Bowling: A pathway to scholarships

Photo courtesy:

In the dynamic arena of sports, where competition is the heartbeat, bowling has carved out its distinctive niche.

It’s more than just a casual evening with friends. It’s a genuine test of skills, precision and strategy that demands dedication from every participant.

Melverton Walter, an esteemed bowling instructor at Florida A&M University (FAMU), dives into the physical demands of this simple yet unique sport. Contrary to popular belief, Walter stressed that bowling is not just about hurdling a ball to knock down pins. He explained the need for precise balance, the impact of physical strength and accuracy, and the importance of elegance in the sport.

“The way I teach my class, I tell them to allow gravity to pull their hand and to just go with it. Not only that, but I also tell them they have to be balanced and on point with their technique. It requires a level of physical skills to bear a substantial load for a few seconds,” Walter said.

In the world of bowling, precision is the name of the game. Bowlers turn into careful strategists, studying the conditions of the lane and adjusting techniques.

It’s like a chess game between the player and the lane. Bowling provides students a unique way to stay engaged in physical activity and teamwork.

At a recent Leon County School Board meeting, the superintendent and members of the board recognized and voiced support for the expanding bowling league as an avenue for student engagement. Michael Sacher, a bowling instructor for Leon County Schools, passionately spoke about bowling’s significance as a means for students to earn college scholarships.

“We had the 2023 Pepsi state tournament here in Tallahassee back in March and April with only 5,000 kids; over $110,000 in scholarship money was awarded to the bowlers in the state of Florida. Bowling is the only sport in America where kids can earn college money now,” Sacher said.

“Bowling opens doors for scholarship money, allowing students to attend colleges across the country, including institutions like FSU and FAMU, which boast bowling clubs and teams,” he added.

Eagerly anticipating increased participation, Sacher said, “Bowling is not just a sport. I tell people it’s a pathway for future education because you can take that money you earn in what we call the smart account and take it to either a technical school, college or any way to advance your education.”

From club participation to competitive matches, all 16 middle and high schools in Leon County now proudly feature bowling teams, offering students a chance to learn the art of bowling and a platform to compete, collaborate and potentially secure valuable scholarships.