Bowling refers to a series of sports or leisure activities in which a player rolls or throws a bowling ball towards a target. It is one of the major forms of throwing sports. In pin bowling variations, the target is usually to knock over pins at the end of a lane. When all the pins are knocked down on the first roll, this is a strike. In target variations, the aim is usually to get the ball as close to a mark as possible. The pin version of bowling is often played on a flat wooden or other synthetic surface (which can be oiled in different patterns for different techniques), while in target bowling, the surface may be grass, gravel or a synthetic surface. The most common types of pin bowling include ten-pin, nine-pin, candlepin, duckpin and five-pin bowling, while in target bowling, bowls, skittles, kegel, bocce, carpet bowls, pétanque, and boules, both indoor and outdoor varieties are popular. Today the sport of bowling is played by 100 million people in more than 90 countries worldwide (including 70 million in the United States), and continues to grow through entertainment media such as video games for home consoles and handheld devices.
- 1 History
- 2 Variations
- 3 Health benefits
- 4 Accessibility
- 5 In popular culture
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
From prehistory through the Middle Ages
The earliest known forms of bowling date to ancient Egypt and the ancient Roman empire. Remnants of balls used at the time were found among artifacts in ancient Egypt going back to 3200 BC  Balls were made using the husks of grains, covered in material such as leather, and bound with string. Other balls made of porcelain or even plastic have also been found, indicating that these were rolled along the ground rather than thrown due to their size and weight. Some of these resemble the modern day jack used in target bowl games. Bowling games of different forms are also noted by Herodotus as an invention of the Lydians in Asia Minor. About 2,000 years ago a similar game evolved between Roman legionaries entailing the tossing of stone objects as close as possible to other stone objects, which eventually evolved into Italian Bocce, or outdoor bowling.
About 400 AD bowling began in Germany as a religious ritual to cleanse oneself from sin by rolling a rock into a club (kegel) representing the heathen, causing bowlers to be called keglers.
In 1299 the oldest known bowling green for target style bowling to survive to modern times was built, Master's Close (now the Old Bowling Green of the Southampton Bowling Club) in Southampton, England; it is still in use.
In the 15th-17th centuries lawn bowling spread from Germany into Austria, Switzerland, and the Low Countries, with playing surfaces made of cinders or baked clay.
To the 19th century
In 1511 English King Henry VIII (an avid bowler) banned bowling for the lower classes, imposing a levy for private lanes to limit them to the wealthy. Another English law passed in 1541 (repealed in 1845) prohibited workers from bowling except on Christmas, and only in their master's home and in his presence. In 1530 he acquired Whitehall Palace in central London as his new residence, having it extensively rebuilt complete with outdoor bowling lanes, indoor tennis court, jousting tiltyard, and cockfighting pit.
About 1520 Protestant Reformation founder Martin Luther set the number of pins (which varied from 3 to 17) at nine, and built a bowling lane next to his home for his children, sometimes rolling a ball himself.
On 19 July 1588 English Vice-Admiral Sir Francis Drake allegedly was playing bowls at Plymouth Hoe when the arrival of the Spanish Armada was announced, replying "We have time enough to finish the game and beat the Spaniards too."
In 1609 Dutch East India Company explorer Henry Hudson discovered Hudson Bay, bringing Dutch colonization to New Amsterdam (later New York); Hudson's men brought some form of lawn bowling with them.
In 1617 English King James I published Declaration of Sports, banning bowling on Sundays but permitting dancing and archery for those first attending an Anglican service, outraging Puritans; it was reissued in 1633 by his successor Charles I, then ordered publicly burned in 1643 by the Puritan Parliament.
In 1670 Dutchmen liked to bowl at the Old King’s Arms Tavern near modern-day 2nd and Broadway in New York City.
In 1733 Bowling Green in New York City was built on the site of a Dutch cattle market and parade ground, becoming the city's oldest public park to survive to modern times.
In the 19th century
On 1 January 1840 Knickerbocker Alleys in New York City opened, becoming the first indoor bowling alley.
In 1846 the oldest surviving bowling lanes in the United States were built as part of Roseland Cottage, the summer estate of Henry Chandler Bowen (1831-1896) in Woodstock, Connecticut. The lanes, now part of Historic New England's Roseland Cottage House Museum contain Gothic Revival architectural elements in keeping with the style of the entire estate.
In 1848 the Revolutions of 1848 resulted in accelerated German immigration to the U.S., reaching 5 million by 1900, bringing their love of beer and bowling with them; by the late 19th century they made New York City a center of bowling.
