A Brief History of the Sport of Bowling

 By: Jillian Smith
As the most popular sport during the reign of King Henry VIII of England, bowling is still one of the most popular sports in the world. Over 100 million bowlers from nearly 90 countries participate in the sport. The popularity of bowling has been traced back many years and the game has contributed benefits to many people world wide.

The memoirs of bowling start in 5200 B.C. when some archeologists unearthed ancient forms of bowling pins and balls in the crypt of a child with Egyptian lineage. This discovery proves that Egyptians were the earliest bowlers in the world.

From that time on, bowling has taken many forms, using different pins and balls and played for different purposes. For instance, during 200 A.D., it has been recorded that Germans were fond of festivities and "village dances" and that among their ancient rituals was a game that resembles bowling today.

In this particular German game, Germans rolled or threw rocks or stones at nine clubs that were made of wood. These clubs are known as "kegles", and that is why Germans who played this type of bowling were known as "keglers" and not bowlers.

After so many years of struggle for recognition, bowling was finally recognized in England as a form of sport during the 1100s.

From that time on, the popularity of bowling created an epidemic-like influence, infecting millions of people. King Edward III even prohibited the game so that his knights would focus their attention on the "archery practices" instead of rolling the balls.

By the 17th century, when the United States was still a colony, bowling was introduced in the area. The "Dutch" colonists brought this remarkable game to the Americans. They introduced a game of nine pins that are placed in a triangular formation, hence, the name "Dutch pins".

As the nine pins or the "Dutch" pins strived to claim fame, the state of Connecticut banned the playing of "nine-pin" bowling because some unscrupulous people used the game as a means for their gambling activities.

Connecticut then added an additional pin to the game, creating 10-pin bowling. This was the start of a new form of recreation as bowling continued to proliferate in the society. With this additional pin, this new form of bowling had definitely hit "the mark" and now many people all over the world continue to patronize the game.

With almost 50 million Americans playing the game, bowling is considered one of the most popular and pleasurable sports in the U.S.
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