Why is Kubb - a skittles game - associated with the Viking Age?

Why is Kubb - a skittles game - associated with the Viking Age?


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Is there any evidence to suggest that kubb might have been played in the Viking Age, or was it just associated with Viking history to promote it? If so, who invented it, or when did it originate?


I have attempted to do research on the history of Kubb, and although there are claims of people having played games called Kubb before 1990, sometimes as far back as the early 20th century, none of these can be verified, and certainly no description of such a game and it's rules survive. The first commercial Kubb games appeared on Gotland in the late 1980's or early 1990's. They were sold as ancient Viking game.

Gotland has a long tradition of local games, many who date back very long, at least to medieval times, and in some cases they could very well date back to the Viking age. For example, one of the traditional local games are stock tossing, also popular in Scotland. It's perfectly possible that this game was spread from one area to the other during the Viking age, as this is the last pre-modern time both areas would have had frequent cultural exchange.

So therefore, branding Kubb as a viking game would have seem plausible to tourists, although natives like me wondered why on earth they never had heard of Kubb before 1990, if it was a traditional game from Gotland.

The complete lack of any sort of reliable evidence of Kubb before 1990 does lead to the conclusion that Kubb does not have any Viking roots, and that the claims are simply made up as a marketing ploy.

Games where you throw sticks at some sort of target to make it fall over are documented since at least medieval times. However, almost all of those games are not side-based, but turn based. Skittles and Bowling are examples of games have evolved from those. It seems Kubb is another modern development.


Sweden, France, USA, Belgium, Swiss

Kubb is often rumored to have been originated by Vikings during the Middle Ages. Allegedly, when the game was first created, it was played with bones instead of wooden pieces. The kubbs are said to be based off of the skulls of the enemies of the Vikings, and the batons based on the femur leg bone.
However, this is all a myth and has never been proven. The game’s first documented origins take place early in the 20th century in Scandinavia. It is based off of another lawn game called “Skittles” which is a variation of bowling.
The game began its modern era in Scandinavia in the early 1980’s when the first commercialized sets were manufactured as the game grew more popular. It is unclear when the game first came to America, but is thought to be sometime in the early to mid 2000’s. The first U.S. National Kubb Championship was held in Eau Claire, Wisconsin in 2007.
The game has spread through much of Wisconsin and somewhat into Minnesota primarily through traditional word of mouth. Friends and family who play the game and share with their friends and family etc. Small offshoots of the game can be found throughout the United States, but it has had the most success in being popular in the Upper Midwest.

Equipment, Preparation and Terminology

The equipment consists of 10 small skittles (kubbs), one larger skittles (the king) and 6 throwing sticks. Sometimes 4 small corner stakes are also included to mark out the court. The best playing surfaces are grass or gravel.

To begin, the playing court should be marked out. There is no standard size but here are 3 sizes that are often used:

• 10 x 8m (33 x 26 feet)
• 10 x 5 m (33 x 26 feet)
• 8 x 5 m (26 x 16 feet)

The most common size and the size used in the Kubb World Championships is 8 x 5m but this may make the game too difficult for beginners and children. Masters Traditional Games recommends using the following size to begin with - if you find it too easy, then increase the size. Younger children should perhaps start at 5 x 2 m.

The lines at either end of the court are called the "Baselines". The imaginary line parallel with the baselines through the middle of the court will be referred to as the "Middle Line".

Place the king in the centre of the playing field, with 5 kubbs placed at regular intervals along each baseline - one at either end, one in the middle and the remaining two equi-distant between the first three.
Kubb is played by one team against another. A good number in each team is 1 or 2 players. However, for informal games, it really doesn't matter - up to 6 players can be in a team and it's even OK to have more people in one team than the other!
Kubbs standing in their starting position on the baseline are called "Baseline Kubbs". As part of the game, Kubbs are thrown into the middle of the playing field and are erected where they end up. These Kubbs are then called "Field Kubbs".

To Begin
Sticks must always be thrown vertically and underarm. "Helicopter" throws are not allowed!
To decide which team starts, one person from each team throws a stick as close to the king as possible, but without hitting it. The team with the stick closest to the king starts.
For the first turn only, 4 sticks (not 6) are thrown from behind the baseline at the opponent's baseline Kubbs.

Second and Subsequent Turns
Each turn (except the first) consists of potentially 4 phases.
When throwing at Kubbs, sticks must be thrown from behind the "throwing line" which just means from behind the Field Kubb closest to the opponent's side.
Put more technically, the Throwing Line is a line parallel with the baseline that passes through the nearest Kubb to the Middle Line on the player's side. Obviously, if there are no field Kubbs (because the opponents managed to topple every field Kubb during their turn), then the nearest Kubb to the King is on the baseline and so the throwing line IS the baseline.

Phase 1 - Throwing the Kubbs
Players collect any Kubbs that were knocked over during the opponent's turn. These Kubbs are then thrown from the baseline into the opponents half of the court.
If a Kubb comes to rest outside the opponent's half of the court, players have one more chance to get it right - it must be retrieved and thrown again. If a Kubb fails to land in the required area for a second time, then the opponents can place the miscreant Kubb anywhere they like on their side of the court, although it must be at least one stick length away from the King.
In doing this, players are usually aiming to make the Kubbs land just beyond the middle line because the nearer the Kubbs are, the easier they are to topple in the next phase of the turn.

Phase 2 - Field Kubbs
The next phase is to throw sticks at the opponents field Kubbs - i.e. the Kubbs that are not on the baseline. Players must throw from behind the Throwing Line (see above).
If a baseline Kubb is toppled before all the field Kubbs have been toppled, then the baseline Kubb is immediately returned to an upright position.
It is imperative that all Field Kubbs are toppled because otherwise, the opponents will be able to throw from a much closer point (behind the nearest Field Kubb instead of the Baseline) during their next turn. For that reason, a good strategy is to aim at the nearest Kubbs first - so that if any Field Kubbs are not toppled, at least the opponents will be as far away as possible.

Phase 3 - Baseline Kubbs
If there are any sticks left over once all the field Kubbs in the opponents half have been toppled, the players then aim at the Kubbs on the baseline. Players must continue to throw from behind the Throwing Line (see above).

Phase 4 - The King
If there are any sticks left over once all the Kubbs (field and baseline) on the opponents side have been toppled, then players may aim at the King. When throwing at the King, players must throw from behind the baseline.
When the team has thrown its 6 sticks, the turn passes back to the first team, and the entire procedure is repeated.

Winning
If the King is knocked over by a thrown Kubb or by a stick before all the Kubbs on the opponent's side have been toppled, then the team that knocked it over loses and their opponents have won.
Otherwise, the game is won by the team that first topples all the sticks on the opponents half of the court and then topples the King from behind the baseline.
If the king is knocked over before all the kubbs have been knocked over, the opposing (non-throwing) team wins.

Variants
The following rules are sometimes used but we feel that either they are not true to the spirit of the game, make the game too easy or make it overly complicated so do not recommend using them in general. However, the first two rules may be useful for young children or to reduce the length of games.
Some rules say that once a Kubb has been knocked over twice, it is removed from the field of play. This will have the effect of shortening the game considerably and so may be appropriate for younger children.
Another idea sometimes used is the "tower of Kubbs" rule when throwing toppled Kubbs back into the opponents half of the court. After a Kubb has been thrown and returned to the upright position in the opponent's half of the court, any subsequent Kubb thrown into the opponents half of the court that knocks it over is then placed ON TOP of the toppled Kubb. i.e. Both Kubbs are then placed in an upright, position, one on top of the other to form a tower. If a tower of 2 Kubbs is toppled by a third Kubb, then the three Kubbs are then placed in a tower - and so on. This rule also serves to make the game finish more quickly because often less sticks are needed to dispose of all the field Kubbs before moving on to the baseline Kubbs.
Some rules say that only one attempt at the King is allowed per turn. If any sticks are remaining after that, the turn ends, regardless.

Another rule sometimes used says that players are only allowed to throw at the King if they have 2 or more sticks remaining. This will makes games take longer.

European Kubb Association (EKA)
Fb: https://www.facebook.com/kubbeurope/
Webside: http://www.kubbeurope.com/
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


4. A steamboat accident led to Oakley’s big show business break.

William 𠇋uffalo Bill” Cody refused to hire Oakley for his Wild West show after their first encounter because he already had an expert marksman, world champion Captain Adam Bogardus, as part of his traveling troupe. However, in late 1884 a steamboat carrying the show’s performers sank to the bottom of the Mississippi River. The passengers made it off safely, but the sharpshooter’s prized firearms met a watery demise. Struggling with his equilibrium and his new guns for months after the accident, Bogardus quit Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show in March 1885, creating an opening that was filled by Oakley.


Contents

Lanes Edit

Ten-pin bowling lanes are 60 feet (18.29 m) from the foul line to the center of the head pin (1-pin), with guide arrows (aiming targets) about 15 feet (4.57 m) from the foul line. [2] The lane is 41.5 inches (1.05 m) wide and has 39 wooden boards, or is made of a synthetic material with the 39 "boards" simulated using marking lines. [2] The approach has two sets of dots, respectively 12 feet (3.66 m) and 15 feet (4.57 m) behind the foul line, to help with foot placement. [2]

Modern bowling lanes have oil patterns designed not only to shield the lanes from damage from bowling ball impacts, but to provide bowlers with different levels of challenge in achieving strikes. As illustrated, a typical house pattern (or THS, typical house shot) has drier outside portions that give bowling balls more friction to hook (curve) into the pocket, but heavier oil concentrations surrounding the centerline so that balls slide directly toward the pocket with less hooking. [5] In the more challenging sport patterns used in tournaments and professional-level matches, a "flat" oil pattern—one with oil distributed more evenly from side to side—provides little assistance in guiding the ball toward the pocket, and is less forgiving with regard to off-target shots. [5] The ratio of centerline oil concentration to side oil concentration (the oil ratio) can exceed 10-to-1 for THSs but is restricted to 3-to-1 or less for sport shots. [5]

Lane oils, also called lane conditioners, are composed of about 98% mineral oil that, with numerous additives, are designed to minimize breakdown and carry-down that would change ball reaction after repeated ball rolls. [6] Lane oils are characterized by different levels of viscosity, with oils of higher viscosity (thicker consistency) being more durable but causing balls to slow and hook earlier than lower-viscosity oils. [6]

Balls Edit

Rubber balls (introduced in 1905) were eventually supplanted by polyester ("plastic") balls (1959) and polyurethane ("urethane") balls (1980s). [9] Coverstocks (surfaces) of bowling balls then evolved to increase the hook-enhancing friction between ball and lane: reactive resin balls arrived in the early 1990s, and particle-enhanced resin balls in the late 1990s. [9] Meanwhile, the increasingly sophisticated technology of internal cores (also called weight blocks) has increased balls' dynamic imbalance, which, in conjunction with the coverstocks' increased friction, enhances hook (curving) potential to achieve the higher entry angles that have enabled dramatic increases in strike percentage and game scores. [10]

Hook potential has increased so much that dry lane conditions or spare shooting scenarios sometimes compel use of plastic or urethane balls, to purposely avoid the larger hook provided by reactive technology. [9] [11]

The USBC regulates ball parameters including maximum diameter (8.595 inches (21.83 cm)), maximum circumference (27 inches (0.69 m)), and maximum weight (16 pounds (7.26 kg)). [2]

Ball motion Edit

Because pin spacing is much larger than ball size, it is impossible for the ball to contact all pins. Therefore, a tactical shot is required, which would result in a chain reaction of pins hitting other pins (called pin scatter). In what is considered an ideal strike shot, the ball contacts only the 1, 3, 5 and 9 pins (right-handed deliveries). [7]

Most new players roll the ball straight, while more experienced bowlers may roll a hook that involves making the ball start out straight but then curve toward a target, to increase the likelihood of striking: USBC research [7] has shown that shots most likely to strike enter the pocket at an angle of entry that is achievable only with a hook. [8]

