Bingo an Olympic Sport?

Bingo an Olympic Sport?

Written by: Glo Wood

04 April 2016

Did you ever have a hard bingo session, which left you feeling physically drained? Does the game require strength and agility? If you think that our favorite game is definitely a sport of sorts, you’re not alone. Mecca Bingo is pushing see bingo introduced as an event in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, having submitted an application to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The company has provided letters of intent to the IOC with claims that “alertness, observational skills and sportsmanship” are involved in bingo play and therefore should be a qualifying Olympic event.

An application was submitted to the IOC on behalf of the card game of Bridge in 2015. While Bridge does involve skill as well, it’s also highly based on chance much like bingo. Sport England denied the request to recognize Bridge as a sport since it lacks physical activity. There’s also no anti-doping regulations in place for Bridge or bingo, for that matter.

The committee for Tokyo 2020 has proposed additional sports at the games, an issue that the IOC will discuss at its executive board meeting schedule for June; however bingo is not among the possibilities to be considered.

Newsweek Europe reported on this story and asked Mecca “how it planned to get around the lack of an international bingo federation”. Having an age restriction of 18 years or older, Mecca responded saying it was acting on behalf of bingo and awaits an IOC response before moving ahead.

A Mecca spokesperson said, “You don’t have to train for months and months,” the spokesperson says. “There is definitely an interest; the next step is a bingo federation.”

Mecca’s head of communications, Lesly Clifford, commented, “Successful bingo playing requires a steady hand, intense concentration and mental agility.

“I’m sure many bingo fans will all be crossing everything that this campaign is a full house success and that we hear cries of ‘eyes down’ when the Olympics lands in Tokyo in 2020.”

The bingo operator, part of the Rank Group, has even launched a poll to take votes on whether or not bingo should be recognized as an official sport. What do you think? Could we see bingo penciled in to the 2020 Olympics or is this a bit farfetched?


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