As announced earlier this year, BCAW formed an ad hoc committee to review and discuss the Wisconsin High School and Middle School Bowling Club programs.  The HS/MS Ad Hoc Committee met on May 5th, with approximately 20 representatives from around the state participating.  District coordinators, coaches, parents along with the HSBC and MSBC Committee members took part in the five hour meeting.  We were especially pleased to have a current HSBC player volunteer to serve on the committee as well.

From the discussions, we identified ten key areas, agreeing to tackle the first three for the upcoming 2019-20 bowling season:
1.  Dress code for both genders
2.  Standardizing play & how teams/singles qualify to go to state
3.  How BCAW allocates state spots for team & singles competition


4.  HSBC State Tournament – do we make changes to format for 2020 or look to 2021? (The HSBC Committee has deferred consideration to 2021)
5.  Female participation & retention
6.  Developing a manual to help get teams recognized by schools
7.  Collegiate – combine, website, resource center
8.  How to promote & market bowling
9.  Redistricting (district realignment)
10. Standardization of lane conditions

A lengthy conversation was held regarding the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA).  After sharing information BCAW had obtained from WIAA Executive Director Dave Anderson, consensus was it is not desirable nor realistic to pursue seeking WIAA affiliation for our high school bowling program.  We will continue to encourage and support teams receiving varsity letter recognition from their schools, but the program as a whole, will not be seeking WIAA affiliation.

Work groups were assembled to develop recommendations for policy change on the first three topics, with conference calls held to review the current policies and procedures, and make recommendations.  Thanks to the recommendations from each of the three work groups, the HSBC and MSBC Committees were in position to make changes to both programs for the coming bowling season.

For the HSBC Program, the overarching direction will be to provide standardization to the program to assure a degree of uniformity throughout the state.  With 13 HSBC districts, some of the local changes to our program were felt to be detrimental to the overall program and our student athletes.

The MSBC Program will see significant changes in how teams are formed, providing more latitude to have teams formed in such a manner as to let youth bowlers bowl with their school and neighborhood friends.  The onerous co-op policies will be relaxed as a means to form teams based on school districts or local communities (towns/villages/cities) rather than actual school buildings.

For both programs district competition formats and how teams/players advance to the respective state tournaments have been established for all districts.  Additionally, the dress code will be clearer on what is acceptable attire for district and state competitions, particularly in the area of slacks/pants for both boys and girls.  We’re happy to announce we will be allowing girls to wear skirts & skorts of acceptable length in both programs!

BCAW will be hosting a meeting for all HSBC and MSBC District Coordinators on Sunday, September 8, 2019 to review all of the changes for the upcoming bowling season.  Meeting notice invitations have been sent out to those who served as district coordinators for the 2018-19 bowling season.  We are strongly encouraging districts to refrain from scheduling organizational meetings until after this date, as there are many changes being implemented which may affect the playing season.

On behalf of both the HSBC and MSBC Committees, we appreciate the time and contributions of many who helped to get us to this point.  We know there is still much work to do and feel positive about these initial first steps.