Educational contributions and additional information will be welcomed with credit given.

External link opens in new tab or windowNational Bowling Academy  (you can subscribe but there are free items at the bottom of the front page on the NB Academy website)


 You really do not need a ball cleaner or a rotating machine.  Just take your ball to the sink and use warm water.  Then rub some dish washing soap on the ball.  Rinse it off and dry.  It is easy and fast to do.  In my opinion, the use of ball cleaner will leave a residue on the ball that may wear off and leave a track which may affect the ball.  Remember that the ball comes free of any substance on the surface.  Keep it natural, and it will work as it was meant to do.    However, a rotating machine is great if polishing, sanding and spray cleaning.       (by Tony Campos)

A 15 pound ball can have as much force of impact as a 16 pounder simply by throwing it one to two miles per hour faster.  The same rule applies to the use of a 14 pound ball.  The point is that a lower weight ball is easier to control with your hand and can more easily produce revolutions on the ball.   Remember that we are talking about impact.  There may be other factors related to the weight and deck that may influence the path of the ball as it flows through the pin area.   Maximum impact at any set speed should always be greater with a 16 pound ball.   However, it is my own contention (my personal opinion) that the pins will bounce off each other differently on each impact even if by minute amounts.  A strike is not 100% guaranteed on a solid impact.  The odds are simply much better in your favor on a heavy impact with proper ball rotation and at the proper angle of entry.

The formula for force of impact is:    one half the weight of the ball times the speed squared.....     KE=1/2mv²

(by Tony Campos)

Simple message on targeting......

You do have a dominant eye.  When you target the boards with both eyes open, there may be an issue to consider.  You take it from there.   (by Tony Campos)



 The following article presents some research by a credible source


by John Williams
(BTBA National Coach) Is your bowling ball too heavy or too light for you? Do you tire after a while so that your pendulum swing starts to waver? Then, probably, your ball is too heavy. If, on the other hand, you can hardly feel the ball on your hand during the swing, it may be too light.Young lads in their teens and men most- ly suppose that they should be using 16- pound balls (the macho syndrome) and a lot of ladies think 'Light is Bright!'Today, in bowling, we have sophisticated bowling ball dynamics and materials. So, would it make much difference if you changed to a different weight? It used to be considered that the 16-pound ball would have more carrying power.The ABC (American Bowling Congress) and the WIBC (Women's International Bowling Congress) have recently looked into the strike ability, corner pin (7- and 10- pins) and splits left resulting from different bowling ball weights.The results showed that 'heavier is bet- ter', but not as true as most bowlers think. For many bowlers who have difficulty in scoring consistently with a 16-pound ball, a lighter ball of one or two pounds could offer advantages that could more than make up for the difference in weight.The strike power of various weights was tested by using an automated ramp at the Equipment Testing Laboratory in Greendale, Wisconsin. Eight to 16-pound balls were used and all of the same brand, otherwise the testing would not give a true result.Different angles of entry were used and the experts decided to use three different angles, i.e. two, four and six degrees, which would correspond to moderate or substan- tial hooking power, giving a complete range of potential 'Strike Shots'.Technically, the strike pocket is mea- sured by 'offsets', that is the distance between the centre of the ball and the centre of the head pin.If the centre of the ball was in direct line with the centre of the head pin, then this would be called 'zero offset'.A 2.5 inch offset is basically the perfect strike hit for all entry angles and all ball weights. If you remember my article of last December about the 'Basic Adjustment' for getting your ball into the pocket, there is 12 inches between the centre of the head pin and the centre of the 3-pin and also between the centre of the head pin and the centre of the 2-pin. There are normally 39 boards in a lane and the width is between 41.5 and 42 inches, so each board is more or less 1.076", so the strike pocket is approximately 17.5 boards in from the right, or the same from the left for left-handers.During tests, ten shots were rolled at quarter-inch offset increments for 0.5 inches to 5.5 inches and a total of 210 shots were made for each of the three entry angles.The two degree angle represents those who roll a minimal hook; the four degree shot represents a 'stroker's' moderate hook; and the six degree entry represents a 'cranker's' big hook.The testers then entered all the findings into 'Strike Probability Charts', detailing the number of strikes recorded for each weight and entry angle, noting the area which resulted in 70% or more strikes.The charts clearly show that the width of the strike pocket increases with the entry angle. Ball weight is a factor, but not as important as the entry angle.As examples, a 16-pound ball with a six degree entry angle produced a strike pock- et 3.25 inches wide. Going down in weight to either a 14 or 15-pound ball with other factors the same, the strike pocket becomes a little less to about three inches, but the dif- ference is only a quarter of an inch. Therefore, the 14 and 15-pound balls can give more or less the same percentage of strikes as the 16-pound ball.


