Bowling at the varsity level will be added to the Pea Ridge School system sports program, as School Board members approved the request at the regular meeting Monday, April 10.
"We have an opportunity to add a sport," superintendent Keith Martin said, introducing assistant Kevin Ramey who told board members that bowling is an Arkansas Activities Association sport.
"We have the opportunity to add men's and women's bowling at the varsity level," Ramey said, explaining that "we know that students who participate in extra-curricular activities, whether they be athletics, arts, organizations, are more successful in school, more connected, have higher attendance rates, generally GPA is better and have less discipline issues. So this is an excellent opportunity for us to expand our athletics offerings for students and to add participation opportunities."
Ramey said officials with the Rogers Bowling Center will allow the Pea Ridge student team to practice there free of charge. He said they will also be allowed to practice individually for a small fee.
"It's a winter sport -- November through February," Ramey said.
Pea Ridge would be in the West division and get 10 tournaments. He said once the board approved adding the program and the cost, a coach will be sought who will coach both teams.
The board approved the program with the anticipated costs of $1,200 for a coach stipend, $500 for men's uniforms and $500 for women's uniforms for a total anticipated cost of $2,200. Additional costs would be incurred for traveling to contests and tournaments.
Each team would consist of six to 10 students from ninth to 12th grades. Tryouts will take place in October. Uniforms will consist of a polo style shirt and athletes will provide their own slacks, jeans or shorts in accordance with AAA rules.
Teams against which Pea Ridge would compete include Bauxite, Clarksville, Elkins, Flippin, Gentry, Haas Hall - Fayetteville, Hackett, Jessieville, Lamar, Lincoln, Mayflower, Ozark and Perryville.