Shocker Bowling Tryout Process



All Shocker team hopefuls are required to participate in a physical fitness test. The test consists of a maximum number of sit-ups and pushups in two minutes along with a timed two mile run.


Shocker team hopefuls will participate in on-lane tryouts starting at the discretion of the coaching staff which will run two to three weeks in length. To accommodate the large number of anticipated participants, bowlers need to anticipate a tryout period which uses up to all five weekday afternoons. Typically each tryout day will have an “A” and a “B” squad and bowlers will bowl 3-5 games per squad, moving a pair right after each game. To ease the scheduling process, bowlers are required to select specific times and days and stick with those for the duration of tryouts.

The on-lane tryouts will be structured to achieve a variety of goals.  First, it will give an opportunity to the coaching staff to see every team hopeful and evaluate each player’s current skill levels.  Second, it will give all Shocker team walk-ons a way to evaluate their strengths and areas where improvement is needed. Third, it will allow bowlers of different skill levels the chance to improve.  Additionally, each athlete will be given a fitness test to assist the coaching staff in determining each athlete’s state of physical fitness. Each “A” and “B” squad may include announcements and stretching, followed by a limited practice ball period, prior to the start of a competitive block of games 3-5 in number. Statistics that may be kept from the tryout process may include average, balls in pocket, carry percentage, spare and split conversions to mention a few. The tryout process may also consist of written tests of which the topics for such tests to be handed out at the annual organizational meeting prior to the start of tryouts. Topics may include but are not limited to the program philosophy, the code of conduct, the handbook, scholarships and fundraising. These statistics, grades, and other testing stats done by the coaching staff may or may not be posted for the players’ information.

Prior to the start of tryouts, the coaching staff may make a pre-selection of players to be placed directly onto the selected team. These players may or may not participate in the annual tryout process. As such, they should leave their schedules open in the afternoon during the regular tryout period.

Unless granted a tryout exemption, both new and returning student-athletes are required to participate in the tryout process. After the tryout period, the final team selections will be made to determine the players who will make up the teams that will compete for Wichita State University for the upcoming season. Team selections for the men’s and women’s teams will be posted the first Monday after the last day of tryouts by approximately 6:00 p.m. Coaches reserve the right to make changes in the tryout process at their discretion.


These classes will be held during the year, on a pre-announced schedule for roughly 8-12 sessions.  Due to the number of those attending, different classrooms may be required in which to conduct the class. The location of upcoming classes will be posted on the Shocker Bowling website under the calendar feature, on a timely basis. THE EDUCATIONAL CLASSES (SHOCKER BOWLING HPS 110D) ARE TO BE ATTENDED BY ALL SHOCKER TEAM ATHLETES (walk-ons & pre-selected players). Attendance, participation, tests and quizzes in the class will play a role in the team selection process and receiving the one hour of college credit. In addition, this class will make up a large part of the requirements for those student-athletes enrolled in Shocker Bowling H.P.S. 110D, for both the fall and spring semesters. During the course, a variety of bowling topics will be presented to improve the knowledge and skill of all team hopefuls. Some topics which may be presented include: physical game, mental game and sports psychology, lane play, bowling balls, athletic stretching and conditioning, sports nutrition, athletics and academics and professional bowling, to mention only a few.


  1. The coaches, at their discretion, may announce and conduct a special PRE-TRYOUT-SESSION on/at a certain date(s), time(s), location(s), of their choosing in order to alter the size of the group wishing to enter the tryout process. This pre-tryout may or may not involve returning bowlers and bowlers new to the program. More information about the pre-tryout will be made available, if necessary, at the first organizational meeting.

  2.  Each tryout bowler is expected to complete the total number of games required during the tryout process, except under special circumstances (see no. 4 and no. 7). During the scheduled tryout days there will typically be an “A” and “B” block. During a designated tryout week or period, bowlers will be required to bowl an equal number of “A” and “B” blocks.  Each bowler selects first choice “A” and “B” block times at the first organizational meeting at the beginning of the fall semester.  ON-LANE TRYOUT SQUADS ARE USUALLY CONDUCTED ON THE UNIVERSITY LANES, BUT MAY BE HELD AT OFF-CAMPUS CENTERS. EACH TRYOUT BLOCK WILL CONSIST OF APPROXIMATELY THREE TO FIVE GAMES.

