That’s right, the sport you might associate with Fred Flintstone is suddenly hip. Those unglamorous bowling alleys have been transformed into places more like dance clubs so they’ll appeal to teenagers.
According to the Associated Press, bowling is hot in high schools across the country. As a varsity sport, it’s shown more gains than any other sport in terms of the number of players and the number of schools adding teams. Sixteen states recognize it as a varsity sport, up from just four in 1999. And in most other states, schools have bowling clubs or leagues if it’s not a varsity sport.
This didn’t all happen by chance. The bowling industry has been marketing to teens with late-night glow-in-the-dark bowling and dance club music. And gym teachers are being given kits to get their students interested, complete with plastic balls, pins, and a 20-foot carpet to use as a lane. The number one high school sport for boys is still football, with more than a million players. The top sport for girls is basketball, with almost half a million participating. While bowling has just 40-thousand kids total, it’s a big deal for the kids who sign up. They tend to be the ones who don’t compete in other sports. And teachers say that for the kids who bowl, it’s just as exciting for them to get a strike as it is for a football hero to make a touchdown.
So kids, if you’d like to take up bowling, check out Bowl.com for the Young Bowling Alliance. And fyi - bowling is actually the #1 sport in America with 60 million people lacing up their bowling shoes every year.