Junior Sadie Bartling went to Nicole Darling, assistant director of student activities and intramural director, last year to see if she could help put together a bowling team at Simpson College. Darling was not able to meet Bartling’s request, so instead she did the next best thing. Darling posed the idea to the Intramural Council before winter break, and to Bartling’s delight, the council made bowling into its own intramural event.
“Everybody is talking about it and is excited,” Darling said. “We’ll see how it goes.”
Every Tuesday in the month of February, Simpson will host a bowling tournament at Air Lanes on Fleur Drive in Des Moines from 9:30 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. The structure of the tournament will begin with all 16 teams competing against each other. Each team is guaranteed two games of bowling and the four teams with the best average scores will advance to the finals round where there will be prizes given out to first and second place.
Each week is a new tournament. Tuesday, Feb. 5 is already full, however, students can enter teams for Feb. 12, 19 and 26 by e-mailing Darling or signing the sheet on her office door on the second floor of the BSC. There are no restrictions to teams as long as they have at least five members. Bowling also gives students another type of activity to get involved in that isn’t such a demanding sport. These are big selling points for the event.
“It’s nice to see a variety of activities that everyone can do,” Bartling said. “You don’t have to be athletic to bowl.”
Bartling understands that everyone’s ability level is different when it comes to athletics, as does Darling, who is looking forward to the brand new event and is optimistic that students will enjoy it.
“Oh, I think they’ll love it,” Darling said. “Everyone can bowl because it’s not about talent. It’s about the social aspect and having fun.”
Darling and Bartling alike acknowledge that in many of the intramural activities offered, men may have a slight advantage.
Bartling, who was captain of her bowling team at Southeast Polk High School, has something to say about evening up the odds.
“There are some extremely good women bowlers as well,” Bartling said. “I bowl for fun but I’m also competitive.”
If the bowling competition itself doesn’t attract students, maybe the snacks and drinks provided will help. Either way, Darling says if the event is positively received, there is a chance that it will return for an encore during May Term.
The only issue is the financial burden that the cost of bowling creates to the Intramural Department, which is funded by the Student Government Association. Behind Darling’s excitement there may be a little edginess.
“I’m a little nervous about it,” Darling said.
Bartling is not the only one to assure Darling that the event will go smoothly. Sophomore Derek Schutjer and his team are eager to participate.
“Our main goal is to get our hands on some balls and knock down some pins and have a good time,” Schutjer said.”