A complex interaction of a variety of factors influences ball motion and its effect on scoring results. [13] [14] Such factors may be categorized as:

  • The bowler's delivery (see Effect of delivery characteristics on ball motion) Characteristics of the ball's delivery that affect ball motion include the ball's speed going down the lane, its rotational speed (rev rate), the angle of the ball's axis of rotation in horizontal and vertical planes (axis rotation and axis tilt, respectively), and how far beyond the foul line that the ball first contacts the lane (loft). [15]
  • Bowling ball design (see Effect of coverstock, core and layout on ball motion). A 2005-2008 USBC Ball Motion Study found that the ball design factors that most contributed to ball motion were the microscopic spikes and pores on the ball's surface (present in balls with reactive resincoverstock), the respective coefficients of friction between ball and lane in the oiled and dry parts of the lane, and the ball's oil absorption rate, followed in dominance by certain characteristics of the ball's core (mainly radius of gyration and total differential). [10] Friction-related factors may be categorized as chemical friction (degree of "stickiness" designed by manufacturers into the resin coverstock) and physical friction (which can be modified by sanding or polishing, or by including additives that physically increase lubrication). [8][16][10] "Weak" (pin down) versus "strong" (pin up) layouts of the finger and thumb holes with respect to core orientation affect skid lengths and hook angularity. [17][18]
  • Lane conditions (see Effect of lane characteristics on ball motion). Lane conditions that affect ball motion include lane transition (including breakdown and carry-down), [3] the oil absorption characteristics of previously-thrown balls and the paths they followed, [3][19] wood versus synthetic composition of the lane (more generally: soft vs. hard lanes), [3] imperfections in lane surface (topography), [3] and oil viscosity (thick or thin consistency innate viscosity being affected by temperature and humidity). [3]

Pins and pin carry Edit

Front view: [20] the ball impacts center pocket at "board 17.5"—found by a USBC pin-carry study [7] to cause pin carry that maximizes strike probability. The ideal impact point is closer to the center of the head pin than many people believe. [20]

(Diagrams assume right-hand delivery.)

Bowling pins (with a maximum thickness of 4.766 inches (12 cm) at the waist) are "spotted" (placed) in four rows, forming an equilateral triangle with four pins on a side to form a tetractys. [2] Neighboring pins are centered 12 inches (30 cm) apart, leaving a space of 7.234 inches (18 cm) between pins that can be bridged by a bowling ball of regulation diameter (8.5 inches (22 cm)). [2]

Pin carry—essentially, the probability of achieving a strike assuming the ball impacts in or near the pocket—varies with several factors. [7] Even before a 2008 USBC pin carry study, it was known that entry angle and ball weight increase strike percentages. [7] The 2008 study concluded that an impact with the ball centered at "board 17.5" causes pin scatter that maximizes likelihood of striking. [7] [8] The material of the pin deck and "kickback" (side) plates was also found to materially affect pin carry. [7]

Delivery style categories Edit

Three widely recognized categories are stroker, cranker and tweener. [21] [22]

  • Strokers—using the most "classic" bowling form—tend to keep the shoulders square to the foul line and develop only a moderately high backswing, achieving modest ball rotation ("rev") rates and ball speeds, which thus limit hook potential and kinetic energy delivered to the pins. [21] Strokers rely on accuracy and repeatability, and benefit from the high entry angles that reactive resin balls enable. [21]
  • Crankers tend to open (rotate) the shoulders and use strong wrist and arm action in concert with a high backswing, achieving higher rev rates and ball speeds, thus maximizing hook potential and kinetic energy. [21] Crankers rely on speed and power, but may leave splits rarely left by strokers. [21]
  • Tweeners (derived from "in-between") have styles that fall between those of strokers and crankers, the term is considered by some to include power strokers.[21]

Alternative deliveries Edit

  • So-called two-handed bowling, first popularized late in the 2000s by Australian Jason Belmonte, involves not inserting the thumb into any thumbhole, with the opposite hand supporting and guiding the ball throughout almost the entire forward swing. [23] This delivery style, involving more athletic ability, is increasingly popular with younger bowlers and technically still involves a one-handed release.[24] It allows the inserted fingers to generate higher revolution rates and thus attain greater hook potential than with a thumb-in-hole approach. [25] In contrast, in what is literally a two-handed delivery and release, children or physically challenged players use both hands to deliver the ball forward from between the legs or from the chest. [26]
  • No-thumb bowling involves only a single hand during the forward swing, without the thumb inserted. [27]
  • The spinner style, which is mainly popular in parts of Asia, has a "helicopter" or "UFO" release that involves rotating the wrist to impart a high (vertical) axis of rotation that causes the bowling ball to spin like a top while traveling straight down the lane. [22] Usually involving a lighter (10-12 pound) ball, the spinner style takes advantage of the ball deflection from the head pin to then "walk down" the other visible pins and cause domino effects diagonally through the pins. [22]
  • In the backup (or reverse hook) release, the wrist rotates clockwise (for right hand releases) or counter-clockwise (for left hand releases), causing the ball to hook in a direction opposite to that of conventional releases. [28]

Grips Edit

A conventional grip, used on non-customized house balls and some custom-drilled balls, involves insertion of fingers to the second knuckle. [29] A fingertip grip, involving insertion of fingers only to the first knuckle, enables greater revolution rates and resultant hook potential. [29] A thumbless grip, often used by so-called "two-handed" bowlers, maximizes ball rotational speed ("rev rate"). [29]

Traditional scoring Edit

Frame two: 3 + 6 = 9 → Total = 28

Frame two: 4 + 2 = 6 → Total = 20

In traditional scoring, [30] one point is scored for each pin that is knocked over, and when less than all ten pins are knocked down in two rolls in a frame (an open frame), the frame is scored with the total number of pins knocked down. However, when all ten pins are knocked down with either the first or second rolls of a frame (a mark), bonus pins are awarded as follows.

  • Strike: When all ten pins are knocked down on the first roll (marked "X" on the scorescreen), the frame receives ten pins plus a bonus of pinfall on the next two rolls (not necessarily the next two frames). A strike in the tenth (final) frame receives two extra rolls for bonus pins.
  • Spare: When a second roll of a frame is needed to knock down all ten pins (marked "/" on the scorescreen), the frame receives ten pins plus a bonus of pinfall in the next roll (not necessarily the next frame). A spare in the first two rolls in the tenth (final) frame receives a third roll for bonus pins.

World Bowling scoring Edit

The World Bowling scoring system—described as "current frame scoring" [31] —awards pins as follows:

  • A strike is 30 pins, regardless of ensuing rolls' results.
  • A spare is 10 pins, plus the pinfall on first roll of the current frame.
  • An open frame is the total pinfall of the current frame.

The maximum score is 300, achieved with ten consecutive strikes (as opposed to twelve), but with no bonus pins received in the tenth frame. [32] [33]

World Bowling scoring is thought to make bowling easier to follow than with traditional scoring, [32] increase television viewership, [31] and help bowling to become an Olympic sport. [31] [33]

Variant of World Bowling scoring Edit

Another variant of scoring, a 12-frame system introduced at the November 2014 World Bowling Tour (WBT) finals, resembles golf's match play scoring in counting the greater number of frames won rather than measuring accumulated pinfall score. [34] A frame may be won immediately by a higher pincount on the first roll of the frame, and a match may be won when one player is ahead by more frames than remain of the possible 12 frames. [34] This variant reduces match length and scoring complexity for two-player matches. [34]

Early history Edit

Modern American ten-pin bowling derives mainly from the German Kegelspiel, or kegeling, which used nine pins set in a diamond formation. [36] Some sources refer to an 1841 Connecticut law that banned ninepin bowling because of its perceived association with gambling and crime, and people were said to circumvent the prohibition by adding a tenth pin [39] other sources call this story a mere fable [36] while earlier sources (e.g., 1838, re Baltimore [37] and 1842, Charles Dickens re New York [40] [41] ) explicitly confirm the strategy. Even earlier, an 1834 Washington, D.C. ordinance had limited the time (before 8 p.m. and not on Sundays) and place (more than 100 yards from inhabited houses) of "nine pin and ten pins" or "any game in the likeness or imitation thereof . played with any number of pins whatsoever". [42] In any event, newspapers referred to "ten pin alleys" at least as early as 1820 [1] (also later in the 1820s [43] and in the 1830s [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] [50] ).

A painting thought to date from around 1810 shows British bowlers playing outdoors with a triangular formation of ten pins, which would predate the sport's asserted appearance in the United States. [51] [ better source needed ] In any event, the enjoyment of kegeling by German peasants contrasted with the lawn bowling that was reserved for the upper classes, thus beginning bowling's enduring reputation as a common man's sport. [36]

In the mid 1800s, various alternatives to free-standing pins received U.S. patents to solve perceived problems in pinsetting and ball return, aiming to avoid the need for human pinsetters to perform these functions. One scheme (1851) involved pins with spherical bases that when hit by a ball merely fell over, in place, to be rotated back to a vertical position. [52] A second arrangement (1853) involved resetting the pins via cords descending from respective pin bottoms to weights beneath the pin deck. [53] Another design (1869) involved suspending the pins with overhead cords. [54]

In 1884, the Brunswick Corporation became the first American bowling ball manufacturer, and by 1909 [56] introduced the Mineralite (hard rubber) ball that was considered so revolutionary that it was displayed at the Century of Progress Exposition in 1934. [36] In 1886, Joe Thum—who would become known as the "father of bowling"—began opening bowling alleys and over decades strove to elevate the sport's image to compete with upper-class diversions such as theaters and opera houses. [36]

In 1875, delegates from New York City and Brooklyn bowling clubs formed the National Bowling Association (NBA) to standardize rules, but disagreements prevailed. [57] In 1887 Albert G. Spalding wrote Standard Rules for Bowling in the United States, and in the mid-1890s the United Bowling Clubs (UBC) was organized with 120 members. [36] The American Bowling Congress (ABC) was established in 1895, followed by the Women's International Bowling Congress (WIBC) in the 1910s, such organizations promoting standardized rules and striving to improve the sport's image. [36]

From 1920 to 1929, the number of ABC-sanctioned alleys grew from 450 to about 2,000, with Prohibition leading to the growth of family-appropriate "dry" alleys. [36] The 1933 repeal of Prohibition allowed breweries to sponsor teams and bowlers, adding to bowling's reputation as a working-class sport. [36] Though at the turn of the twentieth century most bowling alleys were small establishments, post-Prohibition bowling lanes shifted from side entertainment at fancy Victorian venues or seedier saloons to independent establishments that embraced the Art Deco style and fit the era's perceived "need for speed". [36]

1940s to early 1960s Edit

Gottfried Schmidt invented the first mechanical pinsetter in his garage in 1936, one implementation of which was publicly exhibited in 1946 before AMF placed a production model into service in 1952. [59]

The 1940s through the 1970s became known as the "golden age of bowling", [60] with ABC membership growing from 700,000 (1940), to 1.1 million (1947), to 2.3 million (1958), to 4.5 million (1963), [36] [61] Women's International Bowling Congress membership growing from 82,000 (1940) to 866,000 (1958), [61] American Junior Bowling Congress membership growing from 8,000 (1940) to 175,000 (1958), [61] and sanctioned individual lanes growing from 44,500 (1947) to 159,000 (1963). [36]

Bowling's growth was fueled by the deployment of automatic mechanical pinsetters by AMF (1952) and Brunswick (1955), television broadcasts (said to be "ubiquitous" in the 1950s), modernization and stylization of establishments with amenities to attract broader clientele, and formation of bowling leagues. [36] Though President Truman had installed a bowling alley in the White House in 1947, [36] a report of the American Society of Planning Officials in 1958 characterized bowling alleys as the "poor man's country club". [61]

ABC bylaws had included a "white-males-only" clause since its inception in the 1890s, but numerous lobbying efforts and legal actions after World War II by civil rights and labor organizations led to a reversal of this policy in 1950. [62]

Eddie Elias founded the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) in 1958 with 33 members. [59] The Pro Bowlers Tour TV program aired from 1962 [63] [64] through 1997. [65] [64]

