sometimes called tenpins, is an indoor game played on a polished
wooden or synthetic floor by individuals or teams. Bowling is most
popular in the US where more than 80 million people actively participate.
In the US
game contestants roll balls, which have two or, commonly, three
finger holes for gripping, toward ten 15-in. wooden pins. The pins
are arranged in triangular formation, with the headpin 60 ft. from
a foul line. The balls, made of a variety of materials are 8.5-in.
in diameter and must not weigh more than 16 lb. The bowler, who
rolls the ball underhand, has a runway at least 15 ft. long from
which the ball may be released.
game is divided into 10 frames: the object of the game is to knock
down all of the pins on the first or, if necessary, the second of
the 2 rolls allowed in each frame. Each pin that is knocked down
counts as 1 point. Knocking down all the pins with the first ball
is called a strike and is scored as 10 points plus a bonus determined
by the total points gained in the next 2 rolls. If a bowler should
continue to roll only strikes throughout the game (a total of 12
attempts, because 2 bonus tries are allowed in the tenth frame),
the result would be a rare prefect game 300. If 2 deliveries are
needed to knock down all of the pins in a frame, the outcome is
called a spare. A bowler is then awarded points plus a bonus of
the score on the next roll. If a spare is made in the final frame,
one extra roll is allowed and that is added to the score.
for a game similar to bowling, which date from 5200 BC, were found
in the tomb of a young Egyptian boy. In the 3rd and 4th centuries,
bowling in Europe was a religious ceremony, participants tried to
hit the pin, or kegel (hence the word kegling for bowling) in order
to be judged free of sin. The Italian version of bowling, Bocce,
which is still played today, is somewhat similar to "Lawn Bowling",
an English game originating over 800 years ago. In Europe, it was
played with 9 pins. Dutch colonists brought bowling to America in
the 17th century. The game consisted of 9 pins set in a triangle.
It was regularly played in an area of New York City still known
as "Bowling Green". The tenth pin was added according to popular
legend, to circumvent a ruling in the 1840's by the Connecticut
Legislature, which outlawed nine-pins because of widespread gambling
in the game. Bowling was an outdoor game for most of its history;
indoor bowling became popular in the mid-19th century.
Bowling Congress (ABC), founded in 1895, is the governing body for
tenpins. The ABC standardized rules and the scoring method, and
it also organized the fast U.S. national bowling tournament, in
1901. Each year the ABC sponsors nationals in singles, doubles and
five-man team competition for its members, whose numbers exceeds
5 million. The Women's International Bowling Congress (WIBC) was
founded in 1916 and has grown to 3.5 million members. The Professional
Bowlers Association was organized in 1958 to promote exhibition
and arrange major tournaments. Interest in bowling, particularly
in the United Slates, had its major spurt after World War II.
of the first automatic pinsetter in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1952 was responsible
for much of this growing popularity. Previously, pins were set by
young boys, and Bowling Alleys, as the establishments were called,
often had poor reputations. The modern game, however, promoted in
part by competition on television, is a booming family sport. There
is virtually no age limit for the active bowler.