Bowling Could Appear at the 2020 Olympic Games
Could bowling become an official Olympic sport?
That possibility just became far more likely, as the sport recently cleared the first necessary hurdle for inclusion. The organizers of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, recently released a shortlist of new sports under consideration for the competition. Bowling made the cut, along with baseball, softball, karate, climbing, roller sports, squash, surfing and wushu -- a Chinese martial art.
Organizers of the Olympics will narrow down this list in September, when they will propose the addition of one or more of these sports to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). A final decision by the IOC won't be delivered until 2016.
At first glance, bowling would appear to have a strong case for inclusion. It's popular on a global scale, as its position as the world's number one participatory sport attests. Bowling also translates very well to television, which is a strong bonus for organizers, as the revenue generated through TV advertising during the Olympics is enormous. World Bowling officials have also been working to improve the sport's appeal to Olympic organizers, going so far as to experiment with the classic scoring system in an effort to make it less confusing to newcomers.
Competition figures to be tough, however. Baseball and softball have Olympic lineage -- both sports were dropped from the games on the eve of the 2012 Olympics in London. That decision was highly controversial, so baseball and softball will have legions of vocal backers supporting their reinstatement.
Adding new sports to the Olympic roster is a fairly common practice, as organizers like to draw in new fans. Golf and rugby have already been added to the list of Olympic sports for 2016 and 2020, for example.
The organizers for the Tokyo Games haven't tipped their hand as to which way they're leaning, saying only that they're seeking sports that reinforce Olympic values and possess youth appeal.
It's impossible to predict the outcome, but that description sounds just like bowling to us!
Feel like celebrating the potential birth of Olympic bowling? Then visit GoBowling.com to find the lane nearest you.