In the 1930s and 1940s, professional bowling was dominated by “beer leagues” with many of the best bowlers sponsored by beer companies, but by 1965 the PBA tour was televised nationally on ABC Sports with sponsors such as Coca-Cola and Ford. [60]

In parallel with professional bowling was "action bowling" or "pot bowling"—bowling matches based on monetary bets—historically associated with the New York underworld from the 1940s to the 1970s. [60]

Late 1960s to 1980 Edit

The first ten-pin lanes in Europe had been installed in Sweden in 1909, but attempts to popularize the sport in Europe were unsuccessful over the next several decades, though hundreds of lanes were installed on U.S. military bases in the U.K. during World War II. [66] Various countries developed the sport to some extent, and the Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ now World Bowling) was formed in 1952 to coordinate international amateur competition. [66]

A firmer establishment of the sport began in the U.K. in 1960 in London (Stamford Hill) in January 1960, [67] and the British Tenpin Bowling Association was formed the following year. [66] Various other countries, including Australia, Mexico and Japan, adopted the trend over the ensuing decade. [66] After initial faddish growth in the U.K., however, the sport did not thrive as it did in the U.S., and by the 1970s many British bowling alleys were converted to serve competing pastimes, such as bingo. [68]

The "Lane Master" automatic lane cleaning and conditioning machine was first deployed in the 1960s. [63]

In the 1960s and early 1970s, top bowling professionals made twice as much money as NFL football stars, received million-dollar endorsement contracts, and were treated as international celebrities. [60] The $100,000 Firestone Tournament of Champions launched in 1965, in a decade that saw ABC membership peak at almost 4.6 million male bowlers. [63] The number of sanctioned bowling alleys peaked at about 12,000 in the mid-1960s, [61] mostly in blue-collar urban areas, [69] and Women’s International Bowling Congress (WIBC) membership peaked at 4.2 million members in 1979. [70]

In the late 1960s, the participation sport of bowling found itself competing with spectator sports and outdoor recreational activities. [36] The number of certified bowling centers was to eventually decline from its 1960s high of 12,000 [61] to 6,542 in 1998 [69] and 3,976 in 2013. [61] The decline was noted acutely in waning league participation over the intervening decades. [61] [71]

1980 to 2000 Edit

Tournament prize funds in the 1980s included the PBA National Championship ($135,000, its largest) and the Firestone Tournament of Champions ($150,000), and PBA membership approached 2,500. [72] Ten-pin bowling became an exhibition sport at the 1988 Summer Olympics (Seoul), [72] was a medal sport at the 1991 Pan American Games (Havana), [65] and was included in the 1998 Commonwealth Games (Kuala Lumpur). [73]

Outside elite and professional bowling, participation in leagues—traditionally the more profitable end of the business—declined from a 1980 peak (8 million), compelling alleys to further diversify into entertainment amenities. [61] While league bowling decreased by 40 percent between 1980 and 1993, the total number of bowlers actually increased by 10 percent during that period, with nearly 80 million Americans going bowling at least once during 1993. [71] In 1995, the National Bowling Stadium (Reno, Nevada) was constructed at a cost of $47.5 million, but the PBA Pro Bowlers Tour TV program was canceled in 1997 after a 35-year run. [74]

In 1991, equipment manufacturer DBA Products released "The Lane Walker"—the first computer-driven lane cleaning and oiling machine, programmable to clean up to 50 lanes. [65]

The early 1990s brought the development of reactive resin ("reactive") balls with chemically "tacky" surfaces that enhance traction to dramatically enhance hook and substantially increase the likelihood of striking, raising average scores even for less experienced bowlers. [9]

The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) reported 1997 bowling product sales of $215 million, the SGMA president attributed an increase in popularity to bowling alley remodeling, technological innovations in balls and lanes, computerized scoring, and promotion by bowling organizations. [75]

2000 to present Edit

From 1998 to 2013, the number of American bowling centers fell by one quarter. [61] Similarly, in the two decades following 1997, the number of USBC-certified lanes—also indicative of business viability—declined by one-third. [76] This business decline is often attributed to waning league participation: USBC membership—indicative of league participation that was the main source of revenue—declined by two-thirds in those two decades, [76] and the portion of alley revenue attributable to leagues is estimated to have dropped from 70% to 40%. [61] [77] Political scientist Robert D. Putnam's book Bowling Alone (2000) asserts, with some controversy, that the retreat from league bowling epitomizes a broader societal decline in social, civic and community engagement in the U.S. [61]

As an indication of the decline, AMF Bowling, the largest operator of bowling centers in the world at the time, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001, and again in 2012. [78] By 2013, AMF Bowling had merged with New York-based Bowlmor, the company becoming known as Bowlmor AMF. [79]

In 2000, three former tech industry executives bought a debt-laden PBA—which saw its 36-year television contract with ABC Sports end in 1997—and turned it from a non-profit league into a for-profit organization, and invested heavily in marketing. [80] The January 2005 merger of four U.S. bowling organizations to form the USBC formed a "central brand" aiming to grow the sport. [81] Beginning late in the decade of the 2000s, the two-handed approach became popularized, first by Australian Jason Belmonte, [23] with some hoping that the controversial delivery style would boost popularity of the sport. [23] In January 2013, the eight-team PBA League began competition, [82] the strategy being that basing teams in specific geographic localities would generate viewer enthusiasm and corporate sponsorship in the same manner as teams in other professional sports. [83] Still, continuing the reversal of bowling's peak popularity in the 1960s, in the 2012-2013 season the average yearly winnings of the ten highest-earning PBA competitors was less than US$155,000, and the average for the remaining 250 competitors was $6,500—all much less than a rookie NFL football player’s minimum base salary of $375,000. [60]

Estimates of the number of total (league and non-league) bowlers in the U.S. have varied, from 82 million (1997, International Bowling Museum) [74] to 51.6 million (2007, research firm White Hutchinson) [77] to 71 million (2009, USBC), [84] the USBC stating in 2019 that bowling is still the #1 participation sport in the U.S. [85] More broadly, the International Bowling Museum stated in 2016 that bowling is played by 95 million people in more than 90 countries. [86] In an era of continual decline in league participation, [76] [74] bowling centers promoted "party bowling" [60] and black-light-and-disco-ball "cosmic bowling" [74] and experienced a shift from blue-collar participants to open-play (non-league) family-oriented clientele in combined bowling and entertainment centers. [77]

In contrast to the U.S., the 2000s and 2010s brought a bowling renaissance in the U.K., achieved by accommodating sophisticated modern tastes by providing (for example) retro style bowling alleys outfitted with 1950s Americana, "boutique bowling", "VIP lanes", and cameras for instant replays, and by rejuvenating bowling "alleys" into diverse-entertainment bowling "centres". [87] [88] The population of ten-pin bowling centres grew from a low of barely 50 (in the 1980s) to over 200 (2006), [87] with almost a third of Britons going bowling in 2016 and league participation growing over 20% over two years (2015-2017). [88]

Though ten-pin bowling was a demonstration sport in the 1988 Summer Olympics (Seoul) [72] and has been included in the Pan American Games since 1991, [89] after making the short list for inclusion in the 2020 Summer Olympics (Tokyo), it was cut. [90] One commentator noted that the sport's limited geographic popularity (the U.S., Australia and a few European and South American countries), and aging demographic of those who follow the sport, make it difficult to convince an Olympic Committee that wants to appeal to youth. [90]

International Edit

World Bowling (WB) was formed in 2014 from component organizations of the Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ, International Federation of Bowlers), which in 1952 developed from the International Bowling Association (IBA) which began operations in 1926. [91] Since 1979 the International Olympic Committee has recognized the FIQ, and later, WB, as the sport's world governing body. [91] WB establishes rules for the uniform practice of bowling throughout the world, and promotes bowling as an Olympic sport. [91] The World Tenpin Bowling Association "membership discipline" (component organization) of WB serves the amateur sport of ten-pin bowling worldwide, adopting uniform playing rules and equipment specifications. [92]

United Kingdom Edit

The British Tenpin Bowling Association (BTBA, formed in 1961) is the official governing body recognized by World Bowling as the official sanctioning body in England, and as such "is responsible for the protection, integrity and development of the sport". [93] Its stated vision is "to ensure that all people, irrespective of their age, disability, ethnic origin, marital status, sexual orientation or social status have a genuine and equal opportunity to participate in the sport at all levels and in all roles". [93]

The National Association of Youth Bowling Clubs (NAYBC) is a BTBA subcommittee serving youth bowlers and youth bowling clubs. [94]

The British Universities Tenpin Bowling Association (BUTBA, formed in 2008) organizes bowling events for present and former university and college students. [95]

The Tenpin Bowling Proprietors Association (TBPA, formed in 1961 as an umbrella organization) is a trade association for the British ten-pin bowling industry. [96]

United States Edit

The United States Bowling Congress (USBC) was formed as the governing body for the U.S. on January 1, 2005, by the merger of: [99]

  • the American Bowling Congress (ABC, an originally male-only organization founded in 1895),
  • the Women's International Bowling Congress (WIBC, 1916),
  • the Young American Bowling Alliance (YABA, 1982), which itself was formed from combining the American Junior Bowling Congress (AJBC, 1946), Youth Bowling Association (YBA, 1963–64), and ABC/WIBC Collegiate division (mid-1970s), [100] and
  • (Team) USA Bowling (1989). [99]

As the national governing body for bowling, its stated mission is to provide services, resources and the standards for the sport, [81] its stated goals including growing the sport and promoting values of "credibility, dedication, excellence, heritage, inclusiveness, integrity, philanthropy and sportsmanship". [99]

Museums Edit

The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame is located on the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas, U.S. [101]

World Bowling oversees quadrennial World Championship tournaments, and international championships for various sectors, including for women, seniors, youth and junior bowlers. [103]

The QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup (begun in 1965) is recognized as bowling's largest event in terms of number of countries competing, according to the USBC in 2018. [104]

The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour includes dozens of events annually, mainly at U.S. locations. [105] The PBA Tour includes "major" championship events: the U.S. Open, the USBC Masters, the PBA Tournament of Champions the PBA World Championship, and the PBA Players Championship. [106]

The United States Bowling Congress (USBC) has various tournaments for the PBA tour, PWBA, youth and seniors, including the USBC Masters and U.S. Open (both major tournaments on the PBA tour), and USBC Queens and U.S. Women's Open (both major tournaments on the PWBA tour), plus the USBC Team USA Trials/U.S. National Amateur Bowling Championships. [107] Additionally, the USBC has regional tournaments [108] and certifies local tournaments. [109]

The European Tenpin Bowling Federation (ETBF) owns the European Bowling Tour (organized in 2000), [110] including its final tournament, the European Bowling Tour Masters (first edition: 2008). [111]

The Commonwealth Tenpin Bowling Federation (CTBF), made up of World Bowling member federations within the Commonwealth of Nations, owns the Commonwealth Tenpin Bowling Championships, which has held tournaments at irregular intervals since 2002. [112]

The Weber Cup is an annual, three-day USA vs. Europe tournament, named after Dick Weber, [113] that began in 2000 and has been held almost exclusively in the U.K. [114]

In the decade of the 2000s, the World Ranking Masters, owned by World Bowling, ranked standings in the Pan American Bowling Confederation (PABCON), Asian Bowling Federation (ABF), and European Tenpin Bowling Federation (ETBF). [115]

Though ten-pin bowling has not progressed beyond a demonstration sport at the Olympic Games, [72] [90] international games modeled after the Olympics (awarding medals) do include the sport, including the World Games (governed by the International World Games Association), the Asian Games (governed by the Olympic Council of Asia, OCA) [116] and the Pan American Games (governed by the Pan American Sports Organization, PASO). [117] The Maccabiah Games (governed by the Israeli Bowling Federation, IBF, with events played according to WTBA-ETBF rules) host ten-pin tournaments as medal events. [118]

