At its Aug. 5 meeting, the Board of Directors serving the Iowa Girls' High School Athletic Union voted unanimously here to offer a state championship for girls' bowling beginning in the 2006-07 school year.
Bowling will be the 10th interscholastic state championship for girls, following basketball, softball, track and field, golf, tennis, cross country, swimming and diving, volleyball and soccer. Co-ed golf and tennis championships are also co-sponsored by the Athletic Union and the Iowa High School Athletic Association.
Soccer was most recently added, when 52 schools competed in the first state tournament series in 1998.
Bowling will be contested as a winter sport, filling a void which currently exists with just one sport, basketball, held during that season.
Over 3,000 bowlers from 81 schools participated on club-level teams during the 2004-05 school year.
Nearly 40 percent of those students do not participate in any other sport in their high school.
"The opportunity to involve a large number of students in our interscholastic athletic program who are not currently participating on a school-based team was the key consideration by our Board of Directors," said Troy Dannen, an IGHSAU executive director.