Bowling Hopes to Become The Olympic Sport

2184 People Viewed - about 49 months ago Sports

Revolutions, the number of times a ball rotates as it hurtles towards the targeted pins, are a vital part of professional bowling. Now, the game is taking the first steps towards a revolution of a different kind.

Under a new scoring system, bowling becomes a frame-by-frame showdown

In a move that is ultimately aimed at grabbing the attention of the International Olympic Committee, a new scoring system is being tested at this weekend's World Bowling Tour finals. If it sticks, it could change the face of the game.

"We have had an image problem," said Kevin Dornberger, president of World Bowling, the sport's international governing body. "Not enough people understand the way the game is scored and that can make it boring for them to watch."

International Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne

It is said that the new set of rules borrow heavily from the kind of golf scoring used in events such as the Ryder Cup.

If a player outscores their opponent, they win the frame and go "one-up", like in match-play golf. If both hit a strike, each gets a half. If both hit, for example, an eight, each competitor would attempt to complete their spare, with the higher scorer taking the frame. Matches tied after 12 frames continue until there is a winner.


The format is designed to increase suspense, speed up the game and offer greater broadcast appeal, all factors seen as vital to have a shot at Olympic inclusion.

Bowling's only Olympic spot was as an exhibition sport in Seoul in 1988. Its earliest chance of inclusion would be in 2024, with the bidding process to start next year.

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