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The Scoop

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Huntington University adds bowling as varsity sport

Statement issued Wednesday:

Bowling is emerging as a competitive sport in the NAIA. In 2012, Huntington University will become the first Christian college in Indiana and only the fourth in the nation to offer bowling as a varsity sport.

“For Huntington University, we would like to be on the front end of this emerging sport,” said Dr. Ron L. Coffey, vice president for student development. “There are bowlers looking for a Christ-centered, high-quality education, and who want to continue to compete in the sport they love. We want to make that opportunity available to them.”

Beginning in the 2012-13 school year, the university will launch a men’s and a women’s varsity bowling team with 12 athletes per team. The season will run from October to April with multiple weekend tournaments throughout that time.

“We are very excited to add bowling as an intercollegiate sport for both men and women,” said Athletic Director Lori Culler. “We know we have a tremendous number of outstanding bowlers here in our own community, and the success they’ve had has created a lot of enthusiasm for the sport. We hope to be able to tap into that talent pool often to give our programs some local flavor.”

Last year alone, more than 300 boys and girls teams competed in Indiana, and many local high schools host teams, including Huntington North, Homestead, Blackhawk Christian, Snider and Carroll.

In 2010, bowling became an emerging sport in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as a result of 25 member institutions declaring participation for that academic year. Fifty varsity programs are needed to become an NAIA championship sport.

Across the nation, Missouri Baptist University (Mo.), Campbellsville University (Ky.) and Shorter University (Ga.) are the only CCCU (Council for Christian Colleges and Universities) schools with a bowling program.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 14 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 53 NAIA All-America honors and 173 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.

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