Roll up to join the celebrations for Bowling Day! This fun occasion aims to get more people involved in the sport. Since the event was founded in the USA in 2011, it has proved to be a striking success.
Bowling is one of the world’s most popular participation sports, with around 100 million enthusiasts. It appeals to all ages and both sexes, and many people with disabilities are keen bowlers.
- “Knickerbockers” in New York is the first indoor bowling alley, built in 1840.
- A pinsetter, or pinspotter, was a person who manually reset bowling pins to their correct position, cleared the fallen pins, and returned bowling balls to players.
- Sir Flinders Petrie, a British anthropologist, found some objects in a child’s grave in Egypt that looked to be an early form of bowling. If his theory is correct, that would mean that bowling existed back in 3200 BC.
- Bowling began as a 9 pin game. The game moved to the traditional 10 pins since the 9 pin game had been outlawed because of it’s link to gambling and drinking. It is still banned in every state other than Texas.
- King Edward III outlawed bowling in 1366, so that his troops would stay focused on practicing archery.
- Henry VIII was a keen bowler, but banned working men from taking part in case they neglected their duties.
- Until 1905, bowling balls were made of wood! Today, bowling balls are mostly made out of polyester or plastic.
- Bowling began using a ball without holes. The bowler would place the ball between their legs and then slide on their stomach to push the ball towards the pins.
- Connecticut made bowling illegal in 1841, because it was often a source of gambling.
- For his birthday present, bowling lanes were built on the West Wing of the White House for President Truman. President Richard Nixon later added a new bowling lane, because he and the First Lady loved to bowl.
- Bowling is the number one participation sport in America and the US bowling market alone is a 6 billion US dollar per year industry.
- The first televised games appeared in 1950.
- The first 300 game in a televised PBA event was rolled by Jack Biondolillo in the Tournament of Champions.
- The American Bowling Congress was a gentleman’s club (no ladies allowed!) and it wasn’t until 1917 that women got their own governing body, the Women’s National Bowling Association.
- Kelly Kulick was the first woman to win a title on the Professional Bowlers Association tour in 2010. And recently, nine year old bowling prodigy Hannah Diem just became the youngest person in the United States to bowl a perfect game.
- Japan is home to the largest bowling alley in the world: the Inazawa Grand Bowling Centre has 116 lanes!
- Las Vegas is home to the second largest bowling alley – and right next to them in Reno lies an actual bowling stadium.
- When you bowl an optimal strike, the ball itself only hits four pins. A right handed bowler’s ball actually connects with the 1, 3, 5, and 9 pins (sometimes the 8 pin) – and a left hander’s ball will contact the 1, 2, 5, and 8 (or 9) pin. Theoretically, if you bowled a 300, you’d only hit 48 pins. Think about it.
Video of Andy Varipapa’s 1940 Trick Shots Exhibition (courtesy of YouTube.com/GrowTheSport)