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9 Interesting Facts About Bowling You Need to Know

Originally Posted On: 9 Interesting Facts About Bowling You Need to Know (


Bowling is a lot of fun because anyone can play the sport at any time of the year. Whether you want to play during spring, summer, fall, or winter, bowling alleys will always make your family gatherings more exciting.

Bowling is also one of the most inexpensive sports, and an indoor alley at home is a great way to host the best social events. If you are keen to bond over a game, here are some interesting facts about bowling that you can cheerfully share with friends and family during your next competition.

The Most Fun Facts About Bowling

While other sports need participants to be in good physical shape to play, bowling is perfect for all ages, sizes, and skill levels. There are no significant barriers to entry, and anyone can become the best bowler in their social group.

Millions of people worldwide share the same passion for bowling, which is why you should always celebrate with a night of fun.

1. Bowling Is Older Than You Think

British anthropologists found out that the items you need for bowling go as far back as Egyptian tombs around 3200 BC. The first indoor lane was constructed in New York City in 1840, and people saw a game on their TV for the first time in 1950.

2. It Was Once Banned in America

This is one of the most exciting facts about bowling because Americans love bowling and cannot get enough of it, but back in the 15th century, the sport was banned to stop soldiers from gambling on the game. Instead of focusing on their duties, they were placing bets to combine both fun and gamble, which is why the sport became illegal.

3. 9-Pin Bowling Is Never an Option

Nearly all bowling games use 10 pins, and before you could even use from 3 to 17. Bowling was once considered a fast and dangerous game by the government, which is why 9-pins or “nine-pin” bowling was banned, and the law remains the same till today. To get around this law, a lot of centers now use 10-pins instead of nine.

4. Bowling Balls Can Have a Maximum of 12 Holes

The standard ball that you always use to play bowling has 3 holes to stick your fingers in, but you can customize the ball to have a lot more. Imagine having 12 holes in the ball, even though you really would not need more than 5.

The United States Bowling Congress does recommend up to 5 additional holes for better gripping, but people found the standard 3 holes to be the most user-friendly.

5. Bowling Was a Religious Ritual

Around the 3rd or 4th century AD, churches in Germany were holding “bowling” rites. This is where a club or Kegel, which looks like a modern-day pin, was put on the end of a runway. If you wanted to cleanse your sins, you would have to roll a stone to hit the Kegel.

Those who successfully knocked the Kegel down were believed to have purified themselves. Bet you did not know that about bowling. The next time you play a game with loved ones, you can celebrate this ritual with every strike.

6. Soldiers and Kings Loved Bowling

In the middle ages, bowling was the most addictive game among Kings and soldiers. In fact, King Edward III had to ban his soldiers from playing it because they were paying too much attention to the sport instead of practicing archery to help them win battles.

This is like parents grounding their children for playing video games if their grades at school slip. This royal parental guidance was necessary back in the day, even though it is only natural that soldiers found bowling to be way more fun than going to war and losing their lives.

7. Bowling Balls Are Challenging to Make

We all love looking at and holding professional bowling balls. You may have lifted one up close for an inspection, wondering, “why does this heavy ball with 3 holes cost so much?”

This is because bowling balls are not simple objects with holes drilled into them. They have a unique and complex design with specially shaped cores and fillings to improve balance and hook.

Then the holes are drilled into the balls on purpose to improve your grip. Otherwise, you could not be able to hold the slippery ball if you did not have a place for your fingers to sink into.

The intricate design of bowling balls makes the game so much more fun and challenging. It also provides the best slide across the rink with minimal friction to help you aim carefully and hit all those pins to cheer loudly with your friends.

8. The Heaviest Bowling Ball Is 23 Pounds

The heaviest legal weight for a custom bowling ball is approximately 16 pounds, but it can be as heavy as 23 pounds. Many people question whether playing with 18–23-pound bowling balls should be legal or not. Imagine how sore your fingers would feel if you had to carry that much weight.

9. Only Men Were Allowed to Play 

In today’s world, anyone and everyone can have a thrilling bowling match holding their breath to watch those pins drop. However, this was not always the case. The American Bowling Congress officially classified bowling as a gentlemen’s sport, and women were never allowed to participate in the exciting game.

Women did not get a chance to hit those pins until 1917. That is when the Women’s National Bowling Association was founded so that the sport could be more inclusive.

Bowling Is a Lifelong Sport

No matter how much older you get, you can always play a game with loved ones. The balls come in different sizes, so children can even play with their grandparents.

The next time you plan a family outing, do not forget to mention some of these fun facts about bowling. Contact us today to get your own bowling alley set up at home to make this incredible sport your family’s favorite activity throughout the year.

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