The Cardinals will field a women’s bowling team for the first time during the 2017-2018 academic year. “We’re excited to be able to offer another new opportunity for students to participate in intercollegiate athletics,” said Marty Sauer, vice president for enrollment management and athletics. “Women’s bowling is a growing sport on the collegiate level and we’re proud that this will give us an equal number of sports for women as we have for men.”
Collegiate women’s bowling is classified as a winter sport, with competition beginning in October and running through the NCAA National Championship in April. A total of 76 NCAA institutions sponsored women’s bowling at the varsity level during the 2015-2016 academic year, 13 of which were NCAA Division III institutions. North Central is the fifth NCAA institution in Illinois to announce its entry into competition. Aurora University, Elmhurst College and McKendree University have programs in place and Augustana College also has announced plans to field a team beginning in 2017-2018.
The expansion to 26 sports continues to make North Central’s athletic department the largest in College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW). In the past three years, the athletic department has added four teams: men’s volleyball in 2015-2016, women’s triathlon and men’s lacrosse in 2016-2017, and women’s bowling in 2017-2018.