Bowling: A Growing Sport
Statistically speaking, bowling is the most popular sport played among Americans each year. On average, within the last four years there have been eighty-two million Americans per year participating. For a relatively small cost friends and families can go roll balls for sport and fun.
The sport itself dates back several centuries. Rolling a ball to knock down various targets has been the object of many games in different countries and continents throughout history. Evidence of this was found in ancient tombs in Egypt and even on some Polynesian Islands. The game discovered on the Polynesian Islands appeared to be about a century older than the game in Egypt (History-Bowling).
Modern bowling, however, most likely grew out of a German religious ceremony. In the third century A.D. every German peasant carried around a kegel, a club for protection. Eventually it became a customary test of faith in churches for a parishioner to set up his kegel as a target. The kegel represented the heathen and the object was to roll a stone in attempt to knock it down. If successful the peasant was free of sin (History-Bowling).
Eventually bowling moved out of the church and became a popular secular sport, with a wooden ball replacing the stone and multiple pins, with numbers ranging from three to seventeen, replacing the single kegel. From here evidence of bowling could be found in many places around the world. In 1650, the Dutch in Amsterdam were bowling ninepins. The pins were arranged in a diamond pattern of one-two-three-two-one. The “alley” was a plank about one and a half feet wide and ninety feet long. Once ninepins hit America it took off and developed into ten pins and the game that it is today (History-Bowling).
Currently, bowling is one of the oldest and most popular indoor sports in the world. More and more Americans compete in bowling, with it’s widespread popularity over the past ten years especially. Now it is the most popular sports in the United States, Canada, Japan and most of the Latin American Nations. Other forms of bowling that exist in these countries are boccie, candle pins, duck pins, five pins, lawn bowling and nine pins. There exist many bowling organizations in the world today for bowlers young and old (May).
The ABC, or the American Bowling Congress, founded in 1895 is a chief organization of the game today. It was the first founded organization in America, and was developed with the purpose of keeping the sport organized. In 1901 the ABC hosted forty-one teams in their first ever National Bowling Championship a.k.a. the NBC. As soon as the sport developed and was cleaned up a bit, popularity spread to women as well. As a result of the spread to women in 1916 the WNBA or Women’s National Bowling Association was formed (History-Bowling).
The goal is to lead to the development of more bowling teams, especially in high school, and in other countries in the world as well. The business is looking to expand the game by involving teenage bowlers from middle school and up (May). According to Parker Bohn III
“Two generations have gone by without playing this game. Butkids are really enjoying it, with the animation and video. It’s aclassic game made modern.”
The Federation Internationale des Quilleurs or F.I.Q. was founded in 1952 and has now more than seventy member nations. Located in Helsinki, Finland the F.I.Q. has world championship tournaments every four years since 1967. A steady stream of young bowlers has been a major reason for the sport’s continuing popularity throughout the 1900’s. Bowlers of the high school age and younger originally came under the jurisdiction of the American Junior Bowling Congress, and A.B.C. affiliate. In 1982 that organization would be replaced by the autonomous Young American Bowling Alliance a.k.a. YABA. YABA sanctions league and tournament play of bowlers all the way through the college age (History-Bowling).
Although collegiate bowling is rarely mentioned in the media, many conferences offer team competition and championship tournaments. National Championships have been conducted since 1959 by the Association of College Unions or ACU and since 1962, by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA). At the collegiate level younger