The next item taken into consideration is 'lift' and 'rotation' from each weight of ball. If the same amount of lift is generated to a 14 as to a 16-pound ball, it should provide a greater angle of entry for the lighter ball as it is easier to rotate a 14 than a 16-pound ball. Bearing this in mind, by coming down in weight from 16 to a 15-pound ball can increase the angle of entry and widen the strike pocket by up to 0.75 inches, Which could create an extra 33% additional margin of error.The next consideration following the findings that the strike parity is pretty close between the 14, 15 and 16-pound balls is the carry, especially leaving the 10-pin for right- handers, the 7-pin for lefties.The results from the testing showed that there was not much difference between the 14, 15 and 16-pound balls. However, at a two degree angle the 16-pound ball was inclined to leave a 10-pin when the line was 3.5 inches offset, that is approximately one inch wide of the perfect strike target. The 14 and 15-pound balls had a lower percentage of 10-pin leaves, but that was with a wider offset range.


At a four degree angle of entry, the 16- pound ball had a wider offset area of 3.5 to 4 inches before the 10-pin was inclined to be left, but the offset area for the 14 and 15- pound balls was less.At a six degree angle of entry, all three weights produced a higher percentage of random 10-pin leaves. However, the 16- pound ball left far fewer 10-pins than either of the 14 or 15-pound balls when it was a light pocket hit.Overall, the number of 10-pin leaves for right-handers and 7-pin leaves for left-han- ders over all three angles of entry was pret- ty much the same. It was also found that the 16-pound ball has a slightly better car- rying advantage.The next item of interest to the testers was the predictability of leaving splits according to ball weight. It was difficult to come to any overall conclusion because of the various factors that can enter into bowling during league or tournament play.The ramp test did show, however, that a bowler is at a definite disadvantage when using an 8-pound ball. The 10 and 12- pound balls caused a lower percentage of splits, whilst the 14, 15 and 16-pound balls were fairly even and less still.The tests also showed that a six degree angle of entry left fewer splits, regardless of ball weight.Finally, it shows that a big hook will help to reduce the number of splits which may be left.Extract taken from World Of Tenpin July 1995 




Bowling, indoor game in which players roll balls along a runway called a lane or alley, attempting to knock down ten pins. Sometimes called tenpins, bowling is one of the most popular sports in the world.

The sport’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs (International Bowling Federation, or IBF), has more than 120 member countries. The IBF estimates that more than 100 million people bowl annually. The United States alone is home to more than 6,000 local bowling associations that sponsor tournaments for more than 3 million bowlers. More than 10,000 bowling tournaments are conducted worldwide every year.



Playing the Game


Bowling centers (often called alleys) vary in size and sophistication. The basement of a church or community club can house one or two bowling lanes, and the largest venues contain more than 100 lanes. Most bowling centers are commercial and contain about 20 to 30 lanes. There are more 10,000 bowling centers worldwide.



Lanes and Equipment

The bowling surface is smooth, level, and made up of four parts: the approach, lane, pin deck, and pit. The approach is an area at least 4.6 m (15 ft) long. Bowlers take several strides in the approach area to gain momentum before releasing the ball toward the pins. A foul line marks the point where players must release the ball down the lane. A player’s feet may not touch or cross the foul line, even after the ball has been released. Lines and arrows in the approach area help bowlers aim their shots. These markings come at 4.6 m (15 ft), 3.7 m (12 ft), and .15 m (6 in) behind the foul line.