In 1848 the Scottish Bowling Association for lawn bowling was founded in Scotland by 200 clubs; it was dissolved then refounded in 1892.
In 1875 the National Bowling Association (NBA) was founded by 27 local clubs in New York City to standardize rules for ten-pin bowling, setting the ball size and the distance between the foul line and the pins, but failing to agree on other rules; it was superseded in 1895 by the American Bowling Congress.
In the 1880s Brunswick Corporation (founded 1845) of Chicago, Illinois, maker of billiard tables began making bowling balls, pins, and wooden lanes to sell to taverns installing bowling alleys; it left the bowling business in 2014.
On 9 September 1895 the modern standardized rules for ten-pin bowling were established in New York City by the new American Bowling Congress (ABC) (later the United States Bowling Congress), who changed the scoring system from a maximum 200 points for 20 balls to a maximum 300 points for 10 balls, and set the maximum ball weight at 16 lbs. and pin distance at 12 inches. The first ABC champion (1906-1921) was Jimmy Smith (1885-1948). In 1927 Mrs. Floretta "Doty" McCutcheon (1888-1967) defeated Smith in an exhibition match, founding a school that taught 500,000 women how to bowl. In 1993 women were allowed to join the ABC. In 2005 the ABC merged with the Women's International Bowling Congress (WIBC) et al. to become the United States Bowling Congress (USBC).
The ABC initially used bowling bowls made of Lignum vitae hardwood from the Caribbean, which were eventually supplanted by the Ebonite rubber bowling ball (1905) and the Brunswick Mineralite rubber ball (1914). In 1980 urethane bowling balls were introduced by Ebonite.
In the 20th century
In 1903 D. Peifer of Chicago, Illinois invented a handicap method for bowling.
Rules for target bowls evolved separately in each of the other countries that adopted the predominantly British game. In 1905 the International Bowling Board was formed; its constitution adopted the laws of the Scottish Bowling Association, with variations allowed at the individual country level.
In 1909 the first ten-pin bowling alley in Europe was installed in Sweden, but the game failed to catch on in the rest of Europe until after World War II. Meanwhile, ten-pin bowling caught on in Great Britain after hundreds of bowling lanes were installed on U.S. military bases during World War II.
In 1913 the monthly Bowlers Journal was founded in Chicago, Illinois, continuing to publish to the present day.
In late 1916 the Women's International Bowling Congress (WIBC) (originally the Woman's National Bowling Association) was founded in Saint Louis, Missouri, merging with the United States Bowling Congress in 2005.
On 2 October 1921 the annual Petersen Open Bowling Tournament (a.k.a. The Pete) was first held in Chicago, Ill., becoming bowling's richest tournament of the day. In 1998 it was taken over by AMF.
In 1926 the International Bowling Association (IBA) was formed by the U.S., Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, and Finland, holding four world championships by 1936.
On 20 August 1939 the National Negro Bowling Association was founded in Detroit, Michigan, dropping Negro from the title in 1944 and opening membership to all races, reaching 30,000 members in 2007.
About 1950 the Golden Age of Ten-Pin Bowling began, in which professional bowlers made salaries rivaling those of baseball, football, and hockey players; it ended in the late 1979s.
In 1950-1951 the ABC and WIBC opened membership to blacks.
In 1951 the first ABC Masters tournament was held, becoming one of the four majors in 2000.
In 1952 the Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ) was founded in Hamburg, Germany to coordinate international amateur competition in nine-pin and ten-pin bowling. In 1954 the first FIQ World Bowling Championships were held in Helsinki, Finland. In 1979 the International Olympic Committee recognized it as the official world governing body for bowling. In 2014 it changed its name to World Bowling.
In 1952 American Machine and Foundry (AMF) of Brooklyn, N.Y. began marketing automatic Pinsetter machines, eliminating the need for pinboys and causing bowling to rocket in popularity, making the 1950s the Decade of the Bowler.
In 1958 the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) was founded in Akron, Ohio by Don Carter, Dick Weber, Dick Hoover, Buzz Fazio, Carmen Salvino, Glenn Allison et al., reaching 4,300 members in 14 countries worldwide. In 1975 Earl Anthony became the first PBA member with $100,000 yearly earnings, and the first to reach $1,000,000 total earnings in 1982. In 2000 it was purchased by former executives of Microsoft, who moved the PBA headquarters to Seattle, Washington.
In 1960 the Professional Women's Bowling Association (PWBA) was founded as the first professional women's bowling association; it went defunct in 2003.
