sport at some schools. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) also sanction bowling for men and women at smaller schools and junior colleges and host their own national championship events. It can all be a bit confusing, but it’s safe to say that there are plenty of opportunities out there.

Depending on gender and school type, student-athletes may have opportunities to compete at more than one national championship event. For example, all NCAA, NAIA, and NJCCA schools can compete in the USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships (ITC) if they go through the necessary steps of qualification. This is very relevant information because knowing which path you want to take is a big piece of the decision-making process.

Getting started

There are a few preliminary steps before contacting coaches and visiting schools. You need to know what you want to get out of your next four years. This includes defining your educational goals, identifying your bowling goals, and deciding what you want out of a coach.

(Editor’s note: take a look at the second half of our two-part interview with Coach Andy Diercks for his perspective on this part of the recruiting process.)

The first step is identifying a major and then finding out which colleges offer that major. Any coach will tell you ...

Joshua Atkinson

About Joshua Atkinson

Joshua Atkinson is a member of the Belmont Abbey bowling team and is set to graduate in 2025. He is pursuing degrees in Sport Management and Psychology. He is the lead producer for the Belmont Abbey Sports Network, as well as the wrestling team manager. Joshua is also the host of the Pin For Pin Podcast, where he talks about college bowling on a weekly basis.