Bowling Rules, History, Tips & Equipment

A history of Bowling, how to play, tips for improvement & necessary equipment

How to Play Bowling

There are many forms of bowling, ten-pin bowling being the most popular. Players try to score points by rolling a bowling ball down a flat lane in attempts to knock over objects called pins.

Bowling History

The first forms of bowling date back to ancient Egypt. Bowling can also trace its origins to ancient Finland, Yemen, and Germany. English, Dutch, and German settlers brought their own versions of bowling to the New World. Evidence of the game in America comes in a quote in the short story "Rip Van Winkle," by author Washington Irving, when Rip wakes up to the sound of "nine pins." The first standardized rules were established in New York City, on September 9, 1895. Currently, over 95 million people participate in bowling in over ninety countries around the world.

Bowling Rules

One can bowl by themselves or with a group of friends. A bowling lane is 62 ft 10 in long, and 41.5 in wide, with gutters on either side. At the end of the lane there are ten pins set up in four rows making up an equilateral triangle. A game of bowling consists of ten frames. During each frame bowlers are given two opportunities to bowl the ball down the lane and knock down the pins to score points. If a player knocks down all of the pins with their first ball of a frame, the frame is over and they receive a "strike," denoted by an "X" on the score sheet. If they do not knock down all of the pins they bowl their second ball. If a player knocks down all of their pins with their second ball they receive a "spare," denoted by a diagonal line. Players keep score by recording and adding up the number of pins they knock down in each frame.

A player who earns a "strike," is awarded ten points, plus a bonus of whatever is scored with the next two balls in the following frame. A player who earns a "spare," is awarded ten points, plus a bonus of whatever is scored with the first ball of the next frame.

If the bowler knocks down all ten pins in the tenth frame, the bowler is allowed to throw a third ball for that frame.

Bowling Tips

Warming up and stretching helps prevent injuries. To avoid back and wrist injuries, bowling balls should be picked up with both hands. In addition, one should bend their knees when picking up a bowling ball. For safety players should wear proper bowling shoes.

Bowling Equipment

Bowling alleys provide lanes, balls, and pins. Bowlers can rent special bowling shoes at the alley or choose to bring their own. Likewise, bowlers can bring their own bowling balls or use the balls at the alley. Some bowlers wear a guard to protect their wrists.

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