In 1960 the National Bowling League (NBL) was founded to compete with the PBA, signing name players including Billy Welu and Buzz Fazio, but failing to sign top star Don Carter, after which failure to get a TV contract caused it to fold after its first championship in 1962.
On 3–10 November 1963 the Fifth FIQ World Bowling Championships in Mexico City, Mexico were attended by 132 men and 45 women (first time) from 19 nations, and featured the debut of Team USA, which won seven of the eight gold medals.
On 25 November 1963 Sports Illustrated published the article A Guy Named Smith Is Striking It Rich, revealing that PBA stars made more money than other professional sports stars. "With more than $1 million in prizes to shoot for, the nation's top professional bowlers are rolling in money." Too bad, after the number of bowling alleys in the U.S. zoomed from 65,000 in 1957 to 160,000 in 1962, the U.S. bowling industry boom hit a brick wall in 1963, but this was compensated for by a new boom in Europe and Japan, making 10-pin bowling an international sport.
In 1964 Marion Ladewig, 9-time winner of the Bowling Writers Association of America Female Bowler of the Year Award became the first Superior Performance inductee into the WIBC Hall of Fame.
In 1965 the AMF Bowling World Cup was established by the FIQ.
In 1971 the U.S. Open was founded by the PBA.
In 1978 National Negro Bowling Association pioneer J. Elmer Reed (1903–83) became the first African-American to be inducted into the ABC Hall of Fame.
On 16 December 1979 Willie Willis won the Brunswick National Resident Pro Tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina, becoming the first African-American bowling champion in the PBA in a non-touring event. In 1980 he became the first African-American in the Firestone Tournament of Champions, placing 13th.
On 27 February 1982 Earl Anthony won the Toledo Trust PBA National Championship, becoming the first bowler to reach $1 million in career earnings.
In 1982 the Young American Bowling Alliance was formed from a merger of the American Junior Bowling Congress, the Youth Bowling Association, and the collegiate divisions of the ABC and WIBC.
On 22 November 1986 George Branham III (1962-) became the first African-American to win a PBA national touring event, the Brunswick Memorial World Open in Chicago, Illinois.
In 1995 the first Best Bowler ESPY Award was presented.
On 2 February 1997 Jeremy Sonnenfeld (1975-) bowled the first officially sanctioned 900 series of three straight perfect 300 games at Sun Valley Lanes in Lincoln, Nebraska, becoming known as "Mr. 900".
In 1998 the World Tenpin Masters 10-pin bowling tournament was established.
In the 21st century
On 31 March 2004 Missy Bellinder (1981-) (later Parkin) became the first woman member of the PBA.
In 2004 the Brunswick Euro Challenge was founded for amateur and pro 10-pin bowling players from Europe, Asia, and the U.S.
On 24 January 2010 Kelly Kulick (1977-) became the first female to win the PBA Tournament of Champions and the first female to win a PBA national tour event.
In November 2012 after league bowling dropped from 80% to 20% of their business, AMF Bowling Centers of Richmond, Virginia filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the second time (first in 2001), merging in 2013 with upscale New York-based bowling center operator Bowlmor (which didn't support league bowling) in an attempt to turn league bowling around, growing from 276 centers in 2013 to 315 in 2015.
In 2013 the PBA League was founded, composed of permanent 5-person teams, with an annual draft.
There are two main things that a professional bowler looks at in order to determine the kind of ball or rotation that he or she will use.
Lane Pattern- The lane pattern can be short, medium, long. The lane is 60 feet (18 m) long, from the foul line to the headpin, but the pins take up 4 feet (1.2 m) more. The approach (part of the lane that a bowler walks on) has no set limit (usually 15 feet (4.6 m)). Short- A short pattern will be anywhere from 0 feet until about 15 feet (4.6 m). Medium- A medium pattern will be from about 15–40 feet (4.6–12.2 m). Long- A long pattern is anything above the 40 feet (12 m). The length of the pattern affects the bowler because if there is less or more oil the ball will react differently to the lanes altogether. Reacting, in this sense, is referring to the break point of the ball. The break point is when the ball goes from rolling straight to hooking inward towards the pocket (which is the one and three pin) or a Brooklyn pocket (which is one and two pin).
Lane Material- The lane can be either wood or synthetic. The difference between the two is very similar to importance of lane pattern. The different materials can cause more or less friction which would cause the ball to again, hook earlier or later.
