4 Types of Bowling

Bowling is an old, old game, dating back some thousands of years. Roman legionnaires, Egyptians, and everyone in between were intrigued by the game’s most primitive forms. There seems to be something perfectly human, not to mention timeless, about hurling a ball at a bunch of stationary objects. Today, the majority of Americans play what is called ten-pin bowling, where the aim is to knock down 10 pins in a bid to achieve a 300 (the perfect score). There are numerous regional variations, and some interesting ones at that. Here are four bowling games (come common, some unusual) with reasons why you might wish to try them out.

Ten-Pin Bowling

Most Americans refer to this version simply as “bowling”. While a version of ten-pin bowling has been played in the U.S. since pre-Civil War, today’s rules weren’t drafted until 1895 by the American Bowling Congress. On 2012, Business Week provided an estimate of 4,061 ten-pin bowling alleys in the U.S. and there are bound to be more than have opened since.

Nine-pin bowling

The game also referred to as Kegel is more different to ten-pin than it sounds. The main difference is that it’s a team game, with no scores for individuals. Each team is comprised of six players, with each player given two turns to bowl. Another key difference is that the pins aren’t re-set from one player to the next. One player continues from where the player before him left off. This continues until there are no pins left standing. Only then are the pins re-set. This is a great game to play for those who love bowling but who also prefer team sports.

Candlepin Bowling

Candlepin was established in 1880 in Massachusetts, and remains enormously popular in New England. The pins are candle-thin (hence the name) and the balls are only around 4.5” in diameter. Each player rolls the ball for a total of three times in each frame, rather than twice. The pins may sound cute but knocking them over is harder than it sounds. If you like a challenge, you’ll definitely want to give this game a try. The highest score a single game ever recorded was 245 out of 300.

Duckpin Bowling

A game that lies somewhere between ten-pin bowling and candlepin, duckpin bears the shape and rules of ten-pin while employing the three-ball frames and lighter ball weight of candlepin. As the pins are stout and short, it isn’t as difficult to get a strike or spare as it is in candlepin. The highest score recorded, however, remains just 279 out of 300.

You’ll enjoy this one if you like baseball. William Robinson claims to have invented the game and Babe Ruth once named it as his favourite sport. It’s also ideal for those who like ten-pin bowling’s rules but who haven’t quite grasped the strength needed to handle the heavier ball. Ten-pin bowling requires some strength to not only handle the ball but also to strike down those 10 pins.

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