The lane is a narrow area 18.3 m (60 ft) long and about 1 m (41 to 42 in) wide. Arrows in the lane 1.8 to 2.4 m (6 to 8 ft) in front of the foul line help bowlers aim their shots. Two slightly lower areas called channels, or gutters, run alongside the lane to catch wayward tosses. Each channel is 24.1 cm (9.5 in) wide. A ball that enters either channel is recorded as a scratch (worth zero points) and is often called a gutter ball.

The pin deck at the end of the lane has ten dots, called pin spots, that are .30 m (1 ft) apart. Set on these spots, the pins form a .91-m (3-ft) triangle with one pin in the middle and the others surrounding it. Pins are generally made of wood and plastic, and weigh between 1.53 kg and 1.64 kg (3 lb 6 oz and 3 lb 10 oz). Each pin is 38.1 cm (15 in) tall. Pins have a narrow neck that gradually widens to a diameter of 12 cm (4.75 in) at the widest point, called the belly. The pin then tapers to a base 5.7 cm (2.25 in) in diameter. This design causes the pin to fall if tilted 10 degrees.

The pit lies behind the pin deck and houses a special machine that sends the ball up a track that runs to the approach area. The machine also gathers the pins and resets them. Other equipment in the lane area includes a scoring desk, an air blower that bowlers use to dry their hands, and benches. Many bowling alleys now use computerized scoring systems, allowing the bowlers to concentrate on their games rather than keeping score manually.

The only individual pieces of equipment that bowlers need are bowling shoes and a bowling ball, both of which most bowling centers rent to customers. Bowling shoes have special soles that enable a bowler to glide during the approach. Most bowling balls have three holes, for the thumb and two fingers. Balls are made of various materials—rubber, plastic, urethanes, and combinations of these compounds. Although bowling balls come in assorted sizes and weights, those used in competition measure 21.6 cm (8.5 in) in diameter and weigh between 3.6 and 7.2 kg (8 and 16 lbs). Many bowling balls are black, but color can vary. Some are even clear and can contain items such as flowers, insignias, and other decorative objects.



Basic Techniques

Choosing the right bowling ball is the first step toward successful bowling. Because the sport is based on timing and coordination, a bowler should select a ball that is easy to handle. The ball should not be too heavy or light, and should feel comfortable and natural in the bowler’s hand. The thumb of the throwing hand should fit into the thumbhole and rotate with only minor friction. As a measure of a proper grip, the bowler’s two middle fingers should then be stretched over (not into) the finger holes.

Most bowlers use a natural and relaxed four-step delivery method, taking four steps on the approach and then gliding while releasing the ball toward the pins. To determine the proper starting position, bowlers should stand at the middle of the foul line, facing away from the pins, and take four and a half steps forward. They should then turn and face the pins, remembering their relative position to the target markings. Each time a bowler steps up to make a throw, he or she should start the delivery from the same spot. As a bowler gains experience, minor adjustments can be made for comfort or preference.

After finding the correct starting position, bowlers should face the pins, focus on them, and with the fingers of the throwing hand in the holes let the weight of the ball rest on the nonbowling hand somewhere between the shoulder and the waist. The ball should be held slightly the right side (for right-handers) or left side (for left-handers) of the bowler’s body. Experienced bowlers keep their feet fairly close together, the left foot (for right-handers) slightly forward, and the knees gently flexed.

The bowler tosses the ball using a four-step delivery (described here for a right-handed bowler).

  • Step One: Move the ball and right foot down and forward in a slow, short movement.
  • Step Two: Keeping the arm as close to the body as possible, take a step with the left foot and let the ball swing backwards.
  • Step Three: Step forward with the right foot as the ball reaches the top of the backswing. The left arm should be extended for balance.
  • Step Four: Shift body weight from the right to left foot while bending the left knee and letting the ball swing naturally forward. No extra effort is needed.

The bowler should glide with the right leg extended back as the right arm lifts the ball over the foul line and releases it toward the pins. The follow-through after the release should be a continuation of the arc that started with the backswing.

Beginners should concentrate on tossing the ball at the front pin and developing a smooth, relaxed delivery. Common errors include throwing the ball too hard, concentrating too much on pinpoint accuracy, and not releasing the ball close to the floor.





