Is Bowling a Sport? Is Bowling Easy to Learn?

by Outdoor Diversions | Last Updated:   2 years ago
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Over the years, there has been a raging debate on whether bowling is a sport. Irrespective of various opinions that have been shared, it’s essential to look at this query critically and establish the facts.

Bowling can be a game, a sport, or a recreational activity. Also we’ll look at if it’s easy to learn the game? Let’s first get the definition of a sport, so is bowling a sport?

Yes, A sport is an activity that involves both physical activity and the use of particular skills in addition to individuals or teams competing against each other. The teams/ individuals engage in the activity as a sport or for entertainment.

In simple terms, no activity can qualify to be classified as a sport if it doesn’t involve these two aspects. With this definition in mind, let’s see if we can qualify why we feel bowling is a sport.

Physical Activity And Skill

Professional players can attest that bowling demands complex and well-coordinated movements. It tests the body, most importantly, the arms and legs.

In this regard, physical exercise is necessary if you want to become a pro bowler. You have to master making the right moves consistently and impeccably to gain athletic stimulation.

Bowling Skills

Besides physical activity, you need strategy more so when you’re choosing bowling balls and circumnavigating the lane patterns. In short, bowling tests your mind.

You need mental fortitude to succeed in the game. Additionally, lane patterns must remain consistent across the various bowling alleys.

Team Sport

Like most common sports world over, bowling is a team-oriented game. For instance, baker format and team leagues are excellent examples of bowling team formats.

In team leagues, each team comprises of four members who bowl individually. A tally of each member’s scores is what is used to get the winner among two teams.

On the other hand, teams competing in the baker format comprise of five players. This format is popular in collegiate and high school bowling tournaments.

Across the world, we have many renowned bowling tournaments, but the most popular is the Weber Cup.

It’s comparable to golf’s Ryder cup. In the Weber cup 2, four-man teams form the US and Europe compete in a series of singles, doubles & baker match format in three days.

The tournament features over 500 spectators proving to be a pressurizing state for the competitors. This tournament has been ongoing for over 17 years.

Bowling as a Sport

You need physical strength to throw the 15-pound bowling ball via the 60m floor in addition to skill. In this respect, bowling qualifies to be a sport since it requires both skills and physical activity.

It thus fits in the working definition of a sport. Besides bowling is a team activity just like other similar sports around the globe.

Young pretty girl having fun and enjoying herself while bowling - Is Bowling a Sport
Young pretty girl having fun and enjoying herself while bowling

Bowling is a game that is played at extremely high-level tournaments making it legitimate sports. Most individuals regard this game to be a mere recreation activity, but there’s more to this-it’s a sport like any other.

Bowling in the Olympics

Interestingly in the Seoul Summer Olympic Games that were held in 1988, bowling was featured as a sport.

Unfortunately, this was the only time the game was played in the Olympics. Only 20 countries competed in the tournaments, and media coverage for the game was dismal.

There were campaigns to have this game featured in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. These efforts also back the fact that bowling is a sport that deserves global recognition because of its international athletic implications.

You need costly equipment and linage to play bowling. The game also requires to be hosted in expensive facilities. These characteristics make it a costly game, especially for youngsters in developing countries.

This is possibly one of the main reasons why the sport’s growth has been minimal. Most Olympic Games except golf require a minimal investment to perfect the skills.

Is Bowling Hard to Learn?

Bowling mainly tests the mind more so for pro players. It also puts a little strain on the arms and legs. But it’s not as straining as hockey or baseball.

For pro players who shoot many games, say 30, and over in a weekend or tournament, it can fatigue their bodies.

You need efforts and skill to propel the bowling ball at about 20 miles/hour alongside a precise axis rotation on the narrow lane to hit the target.

Bowling is one of the oiliest sports available in the world. This aspect makes it challenging. The bowling lanes are coated with oil to protect them from fire.

The “house “coating used for recreational players helps to increase successful shots.

Professional players, on the other hand, prefer the “sport” pattern, which enables even distribution of oil on the lanes, thus limiting the margin of error.

All the same, the player must make precise calculations when making each shot.

A young boy bowling at a bowling alley - Is Bowling a Sport
A young boy bowling at a bowling alley

The professional bowl is slightly different from the recreational version, although the lanes are the same.

They usually feature varying oil patterns. At times the edges can be too oily with outside been drier. This creates the need for exceptional accuracy when making shots.

Bowling does present some level of difficulty as other sports, although most individuals consider it to be a mere recreational activity. . If you take the relevant steps, you’ll become a pro in no time. It isn’t challenging to learn bowling.

How to Succeed in Bowling

Just like other sports, bowling has its set of challenges. This doesn’t mean you can’t be successful in the game. In this regard, you should monitor each shot and learn from it.

Learn to use the equipment and how to shoot the ball. This will ensure you’re better prepared to make the necessary adjustments on the lane, including switching the ball or the approach.

It takes time to perfect your skills as a bowler. For the best shots, the ball must be firm and comfortable in your hands. You must also put on comfy shoes.

You should also learn to throw hooks and adopt the right posture. Additionally, experiment with various balls to get your ideal ball. Practice and exercise patience, it’s possible to be a pro bowler.

Final Thoughts on Is Bowling a Sport

Bowling is a much more difficult sport than most give it credit for, but basic enough that anyone can compete and have an enjoyable experience.

There isn’t a great range of sports that can take a 5 year old to a 99 year old and have performance not be changed.

I, myself, am a total crap bowler and fight each time to get to 100. For me a 100 game is considered an amazing game personally.

I know I could work on my skills but it is never something I get to do often enough to develop my skills past rudimentary levels.

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