HomeSportsBowlingBowling Sport- History, Types, Equipment, Rules- All You Need to Know
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Bowling Sport- History, Types, Equipment, Rules- All You Need to Know

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Bowling stands as a widely embraced indoor sport and leisure activity, cherished by countless individuals worldwide. It involves the act of propelling a hefty ball along a lane with the aim of toppling a cluster of pins, thoughtfully positioned in a triangular configuration at the lane’s far end. Despite its apparent simplicity, bowling is a sport reliant on skill, demanding precision, strategic thinking, and technique. In this comprehensive overview, we will delve into the sport’s historical roots, essential rules, equipment’s, scoring system, variations, and its place within contemporary culture.

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History of Bowling

Source: Twitter

There is evidence that the Egyptians enjoyed bowling games. The wall drawings depicting bowling being found in a royal Egyptian tomb dated to 3200 BC and miniature pins and balls in an Egyptian child’s grave about 3200 BC. When bowling was initially established by the ancient Egyptians, it was presumably played similarly to how it is played today: the object is to knock down as many pins as you can with a ball rolled from a certain distance.

The Romans were also known to play a bowling-like game, which involved tossing stone objects as close as possible to a target. This early form of bowling was widespread throughout the Roman Empire. Bowling evolved during the Middle Ages in Europe, particularly in England and Germany. Here, it began to resemble the modern sport more closely. It was often played outdoors, and the pins were typically made of wood. Bowling underwent significant changes when it was introduced in the United States during the early 19th century. Nine-pin bowling was initially popular but was banned in many states due to its association with gambling. To circumvent this, the tenth pin was introduced, giving rise to ten-pin bowling, which is the most prevalent form of the sport today.

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Also Read | Top 10 Most Popular Sports in the USA 

Types of Bowling

Bowling comes in a variety of styles and modifications to suit different tastes and ability levels. The following are some of the most common kinds of bowling:

10-Pin Bowling

Bowling Pin | KreedOn

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This is the most popular type of bowling, in which players try to knock down 10 pins stacked in a triangle pattern. This is the most common form of bowling, typically played in the United States and many other countries.

Nine-Pin Bowling

Source: Wikipedia

Nine-pin bowling is a bowling sport predominantly enjoyed in Europe, where annual European championships are conducted. This type of bowling uses a small ball without finger holes.

Five-Pin Bowling

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Popular in Canada, five-pin bowling uses small balls and, as the name suggests, five pins arranged in a V-shaped formation. It requires a different skill set compared to ten-pin bowling.

Candlepin bowling

Bowling Sport- History, Types, Equipment, Scoring, Rules- All You Need to Know - KreedOn
Source: Twitter

Eastern Canada and the northeastern United States are the two regions where candlepin bowling is most popular. Candlepin bowling uses tall, slender pins and smaller, cylindrical balls. Players get three rolls per frame, and the pins are not cleared between rolls.

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Duckpin bowling

Duckpin bowling | KreedOn
Source: Twitter

Another variation of bowling played mainly in the United States, duckpin bowling features short, squat pins and smaller balls. Scoring is similar to ten-pin bowling, but the pins are not cleared between rolls.

Lawn Bowling

Also known as bowls or bocce, lawn bowling is an outdoor sport where players roll biased balls to get them as close as possible to a smaller target ball called the jack.


Bowling Lane

Source: Mission Bowling Club

A conventional bowling lane is 60 feet long and made up of many synthetic or hardwood boards. 39 boards that run the length of the lane divide it.

What is Bocce Ball? It's History, Equipment, Gameplay, Scoring, Facts - KreedOnAlso Read | What is Bocce Ball? It’s History, Equipment, Rules, Facts 


Scoring in Bowing | KreedOn
Source: TemplateLab

Based on how many pins are knocked down in each frame, bowling scores are calculated. The score system works as follows:


Source: Twitter

When the first roll of a frame knocks all 10 pins down, it is referred to as a strike.  The strike earns the player 10 points plus a bonus for the next two rolls.


A spare is when all 10 pins in a frame are knocked down using both rolls. The player receives 10 points for the spare as well as a bonus for the following roll.

