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History of Bowling

Page history last edited by lbrazear@uark.edu 11 years, 10 months ago

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Writer 1 (Lanzy Brazear) and Writer 2 (Kaycee Carpenter):


  • Many say bowling originated over 4,000 years ago in Rome and Greece.
  • In the 1930's, a British anthropologist, Sir Flinders Petrie, first discovered evidence of bowling.
    • During the excavation of a child's grave in Egypt, artifacts were found that appear to have been used for a form of bowling that dates back to 3200 BC.
  • Around 2,000 years ago, Romans played a similar game which entailed tossing stones as close as possible to other stone objects.
    • This game became known as bocce, or what we know as outdoor bowling.
  • Bowling also has religious roots.
    • Early German religions had members of the church ordered to throw rocks down a long lane at their kegel, a pin-like item people carried for protection. If they knocked the kegel over, all of their sins were forgiven.
  • Bowling became popular in England during the 1300s.
    • The king of England greatly enjoyed the sport.
    • Bowling was first mentioned in writing in 1366 in England by King Edward III.
      • King Edward supposedly outlawed the game so that his troops would focus on archery practice.
    • During the reign of King Henry VIII, bowing was popular and legal.
  • Bowling was played indoors beginning in the 1400s.
  • Bowling was popular all over Europe.
    • Many different variations of bowling existed in Europe.
      • pentanque in France
      • bocce in Italy
      • lawn bowling in Britain
  • Bowling was brought to the United States when Europeans settled the New World.
    • Bowling was known as "ninepin" because of the number of pins that were placed at the end of the lane at this time.
  • When bowling was first introduced to the United States, it was banned because the sport was heavily associated with drinking and gambling, activities that were not tolerated or acceptable at this time.
    • People got around the law that outlawed "ninepin" bowling by placed another pin at the end of the lane.
      • This was the beginning of bowling using ten pins.
  • By the nineteenth century, bowling was popular in many states throughout America.
    • Though bowling was played everywhere, the rules differed by location.
      • There were no set regulations as to ball size, lane length, or pin placement.
  • The American Bowling Congress was founded by Joe Thumb in 1895.
    • The ABC developed rules for the sport.
      • This enabled the beginning of national competitions and leagues where the general rules were followed.
  • In 1917, the Women's International Congress was established.
    • The women that participated in this tournament later formed the Women's National Bowling Assocation.
  • Bowling is now played by over 95 million people in over 90 different countries, whether it be for competition or a favorite pastime.




 The meeting of the American Bowling Congress [1].










  1. http://www.tenpinbowling.org/view.php?page=the_game.history
  2. http://www.amfbowling.co.uk/images/3_2_history_of_bowling.gif

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