A bowling game consists of ten turns, called frames, in which the bowler tries to knock down all ten pins. Score is kept on a sheet or video screen that lists the bowlers’ names, the frame, the number of pins knocked down with each ball, and the final score.

In each of the first nine frames the bowler rolls one or two balls. If the bowler knocks down all ten pins with the first ball, he or she has rolled a strike, the best roll possible. An X is recorded on the scoresheet or screen, and the bowler receives ten points (the number of pins knocked down) plus a bonus of the number of pins the bowler knocks down in his or her next two bowls. The maximum possible score in a strike frame, therefore, is 30: the strike followed by two more strikes on subsequent throws (10 + 10 + 10 = 30).

If pins remain standing after the first throw of a frame, the bowler takes another shot. Knocking down all the remaining pins results in a spare. A slash (/) is recorded on the score sheet, and the bowler receives ten points plus a bonus of the number of pins knocked down with the next throw. The maximum possible score in a spare frame, therefore, is 20: the spare’s ten points followed by another ten if the bowler can score a strike in the next frame (10 + 10 = 20).

If the bowler fails to knock down all ten pins with both balls, his or her point total is simply the total number of pins felled. When a bowler fails to knock down any pins, a scratch is recorded on the score sheet with a dash (-).

Players who roll spares and strikes in the tenth and final frame receive bonuses. Bowlers who roll a spare receive one extra ball, and the number of pins downed is added to the score. Bowlers who roll a strike receive two extra balls to try to add to their score. Some other common bowling terms include a turkey (three strikes in a row) and a split (a wide gap between the remaining pins after a throw).

A player achieves the top score of 300, known as a perfect game, by registering a strike in each frame and on the last two extra balls (nine frames of 30 points equals 270, plus 30 additional points in the tenth frame). Perfect games are rare. Top professional bowlers consistently average more than 230, while an amateur may have trouble breaking 100.





The Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs oversees bowling internationally, and many national, regional, and local organizations sanction competitive bowling on lower levels. These groups hold conventions to review rules, new products, and equipment specifications. They also promote the sport, sponsor clinics, and support a variety of outreach programs. The United States formerly was home to a variety of organizations governing bowling, including the American Bowling Congress (ABC), the Women’s International Bowling Congress (WIBC), the Young American Bowling Alliance (YABA), and USA Bowling. In 2004 the ABC, WIBC, YABA, and USA Bowling merged to form a single organization, the United States Bowling Congress (USBC).

Amateurs make up the majority of bowling enthusiasts and combine to participate in more than 200,000 sanctioned leagues each year. They typically play on teams made up of friends, fellow church members, or coworkers. Many bowling centers sponsor leagues of varying skill and age levels, meaning that almost anyone can enjoy the sport.

Professionals compete in the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) or the Ladies Pro Bowling Tour (LPBT). These organizations sponsor and conduct tournaments in cities across the United States and Canada. Pro bowlers also make instructional videos, conduct clinics, and participate in exhibition matches. Some famous bowlers from the United States have included Earl Anthony, Donna Adamek, Don Carter, Marion Ladewig, Betty Morris, Mark Roth, Aleta Sill, Dick Weber, and Walter Ray Williams, Jr.

In 2000 the PBA was purchased by software executives Rob Glaser, Chris Peters, and Mike Slade. Under the new ownership, tournament formats were altered to put more emphasis on match play (bowler versus bowler) rather than the total number of pins felled over the course of the competition. The tour also moved toward eliminating qualifying rounds in most tournaments, allotting spots based on rankings or other external factors.

There are currently more than 4,000 players in the PBA tour. The four major tournaments on the tour are the ABC Masters, the Tournament of Champions, the United States Open, and the PBA World Championship.





Although it is difficult to trace the sport’s origins to a single source, implements for games similar to bowling have been discovered at Egyptian gravesites more than 7,000 years old. Bowling games such as bocce (or bocci), quilles, External link opens in new tab or windowskittles, candlepins, fivepins, and External link opens in new tab or windowlawn bowls became popular in Europe during the Middle Ages. These games all involve rolling balls at targets, though in bocce and lawn bowls the targets are other balls, not pins.

