Warhawk Almanac: Warhawk Alley

Written by Ashley Bowe

Warhawk Alley is a 10-pin bowling alley located in the University Center. It is an adored place among students and faculty as it supports events such as tournaments, glow nights, and leagues. However, did you know that the alley was not part of the original floorplan of the UC? Before Warhawk Alley, students would travel to Hawk Bowl, a local bowling alley that opened in the 1960s but is closed today. It was a 16-lane alley that housed many leagues and traveling teams. [1]

Woman bowling at Warhawk Alley
UW-Whitewater Archives

The University Center extension housing the bowling alley opened on January 20, 1965. [2] The new Warhawk Alley consisted of six lanes and offered opportunities to participate in bowling leagues. Both a men’s and women’s bowling league were shortly established on campus after Warhawk Alley opened. [3] These leagues consisted mainly of Greek Houses and small student groups. 

The Men’s Whitewater Team began in 1969. The team participated in a league consisting of many of Whitewater’s neighboring universities, including Oshkosh, Platteville, and LaCrosse, to name a few. [4] The teams would compete at local alleys in Wisconsin. This team continues today as a club sport on campus. Despite being a club sport, they have plenty of opportunities to compete in high-ranked tournaments nationwide. The men’s team has been ranked in the top 10 the past six seasons, holding a total of 55 wins, including an Intercollegiate Team Championship (ITC) National Championship (2022), two Club Championship Titles (2019, 2021), and five Great Lakes Bowling Conference Championships (2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2020). The team currently sits at number one in the collegiate bowling power rankings. [5]

ITC Bowling Champions
“2019-2020 Women’s Bowling Roster,” University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Athletics, https://uwwsports.com/sports/womens-bowling/roster/2019-20.

Additionally, UW-Whitewater has a successful Women’s bowling team. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater women’s bowling program was Wisconsin’s first NCAA bowling program. [6] UW-Whitewater established the first women’s bowling team in 2002. However, the NCAA did not recognize the team until the 2003-2004 season. [7] The team competes in both NCAA and United States Bowling Congress (USBC) events, competing against some of the top teams in the country. Although they have not won an NCAA championship, they have made three consecutive appearances in the tournament (2013, 2014, 2015) and were Central Intercollegiate Bowling Conference (CIBC) champions in the 2019-2020 season. [8] This season, the team took the 2023 Midwest Collegiate title and currently sits at number 19 in the collegiate bowling power ranking. [9]

ITC Bowling Champions
UWW Warhawk Bowling,” Warhawk Open, https://www.warhawkopen.com/uww-warhawk-bowling.html;

Bowling at UW-Whitewater has come a long way since the opening of Warhawk Alley. The bowling alley provided students with a place to practice on campus and helped bowling become a successful program at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater.

[1] “Whitewater Corporation Begins Construction of City’s New ‘Hawk’ Bowling Alley,” The Royal Purple, March 24, 1959.

[2] “Pins Fly at Center Lanes After Initial Two Weeks,” The Royal Purple, February 3, 1965.

[3] “Pins Fly at Center Lanes After Initial Two Weeks,” The Royal Purple, February 3, 1965; “Women’s Bowling League Scheduled to Start Tuesday”, The Royal Purple, February 9, 1966.

[4] “Hawk bowling team tied for second,” The Royal Purple, February 13, 1969

[5] UWW Warhawk Bowling.” n.d. Warhawk Open. Accessed November 2, 2023. https://www.warhawkopen.com/uww-warhawk-bowling.html; “Collegiate Bowling.” n.d. Collegebowling.bowl.com. https://collegebowling.bowl.com/rankings.

[6] “UWW Warhawk Bowling.” n.d. Warhawk Open. Accessed November 2, 2023. https://www.warhawkopen.com/uww-warhawk-bowling.html.

[7] “A new breed of women’s athletics,” The Royal Purple, October 9, 2002.

[8] “UWW Warhawk Bowling.” n.d. Warhawk Open. Accessed November 2, 2023. https://www.warhawkopen.com/uww-warhawk-bowling.html.

[9] “Collegiate Bowling.” n.d. Collegebowling.bowl.com. https://collegebowling.bowl.com/rankings.

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