Bowling in Culture

Bowling is a sport that consists of throwing a heavy ball down a long impasse, called an alley, toward bowling pins.  There are a few different types of bowling, which vary in how many bowling pins are in place.  Ten-pin bowling, which is prevalent in the United States, consists of ten pins.  Ten-pin bowling evolved from Nine-pin bowling which is played in Europe.  Ten-pin bowling, however, is played around the world in championships and other amateur activities, making it the more common form of bowling around the world.

The origins of bowling can be traced back to places like Finland, Yemen, Germany, Egypt, and India (Tenpinbowling). Popularization came during the feudalism era in England, where there are records of King Edward III restricted his soldiers from playing bowling in favor of working on their archery skills instead (Tenpinbowling).  As bowling became more popular, it spread to the other countries of Europe, and propagated into the rest of the countries where the game is played today.  Variations of bowling play with the concept of how many pins are to be knocked down, or modifications to the score sheet.  (Wikipedia)

Bowling also takes place in other parts of our culture, like film and television.  Movies like The Big Lebowski and Kingpin incorporate the sport into its story, but in different ways (Findarticles).  The Big Lebowski portrays the game as an aside, more like a hobby that characters share in common while events greater than themselves are happening around them.  Kingpin is all about the game itself and the competition involved in it.  The bowling ball is infamous for its weight, and is featured as a “weapon” in Mystery Men.  The Hanna-Barbera cartoon “The Flintstones” also featured many occurrences where the main characters of the show would be bowling at various times during the series.

Even though bowling may not be a defining piece of world culture, it is one of the underlying aspects that create it.  Bowling is a sport that many people can get involved in, whether it be for professional league play or just hanging out with friends during a session of Nitro Bowling.

             Works Cited

“The Game History.” Tenpinbowling.org. November 4, 2007. http://www.tenpinbowling.org/view.php?page=the_game.history

“Bowling.”  Wikipedia.org.  November 4, 2007.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowling

“Our List of the Best, uh, Top … Well Here Are Some Bowling Movies – Brief Article.”  Findarticles.com.  http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCK/is_1_19/ai_71821872