Bowling at the Summer Olympics

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Bowling at the Summer Olympics
Governing bodyFIQ
Events2 (men: 1; women: 1; mixed: 0)
  • 1896
  • 1900
  • 1904
  • 1908
  • 1912
  • 1920
  • 1924
  • 1928
  • 1932
  • 1936
  • 1948
  • 1952
  • 1956
  • 1960
  • 1964
  • 1968
  • 1972
  • 1976
  • 1980
  • 1984
  • 1988
  • 1992
  • 1996
  • 2000
  • 2004
  • 2008
  • 2012
  • 2016
  • 2020

Bowling was featured in the Summer Olympic Games demonstration programme in 1988 in at the Seoul’s Royal Bowling Center on 18 September 1988. A a total of 20 nations competed in the men's and women's tournament. No bowling professionals competed in the demonstration events.

Post-1988 lobby[edit]

The bowling industry lobbied long and hard for bowling to be recognized as a worthy demonstration sport for future Games, but the outcome was not successful. A negative factor is that bowling lacks inexpensive or easy access for youth in the underdeveloped world to acquire skill and proficiency.[1] However, after its first demonstration appearance five years earlier at the Americas-exclusive 1983 Pan American Games[2] in a similar manner to how it was accepted at the 1988 Seoul Games, for the first time anywhere, on August 2, 1991 in Havana, Cuba, the tenpin bowling sport earned full "medal status" in an international multisport competition: the eleventh competition of the Pan American Games, at which all the nations of the Americas compete every four years. The medal-level competition has been held at every Pan American Games since then, and is a part of the 2019 Games to be held in Lima, Peru.

Sport for the 2020 Summer Olympics[edit]

On 22 June 2015 it was announced that bowling made the cut from the 28 sports to the last eight to become a new sport for the 2020 Summer Olympics. The shortlist of these sports for consideration was based on applications from 26 international sport federations, many of which have applied for inclusion in previous Olympic tournaments.[3] However, in September 2015 it was announced that bowling, together with wushu and squash, were left out for 2020. The 2020 Olympic Committee wanted sports that appeal to youth and would not require building new facilities to reduce cost.[4]


  1. ^ Should Bowling Become An Olympic Sport?
  2. ^ Grasso, John; Hartman, Eric R. (2014). Historical Dictionary of Bowling. Lanhan, MD USA: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 441. ISBN 978-0-8108-8021-4. In 1951 the Pan American Games, a quadrennial multiple sports competition for Western Hemisphere countries, was inaugurated. Tenpin bowling was added to the official program in 1991. In 1983 it was contested as a demonstration sport.
  3. ^ Sports that may soon be Olympic events include bowling, climbing, karate, and surfing
  4. ^ Tenpin bowling misses Olympic Games inclusion