Home Entertainment The Journey of Bowling Games from Alleys to Your Phone: A Brief History
journey of bowling games

The Journey of Bowling Games from Alleys to Your Phone: A Brief History

by Gloria Louden
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Bowling is a fun, leisurely activity enjoyed indoors with friends and family. It is one of the most highly preferred sports globally and engages people of all ages and genders.

When people think of bowling today, it is thought of as a form of entertainment. People go to bowling alleys, rent a pair of bowling shoes and take the ball to try knocking down ten bowling pins in one or two attempts.

However, the oldest versions of bowling might not look like modern bowling establishments. While sources say the earliest forms of bowling are traced back to 3200 BC in ancient Egypt, there’s not much information until 2000 years ago. The oldest and biggest discovery regarding bowling was made by Sir Flinders Petrie, a British anthropologist, in the 1930s. He found a collection of objects in Egypt in a child’s grave that seemed to him like crude bowling equipment, such as bowling balls and pins.

Other than ancient Egypt, the sport can be traced back to ancient Finland, Germany, and Yemen. Archaeologists have found in Polynesia pins and balls of stones used for Ula Maika, a regional game. Herodotus also noted different forms of bowling that the Lydians invented in Asia Minor.

Within the Roman empire, a rough version of the sport evolved where soldiers would toss stone objects to get them close to other stone objects. After several centuries, this evolved into Bocce, an Italian form of outdoor bowling. Even during Caesar’s rule in 50 BC, the game was played by the Gallic tribe.

The modern bowling game that you know and associate today was not formed until the 5th century AD. Then, as centuries passed, stone materials switched with wooden materials to create pins and balls. In the 15th century, bowling games started being played indoors, and King Edward III’s soldiers regarded it as their go-to leisure activity. In Great Britain, it was a popular sport.

Eventually, the game reached American shores thanks to English and Dutch immigrants. It was initially a nine-pin game in America, but nine pins were banned in Connecticut as the game was seemingly connected to gambling and drinking. The addition of an extra pin was a response to this, and the game became ten pins.

It was not until 1905 that bowling got a technological leap, and rubber balls started production. During the 1950s, there were more inventions like electronic scoring, the ball, monitors showing the path and speed of the ball, etc. Today, the sport is enjoyed by more than 95 million people worldwide, and in the USA alone, 60 to 70 million people bowl at least once a year.

The following invention in bowling came in the form of online bowling games, and you can know more about them by downloading the app on your mobile devices. Even though online bowling games were introduced way before the pandemic, it wasn’t until 2021 that online bowling games surged. People missed the bowling alleys as they were shut due to COVID restrictions and online bowling offered the best alternative. Even after the restrictions are lifted, people prefer knocking down ten bowling pins on their phones with only a swipe of their finger.

The online bowling games ooze convenience and accessibility. Players can carry the bowling game in their pocket and enjoy knocking down pins no matter where they are. There’s no need to brave the traffic or share bowling shoes with others. Putting on virtual bowling shoes is easy and safe, given the situation today.

Moreover, the thrill of bowling alleys can be enjoyed even when playing the online version because players can compete with other players and challenge them. The game’s rules are similar. For instance, if you hit all ten bowling pins on your first attempt, you get a strike. If you fail to knock down all the pins on your first attempt but clear the pins on your second attempt, you get a spare.

In online bowling games, you need to use your fingers. Slide your finger if you wish to rotate the ball, and as the game starts, you can position the ball by dragging it left or right. There are also anchors on the screen that help players set the ball better. If you follow the anchors, you will know which direction your ball will roll down to hit the pins.

Once you decide the ball’s angle and position, you can swipe down and up to launch the ball. The force and direction of your swipe will determine the speed and spin of the ball.

So, while the game has traveled from the bowling alleys to your phone, it has maintained its competitive spirit. The rules are simple to learn, but it will take time to master the controls and give your opponents a tough time.

What’s more, you ask? Online bowling games offer 1V1 and 1VN game modes, along with challenging tournaments and battles. The tournaments provide players with a lucrative bounty, and winners enjoy the rewards after tallying scores. There are also contests that you can participate in to win cash rewards. If you only wish to play the game out of love, there are practice games you can enjoy playing all day long.

Wrapping up

The game of bowling is still evolving, and there’s so much more to come. Stay tuned, and don’t forget to put on your virtual shoes to enjoy a game of bowling in the comfort of your couch.

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