Bowling comes to Chowan

Published 2:46 pm Thursday, May 14, 2009

MURFRESBORO – A new sport will debut at Chowan University next year.

The Hawks will field their first-ever bowling team next winter, as they become a full member of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA).

“Adding bowling was a stipulation of joining the CIAA because it is a sport the conference recognizes,” said Chowan University Athletic Director Dennis Helsel. “We’re excited about the possibilities for our female student-athletes.”

Chowan recently held tryouts for the team and had 12 young ladies venture to a bowling facility in Franklin, Virginia for the opportunity to participate next season.

“The prospective coach was smiling,” Helsel said. “I think he was pleased with the quality bowling he saw.”

The sport requires five bowlers, but the team will probably have seven to 10 members, according to Helsel.

Chowan will become the 19th NCAA Division II school to offer bowling, joining the CIAA members as well as such D-II schools as Minnesota State University, Mankato and Cheney University of Pennsylvania.

The scoring is done by individual or the Baker scoring system meaning the team can bowl as one unit with a person bowling the first and sixth frames, another bowling the second and seventh and so on or each individual’s score is reported.

Bowling is listed as an “emerging sport” by the NCAA, according to Helsel, but already has enough teams to become a legitimate sport. An emerging sport must have 40 or more schools participating to become an actual sport sanctioned by the NCAA and bowling has achieved that number in eight years.

The position of Head Bowling Coach has been accepted by Tom Whiteman, a faculty member who works in the William A. Krueger School of Graphics at Chowan.

A year after bowling becomes a sport, cross country is set to return to Chowan University. The sport was removed shortly after the Hawks made the transition to D-II, but will be back as per a directive of the CIAA.

“Once we have completed the process of adding bowling, we will begin working on bringing cross country back,” Helsel said. “We want to make sure we do it well and give those student-athletes an opportunity to be successful.”