Bowling leagues vary in format, including demographic specialization (male, female, mixed, senior, youth), number of bowlers per team (usually 3-5), number of games per series (usually 3), day and time of scheduled sessions, starting dates and duration of league seasons, scoring (scratch versus handicap), and systems for bestowing awards and prizes. [121] Usually, each team is scheduled to oppose each of the other teams over the course of a season. [122] Position rounds—in which the first place team opposes the second place team, third place opposes fourth place, and so on—are often inserted into the season schedule. [123]

Customarily, team position standings are computed after each series, awarding a first number of points for each game won and a second number of points for achieving the higher team score for that series, the particular numbers being specified in each league's rules. [124] [125] Further, in leagues having "match point" scoring, individual bowlers on one team are matched against respective members of the opposing team, the winners receiving points that supplement their team's game and series points. [125]

The number of league bowlers in the U.S. peaked at 8 million in 1980, [72] declining to approximately 1.3 million in the ensuing 40 years. [76]

Titles and scores Edit

  • First perfect game on live national television: Jack Biondolillo (1967, Firestone Tournament of Champions) [64]
  • Most titles in a single PBA Tour season: Mark Roth (8 titles in 1978) [64][126]
  • First woman to win a PBA Tour event: Kelly Kulick (2010, PBA Tournament of Champions) [64][127]
  • Most PBA Tour titles (career): Walter Ray Williams Jr. (47 titles, reached in 2010) [128]
  • First to earn 100 combined titles in PBA Tour, PBA50 Tour and regional competition: Walter Ray Williams Jr. (2016) [64]
  • Most PBA Tour major titles (career): Jason Belmonte (13, reached in 2020) [129]
  • Only winners of "Super Slam" (all five PBA majors): Mike Aulby (1996) [130] and Jason Belmonte (2020) [129]

Earnings and contracts Edit

  • First (in any sport) to receive $1,000,000 endorsement contract: Don Carter (1964, with Ebonite International) [60]
  • First to earn more than US$100,000 in a single season: Earl Anthony (1975) [64][131]
  • First to earn US$1 million in career earnings: Earl Anthony (1982) [64]
  • First to earn US$2 million in career earnings: Walter Ray Williams Jr. (1997). [64]
  • Most earnings in a single PBA season: Kyle Troup ($469,000 as of May 16, 2021) [132]
  • First to earn US$3 million in career earnings: Walter Ray Williams Jr. (2002–03) [64]
  • Highest first-place prize awarded in a single professional bowling tournament: $250,000 in the 2011 PBA Tournament of Champions (won by Mika Koivuniemi) [133] and 2021 PBA Players Championship (won by Kyle Troup) [134]

Youngest Edit

  • Youngest to win a standard PBA Tour title: Norm Duke (1983, at age 18 years, 345 days) [135]
  • Youngest to earn cash in a PBA Tour event: Kamron Doyle (age 14, 2012 U.S. Open) [136]
  • Youngest to win a PBA Tour major tournament: Anthony Simonsen (2016 USBC Masters at age 19 years, 39 days) [64][137]

Oldest Edit

  • Oldest to win a standard PBA Tour title: John Handegard (1995, at age 57 years, 139 days) [138]
  • Oldest to win a PBA Tour major tournament: Pete Weber (2013 Barbasol Tournament of Champions at age 50 years, 222 days) [64]

Ernest Fosberg (East Rockford, Ill.) bowled the first recognized 300 in 1902, before awards were given out. [139] In 1908, A.C. Jellison and Homer Sanders (both of St. Louis) each bowled 300 games in the same season, the ABC awarding the gold medal for the highest score of the year to Jellison after a three-game tie-breaker match, without regard to the chronological order of their accomplishments. [139]

On January 7, 2006, Elliot John Crosby became the youngest British bowler to bowl a BTBA-sanctioned 300 game at the age of 12 years, 2 months and 10 days, breaking the 1994 record of Rhys Parfitt (age 13 years, 4 months). [140]

On November 17, 2013, Hannah Diem (Seminole, Florida) became the youngest American bowler to bowl a USBC-certified 300 game at the age of 9 years, 6 months and 19 days, breaking the 2006 record of Chaz Dennis (age 10) and the 2006 female record of Brandie Reamy (age 12). [141]

Jeremy Sonnenfeld (Sioux Falls, S.D.) rolled the first certified 900 series in 1997. [142] A well-publicized court-contested 900 series by Glenn Allison in 1982, considered by many to be the first-ever 900 series, was denied certification due to non-conforming lane conditions. [143]

The 905 perfect games that were rolled during the 1968–69 season increased 38-fold to 34,470 in the 1998–99 season. [60] Likewise, the number of perfect-game league bowlers increased from about one of 3150 (1900–1980) to about one of 27 (2007), a greater-than-hundredfold increase that many thought threatened to jeopardize the integrity of the sport. [10] Specifically, the USBC Technical Director wrote that the "USBC is concerned that technology has overtaken player skill in determining success in the sport of bowling," announcing in 2007 the completion of a ball motion study undertaken "to strike a better balance between player skill and technology". [144]

Separately, a USBC pin carry study completed in about 2008 found that dramatically increased entry angles improve pin carry [7] to result in higher scores—regardless of whether the bowlers supplied additional effort or improved their skill. [10] Among the factors allowing higher scores were technological advances in coverstock and core design [10] combined with improved lane surfaces and accommodative oil patterns. [145]

Specifically, the reactive resin balls and particle balls that came out in the 1990s increased frictional engagement with the lane to provide greater hook potential that made high entry angles easier to achieve. [11] Moreover, changes in lane surface technology, as well as the introduction of voids into pins to make them lighter and more top-heavy, helped to raise average scores as early as the 1970s. [146] Expanded choices in oil viscosity and electronically controlled lane oiling machines permitted alley owners to customize house oil patterns to optimize the advantages of the new ball technologies. [146] Technological progress allowed some 1990s league scores to surpass those of professionals in the 1950s. [146]

Responding to such concerns, the USBC initiated "sport bowling" leagues and tournaments that provide "sport", "challenge" and "PBA Experience" oil patterns that are more challenging than the accommodative patterns of typical house shots. [146] Still, the USBC has encountered enduring issues concerning how to maintain "average integrity" (fair handicapping) across leagues using oil patterns of differing difficulty. [147]

As a result of various USBC studies, including a bowling technology study [148] published in February 2018, the USBC Equipment and Specifications Committee established new specifications focusing mainly on balls. [149] The overall result of the new specifications was said to slightly limit hook potential, more specifically eliminating balance holes (as of the 2020-21 season) and setting a new specification for oil absorption. [149] The USBC stated that the new specifications will slow oil pattern transition, cause bowlers to move less, and keep the same scoring pace with lower oil volume. [149]

Coverage of events Edit

Beginning in 1962, ABC's Pro Bowlers Tour was broadcast on Saturday afternoons [65] [150] to be viewed by millions, and—with various entertainment-oriented programs including Make That Spare, Celebrity Bowling and Bowling for Dollars—confirmed the sport's popularity. [59] The Pro Bowlers Tour garnered excellent ratings in the 1960s and early 1970s, as a lead-in to ABC's Wide World of Sports. However, television ratings fell substantially, [74] from 9.1 in the mid-1970s to 2.0 in 1997, [151] the year in which Pro Bowlers Tour was canceled. [65] [151]

The decline in bowling event coverage has been attributed to a variety of factors, including time demands burdening the schedules of two-income households, [74] small purses (winnings) for professional tournaments, declining participation in league bowling, the perceived demographic of bowlers (old, or of low social class), waning popularity with the public, competing sports programming on cable television, lack of corporate sponsorship, lack of an inspiring bowling star (2004), [152] and an aging audience for TV bowling. [151] A 2006 PBA article describing the PBA bowlers in the documentary A League of Ordinary Gentlemen called bowling athletes "the Rodney Dangerfields of professional sports". [153]

The decline in coverage has also been attributed to the perception that bowling is less an athletic sport (not being in the Olympic Games) and more of a recreational pastime (such as for children's birthday parties). [154] This perception is reinforced by the easy lane conditions provided to bowling leagues that enable seasoned league bowlers to achieve scores rivaling those of professionals who must bowl under more challenging lane conditions. [154]

Former PBA Commissioner Mark Gerberich said that ABC paid the PBA $200,000 per broadcast in 1991, but by 1997 "we were paying $150,000 to stay on TV." [155] Said to be "near bankruptcy" in 2000, [156] the PBA changed ownership [150] to one that emphasized marketing with the goal of running the organization as a for-profit business. [80] ESPN featured bowling from 2000 to 2018 on Sunday afternoons, with CBS Sports Network also airing a smaller number of bowling tournaments. [150]

In 2019, the PBA entered an agreement, expected to last four years, in which Fox Sports would sell advertising and sponsorships for the sport to establish the sport's presence on broadcast television, also providing cable, streaming, and social media programming. [150] In September 2019, Bowlero Corporation purchased the PBA. [157]

Portrayal on television Edit

Particular television broadcasts include:

  • 1950s: The Honeymooners (1952) Championship Bowling (1952). [158]
  • 1960s: Make That Spare premier episode of The Flintstones (1960-1966) Jackpot Bowling (1959-1961). [63]
  • 1970s: Celebrity Bowling (beginning in 1971) All In the Family Bowling for Dollars (through 1980) Laverne and Shirley (1976 debut) ESPN broadcasts five of six fall PBA Tour events in its debut year (1979). [70]
  • 1980s: The New Celebrity Bowling (beginning in 1987) [70]Married With Children.[72]
  • 1990s: The Simpsons The Drew Carey Show (annual contest) [65]Nubeluz ("Los Palitroques Gigantes", one of the Peruvian show's signature games) [159]
  • 2000s: According to Jim Let's Bowl! (on Comedy Central: bowling to settle court disputes). [160]

In print Edit

In J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Professor Albus Dumbledore is a fan of ten-pin bowling. [161]

Non-fiction films Edit

Strikes and Spares (1934) was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Novelty Short. [162]

Pin Gods (1996) presents the early challenges of three young bowlers breaking into professional bowling. [163]

The PBS Independent Lens documentary A League of Ordinary Gentlemen (2006) chronicles the stories of four PBA Tour bowlers at different stages of their careers, following the purchase of the PBA and appointment of former Nike executive Steve Miller as Director. [153] [156]

Fiction films Edit

In the animated short cartoon The Bowling Alley-Cat (1942), cat and mouse Tom and Jerry do battle inside a bowling center. [164]

In Dreamer (1979), Tim Matheson plays a man aspiring to be a professional bowler who faces a challenger played by Dick Weber. [165]

In Greedy (1994), Michael J. Fox plays an "honest but luckless pro bowler with a bad wrist and a good woman." [166]

The Farrelly brothers' comedy Kingpin (1996) is a bowling comedy about which Randy Quaid said in an interview, "If we can't laugh at bowling, what can we laugh at?" [65]

In the Coen Brothers' The Big Lebowski (1998), "the Dude" (Jeff Bridges), a "slacker's slacker," hangs out with his buddies at a bowling alley, [167] in which John Goodman's character pulls out a gun to threaten a competitor who stepped over the foul line and refused to accept the mandatory zero score for the shot. [65]

In the Disney Channel's Alley Cats Strike (2000), high school students engage in a bowling rivalry. [168]

Games Edit

What is believed to be the first bowling video game was released in the 1977, a built-in provided with the RCA Studio II console. [170] A pseudo-3D game was released in 1982 for the Emerson Arcadia 2001 console, and a multi-player game was released by SNK in 1991, almost a decade before convincing 3D graphics arrived. [170] The Wii Sports game pack, released in 2006, includes a bowling game for the 3D-motion-controlled console, and mobile-device bowling games have since become increasingly popular. [170] Several organizations—including the PBA and entertainment franchises such as Animaniacs, The Simpsons, Monsters, Inc., and The Flintstones—have granted licenses to use their names for video games. [170]


France

It’s been more than a century that the French started to play pétanque in the center of their village’s square, under a torrid sun and with a glass of Pastis in the hand they don’t need to play with. In the Provençal dialect of the Occitan language, the petanca derives from the expression pès tancats which means ‘feet fixed’. It’s indeed with their feet planted on the ground that the French play with their steel balls, tossing them as close as possible to a small wooden ball called a cochonnet (literally “piglet”). At the origin of the game, a noble intention: Ernest Pitiot, a local café owner at La Ciotat, invented this game to accommodate a French jeu provençal player named Jules Lenoir, whose rheumatism prevented him from running before he threw the ball. The first pétanque tournament was organized in 1910. After that the game spread quickly and soon became the most popular form of boules in France. Wanna play next week end? You will find the rules explained briefly here.


