What is bowling?

Bowling is a sport in which players bowl a large ball, called a bowling ball, down a wooden lane coated with slick protective lubrication to knock down as many pins at the end of the lane as possible. In standard Bowling, there are ten pins at the end of the lane, called a bowling alley. The game of Bowling is played in segments called frames, made up of two halves.

Today, Bowling is played by over 100 million people and in over 70 countries. Bowling is covered worldwide online and television programs.


Bowling dates back to ancient Egypt, where balls made from husks of grain and covered in leather were thrown towards stone structures. Bowling balls made of porcelain have been discovered, which may indicate that the balls were bowled rather than thrown. The Romans also played a similar game, attempting to roll ball downs a lane or alley attempt to stop the ball as close to a target as possible.

Kings and Queens

Kings and Queens alike bowled as early as the 13th century, making it a popular pastime in England, Germany, and France. In 1895, the American Bowling Congress was founded and would create the standard for which Bowling would be played.

Pin Spotting Machines

In 1951, pin spotting machines were created to replace pins that had been knocked down, making the game much quicker to be played as the machines replaced pin boys.

Pro Bowlers Association

A few years later, in 1958, the Pro Bowlers Association was founded.

Single Frame Bowling

A single frame consists of two bowl attempts to knock down as many pins as possible, assuming that all of the pins were not knocked down on the first bowl. In a standard game, players play ten frames, the tenth frame consisting of a bonus bowl if the player manages to knock down the pins on the first to bowls.

Types of Bowling

There are multiple variations of the game. When talking about Bowling, we are referring to Ten-Pin bowling. Other forms of Bowling include Nine-Pin Bowling, Candlepin Bowling, Duckpin Bowling, and Five-Pin Bowling. Other than Ten-Pin Bowling, the most popular form of Bowling is Nine-Pin Bowling, where nine Bowling pins are attached to strings tied to the ceiling, and players bowl a small ball with no holes down the lane to knock down the pins.