About Tenpin Bowling

Tenpin bowling is an indoor sport played all around the world on a professional, amateur and social basis. It is a sport that is very simple to learn, but difficult to master.
Players propel or roll a ball by hand down a wooden lane in an attempt to knock down a target – 10 pins arranged in a triangular pattern. The game is divided into 10 rounds called frames. Players score points according to the number of pins they knock down.
Tenpin bowling requires a high level of hand-eye co-ordination and skill that is comparable to other technical sports, such as golf or snooker.
Bowling is a popular participation sport, with recreational bowling alleys commonly found in cities or towns worldwide. Even amateur bowlers have felt the thrill of scoring a “strike” knocking all 10 pins down with one ball. At the top level, however, competitors aim to achieve this time and time again.


In 1930, British anthropologist Sir Flinders Petrie, along with a team of archaeologists, discovered various primitive bowling balls, bowling pins and other materials in the grave of a protodynastic Egyptian boy dating to 3200 B.C., very shortly before the reign of Narmer, one of the very first Egyptian pharaohs. Their discovery represents the earliest known historical trace of bowling. Others claim that bowling originated in Germany around 300 A.D., as part of a religious ritual in which people would roll stones at clubs (or “kegels”) to absolve themselves of sins. A site in Southampton, England claims to be the oldest lawn bowling site still in operation, with records showing the game has been played on the green there since 1299. The first written reference to bowling dates to 1366, when King Edward III of England banned his troops from playing the game so that they would not be distracted from their archery practice. It is believed that King Henry VIII bowled using cannonballs. Henry VIII also famously banned bowling for all but the upper classes, because so many working men and soldiers were neglecting their trades. In Germany the game of Kegel (Kegelspiel) expanded. The Kegel game grew in Germany and around other parts of Europe with Keglers rolling balls at nine pins, or skittles. To this day, bowlers in the United States and United Kingdom are also referred to as “keglers”. Ninepin bowling was introduced to the United States from Europe during the colonial era, similar to the game of skittles. It became very popular and was called “Bowl on the Green”. The Dutch, English, and Germans all brought their own versions of the game to the New World, where it enjoyed continued popularity, although not without some controversy. In 1841 a law in Connecticut banned ninepin bowling lanes due to associated gambling and crime, and people were said to circumvent the letter of the prohibition by adding an extra pin, resulting in the game of ten-pin bowling. A painting which dates from around 1810, and has been on display at the International Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Louis, Missouri (Jan 26, 2010: located at the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas), however, shows British bowlers playing the sport outdoors, with a triangular formation of ten pins, chronologically before it appeared in the United States. A photograph of this painting appeared in the pages of the US-based “Bowler’s Journal” magazine in 1988.


The 41.5-inch-wide (105 cm), 60-foot-long (18 m) lane is bordered along its length by semicylindrical channels (commonly called “gutters”) which are designed to collect errant balls. The overall width of the lane including the channels is 60 1⁄8-inches (153 cm). The narrow lane prevents bowling a straight line at the angle required to consistently carry (knock down) all ten pins for a strike. Most skillful bowlers will roll a side spinning (hook shape reaction) ball to overcome this. There is a foul line at the end of the lane nearest to the bowler: if any part of a bowler’s body touches the line itself or beyond (anywhere on the actual lane surface or any adjoining areas including walls and other lanes) after the ball is delivered, it is called a foul and any pins knocked over by that delivery are scored as zero . The bowler is allowed one shot at a new rack of ten pins if he fouled on the first roll of a frame, and if all ten pins are knocked down on this shot, it is scored as a spare. Behind the foul line is an “approach” approximately 15 feet (5 m) long used to gain speed and leverage on the ball before delivering it. 60 feet (18 m) from the foul line, where the lane terminates, it is joined to a roughly 36-inch (91 cm) deep by 41.5-inch (105 cm) wide surface of durable and impact-resistant material called the “pin deck”, upon which each rack of pins is set