National holidays in Sweden

Who doesn’t love a day off? Well, Swedes certainly do. The Swedish calendar is littered with national holidays and Swedes celebrate them all in pretty unique ways…

Valborg

Another witchy Swedish tradition is Valborg, also called Walpurgis in English. The German Saint, also called Walpurgis, was introduced to Sweden by German immigrants in the Middle Ages and she is still celebrated today.

On the eve of Valborg, Swedes light bonfires and large gatherings and parties are held in her honor. Originally, the fire and noise was supposed to ward off bad spirits and dangerous animals. These days, students have adopted Walpurgis as an excellent opportunity to let off some steam!

Midsummer

Midsummer’s Eve is probably the second-most important tradition in Sweden. Swedes have celebrated Midsummer since the Viking era, although why it is celebrated has changed considerably.

Vikings used Midsummer’s Eve to pay tribute to Frej and Freja, the gods in charge of harvest and fertility. After Christianity came to Sweden, the church accepted that this holiday was not going to be easy to omit. Instead, they adopted it and tied it to a celebration of John the Baptist.

These days, Swedes eat, drink and be merry. They sing songs and dance around a Maypole (though Midsummer’s Eve is in June). It’s also tradition to put seven different varieties of wild flowers under your pillow at the end of the night so you can dream about your true love. That’s if you make it back to your bed after all the schnapps!

Lucia

A pattern is emerging here. Lucia is another holiday tied to other-worldly spirits and hocus-pocus. It’s celebrated on 13 December every year and Swedes have observed this tradition since at least 1746. Lucia got its witchy ties because it used to be regarded as the longest night of the year. Because of the darkness, it was believed that spirits came out and animals even started talking!

Kids wear white night gowns and one child is chosen to wear the candelabra crown, Lucia’s symbol to ward off bad spirits. Most, if not all children, either attend church or sing Lucia hymns at their school to celebrate.

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve in Sweden is steeped in tradition. Every year, the same British comedy sketch (Dinner For One, Laurie Wylie) is shown on TV and millions tune in to watch it. There was public outcry in the 1980s when it wasn’t broadcasted. It’s a bit of a running joke because the sketch’s key phrase is “just the same as last year, Mrs Sophie?”

Ever loved a pastry so much that you reckoned you needed a day to pay homage to it? Swedes do! Cinnamon Bun day is on 4 October and it’s customary to take advantage of all the readily available sweet treats.

If cinnamon isn’t your thing, don’t worry. There’s a day for pretty much every kind of dessert in Sweden. Waffle Day takes place on 25 March and Chocolate Mud Cake Day is on 7 November. Learn more about Swedish desserts here!

Saturday candy

One of the weirder Swedish traditions is “only” eating candy on Saturdays. “Lördagsgodis” (literally, Saturday-candy) is what makes the queues in Swedish supermarkets unbearable on a Friday evening. Everyone fills a bag of pick ‘n mix candy and they eat it all in one go. But you’ve got to wait until Saturday.

Taco Fridays

What was probably Sweden’s most successful advertising campaign is now a national institution. Taco Fridays is exactly what it sounds like – eating tacos on a Friday.

To try to shift more stock of salsa and seasoning, the company Santa Maria adopted the term “fredagsmys” (Friday coziness) and associated it with their products. And that’s why the country is crazy about tacos. It started in the early 2000s and by the looks of it, it’s here to stay.

Crawfish parties

No, it’s not a celebration of crawfish (sadly). Crawfish parties are held in Sweden to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of fall. Crawfish party season officially begins on 7 August can be held any time before September.

During the 1800s, crawfish parties were reserved for the aristocracy. By the 1930s, crawfish became accessible to the middle and lower classes and thus, the crawfish party was born. These days, people eat crawfish, cheese pie and drink plenty of aquavit (vodka) while singing songs.


Contents

Lanes Edit

Ten-pin bowling lanes are 60 feet (18.29 m) from the foul line to the center of the head pin (1-pin), with guide arrows (aiming targets) about 15 feet (4.57 m) from the foul line. [2] The lane is 41.5 inches (1.05 m) wide and has 39 wooden boards, or is made of a synthetic material with the 39 "boards" simulated using marking lines. [2] The approach has two sets of dots, respectively 12 feet (3.66 m) and 15 feet (4.57 m) behind the foul line, to help with foot placement. [2]

Modern bowling lanes have oil patterns designed not only to shield the lanes from damage from bowling ball impacts, but to provide bowlers with different levels of challenge in achieving strikes. As illustrated, a typical house pattern (or THS, typical house shot) has drier outside portions that give bowling balls more friction to hook (curve) into the pocket, but heavier oil concentrations surrounding the centerline so that balls slide directly toward the pocket with less hooking. [5] In the more challenging sport patterns used in tournaments and professional-level matches, a "flat" oil pattern—one with oil distributed more evenly from side to side—provides little assistance in guiding the ball toward the pocket, and is less forgiving with regard to off-target shots. [5] The ratio of centerline oil concentration to side oil concentration (the oil ratio) can exceed 10-to-1 for THSs but is restricted to 3-to-1 or less for sport shots. [5]

Lane oils, also called lane conditioners, are composed of about 98% mineral oil that, with numerous additives, are designed to minimize breakdown and carry-down that would change ball reaction after repeated ball rolls. [6] Lane oils are characterized by different levels of viscosity, with oils of higher viscosity (thicker consistency) being more durable but causing balls to slow and hook earlier than lower-viscosity oils. [6]

Balls Edit

Rubber balls (introduced in 1905) were eventually supplanted by polyester ("plastic") balls (1959) and polyurethane ("urethane") balls (1980s). [9] Coverstocks (surfaces) of bowling balls then evolved to increase the hook-enhancing friction between ball and lane: reactive resin balls arrived in the early 1990s, and particle-enhanced resin balls in the late 1990s. [9] Meanwhile, the increasingly sophisticated technology of internal cores (also called weight blocks) has increased balls' dynamic imbalance, which, in conjunction with the coverstocks' increased friction, enhances hook (curving) potential to achieve the higher entry angles that have enabled dramatic increases in strike percentage and game scores. [10]

Hook potential has increased so much that dry lane conditions or spare shooting scenarios sometimes compel use of plastic or urethane balls, to purposely avoid the larger hook provided by reactive technology. [9] [11]

The USBC regulates ball parameters including maximum diameter (8.595 inches (21.83 cm)), maximum circumference (27 inches (0.69 m)), and maximum weight (16 pounds (7.26 kg)). [2]

Ball motion Edit

Because pin spacing is much larger than ball size, it is impossible for the ball to contact all pins. Therefore, a tactical shot is required, which would result in a chain reaction of pins hitting other pins (called pin scatter). In what is considered an ideal strike shot, the ball contacts only the 1, 3, 5 and 9 pins (right-handed deliveries). [7]

Most new players roll the ball straight, while more experienced bowlers may roll a hook that involves making the ball start out straight but then curve toward a target, to increase the likelihood of striking: USBC research [7] has shown that shots most likely to strike enter the pocket at an angle of entry that is achievable only with a hook. [8]

A complex interaction of a variety of factors influences ball motion and its effect on scoring results. [13] [14] Such factors may be categorized as:

  • The bowler's delivery (see Effect of delivery characteristics on ball motion) Characteristics of the ball's delivery that affect ball motion include the ball's speed going down the lane, its rotational speed (rev rate), the angle of the ball's axis of rotation in horizontal and vertical planes (axis rotation and axis tilt, respectively), and how far beyond the foul line that the ball first contacts the lane (loft). [15]
  • Bowling ball design (see Effect of coverstock, core and layout on ball motion). A 2005-2008 USBC Ball Motion Study found that the ball design factors that most contributed to ball motion were the microscopic spikes and pores on the ball's surface (present in balls with reactive resincoverstock), the respective coefficients of friction between ball and lane in the oiled and dry parts of the lane, and the ball's oil absorption rate, followed in dominance by certain characteristics of the ball's core (mainly radius of gyration and total differential). [10] Friction-related factors may be categorized as chemical friction (degree of "stickiness" designed by manufacturers into the resin coverstock) and physical friction (which can be modified by sanding or polishing, or by including additives that physically increase lubrication). [8][16][10] "Weak" (pin down) versus "strong" (pin up) layouts of the finger and thumb holes with respect to core orientation affect skid lengths and hook angularity. [17][18]
  • Lane conditions (see Effect of lane characteristics on ball motion). Lane conditions that affect ball motion include lane transition (including breakdown and carry-down), [3] the oil absorption characteristics of previously-thrown balls and the paths they followed, [3][19] wood versus synthetic composition of the lane (more generally: soft vs. hard lanes), [3] imperfections in lane surface (topography), [3] and oil viscosity (thick or thin consistency innate viscosity being affected by temperature and humidity). [3]

Pins and pin carry Edit

Front view: [20] the ball impacts center pocket at "board 17.5"—found by a USBC pin-carry study [7] to cause pin carry that maximizes strike probability. The ideal impact point is closer to the center of the head pin than many people believe. [20]

(Diagrams assume right-hand delivery.)

Bowling pins (with a maximum thickness of 4.766 inches (12 cm) at the waist) are "spotted" (placed) in four rows, forming an equilateral triangle with four pins on a side to form a tetractys. [2] Neighboring pins are centered 12 inches (30 cm) apart, leaving a space of 7.234 inches (18 cm) between pins that can be bridged by a bowling ball of regulation diameter (8.5 inches (22 cm)). [2]

Pin carry—essentially, the probability of achieving a strike assuming the ball impacts in or near the pocket—varies with several factors. [7] Even before a 2008 USBC pin carry study, it was known that entry angle and ball weight increase strike percentages. [7] The 2008 study concluded that an impact with the ball centered at "board 17.5" causes pin scatter that maximizes likelihood of striking. [7] [8] The material of the pin deck and "kickback" (side) plates was also found to materially affect pin carry. [7]

Delivery style categories Edit

Three widely recognized categories are stroker, cranker and tweener. [21] [22]

  • Strokers—using the most "classic" bowling form—tend to keep the shoulders square to the foul line and develop only a moderately high backswing, achieving modest ball rotation ("rev") rates and ball speeds, which thus limit hook potential and kinetic energy delivered to the pins. [21] Strokers rely on accuracy and repeatability, and benefit from the high entry angles that reactive resin balls enable. [21]
  • Crankers tend to open (rotate) the shoulders and use strong wrist and arm action in concert with a high backswing, achieving higher rev rates and ball speeds, thus maximizing hook potential and kinetic energy. [21] Crankers rely on speed and power, but may leave splits rarely left by strokers. [21]
  • Tweeners (derived from "in-between") have styles that fall between those of strokers and crankers, the term is considered by some to include power strokers.[21]

Alternative deliveries Edit

  • So-called two-handed bowling, first popularized late in the 2000s by Australian Jason Belmonte, involves not inserting the thumb into any thumbhole, with the opposite hand supporting and guiding the ball throughout almost the entire forward swing. [23] This delivery style, involving more athletic ability, is increasingly popular with younger bowlers and technically still involves a one-handed release.[24] It allows the inserted fingers to generate higher revolution rates and thus attain greater hook potential than with a thumb-in-hole approach. [25] In contrast, in what is literally a two-handed delivery and release, children or physically challenged players use both hands to deliver the ball forward from between the legs or from the chest. [26]
  • No-thumb bowling involves only a single hand during the forward swing, without the thumb inserted. [27]
  • The spinner style, which is mainly popular in parts of Asia, has a "helicopter" or "UFO" release that involves rotating the wrist to impart a high (vertical) axis of rotation that causes the bowling ball to spin like a top while traveling straight down the lane. [22] Usually involving a lighter (10-12 pound) ball, the spinner style takes advantage of the ball deflection from the head pin to then "walk down" the other visible pins and cause domino effects diagonally through the pins. [22]
  • In the backup (or reverse hook) release, the wrist rotates clockwise (for right hand releases) or counter-clockwise (for left hand releases), causing the ball to hook in a direction opposite to that of conventional releases. [28]

Grips Edit

A conventional grip, used on non-customized house balls and some custom-drilled balls, involves insertion of fingers to the second knuckle. [29] A fingertip grip, involving insertion of fingers only to the first knuckle, enables greater revolution rates and resultant hook potential. [29] A thumbless grip, often used by so-called "two-handed" bowlers, maximizes ball rotational speed ("rev rate"). [29]

Traditional scoring Edit

Frame two: 3 + 6 = 9 → Total = 28

Frame two: 4 + 2 = 6 → Total = 20

In traditional scoring, [30] one point is scored for each pin that is knocked over, and when less than all ten pins are knocked down in two rolls in a frame (an open frame), the frame is scored with the total number of pins knocked down. However, when all ten pins are knocked down with either the first or second rolls of a frame (a mark), bonus pins are awarded as follows.

