Club Bowling Team pins down future goals

    UW-Eau Claire club bowling team gets the ball rolling on future recruitment and success

    More stories from Kaitlyn Zenner


    Photo by Submitted

    The UW-Eau Claire bowling club team is still going strong after 30 years of competing

    After 30 years, the UW-Eau Claire bowling club is still up and running as students head over to Wagner’s Lanes once a week to practice their skills.

    Nathan Pinter, a fourth-year bowler, said the team competes in the Great Lakes Bowling Conference, which includes twenty schools that bowl against one another.

    Pinter said their season, which runs from September to early February, was tough this year. This was in large part due to lack of players on the team.

    “We were not very successful this year due to shortages of players at multiple tournaments,” Pinter said. “Every team is required to have five players bowl at a tournament or else scores of “0” will be entered. We only had four players at three tournaments which hurt us in the overall standings for our conference.”

    Despite this disadvantage, Madeline Halbur, a third-year student and bowling club president, said the team began seeing more success once they found a fifth member, placing in the top 10 out of 30 teams in their last two tournaments of the season.

    The club itself, Halbur said, is competitive, consisting of students who are serious about bowling, though the team works to keep a relaxed and fun atmosphere.

    “We keep the mood light, but still stay serious about bowling,” Halbur said. “The team is a hefty time commitment as we practice weekly to improve skills and travel once or twice a month for tournaments typically a few hours away.”

    The tearing down of the UW-Eau Claire bowling alley, Halbur said, has limited students’ ability to try out bowling for fun, thus limiting the number of players willing to try out.

    “We would love to have students involved with the club who aren’t able to travel to tournaments,” Halbur said. “We don’t have any way of doing this anymore without the bowling alley on campus.”

    Though the bowling club faces the challenge of a limited number of members, Pinter said this creates a tight knit environment for the team.

    The bowling club has always acted as a family, often doing other events with each other not involving bowling,” Pinter said. “It’s a great club to be a part of and will for sure give you memories that you will never forget.”

    Looking towards the future, Halbur discussed her hope for a bigger team and the addition of a coach to make the club more competitive.

    “I know that with enough recruiting efforts, smart budget planning, and strong coaching — we have a current graduating member coming back to be our coach next season and possibly others after that — we can be a strong competitor in both the men’s and the women’s division in the conference,” Halbur said.

    As the team looks to next year, Halbur said she encourages anyone who is passionate about bowling to come try out for the bowling club team.   

    “This club is a serious team, but we love to have fun,” Halbur said. “I think it’s a great fit for people who bowled during their childhood, or like me, in high school who don’t want to give the sport up yet.”

    Zenner can be reached at [email protected].