During the 1620s Dutch settlers brought bowling to North America in the form of a game called ninepins. The game involved gambling, and authorities in many areas outlawed ninepins for that reason. Popular belief states that to circumvent antigambling laws, enthusiasts added a tenth pin, and modern bowling, or tenpins, was created.

At first the sport lacked standards and organization. Most bowling in the early 1800s occurred in cellars or basements attached to saloons. The rules, length of lanes, and weights of balls and pins varied according to who owned the lanes and who was playing at the moment.

The American Bowling Congress was formed in 1895, and soon after the organization established a standard set of bowling rules. The ABC’s rules and specifications, which have undergone only a few modifications, have been observed ever since.

Bowling became a popular game for both men and women in the early 1900s. Female bowlers formally organized the WIBC in 1916, and women’s leagues sprung up across the United States and Canada. The sport enjoyed another period of popularity following World War II (1939-1945), when it spread to countries in Europe and Asia.

In 1947 the American Junior Bowling Congress was established to oversee junior competition. The invention of automatic pinsetting machines in the early 1950s sped the pace of the game, drawing even more enthusiasts. (Previously, bowling lane employees had worked above and behind the pin deck to reset the pins by hand.)

Televised bowling began in 1947, and the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) was created in 1958. The PBA tour gained nationwide exposure in the early 1960s when network television started airing the tournaments. From that point through the early 1980s bowling was a popular broadcast feature. More recently, the men’s and women’s pro tours have been televised on cable channels.

In the 1990s automatic scoring machines, which calculate scores using computers, made the sport more accessible to beginners, and faster pinsetting machines also helped bring newcomers to the sport. Many bowling alleys now offer lanes with bumpers (also known as rails) on both sides, which eliminates gutter balls for beginning bowlers and children. Variations of the basic game, such as cosmic bowling, a game where participants use glow-in-the-dark balls and pins, have also attracted more people (especially younger bowlers) to the sport. In 2003 the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sanctioned women’s bowling as an official college sport.

External link opens in new tab or windowHow to cite this article:
"Bowling," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2007 © 1997-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

It becomes easy to see that high averages have been inflated with the introduction of the high tech bowling ball.  In no way can one assume that the bowler of today can actually shoot any better than those of forty years ago.  The bowling balls of today are on steroids......starting with urethane to the now super reactive resin.  Imagine if those old-timers had the bowling balls that we now take for granted.   It becomes important that we do not become complacent about our ability by assuming that the lack of accuracy can be overcome by the ball's ability to cover area.  Have we allowed the bowling ball to assume the ability that we should ourselves develop?         (by Tony Campos)








Professional Bowlers Association: Annual Average Leaders  (according to historical data)

Winners receive the George Young Memorial Award.






Don Carter



Billy Hardwick



Ray Bluth



Dick Weber



Wayne Zahn



Wayne Zahn



Jim Stefanich



Bill Hardwick



Nelson Burton, Jr.



Don Johnson



Don Johnson



Earl Anthony



Earl Anthony



Earl Anthony



Mark Roth



Mark Roth



Mark Roth



Mark Roth



Earl Anthony



Mark Roth



Marshall Holman



Earl Anthony



Marshall Holman



Mark Baker



John Gant



Marshall Holman



Mark Roth



Pete Weber



Amleto Monacelli



Norm Duke



Dave Ferraro



Walter Ray Williams, Jr.



Norm Duke



Mike Aulby



Walter Ray Williams, Jr.



Walter Ray Williams, Jr.



Walter Ray Williams, Jr.



Parker Bohn III



Chris Barnes



Parker Bohn III



Walter Ray Williams, Jr.



Mika Koivuniemi



Ray Williams, Jr.



Norm Duke



Norm Duke


* The PBA restructured its annual season in 2001.

Source: Professional Bowlers Association.







Duckpin bowling was born in Baltimore, Maryland, has been around since 1900. It was one of External link opens in new tab or windowBabe Ruth's favorite games, besides baseball, of course! Ten-pin bowling used to be strictly a winter sport. Most alleys closed down for the summer, but a few of them remained open so that bowlers could practice with small balls, about 6 inches in diameter. They usually played odd games called "back five," using just the 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10 pins, and "cocked hat," which used only the 1, 7, and 10.

