The Instigator
MB29
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
Sauh
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Bowling is a sport.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
MB29
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/2/2013 Category: Sports
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,902 times Debate No: 34452
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

MB29

Pro

I would just like to say that this is my first debate. I am excited to start debating! Lets get started!

Dictionary.com defines the word "sport" as "an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature." Based on this definition, I believe that bowling can be considered a sport. First round will be acceptance only. Thank you in advance for accepting!
Sauh

Con

I will take you up on this debate, even though in your framing of the debate, you have given yourself a fairly solid position. Proposing a debate on the tautologous statement that Dictionary.com uses bowling as an example of a sport, so therefore you will argue that bowling is a sport.
I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
MB29

Pro

First, thanks for accepting the debate. I'm interested in hearing what you have to say. Second, I only provided the definition to give a picture of what a "sport" really is. I wasn't saying that bowling is a sport simply because the dictionary says so. Sorry if this was inappropriate, I have no real experience with debating.

Ok, now let's get into the debate. Good luck to the both of us!

1. Bowling requires a high degree of skill.

Professional bowling requires an extremely high degree of skill, both physical and mental. This is different than going out to a bowling alley with some friends to drink beer while you throw the ball at the pins for fun. That activity is comparable to playing catch with a baseball, and baseball is universally accepted as a sport. Those activities are not truly competitive, and are not 100% of what the sport fully entails. Anybody can throw a baseball, just like anybody can throw a bowling ball. However, for serious competitive bowling, you need to have many mastered skills. Lanes are sometimes covered with oil patterns designed to add challenge, and to make it more difficult to throw strikes (this is called "sport shot" and is always used in professional bowling). You must find a line to throw your ball and hit it every time. Otherwise, you will not get a strike or spare, which hurts your score. Also, lane oil breaks down and can cause changes in how a ball moves. As a result, you must learn how to adjust your position accordingly. Next, proper balance, footwork, and form must be followed on every throw. While muscle strength or running speed are not necessary, other physical skills are still needed, which fits in the definition of a sport. For mental skills, every throw must be nearly perfect, especially on difficult oil patterns; anything off with your approach can cause you to miss a key spare or strike. Missed throws can be extremely distracting and kill confidence. Therefore, bowlers must have an extremely high degree of mental focus and preparation. All of these factors prove professional bowling requires specialized skill.

2. Bowlers can be considered athletes.

I consider an athlete to be someone who trains themselves in order to get optimal personal performance in their chosen sport. A football player must train to become better, which is through strength training and drills. Also, all bowlers train themselves to become better. While they don't need overpowering strength, they must train their muscle memory, their balance and coordination, and their mental game. This can take years of practice and training to achieve optimal performance. Your definition of an athlete may differ from mine, but my definition can describe a serious, professional bowler.

3. Organized, professional competition.

Every sport has some organizational structure, such as an overseeing organization, or professional leagues or circuits. Bowling fits this description. Every bowling alley has leagues where bowlers come to compete against others. The PBA (Professional Bowler's Association) is the highest level of competition, containing only the elite professionals. It is impossible to say the name of a sport without some professionals playing it. Bowling has just that.

4. It's more than just a "game"

Those who don't consider bowling a sport see it as a "game" and nothing more. This description is inaccurate. All sports are games. However, all games are not sports, and a game doesn't necessarily require a degree of skill. In a game such as Monopoly, a person who has played the game 100 times before can lose to a person playing for the first time. This is not the case with bowling. A skilled professional will never lose to a first time bowler from the street. This also refers to the "requiring skill" argument. Because of these facts, bowling is more than a "game."

Now it's your turn. Let's see what you have to say.
Sauh

Con

Don't worry about it; and good luck to you as well.

I will begin by saying that bowling is a fine game, but it is not a sport.

1. Bowling requires a high degree of skill.

"Next, proper balance, footwork, and form must be followed on every throw. While muscle strength or running speed are not necessary, other physical skills are still needed, which fits in the definition of a sport. For mental skills, every throw must be nearly perfect, especially on difficult oil patterns; anything off with your approach can cause you to miss a key spare or strike. Missed throws can be extremely distracting and kill confidence. Therefore, bowlers must have an extremely high degree of mental focus and preparation. All of these factors prove professional bowling requires specialized skill."

