Bowling: A Disdained Sport?


When the word bowling is mentioned, people imagine eating fries, drinking, and a night out. Indeed, bowling is an option when family or friends want to get together. Roll a ball and knock down ten pins; how hard could that possibly be? However, many people do not realize the competitiveness of the sport and the amount of time and effort needed to truly compete. This topic on whether bowling is a sport, game, or recreational activity has been debated for many years. There are many factors that have come into play that have established this train of thought. From a minimum engagement rate to the portrayal of the sport itself, bowling has lost its popularity over the years. However, it should be recognized that determination, affirmation, and discipline go into rolling the ball down the alley and making bowling a sport.

Bowling is not just knocking down pins with a heavy ball; there are details which any participant needs to pay attention. The type of ball, shoes, clothes worn while playing, and the player’s cognizance are all areas of concern when playing. Furthermore, you need to be concerned about how many miles per hour your ball is rolling at as well as the rotation on the ball. A professional bowler might bowl to at least 20 miles per hour with an axis of rotation down a lane marking their target. Bowling has its level of difficulty, yet despite this, the assumption remains that it is “just a game”.

When a group of students at Edison High School was asked whether they personally think that bowling is a professional sport or not, the results were unexpected. Eleven of the fifteen students said that bowling is most definitely considered a sport. The other four students spent sufficient time ridiculing bowling and said that “considering bowling as a sport is like a joke”. The students that negated bowling as a sport said that since childhood they have always been encouraged to watch major sports like football, soccer, basketball, and tennis; bowling was just known to them as a choice for going out, a social occasion.

Just like any other sport, bowling can be played casually. Going out with friends and family, your score might not matter. However, when you are bowling on a league that score absolutely holds weight. Every bowler works hard trying to knock the most pins down and become better just as any other athlete would do with their respective sport. With the level of competitiveness, the time commitment, and a specific set of rules and regulations, bowling falls under the category of being a sport.