Bowling, a sport enjoyed by millions worldwide, has long aspired to join the ranks of Olympic sports.

Despite its widespread appeal, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has not yet given bowling the green light.

The journey of bowling to the Olympics has been a rollercoaster. The sport has been featured in the Pan American Games and has seen significant success in other international competitions. Yet, the dream of winning gold medals at the Olympic Games remains elusive for bowlers.

The Appeal of Tenpin Bowling

Tenpin bowling is a popular sports globally, with a massive following in countries like the USA, Germany, and Japan. The sport's appeal lies in its accessibility and the sheer fun of knocking down pins with a heavy ball. It's a game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels.

Despite its popularity, tenpin bowling faces stiff competition from other sports vying for a spot in the Olympics. Sports like pole dancing and squash have also been pushing for inclusion, making the competition fierce. The IOC has a tough job deciding which sports make the cut, and bowling has yet to strike gold in this regard.

The International Olympic Committee's Stance

The International Olympic Committee has considered bowling for inclusion in the Olympic Games multiple times. However, the decision-making process is complex, involving various factors such as global popularity, youth appeal, and the sport's ability to attract a broad audience.

Bowling has a strong following, but it has struggled to meet some of the IOC's criteria. For instance, the sport's appeal to younger audiences and its ability to generate excitement on a global scale are key factors that the IOC considers. While bowling is popular, it hasn't quite hit the mark in these areas compared to other sports.

Weather Conditions

One of the unique aspects of bowling is that it is played indoors, making it immune to weather conditions. This is a significant advantage over outdoor sports, which can be affected by rain, wind, and other elements. The controlled environment of bowling alleys ensures that the competition is fair and consistent.

However, this advantage hasn't been enough to sway the IOC's decision.

The committee looks at various aspects, including the sport's global reach and its ability to engage audiences.

While bowling's indoor nature is a plus, it hasn't been the deciding factor in its quest for Olympic inclusion.

The Push for Inclusion

The bowling community has been pushing hard for the sport's inclusion in the Olympics. Organizations and the bowling industry have been lobbying the IOC, highlighting the sport's global popularity and its potential to attract a diverse audience. The hope is that with enough support, bowling will eventually make it to the Olympic Games.

Despite these efforts, the road to Olympic inclusion is long and challenging. The IOC's criteria are stringent, and the competition from other sports is fierce. However, the bowling community remains hopeful and continues to advocate for the sport's inclusion.

Future of Bowling in the Olympics

The future of bowling in the Olympics remains uncertain.

While the sport has a strong following and a dedicated community, it faces significant challenges in meeting the IOC's criteria. The inclusion of new sports in the Olympics is a dynamic process, and bowling's time may yet come.

For now, bowling enthusiasts can continue to enjoy the sport in other international competitions and hope for a breakthrough. The dream of winning gold medals at the Olympic Games remains alive, and the bowling community is not giving up.

Olympic Bowling FAQ

Learn more about bowling in the Olympics by browsing through the frequently asked questions.

Why isn't bowling in the Olympics yet?

Bowling has not yet met the International Olympic Committee's criteria for inclusion, which includes factors like global popularity, youth appeal, and the ability to attract a broad audience.

Has bowling ever been considered for the Olympics?

Yes, the International Olympic Committee has considered bowling multiple times, but it has not yet been included in the Olympic Games.

What other sports are competing for inclusion in the Olympics?

Sports like pole dancing, squash, and cricket are also vying for a spot in the Olympic Games, making the competition for inclusion fierce.


Bowling's journey to becoming an Olympic sport has been filled with ups and downs. Despite its popularity and the efforts of the bowling community, the sport has yet to be included in the Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee's criteria and the competition from other sports have made this a challenging goal. However, the hope for inclusion remains strong, and the bowling community continues to push for its place in the Olympics.