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 ShowBuzzDaily.com. 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.

New Deal May Make PBA Merchandise More Affordable For Fans

Since 2013, H5G Brands have been the official jersey provider of the PBA Tour, meaning players can only wear H5G jerseys while competing in PBA events. That agreement will continue through July 1, 2022, the PBA announced this week.

PBA50 Tour Heads West After Three-Week Break

After three weeks off, the PBA50 Tour heads to Brentwood, California, starting Sunday for a West Coast swing.

Prather Stuns Belmonte In PBA Playoffs Quarters

Prather Explains How He Became Known As Shark

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

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

PORTLAND, Maine - The shark slayed the giant.

Belmo, Simo Look To Avoid Upset Bug At PBA Playoffs

PORTLAND, Maine – The two highest remaining seeds in the PBA Playoffs will be featured tonight as the quarterfinals get underway.

Barrett Takes Down No. 3 Duke At PBA Playoffs

PORTLAND, Maine – The upsets at the PBA Playoffs just keep on coming.

Duke, Rash Make Playoffs Debut To Close Out Round Of 16

PORTLAND, Maine – Norm Duke’s return to the winner’s circle has been one of the biggest stories of the 2019 PBA Tour season. Tonight, he makes his debut in the PBA Playoffs. 

Pete Weber Wins PBA Title No. 100

Pete Weber has joined Walter Ray Williams Jr. as the only two players to win 100 career PBA titles after he won a PBA Regional last weekend.

Butturff Latest Upset Victim At PBA Playoffs

PORTLAND, Maine – For the second consecutive week, a major upset occurred at the PBA Playoffs as second seed Jakob Butturff failed to advance out of the Round of 16.

Butturff Set For Playoffs Debut Tonight

PORTLAND, Maine – Jakob Butturff, the second-highest seeded player in the PBA Playoffs, makes his debut in the show that airs tonight as he takes on Wes Malott.

Carlson Survives High-Scoring Final To Win First PBA50 Title

In one of the highest scoring championship matches in PBA50 Tour history, Joel Carlson survived overtime against Ron Mohr to win the PBA50 Hamilton Lanes & Entertainment Center Open in Trenton, New Jersey.