History Of Pin Bowling

History of pin bowling dates back to thousands of years. During the first half of the 20th century English Egyptologist Sir Flinders Petrie discovered remains of primitive bowling balls and pins from the grave and other materials in the grave of an Egyptian boy dating to 3200 BC, which was over 5200 years ago. However, the origin of pin bowling can also be traced back to Germany in AD 300. The first mention of the game in written history involves English King Edward III who, in 1366, actually banned the game to force his soldiers to focus more on their archery practice. From Edward's court, the game moved on to the time of King Henry VIII. It was in Henry's time the game became one enjoyed greatly by nobility.

The game of skittles or kegelspiel plays a significant role in the evolution of pin bowling. In Germany the kegelspiel game expanded. In this game player rolled small wooden balls at nine skittles, which were arranged in a diamond formation. The Kegelspiel game grew in Germany and around other parts of Europe with Keglars rolling balls at nine pins, or skittles. Ninepin bowling was introduced to America from Europe during the colonial era, similar to the game of skittles. It became very popular and was called “Bowl on the Green.” German, English and Dutch settlers all brought their bowling games to the new world, where they became immediately popular. 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.

In the pin bowling history, it is said that modern ten-pin bowling is nearly related to the nine pin game kegelspiel of Germany. After the American Civil War, game became popular in the northern part of United States, fostered by German migrants. By the 1800s, New York was appointed as the unofficial capital of bowling, and in 1840, the first indoor bowling alley “Knickerbockers” was built in the city. In 1888, John Brunswick, founder of the Brunswick Corporation, started producing bowling equipment. By 1914, he introduced the Mineralite ball, the first to be made of hard rubber instead of wood. As history crept towards the 20th century, tenpin bowling came under increasing regulation.

History of pin bowling also reveals that in 1887, A. G. Spalding, wrote The Standard Rules for Bowling in the United States. Joe Thum opened new lanes which closely similar to those of today. By the mid 1890s, the United Bowling Clubs (UBC) had been established, and there were altogether 120 members. Even women began to enjoy the game of pin bowling. In 1895, the American Bowling Congress (ABC) was founded in New York, quickly followed by the Women's International Bowling Congress (WIBC). However, the number of officially sanctioned lanes quickly rose from 450 in 1920 to almost 2,000 by 1929. Bowling has also become more prevalent in the media in recent years, with the continued popularity of bowling publications and the appearance of films centered on the culture of the sport.

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