Bowling: Sport or Activity?A few Saturdays ago, a group of our friends celebrated a 32nd birthday party with an evening of pizza, wings, and bowling. Last weekend, my family held a combination St. Patrick's Day/surprise 60th birthday party for one of my aunts. The highlight of the party included several games of bowling on the Nintendo Wii. These two parties resurrected an old question:
Bowling - Is it a sport or an activity?
I enjoy bowling. In fact, I wish I played more than I do. Now that bowling alleys are smoke-free, bowling sounds even more appealing. Several years ago, I competed in leagues. I even walked away with some league-sanctioned cash. I have always leaned toward categorizing bowling as an activity. When friends and co-workers debated this question in the past, I always stated that for a competition to be categorized as a sport, two people or teams must be directly influencing the outcome. Let me explain.
In baseball, football, basketball and hockey (just to name a few), two teams are matched against each other. Players on the opposing team make plays that allow or prevent the other players from scoring and advancing.
With bowling, despite the fact that two individuals or teams are competing, the performance of the other does not directly influence the others. You can argue that the performance of others can mentally influence another's game, but they do not physically alter your play.
I love to golf. It's great fun when I'm playing well, and a living hell when I am not. Great exercise, too. Well, unless you have a six-pack stored in your bag. Unfortunately, I feel the same about golf as I do about bowling.
What is your opinion? Is bowling a sport or an activity?