Modern bowling began in northern Italy as a game called â€œbowlsâ€. The game later spread to Germany, Holland,
and England, where it was played on grass (the bowling green) and was known as nine pins. The Dutch brought the
game to America in the early 1600s, where it was played on grass or clay and later on a single board.
The game in America was very popular, especially among people who like to bet on the game. Nine-pins were so
closely linked to gambling that several states banned it in the 1840s. In response to the prescribed law players
added one pin to make the game 10 pins so they could continue to bowl and gamble.
In 1895 the American Bowling Congress, which continues to govern all of the rules of bowling, was organized.
Bowling hit its pinnacle of popularity when it became an official Olympic event during the summer games in 1992.
Bowling balls are constructed of synthetic plastic or hardened rubber and have a circumference not more than 27
inches. The official ball weighs between 8 and 16 pounds and usually has three bored holes to assist the bowler in
controlling the path of the ball.
Bowling lanes are constructed of hard maple wood or laminated surfaces. The bowling lane is 63 feet long and 42
inches wide. It is 60 feet long from foul line to the first pin. Range finders or spots are engraved in to the lane 10
to 15 feet down the lane and are used to help the bowler aim the ball toward the pins. Attached to both sides of the
lane are 9-inch wide channels or gutters to catch errantly thrown balls. Additionally, a 15-foot approach or runway
prior to the lane provides a delivery area for the bowler. The foul line separates the approach and the lane, crossing
the foul line results in no points for the bowler. Bowling pins are 15 inches high with a Â¼ inch base. They are
placed at the end of the lane in an equilateral triangle design; the center of each pin is 12 inches from the next pin.
A line or game is composed of 10 frames.