There are many activities that require specialized skills, both mental and physical, that would most definitely not be considered a sport.

For example: Growing roses for a Rose Competition.

While muscle strength and running speed are not necessary, other physical skills are still needed. When preparing the plot of land where you will grow your roses, you need the physical ability to carry heavy bags of fertilizer. You need proper physical form to turn the soil and create your rows with efficiency. Mental skills are also necessary, you must decide on the right proportions of soil additives and choose the exact day to plant your rose bushes. Precision is needed in order to choose the right rose, and more importantly the optimal moment to pick the rose to achieve the best results you can.
So; although competitive rose growing require specialized skills, it is not a sport.

2. Bowlers can be considered athletes.

"I consider an athlete to be someone who trains themselves in order to get optimal personal performance in their chosen sport. A football player must train to become better, which is through strength training and drills. Also, all bowlers train themselves to become better. While they don't need overpowering strength, they must train their muscle memory, their balance and coordination, and their mental game. This can take years of practice and training to achieve optimal performance."

Just because someone is an athlete does not necessitate that the activity they have trained in is a sport.

Anyone who decides to climb a mountain must train to achieve the strength, agility, balance and coordination needed to accomplish their task. They also need to prepare their mind to handle the stress and exhaustion they will encounter. It can take years of experience and training to climb higher peaks and reach their performance goals.
Climbing a mountain takes incredible athleticism; however, mountaineering is not a sport.

For anyone interested in training to climb a mountain, a training program is outlined on the website for American Alpine Institute at the following link.
http://www.alpineinstitute.com...

3. Organized, professional competition.

"Every sport has some organizational structure, such as an overseeing organization, or professional leagues or circuits."

I will go back to my rose growing analogy.

World Federation of Rose Societies is the organization overseeing rose growing. According to their website; “The World Federation of Rose Societies is a federation of the national rose societies of 39 countries around the world, representing more than 100,000 rose lovers. Our goal is to expand contact among them and increase the flow of knowledge about the rose.”
http://www.worldrose.org...
One example of a league or circuit for rose growing would be the American Rose Society. You can get information on upcoming events on their website.
http://www.ars.org...

“It is impossible to say the name of a sport without some professionals playing it.”

Just because an activity has participants that are professionals does not make it a sport. Professionals are merely people who get paid to do a specified activity. Dentistry is chock full of professionals, this does not make dentistry a sport.

4. It's more than just a "game"

“All sports are games. However, all games are not sports, and a game doesn’t necessarily require a degree of skill. In a game such as Monopoly, a person who has played the game 100 times before can lose to a person playing for the first time. This is not the case with bowling. A skilled professional will never lose to a first time bowler from the street. This also refers to the "requiring skill" argument.”

I agree with your initial statement "All sports are games. However, all games are not sports, and a game doesn't necessarily require a degree of skill"

However, I disagree with your implication that any game that requires a degree of skill is a sport.

This I can easily illustrate with the example of chess; chess is a game that requires skill to be played properly, but is not a sport. Barring any wildly unlikely circumstances, a skilled chess player will not lose to a first time chess player from the alley.
Requiring skill does not transform a game to a sport.


Those are the reasons that your arguments did not prove that bowling is a sport.

I will now outline why bowling is not a sport.

1. A sport requires direct competition against two or more competitors.

Any activity that you can get the full experience out of by yourself, is not a sport.
I can bowl a full ten frames, several times, alone in an empty bowling lane, and receive the full effect of bowling.

Clearly, I got all the physical and mental exercise of bowling. I also received a competitive aspect by striving to beat my own score; however, I didn’t get any direct competition from another participant.

Therefore; since the activity of bowling does not contain the required aspect of direct competition, it is not a sport.

I will close this round of debate by showing that you already know that bowling is not a sport. You affirmed my claim that bowling lacks enough direct competition to be considered a sport in your first argument.

"Professional bowling requires an extremely high degree of skill, both physical and mental. This is different than going out to a bowling alley with some friends to drink beer while you throw the ball at the pins for fun. That activity is comparable to playing catch with a baseball, and baseball is universally accepted as a sport. Those activities are not truly competitive, and are not 100% of what the sport fully entails."

