Central College adds menís volleyball, womenís bowling as club sports

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Central College is adding new club sports for the 2019-20 school year, including menís volleyball and womenís bowling with the possibility of both soon becoming varsity sports. Menís volleyball and womenís bowling continue to be emerging intercollegiate sports, the result of increased participation at the high school level.

Club sports are competitive, typically require tryouts to join and games/matches are played against other schools. They may be sponsored by the college but not regulated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association or National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

ďWeíre excited to add these club sports for our student-athletes to compete in,Ē said Eric Van Kley, Centralís director of athletics. ďParticipation continues to grow across the country in menís volleyball and womenís bowling. We feel this the perfect time to look at these as potential varsity sports.Ē

During the 2017 - 18 school year, more than 60,000 boys across the country participated in sanctioned varsity boys volleyball programs. In fact, 16 states offer it as a sanctioned sport.

Girls bowling at the high school level has more than 1,300 participants, as of the 2017-18 school year. Girls bowling is sanctioned in 20 states, including Iowa.

There are currently nine colleges in Iowa with a varsity menís volleyball program, including eight members of the NAIA. Des Moines hosted the inaugural NAIA menís national championships in 2019 and will do so again in 2020. Grand View was a semifinalist.

Loras College, like Central an NCAA Division III and American Rivers Conference member, started its program in 2015.

Womenís bowling among NCAA institutions grew to 80 programs in 2017-18. Five NAIA member colleges in Iowa have womenís bowling teams, as of 2018-19.