  3. The educational bowling classes are conducted throughout the fall and spring semesters.  Different rooms on campus may be used for this function. The location, day, time and place of upcoming classes will be posted on the bowling program’s website, www.wichita.edu/bowling, our digital bullet board and will also be distributed to each player on a printed syllabus. All tryout bowlers are expected to attend any bowling educational class during the tryout period.

  4. A bowler must finish a tryout squad once it has started. No partial tryout periods will be accepted, with the exception of an extreme illness or injury, which may cause a bowler to leave the squad early.

  5. Coaches may require players to keep, record and submit (either or both) score and statistic sheets to the coaching staff each block. These sheets are crucial to assigning lane numbers and must have FIRST AND LAST names, lane numbers, player/scorer numbers and dates clearly marked on them.

  6. MAKE UP GAMES WITHIN TRYOUTS - If for some reason a bowler should have to miss their regularly scheduled squad time, they are allowed to make up games under the following guidelines.

    • Bowlers must notify a member of the head coaching staff of their reason for missing their tryout squad, prior to the start of their scheduled squad.

    • Bowlers may make up (under coach approval) by bowling in another tryout squad, provided that there is a spot available.

  7. MISSED TRYOUTS - Bowlers who incur severe injury or illness during the tryout period and are unable to finish tryouts are not automatically eliminated from the eventual team selection process.  They may return to tryouts as soon as their health permits. Additionally, bowlers may be excused from the tryout process based upon coach’s approval due to circumstances that mandate an exception. Bowlers who are attending class and are Shocker Bowling Program - eligible to bowl but were initially unaware of tryouts, may begin tryouts as soon as they are able, (pending coaches’ approval). Bowlers who miss entire weeks of tryouts, as in these two examples, will not be eliminated from team selection; however, their chances of making a team may be reduced


    • On tryout days, bowlers will be randomly mixed with other bowlers for each tryout squad.  Each player may be paired with another player to score each other during their block.  Partners for recording these statistics will be randomly paired for each block. Prior to the start of the block, coaches may have announcements pertinent to the program, conduct a stretching session or review information from an educational bowling class. Lane assignments will be drawn randomly at the beginning of each squad, so you must arrive early to your squad. When instructed by the staff, bowlers will then keep score for each game of the block. Bowlers move one pair of lanes to the right each game.  All bowlers assigned together, stay together for all scored games.

    • There are multiple goals for randomly drawing starting lanes. First and foremost is fairness. One of our goals is to ensure that each bowler crosses each pair of lanes a roughly equal number of times during the tryout period. Obviously, this is a difficult task when make-ups and missed sets are figured in. Secondly, we want each and every bowler to feel comfortable with everyone else. Camaraderie and friendliness are encouraged, even in a highly-competitive environment.


    • Both commercial bowling centers and the WSU lanes operate on a very tight schedule with tryouts, H.P.S. bowling classes and evening league play and promotions. In order to run smoothly, Shocker bowlers must be on and off the lanes within a specified time frame.  Therefore, if a major machine breakdown causes tryouts to run over their allotted time, bowlers may be asked to come back at another time to complete their scored games.


    • All concerns or questions about lane conditions or maintenance procedures should be brought directly to a member of the head coaching staff. Our experiences have shown us that successful bowlers during tryouts don’t ask “WHY” about lane conditions with other bowlers. These bowlers play conditions, conditions don’t play them.

    • The cross-wise and/or length-wise pattern of the lane condition may change during the duration of the tryout process.

    • The tryout lanes area will be closed from approximately 12:00-1:00 p.m. for lane maintenance. Shocker bowlers are not allowed past the settee area while maintenance is in progress.

    • Our basic goal in lane conditioning is to provide each bowler with fair and equitable conditions during each tryout squad. However, this is certainly not meant to say the overall scoring environment during tryouts is easy - far from it. Our tryout conditions are extremely tough.  The lane conditions demand accuracy both around your target and around the pocket. The pins are heavy and unforgiving to those who don’t combine accuracy and power. Each bowler must be able to convert spares in order to survive tryouts.

    • Additionally, bowlers must stay in emotional control in a situation where scores may not be at a level that is expected in perhaps higher scoring house conditions. Tough conditions generally make our bowlers tougher. We want to find out through the tryout process just who is the toughest. 

    • Giving our bowlers lane conditions that are more difficult than anything they generally bowl on, extended over a two or three-week period, tends to make any normal lane condition extremely playable and fun.

