The GKTBA is sanctioned with the Canadian Tenpin Federation and affiliated with the Ontario Tenpin Bowling Association
Greater Kingston Tenpin Bowling Association
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Greater Kingston Tenpin Bowling Association
About Ten Pin Bowling
Bowling Facts/Info
Brief History of Bowling
What is ten pin bowling?
Ten pin bowling is a competitive and recreational sport in which the player, called a bowler, attempts to knock down as many pins as possible by rolling a ball along a smooth path called a bowling lane. On either side of the bowling lane are two gutters which run the entire length of the lane. These gutters prevent bowling balls that have left the playing area from returning to the lane and knocking over pins. A bowler is provided with ten frames, which make up a complete game. Each frame allows the bowler to roll a maximum of two rolls per frame, except in the tenth frame where an extra shot can be earned by striking or sparing.
1- Bowling is played in 90 countries around the world and located in all 5 Olympic Zones.
2- With more than 100 Million participants and 10 Million competitors, bowling is one of the largest and best organized sports in the world.
3- The bowling industry spends a much larger amount of money each year on airlines, restaurants, hotels and rental cars, and has far more registered, due-paying participants than any other sport.
4- Bowling is for people of all ages. People as young as 3 and as old as 100 are regular participants.
5- Over 35% of people who bowl 25 times a year or more are over the age of 45.
In the 1930's, Sir Flinders Petrie, along with a team of archaeologists, discovered very primitive objects resembling
bowling balls and pins in the grave of a young Egyptian boy. Their findings would date back to 5200 B.C. and would be the earliest known historical record of bowling. The first written reference to bowling dates back to 1366 when, King Edward III of England, banned his troops from playing the game so that they could focus more on archery practice. It is believed that King Henry VIII bowled using cannon balls. Some people argue these findings and say that bowling originated in Germany around 300 A.D.

In Germany, the game of Kegal expanded. Keglars roll balls at nine pins or "skittles". Nine pin bowling was introduced to America from Europe during the Colonial era and was similar to the game of Kegal. The Dutch, English and Germans all brought their own versions of the game and it would continue to enjoy popularity, but not without conflict. In 1841, a Connecticut law prohibited ninepin bowling lanes due to high levels of gambling and crime. It is believed that the addition of a tenth pin was the way to get around the nine pin bowling prohibition, which resulted in the game of ten pin bowling we play today. Many people installed bowling lanes in the basements of their homes.

On September 9, 1895 at Beethoven Hall in New York City, the American Bowling Congress (ABC) was born. This would mean that the standardization of equipment and playing surfaces would be implemented. Soon after, Major National Championships could be held. Although the ABC was strictly a men's organization, the later half of the 19th Century would show that women were regular participants in the sport of bowling. So in 1917, the Women's International Bowling Congress (WIBC) was formed in St. Louis.

Bowling balls would suddenly take a giant step forward in 1905, when the Brunswick Corporation introduced it's first rubber ball called the Evertrue. Before then, bowling balls were made out of Lignum Vitae, a very hard wood. And in 1914, the Brunswick Corporation would successfully introduce the Mineralite, a bowling ball made using their mysterious rubber compound. Bowling continued to be played for years with the assistance of the pin-boy, someone who would manually set up bowling pins and return the ball to the bowler. But bowling would suddenly take a huge leap and the industry would explode with the invention of the Automatic Pinspotter.

The inventor, Fred Schmidt, enjoyed mechanics and tinkering with gadgets. He built his own backyard workshop and built the first automatic pinspotter. Morehead Patterson, a Vice-President of the American Machine Foundry (AMF), purchased the patents and designs to the pinspotter. Plans for production were delayed due to World War II, but at the completion of hostilities, AMF again pursued the invention. They made certain modifications and improvements and the pinspotter went on the market. The first commercial installation was made in Michigan, 1951. By late 1952, production models were being introduced. No longer did bowling centres have to rely on a pin-boy, as a few higher paid mechanics could keep several lanes functioning for many hours each day. In 1955, the Brunswick Corporation released it's Automatic Pinsetter design.

The television age of the 1950's would also help increase popularity towards the sport. In 1958, the Professional Bowlers Association was founded by Eddie Elias and their Pro Bowlers Tour would become a permanent part of televisions ABC's Wide World of Sports. Other popular television programs were Championship Bowling, Bowling for Dollars, Make that Spare and Celebrity Bowling. Bowling is one of the world's oldest and most participated sports. Today, the sport of bowling is enjoyed by 100 Million people across the world and is played in 90 countries. Whether your 3 or 103, bowling is for you! If you haven't been bowling, what are you waiting for!?



© 2004-2018 Greater Kingston Tenpin Bowling Association
Information provided from research by Matt Barrett