It might be April Fool’s Day, but Mecca Bingo is very serious in its bid to have the game become an official Olympic sport.
The bingo company confirmed to CalvinAyre.com that it has formally applied for bingo to be recognized as an official sport by the International Olympic Committee. Mecca Bingo’s goal is to have the game included in the 2020 summer Olympic Games that are scheduled to take place in Tokyo, Japan.
In an email to CalvinAyre.com, a spokesperson for Mecca Bingo said: “If ski ballet once made it and bridge/bell ringing recently made similar attempts, we’re optimistic and why can’t bingo be next? You never now, it might even be a good prospect for a future British gold medal!”
Mecca Bingo cited the game’s player requirement of “alertness, dexterity, observational skills and good sportsmanship” makes it’s the perfect candidate to be recognized as an Olympic sport.
In addition, the company claimed that a bingo game also fulfills other criteria laid out by the Olympic Committee for new games that want to be included, such as popularity in a large number of regions across the world, affordability in terms of practicing and playing the game, as well as having a set of easy to understand rules.
“Successful bingo playing requires a steady hand, intense concentration and mental agility; three attributes that most athletes are keen to possess and that our members have by the bucketload,” Mecca Bingo’s Lesly Clifford said in a statement. “All of the factors which make for a great game of bingo are evident within the criteria set by the committee and we are proud to launch this campaign today.”
Clifford promises the company will work hard to prove the merits of “the beloved British game of bingo” until cries of “eyes down” will be heard during the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Late last year, Tokyo Olympics organizers released a list of 26 sports that have applied to be included in the Games, according to news.com.au. The list includes your run-of-the-mill baseball and softball, but there’s also surfing, wushu and even sumo bidding to join the Olympics.
Toshiro Muto, CEO of the Tokyo organizing committee, said the sports must meet three criteria: they must be popular with the younger generation, give momentum to Tokyo 2020 and meet the International Olympic Committee (IOC) standards.
The Tokyo committee is expected to announce a shortlist of candidates in June, according to the report. The finalists will make a presentation in August before the IOC makes its final decision on August 2016.
Check out Mecca Bingo’s campaign, or even give your backing, by visiting the site here.