    • Certainly adjustment is another huge key to success in the tryout process.  Any number of factors change lane conditions week-to-week, day-to-day, game-to-game, frame-to-frame, or, of course, lane-to-lane, or pair-to-pair. An effort is made to ensure some uniformity of lane conditions on a daily basis. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to actually achieve this goal, due to a large number of variables (e.g., lineage, humidity, games bowled prior to when you get on the lanes, targets bowlers were using, ball surface changes on a lane surface prior to or during competition, oil carry down, oil breakdown, the lane surface condition itself, etc.). In addition, we would not want each lane to remain exactly the same every day during tryouts.  We want our bowlers exposed to reality. That reality is to expect the unexpected, to welcome change and adversity. That’s what competition is all about. During the course of a bowling season, our teams will be faced with a variety of conditions and we want them prepared to handle whatever they encounter. Remember, good bowlers play conditions, conditions don’t play them.

  10. It is each bowler’s responsibility to check the Shocker Bowling Facebook group. Important information is posted frequently which must be read and understood each time a bowler is in the center.

  11. A bowler may only alter the surface of a bowling ball (either polishing, or using abrasives) prior to the start of practice balls. Bowlers are only allowed a maximum grit of 1000 (or higher) prior to practice beginning. Any bowler altering the surface of a ball(s), after practice has begun, will not be able to use that ball(s), for the that entire tryout block. 

  12. Each player is responsible for reading and signing a Player Code of Conduct, which outlines player conduct and responsibilities. The coaching staff makes all decisions regarding player conduct and subsequent disciplinary actions. These decisions include, but are not limited to: in-program and out-of-program conduct, personal behavior, and academic behavior.

    • Examples of Conduct Violations (not all-inclusive)

      • Falsification of scores and/or statistics

      • Drug use

      • Alcohol use

      • Tardiness to any team functions

    • Examples of Disciplinary Actions (not all-inclusive)

      • Termination of a player from:

      • Any portion of a tournament or competitive event

      • A specific competitive event or tournament

      • All remaining tournaments or competitive events in the season

      • Any and all team functions; i.e., class attendance, tryouts, practices, etc.

      • The team they are competing with for the remainder of the season

      • Ever participating again in the Shocker Bowling Program

      • Repayment of any or all bowling scholarship monies received.

      • Immediate remittance of textbooks loaned in the Bowling Book Loan Scholarship Program.

      • Repayment of partial or total trip and travel costs of an individual or that individual’s team for a competitive event or events.

      • Return of any or all corporately donated bowling equipment (or making cash equivalent payment) to the program.

      • Performance of a certain disciplinary task(s), such as formal written and/or verbal apology.

      • Loss of additional bowling program privileges (i.e., bowling I.D. card, free bowling practice on-campus or off-campus, merchandise discounts, etc.).

        • NOTE: Money owed back to the bowling program in the above examples will be treated as an unmet financial obligation to the university, and will prevent the violating individual(s) from re-enrolling and/or receiving transcripts from WSU.

  13. Smoking and vaping will be prohibited from all Shocker   bowling activities - tryout squads, educational sessions, team  meetings, van trips, tournaments, etc.

  14. All team members will be required to provide the coaching staff with primary health insurance information.


    • Practice time is just what it says - time to practice. It is not time for horseplay or clowning around with others. Each bowler’s behavior is important to the program itself, spectators, the bowler, and eventually the coaches’ team selection decision.

    • Bowlers should check out one lane only, not a pair.

    • A Shocker bowler who is bowling practice games is bowling free or at greatly discounted rates. Therefore, when all lanes are in use, a bowler may be bumped off their lane by an open play customer who is paying full rates. Shocker Lanes and commercial center guest services personnel will ask for a lane to be turned in (in no certain order) so that the full price customer(s) can be accommodated.

    • Bowlers are required to ask for a lane to be checked out. A bowling I.D. card should be presented and left with guest service personnel when asking for a lane. You will be required to notify service counter personnel to turn off your lane when you leave or when you are ‘taking a break’ from bowling. You are also required to pick up your ID card when you are done bowling. Guest service personnel are to be respected at all times.

    • Bowlers need to come to the service counter or use the intercom system for assistance with a pinsetter problem. Screaming from the settee area with a pinsetter problem is not allowed, nor is fixing pinsetters yourself.

    • Check with the bowling center’s guest service personnel for open play practice times.

    • These above policies also pertain, where applicable, to Shocker bowler conduct at all off-campus bowling centers. Shocker bowlers need to constantly remember that they ALWAYS represent the WSU bowling program, at all times, on-campus, or off-campus, and must conduct themselves with nothing but the highest standards of behavior.