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Can bowling be considered a sport?


Almost everyone has tried bowling at some point in their lives. It’s a great game that demands a high level of coordination, concentration, and strength. At least if your goal is to actually be successful in your bowling attempts. There has been a lingering debate in this matter, as people go back and forth to debate whether bowling is actually a sport.

The first thing to consider is what constitutes a sport. Sports can be defined differently by various sources. One solid definition is: “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”

Can bowling be considered a sport?

So does this explanation actually include the characteristics of bowling?

Bowling certainly does involve exerting some physical effort in order to get the ball down the lane. This is particularly true if you actually want to knock down all the pins. If you don’t use enough force to roll the ball, it could easily find its way into the “gutter.” In other words, proper strength is necessary to get the ball to go where you intend.

Professional bowlers train very hard. Most of them hit the gym to work on their stamina as well as their strength. It is imperative to have adequate arm and wrist strength, in order to improve the control over the ball and your swing. That factor alone should indicate the physical skills necessary to be a good bowler.

Moreover, there is little doubt that bowling requires a great deal of skill. From the stance prior to the release of the ball, to the form in which the ball is held and thrown, everything in bowling requires technique and skills that give the bowler an advantage over potential opponents. The more skilled a bowler is at his craft, the more control over the ball he will have.

Can bowling be considered a sport?

A professional bowling tournament is played over the course of several days. During that time, each bowler will be tested throughout roughly 40 games against many opponents. Even if a less skilled bowler is successful in the short term, the better players will almost always prevail. Similar to other sports, bowling demands concentration and skills that typically elevate the best participants to the top of the game.

When looking at the competitive aspects of bowling, the “game” has everything that entails a standard sport. There is a definite element of competition, which can either place individuals or teams against each other. This concept is familiar in team sports, but also in different athletic competitions including swimming and track and field. When played as a team, bowling demands that teammates rely on each other in order to win a competition.

Consider this interesting fact. Back in the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics, bowling was introduced as a demonstration sport. In other words, the grand stage of the Olympics was used to catapult the exposure of bowling, in an effort to expand awareness. It’s quite a shame that this was the only time bowling was included in any olympic competition.

Can bowling be considered a sport?

However, the Olympics do not simply add competitions for no reason. If the global Olympic Committee felt that bowling was deserving of its place in the competitions, it should say a lot about the game itself. Other sports, which are far less debated in their nature, including surfing and rock climbing are now being added to the upcoming Olympic games in Tokyo. And yet, despite already having its place in the games as far back as 1988, bowling simply does not get the respect it deserves.