WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced on Friday that men’s and women’s bowling will become the 27th and 28th sports to earn national championship status beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.
The NAIA made the announcement after the NAIA National Administrative Council (NAC) voted to approve the measure at the annual NAIA Convention in West Palm Beach, Fla. on Friday.
“The sport of bowling has experienced steady growth over the years,” said NAIA President and C.E.O. Jim Carr. “Becoming the first four-year collegiate athletics association to offer men’s bowling as a championship sport gives student-athletes another reason to give serious consideration to attending an NAIA institutions.”
Both men’s and women’s bowling follow competitive cheerleading (2016-17), dance (2016-17) and men’s volleyball (2018-19) as the newest sports over the last three years to go from invitational to championship status. The NAIA was the first collegiate association to make competitive cheerleading and competitive dance a championship, and will be the first with men’s bowling.
In order to gain national championship status, a sport must be sponsored by a minimum of 40 varsity institutions, completed at least two National Invitationals and approved by the NAC. There are 44 NAIA institutions that declared their intent to participate in men’s bowling postseason in 2018-19 and 48 on the women’s side.
The approval comes on the heels of a successful year of NAIA National Invitational status. Visit Topeka hosted the NAIA National Invitational from March 28-30. SCAD Savannah (Ga.) captured both the 2019 men’s and women’s titles.
For more information on NAIA Men’s and Women’s Bowling, click HERE!
About National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., is a governing body of small athletics programs that are dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics. NAIA members provide more than 65,000 student-athletes with opportunities to play college sports, earn $600 million in scholarships and compete in 26 national championships. www.naia.org | @NAIA