Open Frame

A frame is said to be open if a player fails to knock out all 10 pins in it. The total number of pins knocked down during that frame is the player’s score for that frame.

Bonus Points

In succeeding frames, bonus points are given for strikes and spares. The 10th frame provides for two extra rolls with a strike and one additional roll with a spare.

Equipment Use For Bowling

Bowling equipment is essential for both enjoyment and performance in the sport. Here’s a rundown of the required bowling equipment:

Bowling Ball

Source: Twitter

The bowling ball is the main piece of equipment used in the game. They come in a variety of materials, including plastic, urethane, and reactive resin. The type of ball used is determined by the player’s skill level and the lane circumstances. Players frequently choose balls with certain weights and drilling patterns that match their playing style.

Bowling Shoes

Bowling Shoes | KreedOn
Source: Freepik

Specialised bowling shoes have one foot with a sliding sole and the other with a brake sole. This gives players more control over their approach and release. Most bowling alleys provide rental shoes for people who do not possess their own.

Bowling Bag

Source: Twitter

A bowling bag is used to carry and store bowling balls and shoes. It often has compartments for multiple balls and additional storage for accessories like towels, wrist supports, and rosin bags.


Accessories such as wrist supports, finger tape, and thumb inserts are used by many bowlers to enhance their grip and control. These accessories can be customized to fit a player’s hand and style.

Lane Maintenance Equipment

Bowling lanes require regular maintenance to ensure a consistent playing surface. Lane oiling machines, lane conditioners, and lane brushes are used by bowling alley staff to maintain the lanes.

Also Read | Exploring 25 Most Popular Ball Games

Techniques use for Bowling

Bowling involves a combination of physical and mental skills. Here are some essential techniques and tips for becoming a better bowler:


Source: C&EN

It’s important how a bowler holds the ball. Most bowlers use a fingertip grip, where the fingers are inserted into the holes up to the first joint for maximum control and rotation.


Source: Tenpin Bowling Australia

The release of the ball is a critical aspect of a bowler’s technique. It involves timing, wrist action, and the angle of release. A well-timed and smooth release can result in a more accurate shot.


Source: Entertainment

Bowlers often aim at a specific spot on the lane called the “target.” The target varies depending on the player’s style and lane conditions. Developing consistency in targeting is essential for success.

Lane Reading

Source: Better Bowler

Experienced bowlers learn to read the lane conditions, including the oil pattern. Adjusting your approach and target based on lane conditions is crucial for consistent performance.

Rules of Bowling 

  • Release the ball behind foul line.
  • The ball cannot be altered during the game.
  • The bowling ball can’t come out of the gutter.
  • The objective is to topple all ten pins.
  • Each frame involves two attempts to knock down all the pins.
  • Achieving a “strike” means knocking down all the pins with the first ball.
  • Achieving a “spare” means knocking down all the pins with the second ball.
  • A complete game comprises ten frames. Scoring a strike in the tenth frame grants you two additional rolls, while scoring a spare grants you one extra roll.
  • Use proper bowling shoes.

Global Reach of Bowling

Bowling’s popularity transcended Egypt, transforming into a worldwide sensation. It found favor in numerous nations, giving rise to localized variations such as nine-pin bowling in Europe, candlepin bowling in United States, and five-pin bowling in Canada.

Today, bowling stands as one of the world’s most popular indoor sports and recreational activities. Its evolution from ancient stone-rolling games to the highly organized and standardized sport we know today showcases the enduring appeal of knocking down pins. Bowling continues to bring people together for both competitive and leisurely enjoyment, ensuring its place in the history of sports and recreation.


Bowling is a skill, strategy, and social interaction sport. Its vast history and numerous variations make it a popular hobby for millions of people all over the world. Bowling has something for everyone, whether you’re a casual bowler looking for a fun night out with friends or a serious player looking for strikes and spares. Its accessibility, universality, and timeless appeal assure that it will be a beloved activity for future generations. So put on your bowling shoes, grab your ball, and walk down the lane—it’s time to enjoy the sport of bowling!

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