Governing bodies

If your institution is interested in implementing a bowling program, please contact USBC Collegiate for additional information at 800-514-BOWL, ext. 8426 or e-mail

National College Athletic Association (NCAA)
As the number of women's collegiate programs exceeded the required 40 for National College Athletic Association (NCAA) championship sport status, the NCAA officially recognized women's bowling as a championship sport in the 2003-04 season. The NCAA originally granted women's bowling "emerging sport" status on Sept. 1, 1994 to help institutions provide greater opportunities for female student-athletes in athletics and to comply with Title IX guidelines and requirements for revenue distribution, minimum financial aid awards, minimum sports-sponsorship and player distribution numbers.

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference was the first to secure NCAA sanctioning for women's bowling by adopting the sport prior to the1996-97 school year. The MEAC includes such schools as Coppin State, Howard, South Carolina State and Maryland Eastern Shore. Former University of Nebraska standout Jennifer Daugherty became the first woman to receive a full-ride athletic scholarship when the Cornhuskers added women's bowling to their athletic program prior to the 1997-98 school year.

The first NCAA Women's Bowling Championship was held April 8-10, 2004 at Emerald Bowl in Houston. The University of Nebraska won the first two national championships.

USBC Collegiate remains dedicated to assisting the NCAA and their member institutions in implementing varsity bowling opportunities. This process includes continuing the education of university administrators, athletics personnel, prospective student-athletes and the general public of the benefits to having a varsity bowling program on their campus.

Click here to visit the NCAA website.

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
NAIA member institutions primarily fit the profile of smaller, private schools with smaller athletics programs. Since 1937, the NAIA has administered programs and championships in proper balance with the overall educational experience, placing academic achievement above athletic excellence. The organization also places importance on providing equal opportunities for all student-athletes.

The NAIA gave bowling "emerging sport" status for the 2010-11 academic year. If 50 or more NAIA member institutions designate bowling as a varsity sport, then bowling will be eligible for championship sport status and an NAIA national championship.

Click here to visit the NAIA website.

National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)
The National Junior College Athletic Association is the governing body of intercollegiate athletics for two-year colleges. Men's and women's bowling programs within the NJCAA member schools have been functioning since the 1970s. This level of competition is exclusive to two-year junior and community colleges, with logical progression for many of these athletes to four-year institutions.

The NJCAA hosts its own separate national championships each year. Most, if not all, NJCAA guidelines are conducive to current USBC Collegiate guidelines. However, there may be various NCAA eligibility issues, which need to be addressed for female student-athletes looking to transfer at some time from a two-year program to a four-year institution.

Click here to visit the NJCAA website.