In 1900, summer bowlers at the Diamond Alleys in Baltimore suggested it might be interesting to trim down the standard pins to match the size of the ball. Manager John Van Sant liked the idea. He had a wood turner do the job and many of his customers enjoyed the new bowling game. At first, the rules of ten-pin bowling were used. But, because it's much harder to get strikes and spares, one small rule change was made: A bowler is allowed to use three bowls on each turn. If all ten pins are knocked down with three balls, it simply counts a score of ten.

Van Sant demonstrated the new sport to the owners of the alley, John McGraw and Wilbert Robinson. Though they're much better known as baseball managers, McGraw and Robinson were also avid duck hunters. When they saw the way the small pins flew wildly around the alley, one of them remarked that it looked liked a "flock of flying ducks."

That was the beginning of duckpin bowling. Originally a summer sport, it became so popular in the area that winter leagues were organized in Baltimore in 1903 and in Washington, D. C., in 1904. During the 1920s, duckpin bowling spread along the east coast, from New England to Georgia. While the rules were basically the same everywhere, balls, pins, and lane sizes weren't standardized.

The National Duckpin Bowling Congress (NDBC), founded in the fall of 1927, worked with member organizations and manufacturers to bring about standardization. The NDBC held its first national tournament, patterned after the American Bowling Congress's ten-pin tournament, in the spring of 1928. There were 126 five-person teams, 162 doubles teams, and 201 singles entries. Duckpin bowling grew rapidly during the 1930s.

By 1938, an estimated 200,000 bowlers were participating in sanctioned league play. Growth continued more slowly after World War II, reaching a peak of 300,000 sanctioned bowlers in 1967. The sport's popularity has declined greatly since then, but it's still strong in a narrow geographical region from Washington and Baltimore to Connecticut and Rhode Island.

A variation, rubberband duckpin bowling, developed during the late 1930s. The pins are circled with bands of hard rubber that increase pin action and scores. In 1946, the NDBC created an affiliate, the American Rubberband Duckpin Bowling Congress, to sanction leagues and conduct a national tournament. The rubberband version of the sport never spread very far beyond the Baltimore-Washington area.

Bowling History courtesy of: External link opens in new tab or windowHickock's Sports History


The rules of duckpin bowling are easy to learn, and once you become acquainted with the basic rules of play, you will be ready to roll in no time at all.

A regulation game consists of 10 frames, or boxes. A bowler is allowed up to three balls per frame to knock down as many pins as possible

If all ten pins are knocked down by the first ball in any frame, it is called a 'Strike' and is usually symbolised on the score sheet with an X.

A Strike counts as 10 plus the total of the pins knocked down with the next two balls that are rolled.

Strike Symbol
(counts 10 + next two balls)

If all ten pins are knocked down with the first two balls in any frame, it is called a 'Spare', and is usually symbolised with a diagonal line on the score sheet. A spare counts as 10 plus the total of the pins knocked down on the next ball rolled.

Spare Symbol
(counts 10 + next ball)

If the bowler fails to get a strike or a spare, he/she rolls the third ball to get the remaining pins and the total pins knocked down on three balls becomes the score for that frame.

Score is kept in an accumulated manner, left to right, through the 10 frames, with a perfect game being 300. Information is from the brochure of the Duckpin Bowling Proprietors of America.



The highest actual score is 279, bowled by Pete Signore Jr. of External link opens in new tab or windowConnecticut on March 5, 1992. (The record for a woman is 265, set by Carol Gittings of External link opens in new tab or windowMaryland on May 6, 1973.)

The ball is small without holes in the palm of the hand, and the pins are small.


According to NDBC, the official high score in a sanctioned game is 279, that was rolled by Pete Signore Jr. in 1992.


Current Thru March 2006



Single Game

Pete Signore Jr.

