(12-5-18)  One of the newest and fastest growing high school sport in Ohio and the US is boys and girls bowling. Additional schools continue to add the sport as a varsity program. The OHSAA conducted its first state tournament in 2007.

Mercer and Auglaize counties have had a big impact on bowling in Ohio, with numerous all state bowlers and state champion teams. In the beginning area conferences did not sanction bowling, due to not many teams competing, as a conference sport. The Western Buckeye League finally recognized bowling as a conference sport starting in 2016.

Other MAC Sports Waiting For Conference Status

Members from the Midwest Athletic Conference bowling teams are still waiting to compete as a sanctioned conference, despite the impact member schools have had on the sport statewide.

Coldwater’s Rick Hartings, who has been around bowling for most of his life, is the head coach of the Cavaliers and the owner of Pla Mor Lanes. Hartings was a big factor in the forming of the West Ohio Bowling Conference (WOHSBC). Twenty years later big changes continue to take place in local high school bowling-

Hartings talks about the WBL withdrawing from the WOHSBC in 2018:

Last spring we were informed that the WBL AD’s had decided that WBL schools were NO longer going to be able to bowl in our WOHSBC conference, due to something in their bylaws. They allowed it to go on for 3 years until everyone in the WBL got their bowling programs up and running. Our goal since 1999 was to have the MAC take on bowling, so i totally get what the WBL did. The only problem is back in the early 2000’s schools did not want to talk about bowling in schools.  With the WBL pulling out it did cause a big problem with losing 6 schools in our North Division.

Hartings attempted last spring to get the MAC AD’s to accept bowling as a conference sport:

When I got the word that the WBL was going out I talked to my AD Eric Goodwin and asked if I could attend the MAC AD meeting in April and they did put me on the agenda. I spoke for an hour and thought I had sold it, but there were some issues in their by laws. ***I am not real sure what the issues were, know one has ever told me. But our goal it to go back to them this spring and ask them again if they will consider taking us on as a MAC sport. I am thinking the issue was that one of our schools did not have a girls team so we have more boys teams than girls or we were under the % needed to make it a MAC sport?

*** (by-law for conference membership) 2/3rd of the schools (7) must have a sport as a school sponsored sport for 2 consecutive years. It is then voted on for approval as a MAC sport.

So Hartings and the coaches decided to get a jump start on the issue:

We are kind of doing a Un-Official MAC standings on our WOHSBC website. you may have seen that?

The future of the WOHSBC:

The remaining schools that are now left in our conference, is all 8 previous MAC schools with Parkway coming over from the north division and 4 other past south division schools Fort Loramie, Russia, Ansonia and Mississinawa Valley. The other 4 schools do know that should the MAC  take us on that they would either have to find another conference or just go independent. Like I said earlier our goal for the past 20 years is to have our sport become a MAC recognized sport, and i do believe we are closer than we have ever been before.

MAC – Boys Teams (8)

  • Coldwater
  • Minster
  • New Bremen
  • Versailles
  • Fort Recovery
  • Marion Local
  • Parkway
  • St. Henry

MAC Girls Teams  (7)

  • Coldwater
  • Minster
  • New Bremen
  • Versailles
  • Fort Recovery
  • Marion Local
  • Parkway
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