Photo of Lawn Bowls

Lawn Bowls Olympic Games

Lawn bowls sport was in the Summer Olympic Games in 1988 but only as a demonstration sport. And since that time, lawn bowls sport has missed in Olympic games, including the Summer Olympics 2020 in Tokyo.

The International Olympic Committee excluded lawn bowls as one of the Olympic games but added a few other sports such as climbing, softball, and skateboarding, among other sports.

With that said, you can also expect not to see the lawn bowls in the coming 2021 summer Olympics in Tokyo.

The IOC (International Olympic Committee) maintains that lawn bowls sport doesn’t appeal to the younger demographics despite young people forming a considerable part of the television audience.

According to the IOC, lawn bowls games don’t deliver the Olympic crave to the young demographics, affecting advertisements.

And this is one of their reasons for excluding the sport from the Summer Olympic games since 1988.

Lawn bowls games involve rolling balls so that they stop as close to the jack ball as possible. And sometimes, competitors knock aside each other’s ball to get the biased balls as close to the jack ball as possible.

As a sports activity, lawn bowls only exist in the commonwealth games and not in the Olympics.

When Was Lawn Bowls Sport First Contested?

The first time lawn bowls games were in a multi-sport event was in 1978 in the Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand.

But the coordinators of the Asian Games excluded lawn bowls games in the following Asian Games – the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi, India.

The sport then returned to the program in the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul, South Korea.

And this time around, lawn bowls competitions were a resounding success, triggering the bowling industry to convince the IOC to recognize the sport as one of the Olympic games.

As a result, the IOC introduced lawn bowls into the Olympic games, but only as a demonstration sport, as we had seen earlier. Lawn bowls then became part of the Olympic sport in Seoul, South Korea, in 1988.

But the IOC cited yet another reason why they couldn’t incorporate the sport into the Olympic Games. According to the IOC, lawn bowls were inaccessible for many youths, especially those coming from developing nations.

As a result, the IOC dropped lawn bowls games.

Plans to Incorporate the Sport into The Olympics

There were plans to include lawn bowls in the 2020 Summer Olympics following 26 International Sports Federations applications in 2015.

There was a proposal for 28 sports for inclusion into the Olympics, but the IOC could only shortlist eight sports for consideration.

And on 22 June 2015, the IOC announced that lawn bowls made it to the shortlisted sports up for consideration.

But later in the same year (September 2015 to be exact), the IOC announced the plans to drop lawn bowls together with two other sports – wushu and squash – from inclusion into the Olympic games.

That means you cannot expect to see lawn bowls games in the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. And neither should you in the 2021 Olympics unless plans have changed.

Other Games That Failed the Approval

Besides wushu and squash, there are a few sports that also failed the IOC approval. And some of them might surprise you! They include the following:

Pole Dancing

You might find pole dancing to be a risqué activity, but it takes an athletic person to do a pole dance.

The GAISF in Switzerland even went ahead to grant observer status to the sport in October 2017, but that wasn’t enough to persuade the IOC to incorporate the sport into the Olympic games.


It might surprise you to learn that the IOC recognizes chess as a sport. But they have failed to include it in the Olympic games even after chess was in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, as an exhibition sport.

There was an application for chess to be a game sport in the upcoming 2020 Olympics. But the IOC flopped the application.


Mixed martial arts fighters might find calling them “athletes” as an understatement. But that’s a story for another day.

As you might expect from fighters, MMA is full of blows and kicks, with knockouts earning fighters instantaneous victory.

Due to its nature, the IOC failed to include MMA in the Olympics because it is “too violent.” But other sports that involve fighting, such as Judo and wrestling, are in the Olympics.

Maybe MMA fighters will rejoice someday in the future after the IOC includes MMA in the Olympics, but this is not in the foreseeable future.

American Football

Yes, American football was once in the Olympics, but that was a long time ago, in 1904.

The IOC has since rejected this thrilling sport because it favors Americans more than other nations. That’s because the USA is the dominant nation.

Other countries with the American Football League are South Africa, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Egypt.

Since it has been a long time since American football was in the Olympics, you can only expect the sport’s future to be oblique as far as inclusion into the Olympics goes.

Where Can You Participate in Lawn Bowls?

The sport of bowls is one that you will find at the commonwealth games. But that’s it. Other competitions, such as the Olympics, World Games, and Asian Games, don’t offer lawn bowls.

That’s because lawn bowls don’t agree to the terms of the sports competition organizations that we’ve mentioned.

What Are Some of The Olympic Games?

Even though lawn bowls aren’t part of the Olympic games, you can be sure to find other sports that you might enjoy. They include the following:


Playing archery

It is the sport of shooting arrows using a bow. Archery requires an impressive mastery of the aiming skills and patience, among other skills.


Playing basketball

It is a sport where two teams of five players each battle it out on a regular court. The court could be indoors or outdoors.


Break Dancing

Breakdancing is now part of the Olympics competitions. If you have the confidence and impressive skills of a break dancer, you can join a team to compete in the Olympic games!



A diver will jump from a springboard and perform acrobatics in the air before softly plunging into the water. The competition is as breath-taking as it is fun to watch for the sport’s lover.



You can perform weightlifting as an exercise or a sport. Either way, it works out your muscles, ensuring you have excellent strength training.

If you have what it takes to lift tons of weight, you could participate in the Olympics!

There are plenty of sports in the Olympics. You can be sure to find a sporting activity from the 28 sports in the Summer Olympics.

Be sure to check the Olympics website for a comprehensive list of all the sports in the Olympics.


The future of lawn bowls is still oblique, with the International Olympic Committee maintaining that it is not a sport that they should include in the Olympic games.

The IOC cites reasons for failing to include the lawn bowls in the Olympic games.

One of the reasons is that the sport doesn’t attract young demographics, especially those from underdeveloped nations. But you can find other sports in the Olympics that you might enjoy.

With the 28 sports, finding a sporting activity that thrills you as much as it entertains you isn’t a daunting task.

But if you’d love to follow closely on the lawn bowls, you can watch the commonwealth games for exciting competitions on the sport.

You can also find other sports, some of which are part of the Olympic games. If you love lawn bowls, then the commonwealth games are what you might want to watch.

Leave a Reply

This is the popup logo

Get Homeowner Tips, Tricks & Reviews, Straight To Your Inbox

Stay informed as we recommend and highlight the products that are perfect for home.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Get Homeowner Tips, Tricks & Reviews, Straight To Your Inbox

Stay informed as we recommend and highlight the products that are perfect for home.

You have Successfully Subscribed!