I did not know bowling dated back to BC times. I was a bit shocked when I saw its history. I wanted to share some information about this really old sport.
Bowling is one of the oldest and most popular games in the world. Bowling is a sport that can be dated back to circa 3200 BC. In the 1930's, a British anthropologist named Sir Flinders Petrie discovered a collection of objects in a child's grave in Egypt that appeared to be used for a primitive form of bowling. There was a crude version of the bowling ball and pins that were all sized for a child and were very primitive. This find was discovered along with a couple of artifacts that could actually be dated back to 3200BC. This makes the origin of bowling more than 5000 years old!
The next historical bowling related find was in Germany by a historian named William Pehle whom said that there was evidence of bowling in Germany around 300AD. England took the reins about 1366 as bowling was forbidden by King Edward III. The game was taking archery practice away from his troops. It is also known that Henry VIII brought bowling back. Several types of "pin games" started to exist where balls were hurled towards objects for points. These objects were somewhat pin shaped but crude renditions of modern day bowling pin design and shape. As you can see, the history of bowling is rich and deep.
There are several different games that resemble modern bowling, there are ninepin variations in Europe and Petanque is popular in France. Bocce ball originates in Italy and is similar to British lawn bowling. Dutch and English immigrants each brought their version of bowling with them from their country's to the United States also. In America, the very first mention of the word "bowling" is found in the book Rip Van Winkle, a famous story by Washington Irving, who gets woken up by the sound of "crashing ninepins" that was published during 1812.
The equipment used for bowling also had a great advance in technology as far as the first rubber ball, made in 1905 called the "Evertrue" was introduced. The Brunswick Corporation in 1914 developed a ball using what was called "mineralite". The balls before this new "mysterious rubber compound" had been made mostly of hard wood. With the ball standardized, in 1951 the America Machine and Foundry Company purchased patents to eliminate the "pinboy", a person responsible for setting up the pins, by adding an automatic "pinspotter" in 1952. After these innovations in the sport, media embraced bowling by the 50's and NBC had "Championship Bowling", the first airing of network coverage of bowling. Bowling for Dollars and several others followed. The sport of bowling grew and grew because of all the media attention.
The fifties were the decade of the bowler but we have a new spin on the old days with things like "lunar bowling" with all black lights and "prize bowling". The truth is, bowling is still growing today and we are forming the way people will bowl in the future. Sports like bowling are hard to keep up with because it is constantly changing. People think of new and unusual ways of bowling and scoring every day. Ninety five million people across ninety countries still bowl every day. In the Federation Nationale des Quilleurs, bowling's best athletes regularly compete in Olympic Games and worldwide competitions and championships.
Bowling today remains one of the best activities for bonding with friends. It's always a good time getting together with friends and family for a little friendly bowling competition. As always, have fun bowling out there.