  • Strike: When all ten pins are knocked down on the first roll (marked "X" on the scorescreen), the frame receives ten pins plus a bonus of pinfall on the next two rolls (not necessarily the next two frames). A strike in the tenth (final) frame receives two extra rolls for bonus pins.
  • Spare: When a second roll of a frame is needed to knock down all ten pins (marked "/" on the scorescreen), the frame receives ten pins plus a bonus of pinfall in the next roll (not necessarily the next frame). A spare in the first two rolls in the tenth (final) frame receives a third roll for bonus pins.

World Bowling scoring Edit

The World Bowling scoring system—described as "current frame scoring" [31] —awards pins as follows:

  • A strike is 30 pins, regardless of ensuing rolls' results.
  • A spare is 10 pins, plus the pinfall on first roll of the current frame.
  • An open frame is the total pinfall of the current frame.

The maximum score is 300, achieved with ten consecutive strikes (as opposed to twelve), but with no bonus pins received in the tenth frame. [32] [33]

World Bowling scoring is thought to make bowling easier to follow than with traditional scoring, [32] increase television viewership, [31] and help bowling to become an Olympic sport. [31] [33]

Variant of World Bowling scoring Edit

Another variant of scoring, a 12-frame system introduced at the November 2014 World Bowling Tour (WBT) finals, resembles golf's match play scoring in counting the greater number of frames won rather than measuring accumulated pinfall score. [34] A frame may be won immediately by a higher pincount on the first roll of the frame, and a match may be won when one player is ahead by more frames than remain of the possible 12 frames. [34] This variant reduces match length and scoring complexity for two-player matches. [34]

Early history Edit

Modern American ten-pin bowling derives mainly from the German Kegelspiel, or kegeling, which used nine pins set in a diamond formation. [36] Some sources refer to an 1841 Connecticut law that banned ninepin bowling because of its perceived association with gambling and crime, and people were said to circumvent the prohibition by adding a tenth pin [39] other sources call this story a mere fable [36] while earlier sources (e.g., 1838, re Baltimore [37] and 1842, Charles Dickens re New York [40] [41] ) explicitly confirm the strategy. Even earlier, an 1834 Washington, D.C. ordinance had limited the time (before 8 p.m. and not on Sundays) and place (more than 100 yards from inhabited houses) of "nine pin and ten pins" or "any game in the likeness or imitation thereof . played with any number of pins whatsoever". [42] In any event, newspapers referred to "ten pin alleys" at least as early as 1820 [1] (also later in the 1820s [43] and in the 1830s [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] [50] ).

A painting thought to date from around 1810 shows British bowlers playing outdoors with a triangular formation of ten pins, which would predate the sport's asserted appearance in the United States. [51] [ better source needed ] In any event, the enjoyment of kegeling by German peasants contrasted with the lawn bowling that was reserved for the upper classes, thus beginning bowling's enduring reputation as a common man's sport. [36]

In the mid 1800s, various alternatives to free-standing pins received U.S. patents to solve perceived problems in pinsetting and ball return, aiming to avoid the need for human pinsetters to perform these functions. One scheme (1851) involved pins with spherical bases that when hit by a ball merely fell over, in place, to be rotated back to a vertical position. [52] A second arrangement (1853) involved resetting the pins via cords descending from respective pin bottoms to weights beneath the pin deck. [53] Another design (1869) involved suspending the pins with overhead cords. [54]

In 1884, the Brunswick Corporation became the first American bowling ball manufacturer, and by 1909 [56] introduced the Mineralite (hard rubber) ball that was considered so revolutionary that it was displayed at the Century of Progress Exposition in 1934. [36] In 1886, Joe Thum—who would become known as the "father of bowling"—began opening bowling alleys and over decades strove to elevate the sport's image to compete with upper-class diversions such as theaters and opera houses. [36]

In 1875, delegates from New York City and Brooklyn bowling clubs formed the National Bowling Association (NBA) to standardize rules, but disagreements prevailed. [57] In 1887 Albert G. Spalding wrote Standard Rules for Bowling in the United States, and in the mid-1890s the United Bowling Clubs (UBC) was organized with 120 members. [36] The American Bowling Congress (ABC) was established in 1895, followed by the Women's International Bowling Congress (WIBC) in the 1910s, such organizations promoting standardized rules and striving to improve the sport's image. [36]

From 1920 to 1929, the number of ABC-sanctioned alleys grew from 450 to about 2,000, with Prohibition leading to the growth of family-appropriate "dry" alleys. [36] The 1933 repeal of Prohibition allowed breweries to sponsor teams and bowlers, adding to bowling's reputation as a working-class sport. [36] Though at the turn of the twentieth century most bowling alleys were small establishments, post-Prohibition bowling lanes shifted from side entertainment at fancy Victorian venues or seedier saloons to independent establishments that embraced the Art Deco style and fit the era's perceived "need for speed". [36]

1940s to early 1960s Edit

Gottfried Schmidt invented the first mechanical pinsetter in his garage in 1936, one implementation of which was publicly exhibited in 1946 before AMF placed a production model into service in 1952. [59]

The 1940s through the 1970s became known as the "golden age of bowling", [60] with ABC membership growing from 700,000 (1940), to 1.1 million (1947), to 2.3 million (1958), to 4.5 million (1963), [36] [61] Women's International Bowling Congress membership growing from 82,000 (1940) to 866,000 (1958), [61] American Junior Bowling Congress membership growing from 8,000 (1940) to 175,000 (1958), [61] and sanctioned individual lanes growing from 44,500 (1947) to 159,000 (1963). [36]

Bowling's growth was fueled by the deployment of automatic mechanical pinsetters by AMF (1952) and Brunswick (1955), television broadcasts (said to be "ubiquitous" in the 1950s), modernization and stylization of establishments with amenities to attract broader clientele, and formation of bowling leagues. [36] Though President Truman had installed a bowling alley in the White House in 1947, [36] a report of the American Society of Planning Officials in 1958 characterized bowling alleys as the "poor man's country club". [61]

ABC bylaws had included a "white-males-only" clause since its inception in the 1890s, but numerous lobbying efforts and legal actions after World War II by civil rights and labor organizations led to a reversal of this policy in 1950. [62]

Eddie Elias founded the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) in 1958 with 33 members. [59] The Pro Bowlers Tour TV program aired from 1962 [63] [64] through 1997. [65] [64]

In the 1930s and 1940s, professional bowling was dominated by “beer leagues” with many of the best bowlers sponsored by beer companies, but by 1965 the PBA tour was televised nationally on ABC Sports with sponsors such as Coca-Cola and Ford. [60]

In parallel with professional bowling was "action bowling" or "pot bowling"—bowling matches based on monetary bets—historically associated with the New York underworld from the 1940s to the 1970s. [60]

Late 1960s to 1980 Edit

The first ten-pin lanes in Europe had been installed in Sweden in 1909, but attempts to popularize the sport in Europe were unsuccessful over the next several decades, though hundreds of lanes were installed on U.S. military bases in the U.K. during World War II. [66] Various countries developed the sport to some extent, and the Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ now World Bowling) was formed in 1952 to coordinate international amateur competition. [66]

A firmer establishment of the sport began in the U.K. in 1960 in London (Stamford Hill) in January 1960, [67] and the British Tenpin Bowling Association was formed the following year. [66] Various other countries, including Australia, Mexico and Japan, adopted the trend over the ensuing decade. [66] After initial faddish growth in the U.K., however, the sport did not thrive as it did in the U.S., and by the 1970s many British bowling alleys were converted to serve competing pastimes, such as bingo. [68]

The "Lane Master" automatic lane cleaning and conditioning machine was first deployed in the 1960s. [63]

In the 1960s and early 1970s, top bowling professionals made twice as much money as NFL football stars, received million-dollar endorsement contracts, and were treated as international celebrities. [60] The $100,000 Firestone Tournament of Champions launched in 1965, in a decade that saw ABC membership peak at almost 4.6 million male bowlers. [63] The number of sanctioned bowling alleys peaked at about 12,000 in the mid-1960s, [61] mostly in blue-collar urban areas, [69] and Women’s International Bowling Congress (WIBC) membership peaked at 4.2 million members in 1979. [70]

In the late 1960s, the participation sport of bowling found itself competing with spectator sports and outdoor recreational activities. [36] The number of certified bowling centers was to eventually decline from its 1960s high of 12,000 [61] to 6,542 in 1998 [69] and 3,976 in 2013. [61] The decline was noted acutely in waning league participation over the intervening decades. [61] [71]

1980 to 2000 Edit

Tournament prize funds in the 1980s included the PBA National Championship ($135,000, its largest) and the Firestone Tournament of Champions ($150,000), and PBA membership approached 2,500. [72] Ten-pin bowling became an exhibition sport at the 1988 Summer Olympics (Seoul), [72] was a medal sport at the 1991 Pan American Games (Havana), [65] and was included in the 1998 Commonwealth Games (Kuala Lumpur). [73]

Outside elite and professional bowling, participation in leagues—traditionally the more profitable end of the business—declined from a 1980 peak (8 million), compelling alleys to further diversify into entertainment amenities. [61] While league bowling decreased by 40 percent between 1980 and 1993, the total number of bowlers actually increased by 10 percent during that period, with nearly 80 million Americans going bowling at least once during 1993. [71] In 1995, the National Bowling Stadium (Reno, Nevada) was constructed at a cost of $47.5 million, but the PBA Pro Bowlers Tour TV program was canceled in 1997 after a 35-year run. [74]

In 1991, equipment manufacturer DBA Products released "The Lane Walker"—the first computer-driven lane cleaning and oiling machine, programmable to clean up to 50 lanes. [65]

The early 1990s brought the development of reactive resin ("reactive") balls with chemically "tacky" surfaces that enhance traction to dramatically enhance hook and substantially increase the likelihood of striking, raising average scores even for less experienced bowlers. [9]

The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) reported 1997 bowling product sales of $215 million, the SGMA president attributed an increase in popularity to bowling alley remodeling, technological innovations in balls and lanes, computerized scoring, and promotion by bowling organizations. [75]

2000 to present Edit

From 1998 to 2013, the number of American bowling centers fell by one quarter. [61] Similarly, in the two decades following 1997, the number of USBC-certified lanes—also indicative of business viability—declined by one-third. [76] This business decline is often attributed to waning league participation: USBC membership—indicative of league participation that was the main source of revenue—declined by two-thirds in those two decades, [76] and the portion of alley revenue attributable to leagues is estimated to have dropped from 70% to 40%. [61] [77] Political scientist Robert D. Putnam's book Bowling Alone (2000) asserts, with some controversy, that the retreat from league bowling epitomizes a broader societal decline in social, civic and community engagement in the U.S. [61]

