I was thinking about how team sports are extroverted, in general, and individual sports seem to attract introverts based on the obvious need to look inside rather outside. However, bowling in an individual sport that can be played in teams, although it is an individual sport nonetheless.
I think that with bowling it's not the activity itself as much as it is the environment it's often buried within. The whole loud music, beer-drinking bowling-shirt-wearing-team-cheering thing sort of denies the whole premise that you're one person trying to skillfully knock some pins over - something that can just as easily be done by yourself. I think you got stuck in something that was more of a social activity where there happened to be some bowling rather than bowling that happened to have other people there.
Most team sports I think are generally introvert-friendly, really - at least for me. As long as my focus can be on the activity itself, and there's not a large social aspect, I'm rarely bothered. I played league volleyball for years, and once the game got going and I had it to focus on, the disconcerting fact that I was in a gym with a bunch of mostly strangers faded away. Now... before the game and after the game? Different story - I was frequently a bit uncomfortable standing around waiting our turn to play. But the sport itself was introvert-friendly, even though it's not at all an individual sport.
Originally Posted by erinavery
i imagine it's just the very public environment...
I like bowling (though I suck at it haha) and am not bothered at all by the loud noises and crowds. But I suppose that this is probably because I have three very loud brothers. You learn to ignore things like that. :P
A few weeks ago I went bowling with my ENFP friend and her two brothers (ESFP and EnTP). It seemed like an extroverted activity to me but I was with some pretty damned extroverted people. Anyway I had fun and it wasn't too terribly draining.
My ISTJ dad hates bowling especially when teams are involved. About a decade ago he was on a team with a bunch of co-workers and he got so sick of it that he started paying someone to take his place. He thought of it as a chore.
As an introvert, I can't figure out how to bowl. I mean, if I just get the urge to go down to the lanes on a Friday night and bowl by myself, can I even do that? Since this isn't clear to me, and bowling is something you can't inherently do introvertedly, I categorize bowling as an introverted sport. Of course I am more introverted than most; most would have friends with whom they could band together to infiltrate the alley, thereby getting over that initial hurdle of human contact (and shoes that other people have worn! ).
Shooting or archery would be introverted sports, as would snowboarding, skiing, cycling, running, also certain types of racing such as a TDS rally where you're not even on the track at the same time as someone else necessarily... There are quite a few introverted sports now that I think about it. Bowling does not seem to fit in with these. Maybe not skiing either, as you need the whole ski resort aparatus with staff just to get up the hill - maybe cross-country skiing is the introverted variety of skiing. If I can't just go out and do it by myself, but it relies on other people running the sport and/or participating, to me that's an "extroverted" sport (for whatever that's worth).