[The Benefits of Bowling]
[Bowling for Weight Control]
[Bowling: A Noncontact Sport]
[Bowling: An Active Game]
[Playing the Game]
[Stance and Delivery]
[Action of the Ball]
candlepin game was introduced in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1890.
It was created by a billiard-room owner, Justin P. White, and a Billiard
expert John J. Monsey. Mr. Monsey was convinced that bowling should
not be all big balls and big pins, and it was his idea that a smaller
ball and pin would be more appropriate for the temperaments and physical
make-up of many bowlers.
The first candlepin was 11 inches high and tapered to an inch in diameter
at either end. The ball was made of wood, weighed about 2 pounds and was
3 inches in diameter. The lanes were the same as the tenpin alleys. From
the 60-foot distance the slender pins looked like the candles on a
birthday cake, and that is how they got their name.
Since the pins were set up as in the regulation tenpin game,
their slimness made the distance between them greater. That, combined with
the small size of the ball, would have made the game too difficult if the
creators had not thought of a counteracting feature. They decided to make
all fallen pins, or deadwood, playable as long as the pins remained on
the playing area.
The Game of candlepins spread throughout New England and the
Canadian Atlantic seaboard, replacing the skittle alleys, where
larger pins and disks rather than balls were used, together with a
different approach. The newer, more scientific game became so popular
that today it is played in such diverse places as California and
Candlepins is especially suited to women, children, and seniors. It also
challenges the skill and accuracy of male bowlers.
The Benefits of Bowling
Bowling has many benefits. Those who have never bowled should review them
before taking up this form of recreation. And those who do bowl, by
becoming more acquainted with them, will appreciated bowling all the
Bowling, first of all, is fun. It can also contribute to one's health and
well-being. The fundamentals of good health are proper diet and exercise.
How does bowling rate as a form of exercise? The energy expended in
bowling is 400 calories per hour, which is approximately that used in
swimming, rowing, and fencing, and appreciably more than in skating,
golf, and badminton. This indicates that bowling is neither
too-slow-moving nor too strenuous. It is therefore an excellent form of
exercise for both sexes and all ages.
In bowling, the arms, shoulders, and legs all receive a moderate amount
of exercise. Also to be considered are agility and endurance. According
to Dr. Arthur H. Steinhaus, dean and professor of physiology, bowling
requires only moderate agility and endurance. To bowl, one does not have
to be an athlete or go on a restricted training program. Nor is it
necessary to have the stamina to endure vigorous exercise. Any bowler can
play three games without evidence of exhaustion, and after the muscles
have been conditioned, it is possible to play many more in succession. It
is evident then, that bowling has no ill effects on those in generally
good health. On the contrary it is beneficial in the maintenance of
physical fitness and is recommended by physicians, nutritionists,
dietitians, and physical education directors.
Bowling for Weight Control
Only by a properly balanced combination of diet and exercise can one's
best weight be maintained. The daily consumption of a well-rounded diet,
in nutritionally recommended quantities, plus regular exercise, enables
one to lose pounds slowly, but surely until normal weight is reached.
Since bowling does not require great endurance and is,
therefore, naturally tiring but not exhausting, it is an excellent form
of exercise for those on a weight-reduction program.
Bowling: A Non contact Sport
Contact sports are obviously dangerous to some extent, depending on the
violence with which they are played. Since bowling is not a contact
sport, there are very few injuries, and those that occur are the result
of accident or carelessness. There are only two ways in which one might
get hurt while bowling, and both are easily avoided. One is by picking up
a ball from the rack the wrong way, in which case the fingers may be
pinched between the balls. The other is by dropping a ball on the
Neither of these injuries will occur if reasonable care is exercised.
Bowling: An Active Game
It may be well said that there are no dull moments in bowling. With two
players using two lanes, the action is continuous. Even if just one lane
is used, only a few minutes elapse between the action of each bowler, and
the bowler at rest is occupied watching his opponent and keeping score.
In baseball, several innings may pass with little or no action. Even in
hockey, which is considered the worlds fastest game, players spend much
time off the ice when relieved or for penalties. Both are largely
spectator sports. Bowling is primarily a participant sports. Whatever the
average of the players may be, every game is exciting to them. One does
not have to be a star to enjoys bowling. There is always the possibility
that the novice will get a strike. From the day you start to bowl, there
is always a thrill in seeing how many pins you can knock down and what
you score in each game.
Since bowling is an indoor sport, it can be played all year round. In the
past there was little bowling in hot weather, but with air conditioning
bowling is no longer seasonal.
In most sports you must purchase your own equipment. In bowling, however
this is not necessary. Balls are furnished by the establishment, and
shoes may be rented for a modest charge.
The nature of the game makes bowling always exciting. The distance from
the foul line, which separates the approach from the lane itself, to the
head pin is sixty feet. When you stand on the approach and look down the
lane, you realize that it is a long way -three or four time the length on
the average living room. Each time you take your stance with ball in
hand, it is a challenge. How many of the pins can you knock down? Will
you topple all the pins with your first ball for a strike or all with two
shots for a spare?