As an indication of the decline, AMF Bowling, the largest operator of bowling centers in the world at the time, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001, and again in 2012. [78] By 2013, AMF Bowling had merged with New York-based Bowlmor, the company becoming known as Bowlmor AMF. [79]

In 2000, three former tech industry executives bought a debt-laden PBA—which saw its 36-year television contract with ABC Sports end in 1997—and turned it from a non-profit league into a for-profit organization, and invested heavily in marketing. [80] The January 2005 merger of four U.S. bowling organizations to form the USBC formed a "central brand" aiming to grow the sport. [81] Beginning late in the decade of the 2000s, the two-handed approach became popularized, first by Australian Jason Belmonte, [23] with some hoping that the controversial delivery style would boost popularity of the sport. [23] In January 2013, the eight-team PBA League began competition, [82] the strategy being that basing teams in specific geographic localities would generate viewer enthusiasm and corporate sponsorship in the same manner as teams in other professional sports. [83] Still, continuing the reversal of bowling's peak popularity in the 1960s, in the 2012-2013 season the average yearly winnings of the ten highest-earning PBA competitors was less than US$155,000, and the average for the remaining 250 competitors was $6,500—all much less than a rookie NFL football player’s minimum base salary of $375,000. [60]

Estimates of the number of total (league and non-league) bowlers in the U.S. have varied, from 82 million (1997, International Bowling Museum) [74] to 51.6 million (2007, research firm White Hutchinson) [77] to 71 million (2009, USBC), [84] the USBC stating in 2019 that bowling is still the #1 participation sport in the U.S. [85] More broadly, the International Bowling Museum stated in 2016 that bowling is played by 95 million people in more than 90 countries. [86] In an era of continual decline in league participation, [76] [74] bowling centers promoted "party bowling" [60] and black-light-and-disco-ball "cosmic bowling" [74] and experienced a shift from blue-collar participants to open-play (non-league) family-oriented clientele in combined bowling and entertainment centers. [77]

In contrast to the U.S., the 2000s and 2010s brought a bowling renaissance in the U.K., achieved by accommodating sophisticated modern tastes by providing (for example) retro style bowling alleys outfitted with 1950s Americana, "boutique bowling", "VIP lanes", and cameras for instant replays, and by rejuvenating bowling "alleys" into diverse-entertainment bowling "centres". [87] [88] The population of ten-pin bowling centres grew from a low of barely 50 (in the 1980s) to over 200 (2006), [87] with almost a third of Britons going bowling in 2016 and league participation growing over 20% over two years (2015-2017). [88]

Though ten-pin bowling was a demonstration sport in the 1988 Summer Olympics (Seoul) [72] and has been included in the Pan American Games since 1991, [89] after making the short list for inclusion in the 2020 Summer Olympics (Tokyo), it was cut. [90] One commentator noted that the sport's limited geographic popularity (the U.S., Australia and a few European and South American countries), and aging demographic of those who follow the sport, make it difficult to convince an Olympic Committee that wants to appeal to youth. [90]

International Edit

World Bowling (WB) was formed in 2014 from component organizations of the Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ, International Federation of Bowlers), which in 1952 developed from the International Bowling Association (IBA) which began operations in 1926. [91] Since 1979 the International Olympic Committee has recognized the FIQ, and later, WB, as the sport's world governing body. [91] WB establishes rules for the uniform practice of bowling throughout the world, and promotes bowling as an Olympic sport. [91] The World Tenpin Bowling Association "membership discipline" (component organization) of WB serves the amateur sport of ten-pin bowling worldwide, adopting uniform playing rules and equipment specifications. [92]

United Kingdom Edit

The British Tenpin Bowling Association (BTBA, formed in 1961) is the official governing body recognized by World Bowling as the official sanctioning body in England, and as such "is responsible for the protection, integrity and development of the sport". [93] Its stated vision is "to ensure that all people, irrespective of their age, disability, ethnic origin, marital status, sexual orientation or social status have a genuine and equal opportunity to participate in the sport at all levels and in all roles". [93]

The National Association of Youth Bowling Clubs (NAYBC) is a BTBA subcommittee serving youth bowlers and youth bowling clubs. [94]

The British Universities Tenpin Bowling Association (BUTBA, formed in 2008) organizes bowling events for present and former university and college students. [95]

The Tenpin Bowling Proprietors Association (TBPA, formed in 1961 as an umbrella organization) is a trade association for the British ten-pin bowling industry. [96]

United States Edit

The United States Bowling Congress (USBC) was formed as the governing body for the U.S. on January 1, 2005, by the merger of: [99]

  • the American Bowling Congress (ABC, an originally male-only organization founded in 1895),
  • the Women's International Bowling Congress (WIBC, 1916),
  • the Young American Bowling Alliance (YABA, 1982), which itself was formed from combining the American Junior Bowling Congress (AJBC, 1946), Youth Bowling Association (YBA, 1963–64), and ABC/WIBC Collegiate division (mid-1970s), [100] and
  • (Team) USA Bowling (1989). [99]

As the national governing body for bowling, its stated mission is to provide services, resources and the standards for the sport, [81] its stated goals including growing the sport and promoting values of "credibility, dedication, excellence, heritage, inclusiveness, integrity, philanthropy and sportsmanship". [99]

Museums Edit

The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame is located on the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas, U.S. [101]

World Bowling oversees quadrennial World Championship tournaments, and international championships for various sectors, including for women, seniors, youth and junior bowlers. [103]

The QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup (begun in 1965) is recognized as bowling's largest event in terms of number of countries competing, according to the USBC in 2018. [104]

The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour includes dozens of events annually, mainly at U.S. locations. [105] The PBA Tour includes "major" championship events: the U.S. Open, the USBC Masters, the PBA Tournament of Champions the PBA World Championship, and the PBA Players Championship. [106]

The United States Bowling Congress (USBC) has various tournaments for the PBA tour, PWBA, youth and seniors, including the USBC Masters and U.S. Open (both major tournaments on the PBA tour), and USBC Queens and U.S. Women's Open (both major tournaments on the PWBA tour), plus the USBC Team USA Trials/U.S. National Amateur Bowling Championships. [107] Additionally, the USBC has regional tournaments [108] and certifies local tournaments. [109]

The European Tenpin Bowling Federation (ETBF) owns the European Bowling Tour (organized in 2000), [110] including its final tournament, the European Bowling Tour Masters (first edition: 2008). [111]

The Commonwealth Tenpin Bowling Federation (CTBF), made up of World Bowling member federations within the Commonwealth of Nations, owns the Commonwealth Tenpin Bowling Championships, which has held tournaments at irregular intervals since 2002. [112]

The Weber Cup is an annual, three-day USA vs. Europe tournament, named after Dick Weber, [113] that began in 2000 and has been held almost exclusively in the U.K. [114]

In the decade of the 2000s, the World Ranking Masters, owned by World Bowling, ranked standings in the Pan American Bowling Confederation (PABCON), Asian Bowling Federation (ABF), and European Tenpin Bowling Federation (ETBF). [115]

Though ten-pin bowling has not progressed beyond a demonstration sport at the Olympic Games, [72] [90] international games modeled after the Olympics (awarding medals) do include the sport, including the World Games (governed by the International World Games Association), the Asian Games (governed by the Olympic Council of Asia, OCA) [116] and the Pan American Games (governed by the Pan American Sports Organization, PASO). [117] The Maccabiah Games (governed by the Israeli Bowling Federation, IBF, with events played according to WTBA-ETBF rules) host ten-pin tournaments as medal events. [118]

Bowling leagues vary in format, including demographic specialization (male, female, mixed, senior, youth), number of bowlers per team (usually 3-5), number of games per series (usually 3), day and time of scheduled sessions, starting dates and duration of league seasons, scoring (scratch versus handicap), and systems for bestowing awards and prizes. [121] Usually, each team is scheduled to oppose each of the other teams over the course of a season. [122] Position rounds—in which the first place team opposes the second place team, third place opposes fourth place, and so on—are often inserted into the season schedule. [123]

Customarily, team position standings are computed after each series, awarding a first number of points for each game won and a second number of points for achieving the higher team score for that series, the particular numbers being specified in each league's rules. [124] [125] Further, in leagues having "match point" scoring, individual bowlers on one team are matched against respective members of the opposing team, the winners receiving points that supplement their team's game and series points. [125]

The number of league bowlers in the U.S. peaked at 8 million in 1980, [72] declining to approximately 1.3 million in the ensuing 40 years. [76]

Titles and scores Edit

  • First perfect game on live national television: Jack Biondolillo (1967, Firestone Tournament of Champions) [64]
  • Most titles in a single PBA Tour season: Mark Roth (8 titles in 1978) [64][126]
  • First woman to win a PBA Tour event: Kelly Kulick (2010, PBA Tournament of Champions) [64][127]
  • Most PBA Tour titles (career): Walter Ray Williams Jr. (47 titles, reached in 2010) [128]
  • First to earn 100 combined titles in PBA Tour, PBA50 Tour and regional competition: Walter Ray Williams Jr. (2016) [64]
  • Most PBA Tour major titles (career): Jason Belmonte (13, reached in 2020) [129]
  • Only winners of "Super Slam" (all five PBA majors): Mike Aulby (1996) [130] and Jason Belmonte (2020) [129]

Earnings and contracts Edit

  • First (in any sport) to receive $1,000,000 endorsement contract: Don Carter (1964, with Ebonite International) [60]
  • First to earn more than US$100,000 in a single season: Earl Anthony (1975) [64][131]
  • First to earn US$1 million in career earnings: Earl Anthony (1982) [64]
  • First to earn US$2 million in career earnings: Walter Ray Williams Jr. (1997). [64]
  • Most earnings in a single PBA season: Kyle Troup ($469,000 as of May 16, 2021) [132]
  • First to earn US$3 million in career earnings: Walter Ray Williams Jr. (2002–03) [64]
  • Highest first-place prize awarded in a single professional bowling tournament: $250,000 in the 2011 PBA Tournament of Champions (won by Mika Koivuniemi) [133] and 2021 PBA Players Championship (won by Kyle Troup) [134]

Youngest Edit

  • Youngest to win a standard PBA Tour title: Norm Duke (1983, at age 18 years, 345 days) [135]
  • Youngest to earn cash in a PBA Tour event: Kamron Doyle (age 14, 2012 U.S. Open) [136]
  • Youngest to win a PBA Tour major tournament: Anthony Simonsen (2016 USBC Masters at age 19 years, 39 days) [64][137]

Oldest Edit

  • Oldest to win a standard PBA Tour title: John Handegard (1995, at age 57 years, 139 days) [138]
  • Oldest to win a PBA Tour major tournament: Pete Weber (2013 Barbasol Tournament of Champions at age 50 years, 222 days) [64]

Ernest Fosberg (East Rockford, Ill.) bowled the first recognized 300 in 1902, before awards were given out. [139] In 1908, A.C. Jellison and Homer Sanders (both of St. Louis) each bowled 300 games in the same season, the ABC awarding the gold medal for the highest score of the year to Jellison after a three-game tie-breaker match, without regard to the chronological order of their accomplishments. [139]

On January 7, 2006, Elliot John Crosby became the youngest British bowler to bowl a BTBA-sanctioned 300 game at the age of 12 years, 2 months and 10 days, breaking the 1994 record of Rhys Parfitt (age 13 years, 4 months). [140]

On November 17, 2013, Hannah Diem (Seminole, Florida) became the youngest American bowler to bowl a USBC-certified 300 game at the age of 9 years, 6 months and 19 days, breaking the 2006 record of Chaz Dennis (age 10) and the 2006 female record of Brandie Reamy (age 12). [141]

Jeremy Sonnenfeld (Sioux Falls, S.D.) rolled the first certified 900 series in 1997. [142] A well-publicized court-contested 900 series by Glenn Allison in 1982, considered by many to be the first-ever 900 series, was denied certification due to non-conforming lane conditions. [143]

