[media-credit name=”Amanda Lewark” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]The Weber State University Bowling Club was organized in the early 1960s. Coach Fred Meaders has coached the team since 1987.
A tournament is held for tryouts for the team the first week of fall semester. Anyone can tryout. However, to be on the team, students must be enrolled full time at WSU.
Some small scholarships are offered. For example, students get scholarship money for books, and some out of state students can get in-state tuition instead of out-of-state tuition.
The bowling team practices Monday through Thursday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wildcat Lanes is reserved for them at this time.
The bowling season starts at the end of September. The first tournaments are in October and continue through March. The top 80 teams compete in sectionals in April. WSU is currently ranked 50, so it will compete in sectionals this year. After sectionals are the intercollegiate competitions. This includes the top 15 schools in the country.
The team travels often to compete around the country. They travel by motor pool as far as Florida and compete with schools such as the University of Florida and Florida State University.
There are eight players on the team, of which six or seven will compete in any given tournament. The selection is based on the previous week’s performance during practice.
The team will practice with different oil patterns on the lane and compete against each other.
The oil on the lane protects the surface. How the oil is placed on the lane affects the way the ball travels. The oil patterns can change throughout the game because the ball will pick up the oil and then move it to different parts of the lane. This causes the ball to hook less and less on the back of the lane and hook more at the front of the lane.
“Thus, you always have to adjust your game with speed, loft and projection” Meaders said.
Meaders gives the analogy of a basketball player trying to make a basket and every shot the basketball hoop is either raised or lowered.
Meaders said there are a lot of physics that play into bowling. Friction, energy transfer, revolution, and projection are just some of the concepts his players need to understand in order to play well.
Several tournaments are played using the Baker’s system. This is usually played with 5 players. Each player can only play 2 frames.
“There is tremendous pressure on the players, and it really makes them play as a team,” Meaders said. “You need all strong players because many games come down to one or two points.”
This was the case in 1991 when WSU competed against Northern Illinois University for the Division II National Championship. It came down to the last frame where NIU scored 2 strikes and WSU scored 2 strikes. NIU was up and knocked down all the pins except the number 10 pin and WSU scored another strike, securing the championship.
The president of the club is electronic engineering student and full time military, Scott McIntire, who has been on the team for two years. He said he has been an avid bowler since he was 8 years old and has bowled a perfect game 13 times.
Team member and communications major Mark Mandell has bowled a perfect game once at Fat Cats in Ogden.
“It was one of those games when, no matter what you did, you were gonna get a strike,” Mandell said. “I had tunnel vision. I was in the zone and wasn’t aware of anything else around me. I started shaking when I was finished.”
Other players on the team include human performance management major Shaun Reeve, instrumental music education major and the drum major for the WSU marching band Andrew Wood, senior psychology major Tyler Hess and senior automitive technology major Kasey Kolozak, also a senior in Automotive technology.
This weekend the team will be bowling in a tournment in Arizona.