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The First Televised 300 Game Was Rolled By Jack Biondolillo On April 1, 1967.

On the second Saturday in August, National Bowling Day encourages everyone to set up the pins. Now go throw strikes!

  • While bowling style games likely existed in ancient civilizations, we probably owe the modern game of bowling to Germany. Kegels were used much like batons for protection or sport. Participants would place the kegels at the end of an alley. Each person then rolled a stone, attempting to knock down the kegels. It was believed that by knocking down the kegel, their sins would be forgiven.
  • Other lawn games such as bocce and petanque may also be precursors to bowling. One such bowling game was called ninepins. American literature first mentions ninepins in Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle.
  • 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.
  • “Knickerbockers” in New York is the first indoor bowling alley, built in 1840.
  • 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 its link to gambling and drinking. It is still banned in every state other than Texas.
  • Bowling, like many sports, attracted gamblers. As a result, the game came under the scrutiny of legislatures and city councils. In 1841, Connecticut passed a law prohibiting ninepin bowling alleys. Circumventing the law, alleys added one pin to the line-up. Very little about the game has changed since.
  • In 1905, the game introduced the first rubber compound bowling ball. Up until then, players threw wooden balls made of lignum vitae. However, this modern ball launched a whole new era of bowling.
  • During the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea, bowling was featured as a demonstration sport. However, the game never returned to the Olympics again.
  • The earliest known forms of bowling date back to 3200 BC in ancient Egypt.
  • King Henry VIII of England loved to bowl and banned bowling from lower class citizens of England.
  • In 1948, two bowling lanes were built in the West Wing of The White House as a birthday gift to the president at the time, Harry S. Truman.
  • The National Bowling Association was established in New York City in 1875 in order to establish standardized rules for ten-pin bowling.
  • In bowling, three strikes is called a “turkey,” six strikes is a “wild turkey,” and nine strikes is a “golden turkey.” Also, four strikes is called a “ham bone.”
  • It is required that bowling pins be 15 inches tall.
  • According to the United States Bowling Congress, bowling balls can have up to 12 holes, as long as it can be demonstrated that each hole has a use.
  • Bowling balls can weigh anywhere between 6lb and 16lb.
  • During the early 1900s, bowling balls were actually made of wood and later, a heavy rubber. Around 1960, bowling ball manufacturers used polyester resin for the first time, enabling the production of plastic balls with bright, swirled colors.
  • The first televised games appeared in 1950.
  • 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.
  • Women began bowling in 1880 even though it was socially unacceptable to do so.
  • 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.
  • The pins that are set in the pocket weigh roughly three and a half pounds – but as long as the pin tilts at least 9 degrees, you’re in great shape. All pins that tilt at least 9 degrees will fall.
  • Bowling lanes are made to very specific specifications. Bowling lanes are 60 feet long and are traditionally made from exactly 39 strips of wood. Today some lanes are built with synthetic wood, but sugar maple and pine are the traditional woods of choice.
  • The first bowling tournament for women happened in St. Louis, Missouri in 1917. There were 100 women that took part in the historic event.
  • Scoring a 300 is every bowler’s dream. However, rolling a 300 doesn’t mean the bowler knocked down 300 pins. In fact, for an optimal strike, the ball only has to hit four pins. Therefore, you only need to hit 48 total pins to achieve a perfect score of 300.
  • Bowling is the number one participation sport in America
  • The first 300 game in a televised PBA event was rolled by Jack Biondolillo in the Tournament of Champions on April 1, 1967.


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