HomeBowling5 Different Types of Bowling (Explained: All You Need To Know)

5 Different Types of Bowling (Explained: All You Need To Know)

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What are the different types of bowling games?

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Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!

Let me explain to you the different types of bowling games so you know all about it!

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Types of Bowling Overview

Bowling has a long history spanning thousands of years.

During this time, many types of bowling games have evolved around the world.

In the United States, the most common variation of bowling is 10-pin bowling where a bowler’s objective is to toss over ten pins by rolling a bowling ball of 16 pounds.

Since you’re here to know what are the different types of bowling game variations.

5 Common Types of Bowling

What are the most common types of bowling?

10-Pin Bowling

10-pin bowling, also simply known as “bowling”, is probably the most popular type of bowling in the United States.

The official rules of 10-pin bowling have been adopted by the American Bowling Congress in 1895.

Here are the main characteristics of 10-pin bowling:

  • The ball is heavy ranging from 6 to 16 pounds and has three finger holes
  • The pins are made of wood or plastic and must weigh between 3 pounds 6 ounces and 3 pounds 10 ounces, must measure 15” in height and 4.7” in width 
  • The ten pins are arranged in the form of a triangle known as the frame
  • There are 10 frames in one game
  • Each player gets 2 turns unless the player rolls a strike

9-Pin Bowling

The 9-pin bowling, or kegel, is another variation of the game of bowling where there are 9 pins to roll over instead of 10.

The game is quite different from 10-pin bowling although you only have 1 pin short of the 10-pin.

This game was quite popular in the United States until the early 20th century.

However, since the government associated this game with organized crime and gambling, it eventually declared the game to be illegal.

Here are the main characteristics of 9-pin bowling:

  • The ball is smaller than the 10-pin bowling ball
  • The pins are placed in a diamond shape with a red pin in the middle 
  • Every game is manually placed by a human pin-setter
  • There are 6 frames in a game
  • Each player gets 2 turns whether or not all the pins are rolled over 

The differences with 10-pin bowling are: 

  • There is no individual score per player 
  • There are six players per team
  • Each player gets 2 turns
  • The 9 pins are not reset between each player 
  • The player gets the pins as they were left by the previous player

5-Pin Bowling

5-pin bowling is a type of bowling that is played in Canada.

5-pin bowling was formed in 1909 by a Canadian bowling center trying to change the 10-pin game around to resolve bowler complaints.

The idea was to remove 5 of the 10 pins to make the game easier for the bowlers.

If you score a perfect game in 5-pin, you can achieve a 450 point game.

In this game, the bowling pins are arranged in a “V” shape where the players are required to hit the center pin in an attempt to throw down all the pins.

Here are the main characteristics of 5-pin bowling:

  • The balls are small fitting in one’s hand and there are no finger holes
  • The pins are smaller than 10-pin pins having a rubber hand around their middle 
  • There are 10 frames per game
  • Each player gets 3 turns

Candlepin Bowling

Candlepin bowling is a type of bowling game that was first seen in Massachusetts in the 1880s.

This game is different than classic 10-pin bowling particularly in that the pins are not arranged in a triangular formation.

In fact, there are two horizontal rows of pins where there are 3 pins on the front row and 7 in the back row.

The pins are long and cylindrical in shape.

If you score a perfect game of candlepin, you can achieve a total score of 300 points although the highest score ever recorded by a player was 245.

Here are the main characteristics of candlepin bowling:

  • The balls are very small weighing 2 pounds 7 ounces and with a 4.5” diameter
  • The pins are thin having a cylindrical shape placed in a triangular shape like 10-pin bowling
  • There are 10 frames per game
  • Each player gets 3 turns 

Duckpin Bowling

Duckpin bowling is a type of bowling sort of between 10-pin bowling and the duckpin.

Duckpin is actually quite similar to the 10-pin version of the game with only slight changes.

The pins are shorter and appear fatter than the 10-pin pins and the pin is only 9 inches high.

Due to the shape and size of the pins, it’s harder to hit a strike in duckpin bowling than in 10-pin bowling.

Here are the main characteristics of duckpin bowling:

  • The ball weighs 3.75 pounds and does not have finger holes
  • The pins are shorter and wider 
  • There are 10 frames per game
  • Each player gets 3 turns

Types of Bowling Games Takeaways

There you have it folks!

What are the types of bowling?

Bowling exists for a long time, it’s actually a very old sport in history going back thousands of years.

Over the years, many different variations of the game have evolved bringing joy and fun to many.

Today, the most common types of bowling games are:

  • 10-pin bowling 
  • 9-pin bowling 
  • 5-pin bowling
  • Candlepin bowling
  • Duckpin bowling 

Now that you know what are the types of bowling out there, pick one and enjoy the game!

Good luck!

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Editorial Staffhttps://bowling.zone
Hello Nation! My name is Amir! I started this blog to provide all you bowling fans and enthusiasts with useful content, information, and resources on bowling. No matter if you are doing this as a hobby or professionally, I hope you could find what you're looking for. Enjoy!


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