Conference USA to Add Bowling for 2023-24 Season; Valpo Bowling to Join C-USA
Wednesday, May 10, 2023
By Release Courtesy C-USA
Conference USA to Add Bowling for 2023-24 Season; Valpo Bowling to Join C-USA

DALLAS – Conference USA is set to add bowling to its sport portfolio for the 2023-24 season, C-USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod announced Wednesday.

“We are very excited to add bowling to Conference USA,” MacLeod said. “We look forward to this very competitive group of programs challenging for national championships every year. We are thankful to Chris Grant and the Southland Conference for the collaboration resulting in the transition of these programs and the automatic qualifier status to C-USA.”

Conference USA will be comprised of nine programs during its first season – Arkansas State, Jacksonville State, Louisiana Tech, Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, Tulane, Valparaiso, Vanderbilt and Youngstown State.

Six of those nine programs were a part of the 2023 NCAA Championship, including the national champion, Vanderbilt, and the national runner-up, Arkansas State. Dating back to 2014, this group of institutions has won five of the past nine national championships (Stephen F. Austin in 2016 and 2019, Vanderbilt in 2018 and 2023 and Sam Houston in 2014).

Bowling has been an NCAA-sponsored sport since the 2003-04 season, with the first NCAA Championship taking place in 2004. For the 2022-23 academic year, 100 NCAA institutions participated in the sport.

Considered one of the NCAA's winter sports, Women's Bowling's season runs from October through the end of March. The NCAA Championship being held in April, and each NCAA program must bowl a minimum of 15 dates to be eligible for the NCAA Championship.

In NCAA Bowling, programs from all classifications compete together for one championship each year. Seventeen teams, nine automatic qualifiers and eight at-large selections, are chosen by the NCAA Bowling Committee to compete in the Championship.

The field is split into five regions, competing at predetermined sites; each of the top four seeds as chosen by the NCAA selection committee is placed in a separate regional. Each regional is played as a double-elimination tournament.

All regional matches, except for what the NCAA calls "if necessary regional finals", are best-of-three matches bowled in the following order: five-person team, Baker total pinfall, Baker best-of-seven match play. Any "if necessary regional final" will be Baker best-of-seven.

Regional winners advance to the championship event, which will also be double-elimination. All matches are bowled under the standard format for regionals (best-of-three matches using specified formats in a specific order) except the championship final, which will be Baker best-of-seven.

Explanation of Bowling scoring/games:

Team Game (Five-Person). A team game consists of five members of the same team each completing one full game of bowling, completing the 10 frames. The completion of the game is done by each player (1 through 5) completing frame one, then completing frame two, frame three, etc., until all 10 frames have been completed. All five completed games are then added for a sum total.
Baker Game. A Baker game is defined as a modified scoring format consisting of five players, with each member completing only two frames of a tenpin game. All team members follow each other in sequential order, each bowling a complete frame (Player No. 1 = frame No. 1, Player No. 2 = frame No. 2, etc.) until each member has completed one of the first five frames; this process is completed again (starting with Player No. 1) in frames six through 10 until the game is complete. All 10 frames of the game are added together to determine a final score.