The 905 perfect games that were rolled during the 1968–69 season increased 38-fold to 34,470 in the 1998–99 season. [60] Likewise, the number of perfect-game league bowlers increased from about one of 3150 (1900–1980) to about one of 27 (2007), a greater-than-hundredfold increase that many thought threatened to jeopardize the integrity of the sport. [10] Specifically, the USBC Technical Director wrote that the "USBC is concerned that technology has overtaken player skill in determining success in the sport of bowling," announcing in 2007 the completion of a ball motion study undertaken "to strike a better balance between player skill and technology". [144]

Separately, a USBC pin carry study completed in about 2008 found that dramatically increased entry angles improve pin carry [7] to result in higher scores—regardless of whether the bowlers supplied additional effort or improved their skill. [10] Among the factors allowing higher scores were technological advances in coverstock and core design [10] combined with improved lane surfaces and accommodative oil patterns. [145]

Specifically, the reactive resin balls and particle balls that came out in the 1990s increased frictional engagement with the lane to provide greater hook potential that made high entry angles easier to achieve. [11] Moreover, changes in lane surface technology, as well as the introduction of voids into pins to make them lighter and more top-heavy, helped to raise average scores as early as the 1970s. [146] Expanded choices in oil viscosity and electronically controlled lane oiling machines permitted alley owners to customize house oil patterns to optimize the advantages of the new ball technologies. [146] Technological progress allowed some 1990s league scores to surpass those of professionals in the 1950s. [146]

Responding to such concerns, the USBC initiated "sport bowling" leagues and tournaments that provide "sport", "challenge" and "PBA Experience" oil patterns that are more challenging than the accommodative patterns of typical house shots. [146] Still, the USBC has encountered enduring issues concerning how to maintain "average integrity" (fair handicapping) across leagues using oil patterns of differing difficulty. [147]

As a result of various USBC studies, including a bowling technology study [148] published in February 2018, the USBC Equipment and Specifications Committee established new specifications focusing mainly on balls. [149] The overall result of the new specifications was said to slightly limit hook potential, more specifically eliminating balance holes (as of the 2020-21 season) and setting a new specification for oil absorption. [149] The USBC stated that the new specifications will slow oil pattern transition, cause bowlers to move less, and keep the same scoring pace with lower oil volume. [149]

Coverage of events Edit

Beginning in 1962, ABC's Pro Bowlers Tour was broadcast on Saturday afternoons [65] [150] to be viewed by millions, and—with various entertainment-oriented programs including Make That Spare, Celebrity Bowling and Bowling for Dollars—confirmed the sport's popularity. [59] The Pro Bowlers Tour garnered excellent ratings in the 1960s and early 1970s, as a lead-in to ABC's Wide World of Sports. However, television ratings fell substantially, [74] from 9.1 in the mid-1970s to 2.0 in 1997, [151] the year in which Pro Bowlers Tour was canceled. [65] [151]

The decline in bowling event coverage has been attributed to a variety of factors, including time demands burdening the schedules of two-income households, [74] small purses (winnings) for professional tournaments, declining participation in league bowling, the perceived demographic of bowlers (old, or of low social class), waning popularity with the public, competing sports programming on cable television, lack of corporate sponsorship, lack of an inspiring bowling star (2004), [152] and an aging audience for TV bowling. [151] A 2006 PBA article describing the PBA bowlers in the documentary A League of Ordinary Gentlemen called bowling athletes "the Rodney Dangerfields of professional sports". [153]

The decline in coverage has also been attributed to the perception that bowling is less an athletic sport (not being in the Olympic Games) and more of a recreational pastime (such as for children's birthday parties). [154] This perception is reinforced by the easy lane conditions provided to bowling leagues that enable seasoned league bowlers to achieve scores rivaling those of professionals who must bowl under more challenging lane conditions. [154]

Former PBA Commissioner Mark Gerberich said that ABC paid the PBA $200,000 per broadcast in 1991, but by 1997 "we were paying $150,000 to stay on TV." [155] Said to be "near bankruptcy" in 2000, [156] the PBA changed ownership [150] to one that emphasized marketing with the goal of running the organization as a for-profit business. [80] ESPN featured bowling from 2000 to 2018 on Sunday afternoons, with CBS Sports Network also airing a smaller number of bowling tournaments. [150]

In 2019, the PBA entered an agreement, expected to last four years, in which Fox Sports would sell advertising and sponsorships for the sport to establish the sport's presence on broadcast television, also providing cable, streaming, and social media programming. [150] In September 2019, Bowlero Corporation purchased the PBA. [157]

Portrayal on television Edit

Particular television broadcasts include:

  • 1950s: The Honeymooners (1952) Championship Bowling (1952). [158]
  • 1960s: Make That Spare premier episode of The Flintstones (1960-1966) Jackpot Bowling (1959-1961). [63]
  • 1970s: Celebrity Bowling (beginning in 1971) All In the Family Bowling for Dollars (through 1980) Laverne and Shirley (1976 debut) ESPN broadcasts five of six fall PBA Tour events in its debut year (1979). [70]
  • 1980s: The New Celebrity Bowling (beginning in 1987) [70]Married With Children.[72]
  • 1990s: The Simpsons The Drew Carey Show (annual contest) [65]Nubeluz ("Los Palitroques Gigantes", one of the Peruvian show's signature games) [159]
  • 2000s: According to Jim Let's Bowl! (on Comedy Central: bowling to settle court disputes). [160]

In print Edit

In J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Professor Albus Dumbledore is a fan of ten-pin bowling. [161]

Non-fiction films Edit

Strikes and Spares (1934) was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Novelty Short. [162]

Pin Gods (1996) presents the early challenges of three young bowlers breaking into professional bowling. [163]

The PBS Independent Lens documentary A League of Ordinary Gentlemen (2006) chronicles the stories of four PBA Tour bowlers at different stages of their careers, following the purchase of the PBA and appointment of former Nike executive Steve Miller as Director. [153] [156]

Fiction films Edit

In the animated short cartoon The Bowling Alley-Cat (1942), cat and mouse Tom and Jerry do battle inside a bowling center. [164]

In Dreamer (1979), Tim Matheson plays a man aspiring to be a professional bowler who faces a challenger played by Dick Weber. [165]

In Greedy (1994), Michael J. Fox plays an "honest but luckless pro bowler with a bad wrist and a good woman." [166]

The Farrelly brothers' comedy Kingpin (1996) is a bowling comedy about which Randy Quaid said in an interview, "If we can't laugh at bowling, what can we laugh at?" [65]

In the Coen Brothers' The Big Lebowski (1998), "the Dude" (Jeff Bridges), a "slacker's slacker," hangs out with his buddies at a bowling alley, [167] in which John Goodman's character pulls out a gun to threaten a competitor who stepped over the foul line and refused to accept the mandatory zero score for the shot. [65]

In the Disney Channel's Alley Cats Strike (2000), high school students engage in a bowling rivalry. [168]

Games Edit

What is believed to be the first bowling video game was released in the 1977, a built-in provided with the RCA Studio II console. [170] A pseudo-3D game was released in 1982 for the Emerson Arcadia 2001 console, and a multi-player game was released by SNK in 1991, almost a decade before convincing 3D graphics arrived. [170] The Wii Sports game pack, released in 2006, includes a bowling game for the 3D-motion-controlled console, and mobile-device bowling games have since become increasingly popular. [170] Several organizations—including the PBA and entertainment franchises such as Animaniacs, The Simpsons, Monsters, Inc., and The Flintstones—have granted licenses to use their names for video games. [170]


5. Flying discs

Frisbees are not just for playing catch with your dog on the beach. Ultimate Disc is a field game played 7-on-7 on a football-sized field, but if you’re left with less space, test your throwing skills with a game of Kan-Jam or a more do-it-yourself version of Frisbee Trash Can. Played in teams of two, players work with their teammates to toss the disc into the top of the can, off the side, or through the slit to count points. It’s great for all skill levels – beginners simply move the cans closer to together.


6. Molkky

  • Company: Tactic Games USA
  • Rating: 4.5 stars
  • Type of Game: Tossing, Strategy
  • Price: $

What Is Molkky? Molkky is an extremely popular outdoor game in Europe right now, invented by the Finnish in 1996. It’s one of the best new outdoor games for adults, we think! It requires a combination of tossing skill and strategy, and a bit of luck!

How To Play Molkky: Players toss a wooden pin (called the Molkky) across a playing field, tying to knock over other wooden pins (called Skittles) that are set up in a format similar to bowling pins. The Skittles are numbered 1-12, and each toss that knocks over the pins (Skittles) earns you points.

If you knock over only 1 pin, you score the number of points marked on the pin (ie, knock over just pin 11, score 11 points). If you knock over 2 or more pins in one toss, you score the number of pins knocked over (ie, knock over 4 pins, get 4 points). After each throw, the pins get stood up again exactly where they landed, so the playing field constantly changes.

How To Win Molkky: The first player to reach exactly 50 points wins – if you go over, your score is set back to 25 points. If you miss all targets 3 tosses in a row, you’re out of the game!

What’s Included In This Recommended Set: This is set includes 12 Skittles and 1 Molkky, as well as a wooden carrying/storage box. The wood is European hardwood, excellent for shock absorption, resistant to chipping, and can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. The set also includes the official score book and instructions!


Prices

The costs quoted below cover the service which can be delivered by one or two Specialists, dependent on your area and other factors (please see our Terms and Conditions). Full days can be booked up to one hour’s drive from our base. Reduced full days, half days and bookings where both Specialists are required can take place in schools up to forty minutes drive from our base.

Full Day – (One Specialist, 9am-3pm)

The full day rate is £275.00 from Autumn 2019 plus mileage (55p per mile round trip from CV13 0DZ)

Reduced Full Day – (One Specialist, 10am-3pm)

The reduced full day rate is £225.00 from Autumn 2019 plus mileage (55p per mile round trip from CV13 0DZ)

Full Day – Double Rate (Two Specialists)

The full day rate for two Specialists is £325.00 from Autumn 2019 plus mileage (£1.10 per mile round trip from CV13 0DZ)

Half days can incorporate some of the above sessions. The cost for ½ day is £180.00 from Autumn 2019 (55p per mile round trip from CV13 0DZ)

These rates are complete and there are no hidden costs. The day is fully risk assessed and this can be emailed upon request. Confirmation of booking is taken as a contract between the school and The Specialists and acceptance of our T & C’s.

Greg and Lisa McCarthy have many years of experience working with children. Greg is a teacher and Lisa a former Occupational Therapist in learning disabilities. Both have full CRB’s and public liability insurance.

Resources are meticulously researched and authentic to the period. We will bring real animal hide and animal bone objects. We understand if anyone is sensitive to this (Lisa is a vegetarian in real life!) but please be prepared. Our bone replica artefacts really are made of bone – not plastic!

Gregolf’s berserker bearskin was supplied by a Specialist Furrier and is ethically sourced as a cast off from the British Army, unsuitable for hat-making for the Footguards at Buckingham Palace. It is an exceptional piece and we understand if you would prefer us not to bring it on a visit. The learning points associated with it contribute immensely to the Raider session though and children are welcome to touch it.

Viking school visits for education. We provide a living history and reenactment service as historical interpreters focusing on the QCA Invaders and Settlers topic. As re-enactors, we use storytelling/Norse myths, songs, dance, writing using runes and artefacts such as toys and games, brooches, full viking raider kit etc. to bring the excitement of real history to your classroom.

Some of the locations we travel to for our Vikings workshops are:

East-Midlands, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Leamington, Leicester, Hinckley, Nottingham, Coventry, Birmingham, Tamworth, Derbyshire, , Chesterfield, Ilkeston, Swadlincote, Nottinghamshire, Derby, Mansfield, Worksop, Newark, Loughborough, Melton Mowbray, Coalville, Lutterworth, Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough, Nuneaton, Solihull, Warwick, Rugby, West Midlands.



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