Thursday, March 20th, 2008

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?

Activity. Same as golf. You don't have to be in particularly good physical shape to excel at either one.
Courtney Heinzel   Thursday, March 20, 2008
Good point. A good amount of bowlers on ESPN2 have scale readings that match their scoring averages.
Bill Pearch   Thursday, March 20, 2008
But in bicycling time trials or in many running races, the performance of others has only a psychological affect. Yet they are still sports. It's an interesting question. All I know is that my 6yo, LOVES bowling.
girlcarew   Thursday, March 20, 2008
All I know is the Bowling Congress just announced it's moving out of Wisconsin. First brett Favre, and now bowling. Waht are we to do?
Carrie   Thursday, March 20, 2008
What's next? Will cheese production leave Wisconsin?
Bill Pearch   Thursday, March 20, 2008
Apparantly, California passed us in cheese production a fews years back and still shows those commercials of the "happy cows make happy cheese". How rude. Anheuser Bush is always neck and neck with Miller for beer production, but when it comes to taste, "I'd take a nice Miller Lite over pee water anyday. :)

Fortunately, we still have more combined churches and taverns per capita than any other state and when you have a polish sausage racing a brat during a baseball game, who wouldn't want to live here?
Carrie   Thursday, March 20, 2008
Plus, Milwaukee has the Safe House Spy Bar. Very cool place. Don't forget the Mars Cheese Castle.
Bill Pearch   Thursday, March 20, 2008
Just passed by the bowling hall of fame in St Louis. Do activities have hall of fames? And why is the bowling hallf of fame in St. Louis. I bet if I paid some good money to go inside they would have told me.

Great commercials on ESPN though
Ben H   Thursday, March 20, 2008
If there is a yard darts hall of fame, then yes, activities have halls of fame.
Bill Pearch   Thursday, March 20, 2008
I guess I'm an old-fashioned gal because I feel that any "activity" where one uses a combination of physical and mental prowess to compete with another is a sport. My mother-in-law would agree; she's on two senior leagues, one at that alley out at Dirksen and Sangamon and the other at the place out off Veterans; I think it's S & S West? Anyway, it keeps her stamina up and gives her exercise, she says, and she's in great shape for almost 71.
Angi   Thursday, March 20, 2008
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