Bowling club in the spotlight | Photo by Wright State University organizations | The Wright State Guardian
Wright State University (WSU) Collegiate Club Bowling is more than just throwing balls.
What is club bowling?
Club Bowling team tryouts are held in early September and the season runs through April. The team is divided into two to three bowlers’ sections each year, depending on the selection of members of the team. The club is divided into the Men’s and Women’s Varsity and Junior Varsity (JV) teams.
Each year, the Club Bowling team participates in national tournaments, hoping to qualify for Sectionals, which precede the Collegiate Nationals and Collegiate Club Nationals in April.
“In March, they cut to the top 80 teams that are ranked and then they split you into four section groups,” said senior bowler Jonathan Ciero. “So you essentially come in with 20 other teams in your division, they’re some of the best 20 teams in the country. They send 20 teams to each of the four tournaments and then you get 64 Baker games in two days and then the top 16 teams will go to Nationals.”
However, students on the team learn about more than just bowling.
WSU Club Bowling Program co-founder and Coach Jeff Fleck joked that they would have a minor in bowling at the end of their bowling stint.
“They learn leadership skills, a lot of mental skills and how to prepare under pressure. I think a lot of things you can apply to progress in adult life and to have a career,” Fleck said.
Under the slogan “Team Before Me”, the bowling team adapts the skills to work fluently as an individual and as a team.
“Even though we are all individual bowlers, we have to be good as a team to succeed, and that’s the beauty of bowling as a sport,” said Ciero.
Fifth-year bowler and freshman master’s student Jessica Pitt talked about how the lub bowling team influenced her college career.
“The team is a great way to meet friends. My first year it helped to reduce a lot of stress. It’s basically how I met my boyfriend. It’s funny how many things would never have happened if we hadn’t joined the club,” Pitt said.
With varsity team play approaching at the Tier 1 Cone Midwest Classic in Addison, Illinois on January 15-16, team members will aim for a win to improve their leadership scores in the preceding weeks before Sectionals in March.
The men’s team is currently ranked 24th in the country and the women’s team is close behind 28th in the country. After the culmination of their early conference tournament win at the American Heartland Bowling Association in October, Ciero has high hopes for the next conference tournament on January 22 in Toledo.
“Our main goal is to make Nationals this year, but on top of that we also get to go to the national club tournament every year,” said Ciero. “We’d love to do well and bowl while we’re there and win.”