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How Many Years Ago Did Bowling Start?

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Will Martin Profile
Will Martin answered
The basic idea of bowling - knocking down a pin or other object by throwing a ball - is very old indeed, in fact it probably goes back to the ancient Egyptians and beyond. Variations on this idea can be found in all cultures. However, the German sport of Kegeln (still played now), which developed in the Middle Ages, is rather more similar to the bowling of today.

Modern American bowling probably started in the 17th century, when Dutch immigrants played a ball game involving the use of a long alley, with a row of pins or skittles to be knocked down. The game grew in popularity until the late 19th century; by the end of that time, the American Bowling Congress had been founded. By the mid 1950s, modern-style bowling alleys with pin setting machines were in existence, and games had begun to appear on TV.

This website gives a good overview of the history of bowling.
Rajesh Shri Profile
Rajesh Shri answered
Bowling is believed to be one of the oldest sports and is said to be around 5000 years old. British Anthropologist Sir Flinders Petrie and his team discovered the first evidence in Egypt in 1930s. In a child's grave, they unearthed certain objects which looked like the primitive form of the game and dated them to 3200 BC.

Some argue this point and say that it originated later on. William Pehle believes that it originated in Germany in 300AD and the pins were called "kegles."

In England it is said to have originated in 1100 and various forms of it were available in the 1300s. The first written proof of it was given by King Edward III in 1366 when he banned his troops from playing it as it distracted them from their archery practice. During the reign of King Henry VII it was elevated to the level of nobles and acquired a high social status.

It was introduced in America by the various immigrants like the Dutch, English and German. Connecticut banned it in 1841 as according to them it promoted gambling. By the late 1800s it was prevalent in New York, Illinois and Ohio.

The first official body, American Bowling Congress (ABC) for bowling was founded in 1895 by Joe Thumb in New York and this organization formed the rules and organized tournaments. The ladies also formed their own organization called the Women International Bowling Congress in 1917 in St. Louis under the guidance of proprietor Dennis Sweeney.

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