Nov. 11, 2010
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- UAB Athletics Director Brian Mackin announced Thursday the addition of women's bowling and women's sand volleyball to the Blazers' intercollegiate sports program.
UAB will begin competition in bowling in the fall of 2011 and is scheduled to begin competing in sand volleyball in the spring of 2012.
"By adding bowling and sand volleyball, there will be increased opportunities in the future for young women to become student-athletes and to compete at the NCAA Division I level," said Mackin. "We are excited about the addition of these two sports to our athletics program."
College bowling has experienced rapid growth in recent seasons, increasing to nearly 70 schools in the last five years at the NCAA Division I, II or III levels. There are presently 35 universities that sponsor bowling at the NCAA Division I level.
Bowling was named as an emerging intercollegiate sport in 1994, and in 2002, the NCAA announced that it would become an NCAA-sanctioned sport. Legislation was approved a year later, allowing for the first NCAA Championship in the spring of 2004. Nebraska and Vanderbilt have featured two of the premier programs in the country as the Cornhuskers have won three national championships and the Commodores one since the first NCAA championship.
Women's sand volleyball was recently recognized by the NCAA as an emerging sport
and will be contested for the first time during the 2011-12 academic year.
Known as beach volleyball on the professional and Olympic levels, the sport has seen a significant increase in popularity since first being contested at the Olympics in 1996. The performances of the United States teams at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and the 2008 Games staged in Beijing have spurred additional growth for the sport in the U.S.
Mackin said UAB will begin the process of identifying prospective coaches immediately.
With the addition of women's bowling and women's sand volleyball, UAB's number of sponsored intercollegiate sports will increase to 18 (12 women's sports/6 men's sports).