There are a lot of arguments on whether or not if Bowling is a sport or just a hobby. Indoor sports need much skill or physical exertions like all other outdoor sports. Bowling requires a lot of sweating and brainstorming despite being fun and easy-going. So you can consider Bowling as a sport.
You can also take it as a hobby as any sport can be adapted as a hobby. Similar to baseball, soccer, tennis, or any other sports, you can play bowling both as an amateur or as a professional for PBA. Bowling is one of the most popular recreational activities worldwide.
There are only a few activities that allow the relaxed and easy mode of sporting that bowling does. Though the arcades made the game very popular initially, people eventually became more passionate about the sport.
Why Bowling Is A Sport?
There are many reasons to say why bowling is a sport. Keep on reading to know why we claim bowling to be a sport.
1. Bowling Played on Professional Level
In 1958, the Professional Bowlers Association of America (PBA) was established. It organizes tournament tours, and PBA members played for prize money worth $1 million, which later on grown to more than $7 million by the 1980s. In 1959, the Professional Women Bowlers Association was also formed, which later on was called by ladies’ pro bowlers tour (LPBT).
So, we can say that bowling is competitive and sporty game that made it to the list of having professional recognition.
2. International Tournaments
The earliest bowling competition is dated back in 1926 when a group of American bowlers toured Sweden. Followed by more international completion in 1926, 1929, 1934, and 1936, the international championship for bowling is played every four years since 1967, organized by FIQ (Federation Internationale des Quilleurs)
3. The Use of Oil Pattern
Bowling lanes are slathered with oil to make the balls roll over it. Usually, bowling centers set up their machines to put oil in “house condition”, which means the machine distributes oil in a manner that the center of the lane has the thickest layer of oil and gradually diminishes to the sides.
For the professional ground, the layer of oil varies depending on the challenges. A thick coat is used to challenge the bowler’s capability and expertise. This leaves a very low margin of error for the player. As a result, the bowler needs to practice a certain angle, grip, and throw so that the ball rolls over to the pins as per desire with the most precision.
4. It Requires Skills
Like most of the other sports, it needs skills and practice to improve bowling. These may not be quite visible and understandable at a glance, but there are a lot of intricate details that a bowler has to keep in mind and work on them.
Lane conditions, the weight of bowling balls, drilling of balls, format of games, oil pattern, timing, techniques, etc. Effect on the game. A bowler has to develop that sportsman instinct to perform better with time.
Bowlers have to have explicit knowledge of equipment, bowling lanes, body postures and movements, and gripping styles. Wrong methods and lack of knowledge can lead to injuries. Improving performance without following proper guidelines is not possible.
5. It Involves Physical Movement
As we all know, training your body and stretching is essential for any sport. Bowling involves quite a lot of body movements. It needs muscle strength to get the ball rolling. A bowler may suffer injuries if he/she does not do any warm-up, stretching, or training. Besides, training results in improved performance. So, for competitive aspects, bowling needs physical involvement similar to any other outdoor sports.
6. Mental and Physical Stamina, Both Is Needed
Besides the physical energy required for bowling, anyone who has sported it will agree on how mentally draining it can be. Playing tournaments can be very draining due to its high-pressure environment. The execution of a perfect shot and constant push for score make it a challenging task for bowlers.
Along with physical training, mental training is vital for staying composed during a tournament.
Bowling is considered to be the number one sport worldwide from the perspective of the highest participation. About 53 million Americans go to bowling at least once a year, and most of them play as a member of bowling leagues. The participation in tournaments and leagues are quite large in number.
The reason for this popularity is the accessibility of this sport. Anyone can sport bowling with some practice. It doesn’t need rigorous training like most of the other outdoor games. Some light exercises and practices are sufficient. Thus, it balances the heavy activities of a sport with gentle and easy-to-do light movements.
8. Pin Bowling
Like other sports Bowling has also a lot of options. You can play 5 pin 7 pin or 10 pin bowling. You can even play lawn bowling which is quite different from lane bowling.
Is Bowling an Olympic Sport?
Unfortunately, despite the popularity, bowling is not considered as an Olympic sport. It was initially considered to be included in the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games, but it was vetoed against. It was also to be introduced in Olympic in 2015 with 7 other sports. But it got eliminated then as well.
Despite being not included in the Olympics, bowling is not losing popularity anytime soon. Rather, people will be more involved with this in the future for being an accessible sport. With the increasing popularity and participation, chances of playing this sport professionally are much higher in the future than it is now. It is also probable that it will be a part of the Olympic games.