Launch of Formal Process to Seek International Olympic Committee Recognition

Ottawa, Ontario | May 4th, 2016

At the World Bowls European Development Seminar this past weekend Gary Smith, World Bowls Chief Executive announced that World Bowls have launched the formal process to seek International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognition for our sport of bowls.

World Bowls was obliged to await the results of a full review being undertaken by the IOC of their eligibility criteria to firstly ensure that World Bowls met the minimum number of member nation’s criteria. Before an International Sport Federation (IF) can be considered by the IOC, the sport it governs must be practised and organized in more than 50 countries worldwide. World Bowls currently has 55 member National Authorities, in 51 countries, across six continents. This review was completed back in December of 2015.

World Bowls is now required to complete a 40 page questionnaire and to submit this questionnaire as well as, a wide range of relevant documents to the IOC by the end of August, 2016. At this time, World Bowls application will then be considered by the IOC Executive Board during their meeting in December, 2016.

This positive development has been welcomed by all global bowls communities. “IOC recognition of Lawn Bowls as an Olympic sport is an important step in the ongoing process to improve visibility and provide opportunities for lawn bowlers across the globe. I have already sent my congratulations to John Bell, the President of World Bowls, and assured him of continuing support from Canada to assist with the recognition process” stated Ian Tyzzer, Bowls Canada Boulingrin, President. While recognition of World Bowls and the sport of Lawn Bowls by the IOC does not mean Lawn Bowls will automatically become a sport on the sports programme of the Olympic Games. It now means that Lawn Bowls could be considered as a potential sport on a slate. That would likely have to go through the demonstration sport process, like Golf, Curling and Triathlon did. It does mean that Bowls Canada would become eligible to receive development support from the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) with respect to the National Sport Federation (NSF) Development Program initiatives.

For more information, please contact:
Katie Gardner, Technical Coordinator,
Bowls Canada Boulingrin

About Bowls Canada Boulingrin Bowls Canada Boulingrin (BCB) is the governing body responsible for lawn bowls in Canada. The BCB mission is to advance the sport of bowls in Canada. For more details on Bowls Canada Boulingrin and the sport of lawn bowls, visit