10 Crazy (But True) Facts about Bowling


We’ve scoured the web to find 10 fun facts that you probably never knew about bowling.

  1. In the 1930’s a British anthropologist named Sir Flinders Petrie some objects in a child’s grave in Egypt that looked to be an early form of bowling. No one knows for sure if his theory was correct…but if so that would date bowling back to 3200 BC. 
  2. In 1366 it is said that King Edward III outlawed bowling so that his troops would stay focused on practicing archery.
  3. Early variations of the game included the player using a ball without holes. They would put the ball between their legs and then slide on their stomach to push the ball towards the pins.
  4. In 1841 Connecticut made bowling illegal because it was often a source of gambling.
  5. Bowling balls were made of wood until 1905.
  6. In 1948, as a birthday present for President Harry Truman, bowling lanes were built on in the West Wing of the White House. President Richard Nixon had a new bowling lane installed in the White House in 1969. He and his wife loved to bowl.
  7. In some old German religious ceremonies a pin at the end of a lane was meant to be knocked over by rolling a rock towards the pin. If the pin was knocked over the player was forgiven for their sins.
  8. Bowling started as a 9 pin game. It is said that the 10 pin game started to revive bowling since the 9 pin game had been outlawed many paces because of it’s link to gambling & drinking. In fact it is still banned in every state except for Texas.
  9. In 1520, Martin Luther (Protestant Reformation) was the one that set the number of pins to 9. Before that the number of pins varied from 3 to 17.
  10. The first indoor bowling alley called “Knickerbocker Alleys” in New York City was built in 1840.


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