World Bowling has rebranded as the International Bowling Federation ©IBF

World Bowling has officially changed its name to the International Bowling Federation (IBF) and has vowed to properly act as the sport's global governing body.

The decision was made at the organisation's Extraordinary Congress, which was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A letter from IBF chief executive Andrew Oram said that, historically, "many decisions were made not at international level but at national level".

This saw World Bowling operate as an "associate member of its own organisation instead of acting as the international bowling federation".

"This was a failing on behalf of the international governing body," Oram said.

"Ours is not merely a change in name but a change in the way the International Bowling Federation will fulfil its mission and interact with all stakeholders."

The IBF will continue to base itself in Lausanne and consists of 114 member countries and five continental zones.

It is hoped the changes will help bowling promote itself as a sport which could one day make the Olympic progamme.

"Numerous failed Olympic bids, the most recent Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 but many before, have never brought about the necessary soul searching and deep dive into why the sport was rejected," said Oram.

The International Bowling Federation has 114 member countries ©Getty Images
The International Bowling Federation has 114 member countries ©Getty Images

"It was never concluded that maybe we were doing this all wrong, only that rejection was the fault of someone else."

Oram said the IBF would protect its Championships and will be the only organisation allowed to use the word "world" when naming events.

"A bid for the inclusion of bowling in the Olympics is not just a presentation of what we will do," he added.

"It requires us to build a business that is enhanced by inclusion.

"A strong international federation with ownership of its elite events can create the choices for the next generation of bowlers.

"We should not seek approval or acknowledgement that bowling is a sport.

"Bowling is a sport and we have incredible athletes who prove it with sacrifice, commitment and hard work.

"We should be supporting those athletes and place them on a global stage."

Oram's letter can be read here.