How Bowling Began

    “How Bowling Began,” Friend, Feb. 1975, 38

    How Bowling Began

    Seven thousand years ago Egyptian boys and girls played a game with a ball and pins that was similar to bowling. Today bowling is one of the most popular sports of all those played indoors. Young and old from many countries around the world enjoy this sport.

    Seventeen hundred years ago bowling was a religious ceremony in Germany. In those days if a person bowled the ball and knocked a pin down, he was leading a good life. But if he did not knock a pin down, it meant that he needed to be better.

    Several centuries later, Martin Luther built a lane for his children to use for bowling. It was Luther’s idea to use nine pins in a game.

    The Dutch, Swiss, and Spaniards all played games much like bowling. In 1623 lawn bowling was introduced in New York City by the Dutch. Two hundred years later, the game of tenpins was played there.

    In the 1930s Fred Schmidt invented a device that gathered up bowling pins and set them up in their correct positions. As this handy machine gained in popularity, young boys were no longer needed to work as pinboys.

    To learn to bowl is not difficult but it takes much practice to become good at this exciting game. After learning the proper way to control the ball so that it will roll down the lane instead of into the side gutters, you may even be able to knock down all the pins. When you do, it is called a strike.

    A strike in baseball is not very good and after three strikes you are counted “out.” In bowling, however, if you manage three strikes in a game, you are on your way to becoming a champion player.

    Illustrated by Howard Post