CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. -- East Coast Conference Commissioner, Robert Dranoff, announced on Thursday the addition of women's bowling as the league's 18th championship sport. The ECC will become the seventh NCAA conference to sponsor women's bowling and the second comprised of only Division II institutions.

Six schools will join the conference and compete in the inaugural 2015-16 season. Full-time ECC members, Daemen and Molloy, will be joined by four associate members, Adelphi, Cheyney, Franklin Pierce, and Kutztown.

Adelphi and Kutztown were previously associate members of the Northeast Conference, while Cheyney and Franklin Pierce competed as independents. Daemen and Molloy will field a team for the first time in school history in 2015-16.

"The ECC is excited to be working with these schools and this new conference sport," said Dranoff. "We look forward to having an opportunity to help grow intercollegiate bowling and to create a positive conference championship experience for the women who participate."