HomeBowlingIs Bowling A Sport (Overview: All You Need To Know)

Is Bowling A Sport (Overview: All You Need To Know)

Is Bowling A Sport?

How should you consider bowling, a sport or a game?

What are the essential elements you should know!

Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!

Let’s dig into our bowling knowledge!

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

Is Bowling A Sport

Is bowling a sport or a game?

Many wonder about this question.

Different people can have different opinions on this topic.

In short, bowling can be considered a sport or a game.

It can even be considered as a recreational activity making it neither a sport or a game!

Continue reading to understand why bowling is a sport.

Why Is Bowling A Sport

Can bowling be considered a sport?

Technically, the answer is yes.

The Dictionary.com defines a sport as follows:

An athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.

In other words, a sport is an “activity” requiring “skill” or “physical prowess”.

Dictionary.com refers to bowling as an example of a sport.

From this perspective, bowling is clearly a sport.

In addition to the technical answer, back in 1988, at the Seoul Summer Olympic Games, for the first time, bowling was an official demonstration sport.

Although bowling was presented only as a demonstration sport and only 20 countries participated in the event, bowling was nonetheless present at the Olympic Games.

In addition to that, there are many international competitions involving bowling.

On this basis, you can argue that bowling is a “sport” as it has some key features:

  • It’s been played at an Olympic Game
  • There are international bowling competitions 
  • There are sanctioned bowling leagues 
  • There are different levels of difficulty 

Professional players need to play and practice for many years to perfect their game.

The discipline and rigor required of such players to practice the sport does qualify them as athletes.

If bowling were to become an officially recognized game at the Olympics, there is no doubt that the entire bowling industry will benefit and expand.

How Is Bowling A Sport

Bowling is a sport similar to golf and baseball.

During a bowling tournament, bowlers can roll as many as 40 games in three or four days. 

The bowling ball weighs up to 16 pounds with the average professional bowling using a 15-pound ball to play.

The balls are launched at approximately 30 miles per hour from the bowler’s hands causing the player to feel approximately 1,600 pounds of force on the knee.

In one tournament, a player can experience over 450,000 pounds of force on his or her knees and 4,500 pounds of force on the fingers.

A professional bowler will throw a bowling ball in such a way that it may enable the ball to have approximately 550 revolutions per minute.

To play bowling professionally, you need to be physically in shape and ready to play the sport.

In addition to the physical exertion, there are many leagues, tournaments and competition venues to play bowling.

You have the Weber Cup in bowling representing a globally recognized team tournament in bowling.

The Weber Cup is the equivalent of the Ryder’s Cup in golf.

You have the Pro Bowlers Association and GEICO World Series of Bowling that are important tournaments in bowling.

The United States Bowling Congress is bowling’s governing body in the U.S. whose goal is to advance and promote the game as a sport creating “sport bowling” leagues.

If bowling can be successful in these tournaments and championships, then it can be considered a sport.

Why Is Bowling A Game

Can bowling be considered a game?

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, a game is defined as follows:

A physical or mental competition conducted according to rules with the participants in direct opposition to each other

In other words, a game is a “physical” or “mental” competition conducted according to “rules” with participants in direct “opposition” to one another.

Based on the definition of a game, bowling is certainly one.

Professional and league bowling requires bowlers to play against one another competitively according to the rules of the league.

The players exert a physical competition to win the game by achieving the highest score in accordance with the league rules.

Another way to look at blowing as a game rather than a sport mainly due to its lack of international popularity and decline in the number of people participating in competitive bowling.

When bowling was presented in the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988 for the first and only time as an official demonstration, only 20 teams participated.

The event did not provide bowling with any traction as it was not covered by television nor did the media make a big deal of it.

In addition to that, over the years, there has been a decline in the number of competitive bowling players.

Today, there are approximately 1.5 million league bowlers whereas this number used to be over 9 million just several years ago.

For these reasons, bowling is seen as a “game” rather than a “sport”.

Why Bowling Is Not A Sport

Some argue that bowling is not a sport.

Let’s see the arguments in favor of this position.

You can argue that bowling is not a sport as it is not an officially recognized Olympic Games.

Many consider a sport to be an official one if it qualifies as an official sport in the Olympics.

Bowling can also be viewed as something other than a sport due to its lack of popularity.

Many think of bowling as a recreational activity rather than a sport.

As a result, the immediate association that is made with bowling is social fun and activities rather than bowling sport.

Movies like “Kingpin” and “The Big Lebowski” do contribute to shaping the popular view that bowling is not a serious activity and should be relegated to the level of activity or recreation.

Is Bowling A Sport or Not

Let’s answer this question by going over some of the key features of a sport.

Does bowling take physical exertion?


Does bowling require skill?


Is bowling competitive in nature?


Are there bowling leagues?


Does bowling require physical prowess?


On the basis of the above answers, we can certainly qualify bowling as a sport from a technical point of view.


Is bowling considered a sport?

Is bowling a sport or a game?

Let’s look at a summary of our findings.

Is Bowling A Sport

  • From a competitive aspect, bowling is a sport as there are many professional players, sanctioned leagues and international competitions involving bowling 
  • Bowling is a game due to the participation of thousands of leagues around the world where players play the game 
  • Bowling is recreational as you can play with friends and family purely for social fun and pleasure 
  • Bowling demands a high level of coordination, concentration, strength, technique and physical exertion 
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Editorial Staffhttps://bowling.zone
Hello Nation! My name is Amir! I started this blog to provide all you bowling fans and enthusiasts with useful content, information, and resources on bowling. No matter if you are doing this as a hobby or professionally, I hope you could find what you're looking for. Enjoy!


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