Wichita State University Shocker Bowling prides itself on conducting the most advanced, diverse and in-depth tryout process in college bowling. Tryouts at Wichita State are structured to evaluate every aspect of a player's current skill level. The process starts early in the fall semester, runs three weeks in length and includes 33 total games bowled, a skills test and a physical training test.
The on-lane portion of the tryout process typically lasts three weeks. Athletes devote four days of each week where each day will have an “A” and a “B” squad. Bowlers are required to bowl two “A” blocks and two “B” blocks weekly, bowling 3 games per day and moving a pair after each game. Typically, there are two lane patterns the first week (odd lane one pattern, even lane a different pattern), two patterns for the second week and up to six patterns the third week (different pattern on every lane). Because of these extremely demanding lane conditions, the overall scoring pace is quite difficult. Over 12 different statistics are kept, including but not limited to: pocket, carry, makeable spares, total spares, splits left, doubles, average and 1st ball accuracy. Mentally, the on-lane portion of tryouts is arguably the toughest part of the tryout process. Players benefit from this process by learning the strengths and weaknesses of their bowling game.
The skills test was developed to determine a player’s first and second ball accuracy on different areas of the lane. The skills test is performed in a one-on-one format between the player and a coaching staff member. Players are asked to shoot four ten-pins, four seven-pins, and play two different angles. The angles are marked by two pieces of tape stacked on top of each other on the lane. If the player hits the tape, there will be a loud “thud” indicating they have hit the target. Accuracy and execution are required during the skills test portion of the tryout process.
During the physical training portion of the tryout process, players are scored based on the number of pushups and sit-ups they can do, each during a two minute period. Afterward, they will be scored based on a two mile run time. The coaching staff believes in maintaining a solid workout regimen and the physical training test was developed in order to determine a player’s athletic ability and strength.