The History of Bowling & Modern Day Bowling


The History of Bowling & Modern Day Bowling

Bowling is a sport almost as ancient as civilization. It can be traced to ancient Egypt in 3200 BC. Ancient Egyptians used husks of grain, covered in a material like leather and was held together by a piece of string. Balls made of porcelain were also found, indicating that they were rolled, not thrown due to their size and weight.

Herodotus noted bowling games as an invention of the Lydians in Asia Minor. A similar game, a predecessor of the game called bocce, started being practiced by Roman legionaries around 2000 years ago and in 400 AD bowling began in Germany as a ritual of cleansing oneself by toppling kegels (heathens) with stones.

It gained friction in England during the middle ages

So much that Berlin and Cologne had to create a law limiting the sum that can be used for betting. In 1366 King Edward the III made the first official mention of this sport when he banned it because it was a distraction from archery practice. Bowling evolved during this period. The first bowling green that works to this day was built, and people started making bowling surfaces from new materials like baked clay or cinders.

The first roofed-over bowling lane was built in London in 1455. This modernized bowling and made it into an all-weather sport. The protestant movement led by Martin Luther modernized the rules and set 9 kegels as a must. Up until then, the number of Kegels varied from 3 to 13. Martin Luther had an alley of his own which he built for children to use, throwing a few strikes himself once in a while.

It is no secret that King Henry the VIII loved to bowl

So much that he decided to make it an exclusive activity for the rich. He employed taxations on private bowling alleys and allowed the working class to play only on Christmas and in the presence of the owner. This began the fashion of nobles loving bowling. This love for the sport influenced the diplomatic tradition of English nobles to make bowling a big part of any negotiation and meeting that took place on their land.

In 1819 bowling came to America and in 1840 the first alley was built in New York City.  This caused an uproar and bowling reached it’s all-time high when it comes to popularity. This made New York a beautiful target for German immigrants which brought more bowling and bear with them. The most long-lasting alleys were a part of the Roseland Cottage which has become a sort of a landmark in New England.

The state of Connecticut legally banned gambling on nine-pin bowling, which led to the reinstitution of the ten-pin ruleset. The ten-pin variation of bowling soon became a state-wide standard. In 1864, the first bowling manual was written by a cotton merchant from Glasgow, named William Wallace Michel. It soon became the manifest of proper play worldwide. In 1895 these rules were revised and rewritten to those we use today.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the rise of the popularity of bowling led to new ways of playing. In 1903 Illinois institutionalized a handicap method for bowling, just a few years after the first women’s bowling club was formed. The rubber duckling method was also made. In 1920, finally, prohibitions led to bowling alleys detaching from saloons, making bowling a family sport.

Modern-day bowling is leagues ahead of what it was before

The rules have been modernized and are better than ever. The sport offers equal opportunities for everybody, no matter the gender, age or health issues. It has a variety of playstyles and modes of play. It’s an enjoyable profession, a fulfilling hobby and fun pastime.

However, you will have to have the necessary gear to play. Other than the uniform you will need a bowling ball of course. Getting one is simple, on the other hand getting the right one is not as simple. Bowling balls come in different sizes. If you want to play regular bowling you will easily find a ball, as they are the most common.

On the other hand, if you want to do five-pin bowling or candlepin bowling you will need to find a rule regulated bowling ball. Bowling balls for duckpin bowling, for example, are more than 40 percent smaller than regular bowling balls but weigh more.

What you will need to take into consideration as well is the kind of core your bowling ball has. If you want to find out more about that check this out. If you read up on bowling balls and decide on what kind of bowling you want to do, finding the perfect ball will be a cinch. Any sports equipment store will most likely have whatever you need and if not you could always order your ball online.


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