The analogous comparison to playing catch with a baseball would be to roll a bowling ball down the street. You are only doing a portion of the activity.

It is immaterial if bowling requires a high degree of skill, or not. A sport is able to be played by anyone who; knows the rules, has the equipment, access to the proper setting, and the requisite amount of participants.

It isn't true that children playing sandlot baseball aren't playing the 'sport of baseball' simple because they can’t perform at the level of professional baseball players.

Regardless of how skilled the participants, or how seriously they take the activity, a sport is a sport. A sport isn't only considered a sport when it is played at a high level. If, as you state, drinking beer while throwing the ball at the pins for fun does not constitute enough competition to qualify bowling as a sport; adding higher-skill level players and monetary rewards for winning doesn't change this.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
MB29

Pro

In response to your arguments-



Your claim, Any activity that you can get the full experience out of by yourself, is not a sport” is untrue. An example is track. If I were to go to a track and sprint a few 100 meter dashes, I could receive the full effect of running track. I received the exercise and mental experience of running, and I received a competitive aspect by trying to improve my times. All without another person competing against me. Yet track is still a sport. A similar situation occurs with other individualized sports such as swimming, golf, field events such as discus or shot put, etc.


Also, tournament bowling often includes what is referred to as “Baker games” which require teams, not individuals (http://bowling.about.com...). New aspects come into play in this format, such as lineups, less frames bowled, and teamwork. Therefore, you can’t receive a full experience of bowling by yourself.




Also, there is a major difference between those “bowling for fun” and those who are bowling competitively. You claim that they are the same when you say “If, as you state, drinking beer while throwing the ball at the pins for fun does not constitute enough competition to qualify bowling as a sport; adding higher-skill level players and monetary rewards for winning doesn't change this. “ First, you don’t require direct competition 100% of the time, as referred to in the previous argument. Next, there is such a big difference between the two such that they can be considered two separate activities. The difference is one word, OIL. Remember that bowling alleys are businesses. They want customers to be happy so that they return. To do so, bowling alleys place what is called a “house pattern” on the lanes- less oil on the sides, more in the center. Taken from http://bowling.about.com... ,


The house pattern is designed to be forgiving. Since complete novices are using this pattern during open bowling, a bowling-center operator doesn’t want to make things hard on them and risk losing business.


Since there’s very little oil outside the 10 board, the lanes are very forgiving if you miss to the outside. There’s plenty of time for the ball to recover and get back to the pocket. Likewise, with the extra oil in the middle, if you miss to the inside, the oil will let the ball carry farther down the lane before picking up some traction at the end. Either way you miss, the pattern will do its best to get your ball to the pocket.


Since open bowling doesn’t require the same skills as competitive bowling, such as in reading oil, adjustments, and near perfect consistency, it can be seen as separate. It is not the full experience of bowling, it is an aspect. n


Sport oil conditions are bowled on during competition and allow for no mistakes, which in turn require the skills explained earlier. That is why bowling for fun while drinking beer is not a sport, and competitive bowling is. They are separate, not equal.


In response to your claims about my arguments-


A sport is a sport if and only if it meets all the requirements: physical and mental skill, athleticism (training yourself physically and mentally to perform more capably and to improve your skill), competition, and strategy. All the other activities you mentioned are not sports because they do not meet all the requirements. Mountain climbing lacks any competition in any form, even though it requires athleticism and skill. For rose growing, even though mental skills and competition are evident, there is no athleticism. Once you lift the fertilizer bag or learn how to create good rows, you can’t train yourself to do that any better than before. You can’t train yourself physically to grow better roses. While it is true that just because there are professional competitions or skills needed, then it doesn’t necessarily make the activity a sport. Those are only parts of the definition of a sport. However, if and only if all of those requirements are met, the activity becomes a sport. Bowling fits all the requirements of a sport- skills, athleticism, competition, and strategy. Therefore, competitive bowling fits the definition, and is a sport.


In my 2nd round, I should have specified that the difference in a sport and a game is that physical skill is needed for a sport, not just the general word “skill” I used. I apologize. Chess is not a sport because no physical skills are needed, and there is no athleticism. All sports are games that require physical skills, and if and only if they fit the definition of a sport. Competitive bowling once again fits this description.