T-Bowl Lanes, Newington, CT



Three Game Set

Jeff Pyles

Glenmont Bowl, Wheaton, MD



Four Game Set

Nappy Ranazzo

Fair Lanes, Westview, Baltimore, MD



Five Game Set

William Schwartz

Greenway Bowl East, Baltimore, MD



Six Game Set

James E. Deviers

Luray Lanes, Luray, VA



Seven Game Set

Jeff Pyles

Greenway Bowl East, Baltimore, MD



Eight Game Set

Jeff Pyles

Long Meadow Bowl, Hagerstown, MD



Nine Game Set

Steve Iavarone

Town Hall Lanes, Johnston, RI



Ten Game Set

Jeffrey Ferrand

Holiday Lanes, Manchester, CT



Twelve Game Set

Scott Wolgamuth

Lucky Strike Lanes, Mansfield, CT



Fifteen Game Set

Charles "Buddy" Creamer

Fair Lanes P.G., Hyattsville, MD



Twenty Game Set

Jeff Pyles

GWDA 30 Game Classic - Var Lanes



Twenty-Five Game Set

Jeff Pyles

GWDA 30 Game Classic - Var Lanes



Thirty Game Set

Jeff Pyles

GWDA 30 Game Classic - Var Lanes



Season Average

Jeff Pyles

Wheaton Triangle, Wheaton, MD




Single Game

Carole Gittings

Fair Lanes Timonium, Timonium, MD



Three Game Set

Diane Jasper

Suitland Bowl, Suitland, MD



Four Game Set

Amy Bisson

T-Bowl Lanes, Newington, CT



Five Game Set

Amy Bisson

Rivieria Lanes, Pasadena, MD



Six Game Set

Amy Bisson

Perillo's Bowladrome, Waterbury, CT



Seven Game Set

Amy Bisson

Riviera lanes, Pasadena, MD



Eight Game Set

Amy Bisson

AMF Eastpoint, Baltimore, MD



Nine Game Set

Pat Malthan

Fair Lanes Southwest, Linthicum, MD



Ten Game Set

Kathy Spindler-Lischio

Collinwood Lanes, Portsmouth, VA



Twelve Game Set

Veronica Schwarzkopf

Fair Lanes Westview, Baltimore, MD



Fifteen Game Set

Patricia Rinaldi

Fair Lanes P.G., Hyattsville, MD



Twenty Game Set

Theresa Vermillion

GWDA 30 Game Classic - Var Lanes



Twenty-Five Game Set

Theresa Vermillion

GWDA 30 Game Classic - Var Lanes



Thirty Game Set

Theresa Vermillion

GWDA 30 Game Classic - Var Lanes



Season Average

Amy Bisson

Highland Bowl, Cheshire, CT




History of Bowling

External link opens in new tab or windowThe International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame has replicas of artifacts for a game similar to bowling which were found in the tomb of an ancient Egyptian youth who died approximately 5,200 BC. Ancient Polynesians rolled stones at objects from a distance of 60 feet (18.29 meters) – the same distance as from foul line to headpin.

During the 3d and 4th centuries, bowling was a religious ceremony for determining absence of sin. German parishioners had to roll or throw an object at a pin or kegel (derivation of the word kegler for bowler) to avoid performing an act of penance.

The earliest known legislation against bowling dates to 14th Century England. The sport had become so popular that people were neglecting the archery practice necessary for national defense during the 100 Year War (a misnomer, since it actually lasted from 1337 to 1453). Both King Edward III who reigned from 1327-1377 and King Richard II (1377-1399) banned the game. From Europe to America, bowling has been banned throughout the world for the “evil it leashes on society.”

A life size diorama at The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame portrays Martin Luther bowling on the single lane at the side of his home. A brochure from the Museum states that Luther, an avid bowler, “once preached a sermon which, if put into bowling vernacular, proclaimed we all strive for perfection in life. But if we roll a gutterball, all is not lost.”

Dutch Colonists brought bowling to America in the 17th century. The game consisted of nine pins set in a triangle. It was regularly played in an area of New York City still known as “Bowling Green”.

In 1841, Connecticut banned “bowling at the game of ninepins” because of widespread gambling. Other states followed suit. It is popularly believed that today’s game of tenpins was devised to circumvent the laws against the game of ninepins. An outdoor game for most of its history, indoor bowling became popular in the mid-nineteenth century after the introduction of indoor lanes in New York in 1840.


