Bowling Games - An Overview on Different Types of Bowling
While 10 pin bowling is popular in the U.S., it is not the only bowling game in town. Most people are familiar with only a few types of bowling games, but there are actually many different games that involve knocking down pins with a ball.
10 Pin Bowling
Ten-pin bowling is the most popular form of bowling games played in the United States, and involves knocking down 10 pins that are 15 inches high and approximately 4.7 inches in diameter at their widest point. These pins are set up in a triangular formation at the end of a long, flat surface called a lane, with the head pin set up at a distance of 60 feet from the foul line, which is a line that cannot be crossed by the bowler when throwing the ball. Each bowler has ten frames with two chances in each frame to knock down as many pins as he can. One point is given for each pin that is knocked down, with bonus points earned if all ten pins are knocked down in a frame. Another version, called “no-tap” bowling, is identical to ten-pin bowling except for one rule that stipulates a first shot which knocks down nine pins is also called a strike.
Duckpin bowling is a style that is popular along the east coast of the U.S., with every rule being the same as ten-pin except for the size of the pins and ball. Duckpins are shorter and thinner, at 9 13/32-inches tall by 4 1/8 inches wide, and the balls weigh at most 3 pounds, 12 ounces, as opposed to 6 to 16 pounds for a ten-pin ball.
5 Pin Bowling
5 Pin is a bowling game that was invented in 1909 in Canada, in order to quicken the pace of the game to fit it into a typical lunch break. The pins are set up in a V formation that points back at the bowler, and each has a value from two to five, depending on the position. Each player has three chances to knock the pins down in each frame, with bonus points awarded if all pins are knocked down in the first one or two throws, just as in ten-pin bowling. Another distinction is the addition of a rubber band around the throat of each pin to increase the amount of action, thus helping knock down more pins in a given throw. Smaller balls are used which can be thrown at a quicker pace, speeding up this bowling game even more.
One of the bowling games that is very popular in New England and parts of northeast Canada is Candlepin bowling. Probably the largest difference between this style and ten-pin bowling is the size of the pins and ball. Candlepins are much thinner and a bit taller than ten pins, and the ball is smaller and lacks finger holes. In fact a Candlepin ball weighs slightly less than a single pin, making the game more difficult than other forms of bowling. Like five-pin bowling, this game involves three tries per frame, but after each throw the fallen pins are not cleared away from the lane, increasing the game’s difficulty. Because of these differences, strikes are rare in Candlepin bowling. Another rule change is the addition of a “lob line”, which is a heavy black line ten feet down the lane from the foul line. The ball must be in contact with the lane prior to reaching this line, or the pins struck by that throw will not count toward the bowler’s score.
In an effort to increase the popularity of bowling, and increase the revenues of the bowling alleys, a new type of bowling activity was developed some years back. This bowling game is called Xtreme bowling and was invented with a different bowler in mind, and while it may not appeal to the traditional 10 pin bowler, it has proved very successful with the younger, less experienced crowd. Xtreme bowling is also called boogie bowling and moonlight madness, and involves a dark bowling alley and lots of music. Fog machines give the faint mist of fog that can add to the mystique of the night. The dark alley and lasers and strobes with lights flashing can add to the difficulty of the bowling experience. With all of the music and different conditions even the best bowler can be given a run for his money due to the distractions. The distractions and challenge is what makes it so fun.
It is always fun to learn new bowling games, and especially variations of games that you know and love. There are many forms of bowling with various combinations of rules and equipment, as diverse bowling styles have evolved over the years in different regions of the world. One may have a favorite version, but it is always nice to try different adaptations to add some excitement to the game.
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