Synthetic- The synthetic lanes are generally softer than the wood surfaces. The bowling ball being the weight that it is and the way that it is used, is able to manipulate the lanes altogether, and without the strength of wood the lane would wear down much faster. The ball hooks a lot later, because it has so much more friction acting on it. Wood- The wood lanes are a lot harder and last much longer than the synthetic. Wood lanes have been used since the origination of bowling competition. The ball does not have as much material around it, so it does not have as much of a fight for the roll.
- Ten-pin bowling: largest and heaviest pins, and bowled with a large ball with three finger holes, and the most popular size in North America
- Nine-pin bowling: pins usually attached to strings at the tops, uses a ball without finger holes.
- Candlepin bowling: tallest pins, thin with matching ends, and bowled with the smallest and lightest (at 1.1 kilograms (2.4 lb)) handheld ball of any bowling sport.
- Duckpin bowling: short, squat, and bowled with a handheld ball.
- Five-pin bowling: tall, between duckpins and candlepins in diameter with a rubber girdle, bowled with a handheld ball, mostly found in Canada.
Another form of bowling is usually played outdoors on a lawn. At outdoor bowling, the players throw a ball, which is sometimes eccentrically weighted, in an attempt to put it closest to a designated point or slot in the bowling arena. Included in the outdoor category:
- Bowls ("Lawn bowls")
- Carpet Bowls
- Cherokee marbles
- Irish road bowling
- Lane/alley bowling
Bowling is an anaerobic type of physical exercise, similar to walking with free weights. Bowling helps in burning calories and works muscle groups not usually exercised. The flexing and stretching in bowling works tendons, joints, ligaments, and muscles in the arms and promotes weight loss. While most sports are not suitable for elderly people, it is possible to practice bowling very well at advanced ages.
Technological innovation has made bowling accessible to members of the disabled community.
- The IKAN Bowler, a device designed by a quadriplegic engineer named Bill Miller, attaches to a wheelchair and allows the user to control the speed, direction, and timing of the ten-pin bowling ball's release. The name comes from the Greek work "ikano", which means "enable".
- For Bowls the sport has introduced a number of innovations to enable people with a disability to participate at all levels of the sport, from social through to Olympic Standards:
- The use of bowling arms and lifters enables bowlers to deliver a bowl minimising the amount of movement required
- Wheelchair and green manufacturers have produced modified wheel tyres and ramps to enable wheelchair athletes to access bowls greens.
- Modified conditions of play as outlined in Disability classification in lawn bowls
In popular culture
With notable individuals
In 1948, bowling lanes were first built in the ground floor of the West Wing of the U.S. Presidential residence, the White House, as a birthday gift for then President Harry S. Truman, in the location of the 2010s White House Situation Room. The lanes were moved to the Old Executive Office Building in 1955 to make way for a mimeograph room.
Bowling is often depicted as a group date, teen outing, and/or blue-collar activity.
The sport has been the subject of a number of "bowling films", which prominently feature the sport of bowling:
- 7-10 Split (film) (2007), renamed STRIKE for its USA DVD release in 2009.
- A League of Ordinary Gentlemen (2006), a documentary film about 10-pin bowling that was released on DVD on 21 March 2006 and stars four PBA Tour players
- Blackball, a 2003 comedy film about a young bowls player, based upon Griff Sanders.
- Crackerjack (2002), an Australian comedy film about a wisecracking layabout who joins a lawn bowls club in order to be allowed to use a free parking spot but is forced to play bowls with the much older crowd when the club enters financial difficulty.
- Alley Cats Strike, a 2000 Disney Channel Original Movie
- The Big Lebowski (1998), a Coen Brothers comedy in which bowling plays a pivotal role and figured prominently in the promotional advertisements.
- Kingpin (film), a 1996 slapstick comedy film, with cameos by pro bowler Nelson Burton, Jr. and sportscaster Chris Schenkel.
- Spare Me (film) (1992), a "bowling noir" film.
- Dreamer (1979 film), a direct-to-video film.
- The Golden Years (film) (1960), a sponsored film that promotes 10-pin bowling as a family sport.
- World of Sports: Bowling Kings (1947), a sports shorts film starring hall-of-fame bowler Ned Day and trick shot bowler Joey Felcaro.
- The Bowling Alley Cat (1942) is a 1-reel animated cartoon, the 7th Tom and Jerry short, produced in Technicolor and released to theaters on 18 July 1942 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer then reissued for re-release in 1948.
- Set 'em Up (1939), another short starring Andy Varipapa and hall-of-fame bowler (world match game champion) Ned Day.