  • 1875 – Eleven New York area clubs meet to create rules and some standardization of equipment. No significant impact since no agreement could be reached on the width of the lane or size of the pin.
  • 1892 – Women were known to be active participants and even bowled in a separate event at the 1907 ABC tournament.
  • 1895 – American Bowling Congress organized at Beethoven Hall in New York City. Maximum score established at 300. Previously, it was 20 balls with a top score of 200. Distance between pins was set at 12 inches. The original organizers represented New York City, Brooklyn, N.Y. and Buffalo, N.Y. The following year Cincinnati, Boston and Lowell, Mass. were represented and letters of interest were received from Chicago, St. Louis, Wheeling, W. Va., Kansas City, Mo. and Quebec, Canada.
  • 1900 -1910 – ABC’s relevance and credibility were tested often in a power struggle between the east (New York) and west (Chicago). Among other issues, New York, accustomed to infrequent competition wanted dues to be $1 per league. Chicago, which had regular league sessions favored $1 per team.
  • 1902 – Ernest Fosberg of Rockford, Ill. becomes first to roll ABC-approved 300 in five-man league play.
  • 1903 – E. D. Peifer of Chicago inaugurates a handicap method for bowling. Previously, all competition was on a “scratch” (actual score) basis.
  • 1905 – First hard rubber ball developed; maximum ball weight set at 16 pounds. Previously all balls were made of “lignum vitae”, a hardwood.
  • 1906 – Brunswick-Balke-Collender opens factory to make wooden bowling balls.
  • 1906 – The east seceded from ABC and organized its own group. Fourteen years later, they returned to the flock.
  • 1906 – ABC refuses to allow women to be members.
  • 1916 – The WIBC founded.
  • 1916 – ABC amends its constitution, limiting its membership to white males only.
  • 1920 – Prohibition law leads to increase in bowling as proprietors discover that patrons want to bowl, even if they can’t drink.
  • 1922 – Alley owners and employees placed in separate membership class. In 1929 the “class”; was expanded to include those with financial interests, instructors or those who received pay for services. The possibility these people could improve with free practice was the crux of the rule. It was voted out in 1948.
  • 1928 – Rule requiring alleys to eject gambling types adopted and bowlers warned that any involvement would result in expulsion. In 1976, the rule was virtually eliminated since casino properties in Las Vegas and Reno could not even sponsor teams.
  • 1930 – Jenny Kelleher, Madison, Wisc. rolls first WIBC-approved perfect game.
  • 1939 – Rule requiring annual inspection and certification of lanes is adopted.
  • 1939 – National Negro Bowling Assoc. founded (subsequently changed to The National Bowling Association, Inc.
  • 1941 – ABC Hall of Fame instituted. (Only baseball and golf have older Halls of Fame.)
  • 1941 -1945 World War II significantly impacts bowling. The military built 4,500 alley beds on bases as a major source of recreation. It was the first exposure to bowling for countless servicemen and women.
  • 1948 – Brunswick introduces dots and arrow markers to their lanes, dramatically improving accuracy for most bowlers.
  • 1950 – After a bitter fight with activists from the labor and religious areas which lasted several years, ABC removes “white only”from its constitution.
  • 1958 – The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) was founded by Eddie Elias, an Akron attorney and television sports interviewer. There were 33 charter members.
  • 1959 – The Professional Women Bowler’s Association becomes the first organization for professional women bowlers. It is no longer operating.
  • 1962 – American Wheelchair Bowling Association formed.
  • 1978 – J. Elmer Reed, a pioneer of the National Negro Bowling Association, becomes first black inducted into the ABC Hall of Fame.
  • 1981 – Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour formed.
  • 1982 – Young American Bowling Alliance formed through merger of the American Junior Bowling Congress, Youth Bowling Assn. and the ABC/WIBC collegiate divisions.
  • 1993 – ABC removes “male only” from its constitution pursuant to threats from women activists.   
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I was exposed to duck pins at about the age of 7.  My father liked duck pins.  We visited the local bowling alley quite often.  I recall that my father did a one step shot and threw it hard.  When the modern version came into being, I also recall my father saying that the new version was cheating.  Look at how big that ball is and look at how big those pins are.

(Tony Campos)