HomeBowlingWhen Was Bowling Invented (Explained: All You Need To Know)

When Was Bowling Invented (Explained: All You Need To Know)

Looking for When Was Bowling Invented?

Curious to know when it all started?

What are the essential elements you should know!

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

Let me explain to you when did bowling start once and for all!

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

When Was Bowling Invented

Bowling is a wonderful game that many of us play today.

However, did you ever wonder when bowling was invented?

What we know is that bowling has a long history and may go back thousands of years.

However, there are different theories out there relating to when bowling was first invented.

Ancient Bowling Egyptian Origins

According to historians, evidence suggests that bowling was invented back in ancient Egyptian time approximately 3,200 BC.

Sir Flinders Petrie, a British anthropologist, discovered in the 1930s a series of objects in an Egyptian child’s grave that looked like an early form of bowling objects.

Sir Petrie essentially found nine pieces of stone were to be set up as pins at which you would roll a ball that was to roll through an archway designed with three pieces of marble.

If this evidence is conclusive, then we can situate the ancient game of bowling to about 3,200 BC in Egypt.

Ancient Bowling Polynesian Origin

Another theory relating to when bowling started is that it originates in the Polynesian game of Ula Maika.

Dr. Malcolm Roger, the curator of the San Diego museum, indicated that the South Sea Island inhabitants participated in an ancient game of bowling as well.

Ula Maika is a game where you use a small elliptical ball and round flat discs of about 3.5” to 4” in diameter.

What’s particular about this game is that the ball was rolled 60 feet from the target. 

This actually is the distance used today in tenpin bowling.

Ancient Bowling Roman Origin

Some suggest that an ancient form of bowling has evolved within the Roman empire as early as 2,000 years ago.

It appears that Roman soldiers used to throw a stone at objects where they tried to get them as close as possible to other stone objects.

It is suggested that over time, this ancient form of bowling evolved into the Italian game “Bocce” which is essentially outdoor bowling.

Ancient Bowling Asia Minor Origin

According to Herodotus, bowling was invented by the Lydians in Asia Minor.

Modern Bowling German Origin

According to William Pehle, a German historian, it appears that the modern game of bowling was first invented at approximately 300 AD in Germany.

In essence, the Germans invented bowling not to be played as a sport but to perform certain religious ceremonies.

It is found that as early as the 3rd century AD, parishioners placed Kegels (or clubs) at the end of a runway at which a stone was rolled.

They considered the Kegel to represent Heide (or “heathen”) and the parishioners that were able to successfully hit the Kegels down the runway were able to cleanse their sins.

If Mr. Pehle’s theory is correct, then we can say that modern bowling originates in Germany in approximately 300 AD.

Modern Bowling In the United States

As European settlers started coming to the United States, they brought their bowling game with them.

The first recorded game of bowling in North America comes from the depiction of Dutch settlers playing the game in New York in the 1670s.

At first, the Americans used wooden balls made of lignum vitae wood and oak.

Then, in 1819, bowling was first mentioned in American literature in Rip Van Winkle (a tale by Washington Irving) where he talks about “crashing nine pins”.

In the 1820s, the modern bowling that we know today started being played in bowling halls across the nation boosted by gambling.

When Did Bowling Start Takeaways

There you have it folks!

When was bowling first invented?

When did bowling originate?

Bowling is an awesome game.

There are more than 67 million people in the United States alone that play bowling in any given year and 1.2 million compete on a regular basis.

You wanted to know when was bowling invented and in this article, I have broken down this question to both ancient bowling and modern bowling.

As you can see, there are different theories of when bowling could have been invented.

However, the most credible research appears to suggest that bowling comes from Egypt going as far back as 3,200 BC.

Now that you know when bowling was invented, good luck with your research.

If you are curious about bowling and want to learn more about this amazing sport, be sure to check out this site.

Let’s look at a summary of our findings.

When Was Bowling Invented Overview

  • 3,200 BC, evidence found in an Egyptian child’s tombstone suggests that the Egyptians played an ancient form of bowling 
  • 300 AD, the Germans may have used a variation of the game of bowling to conduct religious ceremonies (not played as a sport)
  • 2,000 years ago, a rough form of bowling appears to have originated in the Roman empire played by soldiers using stones
  • Modern bowling in the United States appears to have come to the country as early as the 1670s introduced by the German, British, Dutch settlers
Candle pin bowling 
Crashing ninepins 
Duck pin bowling
Five pin bowling
Lawn bowling 
Nine pin bowling
Ten pin bowling
What is a pin game 
What is skittles 
When did bowling become popular 
When was the bowling ball invented
When were bowling alleys invented
When were bowls invented
4 strikes in a row 
5 different types of bowling
900 series 
Bowling ball brands
Bowling ball weight 
Bowling lane dimensions 
Dutch 200
Perfect bowling score
Strike and spare
Types of bowling
What is a spare
What is a split 
What is a strike
What is Bocce
What is boules 
What is carpet bowls 
What is curling 
What is lawn bowling 
What is petanque
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!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Editor's Pick