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SuperMouse's avatar

Is bowling a sport?

Asked by SuperMouse (30845points) January 30th, 2010
30 responses
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This morning I was listening to an interview with Kelly Kulick, the first woman to win a PBA tour title and she kept referring to bowling as a sport. Does bowling really qualify as a sport? A game I can see, but a sport? I’m not convinced.

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FrankHebusSmith's avatar


Neither is golf. Neither is pool. Neither is poker.

life_after_2012's avatar

you really don’t know that bowling is a sport? maybe im misundertsanding the question. perhaps you mean. Do you think bowling is a sport?

HungryGuy's avatar

I think any competitive game that requires physical skill counts as a sport.

ubersiren's avatar

I think it is. I think it’s a sport in the same way that archery is. Requires aim, body positioning, and physical and mental control.

fireinthepriory's avatar

The United States Bowling Congress is in wikipedia’s list of professional sports leagues, so it must be! Also my little sister is required to be on a sports team one season per year in high school, and the bowling team counts.

Fred931's avatar


jrpowell's avatar

I used to bowl in a league. I did for about three years. Sure, I had a beer and french fries between each set of rolls. But it is still a sport. It takes a lot of practice to get good.

TehRoflMobile's avatar

Any activity you can stop and eat some nachos and still “compete” at your top level with out being hampered is not a sport.

When is the last time you’ve looked at a bowler and said, “what an athlete?!”

Fred931's avatar

@TehRoflMobile I’m taking note that what you said supports NASCAR just in case someone who isn’t a farmer that lives in a trailer says otherwise.

HungryGuy's avatar

I think I saw a baseball player nibbling on a bag of chips on the bench one day. Oops! I guess that means baseball isn’t a sport…

TehRoflMobile's avatar

@Fred931 I’m confused on what you are trying to say.

SuperMouse's avatar

@life_after_2012 if it makes you feel better, please add the words “Do you think…” to the beginning of the question.

@HungryGuy yes, but was the player eating a plate of nachos? There is a huge difference between a bag of chips and nachos.

jrpowell's avatar


DominicX's avatar

According to the dictionary, it is. So is golf. It’s a completely semantic debate, so it just depends on how you want to define “sport”.

“An athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.”

After a meeting a guy who was a serious team bowler and all that, I came to consider more to be a sport. That doesn’t mean it’s on the same level of athletic activity as other sports, of course.

AstroChuck's avatar

At my house Drunk Wii bowling is.

SuperMouse's avatar

@DominicX I guess my problem with calling bowling a sport is the athletic part. I mean it would build up arm muscles, but how athletic is it in reality? Using that definition pool could be called a sport. I would call pool, golf, and bowling games, not sports.

Fred931's avatar

@TehRoflMobile I’m preparing for the eventual claim that NASCAR does not qualify as a legitimate sport. 75 million Americans would also support it.

jrpowell's avatar

I used to bowl in the afternoon since my friend worked at a bowling alley and I could for free. I practiced for a few hours for a few days per week. They have this fake skin they glue to your fingers when the skin starts to fall off. It is a real sport.

Baseball is the same. It doesn’t really require a lot of strength to hit and catch a ball. You just need practice to do them well.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Fred931 I have never contemplated whether NASCAR is a real sport. I tend to think of race car drivers as at least somewhat athletic. (Except for John Force – but he is an NHRA driver anyway.) Drivers have to be in shape to fit into the car, withstand the g-forces and jolting movements, and have to have amazingly quick reflexes and hand eye coordination. I am no fan of watching cars go around in circles for hours (personally I like the drags much better), but IMO and with apologies to those who might disagree it is certainly more of a sport than bowling.

TehRoflMobile's avatar

@Fred931 in my eyes I consider Nascar more of a sport then bowling, darts, poker, pool. It is quiet a strenuous activity, and I can see the skill and tactics involved.

I do not however put it on the same level as sports like Soccer, Football, Rugby, Basketball, Athletics (track, field, gymnastics) and so on.

I’m not bashing NASCAR I just don’t look at it as the same thing however.

life_after_2012's avatar

@SuperMouse does it look like i asked the question or did my response not clerify that already?

casheroo's avatar

I never thought about it before. I read this article early on how a girl beat a guy and they diminished it because it’s not a sport.

HungryGuy's avatar

Aha! It seems that games in which men and women can compete side-by-side (bowling, golf, darts, billiards, etc.) are the games that the “real men” here claim aren’t sports. It all makes sense now why this is such a controversy :-/

Tenpinmaster's avatar

Of course it is! You have to have ability, talent, and a drive to win just like the other sports. Look at some of the people bowling professional.. They have to have endurance if they are going to be successful which means they have to keep in shape. Anybody here can tell me they have bowled 18–24 games in one day and tell me they arn’t tired and their body parts don’t feel like they want to fall off. You have to keep practicing if you want to become better and it can be stressful if things don’t go your way. Of course it is a sport! Golf is a great sport too and a freaking hard one! Those people are the best of the best who are top of the world in golf. They deserve they money and the fame.

ubersiren's avatar

@HungryGuy and @johnpowell : I know, right? And there’s about as much standing around doing nothing in baseball as there is in bowling or golf… Waiting to be up to bat or waiting to catch that ball is still waiting. Standing. Sitting. Not doing anything physical.

TehRoflMobile's avatar

I guess test taking is a sport, because after 10 hours of taking tests you really want to just drop dead, the same goes with most any repetitive activity. If you do something enough it will wear on you physically and mentally but that doesn’t qualify it as a true sport.

dalepetrie's avatar

“Bowling is not a sport because you have to rent the shoes.” – George Carlin

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