- Strikes and Spares (1934), a sports shorts film starring trick bowling star Andy Varipapa that was nominated for a 1934 Academy Award for Best Short Subject (novelty).
Bowling is an important theme in other films, as well:
- Men in Black 3 (2012), in which Agent J bowls with an alien's head.
- There Will Be Blood (2007), in which anti-hero Daniel Plainview's private bowling alley serves as the setting for the film's last scene.
- Lars and the Real Girl (2007), which includes a hilarious bowling scene in which Ryan Gosling throws a gutter ball into the wrong gutter.
- Jackass 2 (2006)
- The Break-up (2006), in which Jennifer Aniston informs Vince Vaughan that she's breaking up with him by having him kicked off a couples-only bowling team.
- Constantine (2005)
- Bowling for Columbine (2002), Michael Moore's documentary addressing the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, features multiple bowling themes.
- The Contender (2000), which features Jeff Bridges as the President of the U.S. using the White House bowling alley.
- Mystery Men (1999), which stars Janeane Garofalo as superhero The Bowler, whose magical bowling ball contains the skull of her dead father.
- My Name Is Joe (1998), which features a scene of Joe Kavanaugh (Peter Mullan) bowling while the hit song Spirit in the Sky is playing.
- The Next Karate Kid (1994), in which Mr. Miyagi referred to a variant of bowling called "Zen Bowling" in which players bowl with their eyes closed.
- Greedy (1994), in which early on a bowling tournament is narrated by Chris Schenkel.
- The Flintstones (1994), animated film in which Fred Flintstone participates in a stone age bowling tournament.
- King Ralph (1991), in which new British King Ralph (John Goodman) bowls with expensive antiques.
- Uncle Buck (1989), in which a bowling alley figures in an important character development scene.
- Critters (1986), in which the critters cause havoc at a bowling alley.
- Five Easy Pieces (1970)
- Several game shows have centered around bowling:
- Many local television stations produced Bowling for Dollars as part of a franchise, mainly in the 1970s.
- Nick at Nite had a one-time special entitled King Pins, which featured contestants bowling in unusual ways. Its bonus round featured the winning couple attempting to knock down six giant pins with a likewise oversized ball.
- Comedy Central produced a televised version of a radio show, Let's Bowl, which featured two contestants (usually family members) settling some sort of dispute between each other and competing for nearly worthless prizes, with the hosting and modeling abilities of the cast likewise played for laughs.
- On The Hub's game show Family Game Night with Todd Newton, there is a game called Yahtzee Bowling where families play Yahtzee with a bowling twist.
- "King of Queens" Season 2 Episode 11, "Sparing Carrie", Doug has to decide whether winning bowling games is more important than hurting his wife, Carrie's feelings.
- In The Honeymooners and Jackie Gleason Show, bus driver Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason) and sewer worker Ed "Lillywhite" Norton (Art Carney) belonged to a fraternal organization called the Raccoon Lodge and regularly bowled on its team, "The Hurricanes", at the Acme Bowling Alley.
- In The Flintstones (which imitated and spoofed The Honeymooners and The Jackie Gleason Show), "bronto" crane operator Fred Flintstone and his next-door neighbor and sidekick Barney Rubble often bowl together. Fred is an avid bowler who has won championships based on his incredible bowling skills. A number of episodes address Fred and Barney's bowling adventures, including:
- In "Wilma's Vanishing Money" (1962-01-26), Fred steals Wilma's money to buy a bowling ball, while Wilma thinks it's a burglar who stole it. She, meanwhile, was planning to use the money to buy Fred that ball he wanted for his birthday.
- In "Bowling Ballet (aka Rush-in Ballet)" (1962-10-05), Fred goes so far as to take ballet lessons in order to improve his game, which leads to his nickname "Twinkletoes". The nickname of "Twinkletoes" stuck with him when Fred attended a local college and became eligible to play on their football team, and it became his call sign.
- In "Seeing Doubles" (1965-12-17), Fred and Barney have a bowling game on Friday night, the night that they are to take Wilma and Betty out to dinner. After failing to convince the wives to let them go bowling, The Great Gazoo makes two robots that look like Fred and Barney. The robots can only say "yes" and "no" and they take the wives to dinner while Fred and Barney go bowling. The robotic impersonators, however, take Wilma and Betty to the most expensive restaurant in town and cause havoc the entire night. It's up to Fred and Barney to round them up and bring them back to Gazoo in order for them to be snapped out.
- In episode 86-4.14 of Roseanne, titled "The Bowling Show", Dan Conner (John Goodman) and Arnie Thomas (Tom Arnold) try to bring their bowling team out of last place in their league.
