Bowling Game Variations and Types


Most Americans are familiar with the game of ten pin bowling, which is the most common bowling game in the U.S. Several different variations of the game of bowling exist, where pins are knocked over with a ball. We will show you the most common types of bowling games people play.

Ten Pin Bowling
Ten pin is just one type of bowling game.

Ten pin is the most popular bowling game played in the United States. A game of ten pin involves ten pins that are 15 inches tall and 4.7 inches wide. The pins are set up in triangle at the base of a long wooden or synthetic alley or lane. The headpin is 60 feet from the foul line. The game has ten frames and each player gets two chances to knock down all of the pins. Each pin is a point, strikes (knocking all pins down with one shot) get 10 points plus the next two shots, and a spare(knocking all pins in a frame over, but using both shots to do it) is 10 points for the frame plus your next ball.

Another variation of bowling is no tap bowling and it is almost exactly the same as ten pin except for one rule. That rule is that on your first roll of the ball, if you take down nine pins, it is called a strike. This is the closest variation to ten pin bowling.

Duckpin Bowling

Duckpin bowling is also very popular on the east coast of the U.S.A. This is another variation of ten pin bowling except the ball and the pins are smaller. The rules play the same as ten pin. Duckpins are smaller in height and width. The balls used in duckpin can be up to 3 pounds 12 ounces at most.

Five Pin Bowling

Canadians also have their own style of bowling called five pin bowling. By having only five pins the game play is faster. The pins are set in a v pattern. Each pin has assigned points from two to five that depends on the placement in the v. Each player then has 3 chances to knock down as many pins as they can. In this variation they also place rubber band around the neck of the pins for more reaction and spin. Smaller balls are used to gain more speed to knock down more pins.

Candlepin Bowling

There is another variation played mainly in New England and parts of northern Canada called candlepin bowling. Once again the main difference between ten pin and candlepin is the size of the balls and pins. The balls are smaller and do not have holes, the candlepin is smaller in weight but bigger in height. Like five pin bowling, the ball is thrown 3 times rather than twice. After each throw of the balls and the candlepins are left where they lie. This makes the game somewhat harder. The rules change a little to add a lob line which is a dark lane 10 feet down from the foul line. Your ball has to be touching the lane before it gets to the lob line. Any ball that does not touch down before the lob line will not be counted in the final scoring.

Bowling has many variations and styles of games and these are just a few popular and similar to ten pin. Bowling is fun in all of its different forms and rules. The main objective is to play learn and enjoy. Whatever types of bowling you are into make every game your best game.

For great tips and secrets to improve your ten pin game, check out The Ultimate Bowling Guide, which is the best guide to improve your bowling skills that we have ever read. It has all the information you need to become a great bowler, and has helped countless others.

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Bowling Trivia:

Bowling in its nine pin form was imported in to the USA by Dutch settlers where it caught on.