Monday, October 29, 2007

Bowling Games

Most people know bowling. Everyone has played the sport or had seen one. But what people don’t know perhaps is there are several versions of bowling games, each of them equally entertaining in their own right.

To categorize the existing bowling games, it falls under two types. Knock-down types includes ten-pin, nine-pin and five-pin, which the main game objective is knocking down a number of pins in a least number of rolls. Target types involve determining a target and getting a ball as close to the target by either throwing or rolling the ball.

Of the bowling games variants, there are several, and they are:

The Ten-pin
Ten-pin is the most played bowling variant around the world. An estimate of 100 million people plays bowling which is the highest estimate for any sport except soccer, and a majority 80% plays exclusively ten-pins. In fact, corporate entrepreneurs like the AMF Bowling made colossal profits when they introduced the fully automatic pinsetter to the gaming public. As the name implies, this game uses ten pins, a ten pin alley, and a bowling ball.

The Nine-Pin
The nine-pin, also called as Skittles, is most standard version of the sport. This game is often played in pubs and bars. It is a country sport that is very popular in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and some particular regions of the British Isles. Skittles are played in a skittle alley, and use a single set of nine pins. The balls are smaller than that of a ten-pin game, but there are other versions that use a round flat wooden discus called as a ‘cheese’ in place of a ball.

The Five-pin
This 1909 bowling variant is a spin off from the nine-pin to offer a chance for casual bowlers to play bowling in a shorter time. By using smaller balls (the size of a fist) the game progresses very fast. The five-pin game also allows the balls to be thrown in a quick succession. This game variant is especially popular in Canada.

Candlepin bowling
Another spin off of the nine-pin game, though this game is mostly confined to parts of the United States. Candlepin bowling has no real differences between the other types of its genre except that it uses more slender pins and during turns, the fallen pins aren’t cleared away.

Bowls and Petanque
Bowls, also known as Lawn Bowling or Bocce, is an example of target bowling. It is a precision sport where the objective is to roll the ball (called ‘bowls’) as close to the ‘target’ white ball (called ‘jack’). Bowls is the most widespread of the bowling target games and is popular in the UK and most parts of Europe.

Petanque is a form of bowls that is very popular in France, particularly in Provence. It is also the mostly played sport in Marseilles. Though not much different from bowls, the only difference would be that Petanque is played with a shortened pitch, and the moving delivery of bowls was changed to a stationary one of Petanque.

Because of the minimal physical activity and the unhurried pace of bowling games, bowling has become a popular participant sport especially for the elderly. But the seemingly unhurried pace of bowling games did still attract scores of young players. In fact, younger crowd dominates professional competition for this sport.