- Married... with Children featured bowling in several episodes, including Alley of the Dolls (8 November 1987) and Peggy Turns 300 (25 March 1990)
- Bowling featured prominently in Laverne & Shirley; Laverne (Penny Marshall)'s Italian-born father, Frank De Fazio (Phil Foster), runs the Pizza Bowl, a local hangout featuring pizza, beer, and bowling.
- In episode 221 of The Andy Griffith Show, titled "Howard the Bowler" (18 September 1967), Howard Sprague (Jack Dodson) fills in on the bowling team and rolls a perfect game.
- Bowling is the main theme in the JDrama The Golden Bowl.
- In episode 29 of Smile PreCure!, titled "The PreCures Are Sucked Into a Game!?", Cure Peace challenged Red Oni to a bowling game. She eventually won because of her lightning skills.
- Bowling is featured in episode 19 of Dokidoki! PreCure called "Betting the Crystals! Jikochu's Game!". In the episode, the Cures challenged Jikochu for the crystals with bowling as the second game. The Selfish Trio also played bowling during the series' run. Ai also played bowling in episode 38 of the series called "Beel's Scheme! Ai Becomes a Jikochu!?".
- The Simpsons episode 89-1.9 episode, "Life on the Fast Lane," has Marge Simpson taking up the sport in a fit of pique when her husband, Homer, thoughtlessly gave her a bowling ball engraved in his own name for a birthday present. In doing so, she finds herself attracted to an amorous player and finds her marriage in jeopardy. Episode 12 of the seventh season, "Team Homer," is an episode about Homer starting a bowling league.
- One episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood features Fred Rogers and Mr. McFeely playing the game.
- In episode 1.7 of The Golden Girls, ("The Competition"), Dorothy (Bea Arthur) and Blanche (Rue McClanahan) bowl a game against Rose (Betty White) and Sophia (Estelle Getty). If Sophia and Rose win, Dorothy will allow Sophia to go back to Sicily for a visit with an old beau; if Dorothy and Blanche win, Sophia will give Dorothy a pair of antique earrings.
- In Japan, Bowling Revolution P-League is an 18-player tournament, played in rounds of three bowlers and aired on a weekly basis.
- The seventh episode of season 4 of 3rd Rock From the Sun, "D3: Judgment Day," involves Don trying to teach Sally how to bowl.
In video games
- 10 Pin Bowling
- 101-in-1 Sports Megamix
- 101-in-1 Sports Party Megamix
- 4-Player Bowling Alley is a 4-player, monochrome, ten-pin bowling arcade game released by Midway Games in 1979. This featured the "Flash".
- Alley Master is a ten-pin bowling arcade game released by Cinematronics in 1986.
- Bowling is an Atari 2600 video game released in 1979.
- Crazy Taxi
- Dynamite Bowl is a 5-player bowling game released for the Nintendo Family Computer, the MSX computer system, and for the NEC PC-8801 in 1987.
- Elf Bowling
- Game & Wario
- Grand Theft Auto IV
- Gutterball 2
- Hasbro Family Game Night 4: The Game Show
- High Velocity Bowling
- Kinect Sports
- Kinect Sports Rivals
- League Bowling
- Mario Party
- Mario Party 2
- Mario Party 8
- Mario Party 9
- Mario Party Advance
- Paper Mario: Sticker Star
- PlayStation Home
- Polar Bowler
- Saints & Sinners Bowling
- Silver Strike Bowling
- Sonic Adventure
- Sports Champions 2
- Super Mario Galaxy 2
- Super Monkey Ball
- Super Monkey Ball 2
- Tekken Tag Tournament
- Ten Pin Alley
- Virtua Tennis
- Wii Sports
- Wii Sports Club
- Wii Sports Resort
- Yakuza 3
- Yakuza 4
- Open bowling
- Glossary of bowling
- Automatic scorer
- Battle of the Bowling Alley, so named for the narrow valley north of Taegu, South Korea (dubbed the "Bowling Alley"), where United Nations forces defeated North Korean forces early in the Korean War
- Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ), the top international bowling organization
- New Zealand Indoor Bowls
- Skee ball — a game that plays similar to bowling
- Skittles, the sport from which alley-based bowling originated
- Bowls, Lawn Bowling
- Bowling Alone, a 2000 book by Robert D. Putnam that argues the decline in league bowling since 1950 is indicative of a decline in social participation by Americans.
- United States Bowling Conference
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