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Freeze: Bowling Facts

Bowling is a target sport and recreational activity in which a player rolls or throws a bowling ball toward pins or another target.

The earliest known forms of bowling date back to ancient Egypt (vanity fair.com)

In pin bowling, the goal is to knock over pins at the end of a lane, with either two or three balls per frame allowed to knock down all pins. A strike is achieved when all the pins are knocked down on the first roll, and a spare is achieved all the pins are knocked over on a second roll.

Protestant Reformation founder Martin Luther set the number of pins (which varied from 3 to 17) at nine. He had a bowling lane built next to his home for his children, sometimes rolling a ball himself (attributed to Lucas Cranach the Elder; public domain)

Lanes have wood or synthetic surfaces onto which protective lubricating oil is applied in different specified oil patterns that vary ball path characteristics. Common types of pin bowling include ten-pin, candlepin, duckpin, nine-pin, and five-pin bowling.

Ten-pin bowling is a type of bowling in which a bowler rolls a bowling ball down a wood or synthetic lane toward ten pins positioned in a tetractys (equilateral triangle-based pattern) at the far end of the lane. The objective is to knock down all ten pins (a strike) on the first roll of the ball.

Bowling is played by 100 million people in more than 90 countries – including 70 million in the United States (Niagara Falls Bowling Association. Archived from the original on 2 January 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2016).

Duckpin balls are 4 3⁄4 in (12 cm) to 5 in (12.7 cm) in diameter (slightly larger than a softball), weigh 3 lb 6 oz (1.5 kg) to 3 lb 12 oz (1.7 kg) each, and lack finger holes. They are thus significantly smaller than those used in ten-pin bowling but are slightly larger and heavier than those used in candlepin bowling.
Duckpins, though arranged in a triangular fashion identical to that used in ten-pin bowling, are shorter, smaller, and lighter than their ten-pin equivalents, which makes it more difficult to achieve a strike. For this reason, similar to candlepin bowling, the bowler is allowed three rolls per frame (created & uploaded by Xiaphias at en.wikipedia)

The earliest known forms of bowling date back to ancient Egypt. Remnants of balls used at the time were found among artifacts in ancient Egypt going back to the Egyptian protodynastic period in 3200 BC. Balls were made using the husks of grains, covered in a material such as leather, and bound with string. Other balls made of porcelain have also been found, indicating that these were rolled along the ground rather than thrown due to their size and weight (Pretsell, James M. (1908). The Game of Bowls Past and Present. Oliver & Boyd. p. 1).

The main differences between candlepin bowling and the predominant tenpin bowling style are that each player uses three balls per frame, rather than two (see below); the balls are much smaller (11.43 cm or 4½ in diameter) with each ball weighing as much as only one candlepin and without finger holes; the pins are thinner (hence the name “candlepin”), and thus harder to knock down; and the downed pins (known as “wood”) are not cleared away between balls during a player’s turn. Because of these differences, scoring points is considerably more difficult than in tenpin bowling (image attributed to RCraig09)

In 1511 English King Henry VIII was an avid bowler. He banned bowling for the lower classes and imposed a levy for private lanes to limit them to the wealthy. Another English law, passed in 1541 (repealed in 1845), prohibited workers from bowling, except at Christmas, and only in their master’s home and in his presence (“History of Bowls”. Retrieved 24 January 2016).

Five-pin bowling is a bowling variant which is played in Canada, where many bowling alleys offer it, either alone or in combination with ten-pin bowling. It was devised around 1909 by Thomas F. Ryan in Toronto, Ontario, at his Toronto Bowling Club, in response to customers who complained that the ten-pin game was too strenuous. He cut five tenpins down to about 75% of their size, and used hand-sized hard rubber balls, thus inventing the original version of five-pin bowling (image source: D’Arcy Norman – originally posted to Flickr as Evan bowling in 5 frames – 2)

Protestant Reformation founder Martin Luther set the number of pins (which varied from 3 to 17) at nine. He had a bowling lane built next to his home for his children, sometimes rolling a ball himself (“bowling – game”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 24 January 2016).

In 1511 English King Henry VIII banned bowling for the lower classes and imposed a levy for private lanes to limit them to the wealthy (King James 1 Attributed to John de Critz – Prado image; public domain).

In 1952 American Machine and Foundry (AMF) of Brooklyn, N.Y. began marketing automatic Pinsetter machines, eliminating the need for pinboys and causing bowling to rocket in popularity, making the 1950s the Decade of the Bowler.

On March 31, 2019, DAVAO Tenpin Bowlers Association (Datba) president Rameses Tancontian emerged champion in the Datba monthly finals for March 2019 at the SM Lanang Premier Bowling Center.

DAVAO Tenpin Bowlers Association (Datba) president Rameses Tancontian emerged champion in the Datba monthly finals for March 2019 at the SM Lanang Premier Bowling Center
Nine-pin bowling is a bowling game played primarily in Europe European championships are held each year. Over 90,000 members are on teams in Germany, often playing in officially registered Bundeskegelbahnen (association bowling alleys) to be found in almost every sizable town. In Europe overall, there are some 130,000 players. The English-speaking countries, having a predominance of facilities for the modern ten-pin sport which originated in the United States, as well as regionally popular “small-ball” bowling sports of various types, do not have many facilities in existence for the nine-pin game in the 21st century. On the other hand, a modified version is played in the US state of Texas (image: Kegeln-Kugel)
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