Column: Olympics Reject Bowling Again And The Reason Is Obvious

Bowling’s Olympics hopes were dealt another tough blow Thursday when the Paris organizing committee elected not to put the sport forward for inclusion in the 2024 Games.

However, if you’ve followed all the signs presented by the International Olympic Committee, this move should come as little surprise.

The IOC has made it clear the Olympics needs to appeal to younger people, especially as it relates to television audiences. Bowling simply doesn’t yet deliver the younger demographic the Olympics and advertisers crave.

The PBA Tournament of Champions broadcast on FOX drew an overall audience of 1,131,000 viewers, according to Of those who watched, only about 21 percent were in the 18-49 age bracket.

That number pales in comparison to some other sports like, for example, the NBA, which often has closer to 50 percent of its audience in the coveted 18-49 age range.

If you need further proof the Olympics is looking for an infusion of young viewers, simply look at the sports that were put forward by Paris 2024 as demonstration sports.

Breakdancing (aka “breaking”), surfing, sport climbing and skateboarding were all selected. The IOC will have the ultimate decision whether to approve those recommendations by the end of the year.

So, after being snubbed by Tokyo for 2020 and Paris for 2024, is all hope lost for the sport of bowling? Absolutely not.

The sport has made some big strides recently, including the PBA’s new television deal with FOX that provides more prominent coverage for the sport.

If the PBA can start to deliver a consistent, younger audience that advertisers crave, it will be incredibly positive for the sport’s future.

One way to do that is to build up the sport’s young stars and personalities and introduce them to new, younger audiences to get them engaged in the sport.

The coverage by TMZ and Barstool Sports recently of Kyle Troup and his unique style is a perfect example of this. We just need more of it more often.

In the meantime, what can you, the everyday bowler do to help the cause? Engage your friends, neighbors and fellow bowlers to become more active on social media, sharing stories on the sport and watching the televised events.

The larger, and younger, the audience bowling can deliver, the more likely the Olympics will one day be interested.

And when they come calling, we’ll be ready.

Lucas Wiseman is the senior editor of FloBowling. He has covered bowling around the world for more than two decades. Follow him on Twitter @Lucas_Wiseman.

Anderson Hopes To Get Back On Track At Masters

The season’s fourth major is upon us this week as the biggest field of the season takes to the lanes for the United States Bowling Congress Masters.

World Sweeps USA To Close Out WSOB X

The World swept the USA, 2-0, in consecutive best-of-three matches to win the special USA vs. The World match to close out the 2019 PBA World Series of Bowling.

WSOB Wrap-Up: Is Belmo Now The GOAT?

The PBA World Series of Bowling X wrapped up last night in dramatic fashion with Jason Belmonte winning his 11th career PBA Tour major title.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Belmonte Becomes Bowling's Greatest Major Champion

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Jason Belmonte is now officially in a class of his own.

Prather Emerges Victorious On Tough Scorpion Pattern

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – After a 2018 season in which he came so close to winning his first PBA Tour title on numerous occasions, Kris Prather finally broke through to win Wednesday at the 2019 PBA Scorpion Championship.

Moore, Prather, Troup, O'Neill Make Scorpion Show

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Kyle Troup, Bill O’Neill, BJ Moore and Kris Prather will battle for the 2019 PBA Scorpion Championship title tonight.

Chameleon Win Puts Belmo In Driver's Seat For POY

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – On a night where executing exceptional shots was required to carry all 10 pins, Jason Belmonte made just enough of those shots to pick up his 20th career title at the 2019 PBA Chameleon Championship.

Chameleon Finals Set For Tonight

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – The championship round for the 2019 PBA Chameleon Championship is set with Jason Belmonte, Andres Gomez, AJ Chapman and Ronnie Russell prepared to battle for the title.

Allen Tames Cheetah For Seventh Career Title

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Dick Allen became the second two-time winner this season on the PBA Tour as he defeated Kyle Sherman to win the 2019 PBA Cheetah Championship.

Final Four Set For Tonight's Cheetah Show

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Dick Allen, Matt McNiel, Kyle Sherman and Rhino Page advanced to the championship round of the 2019 PBA Cheetah Championship on Monday afternoon.