Although bowling is a precision game, there is just enough luck in it to
thrill the amateur, as well as the expert. Many a ball that doesn't hit
the pins just right will mix them up and result in a strike. It is always
possible that a ball delivered by the greenest beginner will knock down
all the pins. That is why bowling is as exciting for the amateur as for
Bowling is fundamentally a two-man game, though many can compete, as in
league play and tournaments. Essentially, however, it is one competitor
against another. Each game is interesting because the lead may change
back and forth from one frame, to the next. It is possible for a player
to lag behind for eight or nine frames and still come through to win. In
competition, players with approximately equal averages are paired off.
This insures interesting games because each contestant has the same chance
of winning. This rule should be observed in amateur as well as
professional bowling. By matching those whose average scores are about
the same, the tension of competition is kept at a high level. By playing
with bowlers in your own class, you can always, win or lose, enjoy a
An interesting feature of bowling is that it can be played
solitaire. Opponents are required in most other games, but in bowling
you can play against the best competition of all, yourself. Anytime you
feel like bowling, or try to improve your previous score, you needn't be
concerned about what the players on adjacent lanes are doing. You are out
to beat the most formidable of opponents- yourself. What's more, the
practice is bound to improve your game. You will eventually increase your
average, and when you go into active competition, you will gain the immense satisfaction
of a better showing. You always have the goal of becoming a better bowler.
Most bowlers play the game not only for its fun and excitement but
because it provides an excellent means of gathering socially. Bowling can
be played for only and hour, or for and afternoon or evening. It is
flexible in that various numbers can play. It may be enjoyed by a
twosome, or a group of four or more.
People in all trades and professions may be found at bowling
establishments. The game affords an opportunity to enlarge one's
acquaintance and circle of friends. Bowling, therefore, is a democratic,
pleasurable, and rewarding recreation - one enjoyed by millions.
Playing the Game
As in the tenpin and duckpin game, bowling shoes are required to protect
the approaches and insure proper footing.
The foul line must be observed at all times. It must be remembered that
candlepin bowling is a rolling game, and the ball must not be thrown. The
ball must be picked up carefully, with the thumb on the inside and the
fingers on the outer side.
The candlepin ball is 4 1/2 inches in diameter. The official maximum weight
of the ball is 2 pounds 7 ounces, while 2 pounds 5 or 6 ounces is the
most popular. The ball is gripped with the fingers and thumb, and held
firmly, away from the palm of the hand. It may be necessary to use a
smaller, lighter ball if your hands are small and your fingers shorter
than average. Pick up the ball in the handshake position.
Stance and Delivery
The stance should be a relaxed one, with the left foot 6 to 7 inches from
the right hand side of the lane, and 10 to 15 feet from the foul line.
Women may stand 10 feet away, children 6 feet from the line.
Your starting spot should permit you to finish your slide about 2 inches
from the foul line. The feet should be 3 or 4 inches apart, the right
foot extended slightly ahead of the left.
The delivery can be made with one, two, or three steps, but
the three-step method is the most commonly used. In this method, you start
on the left foot and end with a 3-foot slide on the same foot. The first
step is the push away from a chest-high position; the second step
coincides with the backswing of the ball arm. The third step is the
slide and downswing, followed by the release of the ball on the alley.
The push off, or downswing of the arm, starts with a slight bend at the
waist. The ball is carried in an arc from four 0'clock to nine o'clock,
with the backswing reaching shoulder level during the second step.
At the third step the body dips very definitely forward at the waist and
the knees also bend. The arm swings down and forward, preparing for
delivery. The hand is at the bottom of the ball, wrist firm and arm
straight. When the arm reaches the six o'clock position in the forward
swing, the slide begins, and hand and foot simultaneously reach a point
about 12 inches from the foul line. The left knee is bent, the body is
crouched, and the hand is within a fraction of an inch of the floor.
The ball is released close to the left ankle, reaching the floor of the
lane and starting its roll 6 to 12 inches from the foul line. Don't try
to throw the ball too fast or too high, and do not attempt hooks and
curves at the start.
The arm bends after release as it lifts to shoulder level,
stretched toward the target. The extended back leg swings slightly
behind the front one, and the body is comfortably balanced.
Action of the Ball
Although candlepin bowlers use straight balls, hooks, curves, and
backups, the straight ball is the most suitable for the beginners. The
backup is the most difficult to learn, the curve the hardest to control.
The straight, or cross-alley ball, is delivered from the right side
of the lane, aimed into the 1-3 pocket so as to strike the pins at
an angle. The ball is rolled off the fingertips, with the back of
the hand toward the floor, the wrist kept straight.
The break ball is twisted as it leaves the hand, by raising and pressing
the little finger against it.
The English that results angles the ball to strike the pins from the side
instead of head on.
The hook, or working ball, is one that travels straight down the lane, 9
to 10 inches from the right-hand gutter, and hooks sharply a few feet
from the head pin. The hook is achieved by a twist of the fingers along
the right-side of the ball upon release.