In its first season, Ottawa University bowling teams will have the opportunity to compete nationally.

The NAIA announced that it is adding a men’s and women’s bowling NAIA National Invitational Tournament to its list of 25 national championships in 2017-18, and Ottawa University will be part of it.

“This is huge for the NAIA and our program,” Geoff Poston, OU head bowling coach, said. “We will now potentially be able to compete in two postseason tournaments, the USBC Intercollegiate Championship as well as the NAIA Championship.”

Men’s bowling has 51 varsity teams at the NAIA level while women’s bowling has 53 varsity teams. To be considered for an Invitational by the NAIA there must be 25 sponsoring institutions, a sports manual and it has to be approved by the National Administrative Council.

The Braves announced the addition of intercollegiate men’s and women’s bowling in the fall of 2016, and will compete in their inaugural season this upcoming year. Poston signed 18 bowlers from six different states to be part of the inaugural year. The roster features numerous tournament champions including three state champions. The season kicks off Oct. 14 at the Mid-States Tournament in Wichita. The Braves will have varsity teams for the men and women, and a junior varsity team for the men. A women’s junior varsity team will be added in 2018-19.