Closing-


First of all, thanks to Sauh for accepting this debate and allowing it to be possible.


My closing argument will be short and simple.


I will use the common phrase, “If it looks like a duck and flies like a duck, it is a duck.” Bowling has all the requirements to be considered a sport. Therefore, how can it be considered that it isn’t a sport? Consider what has been said, and vote Pro. Thank you.

Sauh

Con

"Yet track is still a sport. A similar situation occurs with other individualized sports such as swimming, golf, field events such as discus or shot put, etc."

Track and the other activities are not sports.

"Also, tournament bowling often includes what is referred to as “Baker games” which require teams, not individuals (http://bowling.about.com......). New aspects come into play in this format, such as lineups, less frames bowled, and teamwork. Therefore, you can’t receive a full experience of bowling by yourself."

Changing the format of a game does not change the basic elements of that game.

"Also, there is a major difference between those “bowling for fun” and those who are bowling competitively. You claim that they are the same when you say “If, as you state, drinking beer while throwing the ball at the pins for fun does not constitute enough competition to qualify bowling as a sport; adding higher-skill level players and monetary rewards for winning doesn't change this. “ First, you don’t require direct competition 100% of the time, as referred to in the previous argument. Next, there is such a big difference between the two such that they can be considered two separate activities."

This debate is on whether bowling is a sport; not whether professional bowling is a different activity than recreational bowling.

"A sport is a sport if and only if it meets all the requirements: physical and mental skill, athleticism (training yourself physically and mentally to perform more capably and to improve your skill), competition, and strategy. All the other activities you mentioned are not sports because they do not meet all the requirements."

In your first argument you had failed to mention a sport needed to meet all those requirements; you just listed attributes of bowling and said it was a sport. I wasn't trying to imply that any of those activities were sports.

All your attributes referring to bowlers are irrelevant. I reiterate: A sport is able to be played by anyone who; knows the rules, has the equipment, access to the proper setting, and the requisite amount of participants. Skill doesn't come into play. Even at the highest level of any sport there are players of different skill levels. You wouldn't say that two professional baseball players are playing games of different ‘degrees of sport’ because they have different batting averages. An activity either is or isn’t a sport. If recreational bowling was fundamentally different from professional bowling, they would have different names, not different qualifiers.

We can see that the participants of an activity don't decide if it is a sport or not. It is only the elements of an activity that determine if it is a sport.


Here, in turn, I must apologize to my opponent; I went back and reread my previous round, and I seem to have left off an aspect of a sport.

A sport requires both offensive and defensive strategy, which is why all the activities you mention in your first paragraph aren't sports either.

Football, baseball, soccer, cricket, hockey, tennis, lacrosse, and polo are all sports because they have athletes competing directly against each other with both offensive and defensive strategies. The participants of sports can physically affect their opponetnt's performances.

Activities like golf, swimming, track and field events, and bowling are games of compared performances.


"I will use the common phrase, “If it looks like a duck and flies like a duck, it is a duck.” Bowling has all the requirements to be considered a sport. Therefore, how can it be considered that it isn’t a sport?"

I think the reason for your confusion about what bowling is can be illustrated by looking at your closing statement. The problem with that phrase is that, it is a 'common phrase'. The quote that that phrase is based on is:

"I can’t prove you are a Communist. But when I see a bird that quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, has feathers and webbed feet and associates with ducks—I’m certainly going to assume that he IS a duck."
-Emil Mazey, the secretary-treasurer of the United Automobile Workers for 33 years, said at a labor meeting in 1946
http://en.wikipedia.org...

People take an actual quote, or meaning of a word, and simplify it, making it more general. It is a problem of discarding precision for ease. This results in common phrases and common definitions. They are close enough to get a general idea across, but lack the specificity of their actual meaning.

I would like to, once again, thank my opponent for posting this debate.

I will say, in closing, although many might assume bowling is a sport; if you take the time to look beyond the common concept, you will see bowling, while a fine game, is not a sport.

Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Juris_Naturalis 4 years ago
Juris_Naturalis
MB29SauhTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Nice debate.