Bowling is a game/sport in which players attempt to score points by rolling a bowling ball along a flat surface either into objects called pins or to get close to a target ball. There are many forms of bowling, with the earliest dating back to ancient Egypt, while other instances where bowling was first seen can be traced to ancient Finland and Yemen, and much later in 300 A.D. in Germany.
Included in the indoor category:
- Ten-pin bowling: In the United States, tenpins is the best known form of bowling, which in both amateur and professional versions, is also played around the world, making it one of the largest participation activities. The balls have two or more drilled holes in which to insert fingers for gripping the ball.
- Candlepin bowling: Played in eastern Canada and in New England, a variation of ten-pin bowling, with "double-ended" pins that are the tallest in any bowling sport.
- Duckpin bowling: Commonly found in the mid-Atlantic and southern New England states and eastern Canada, is another variation of ten-pin bowling involving small, squat pins, sometimes with rubber at their widest points (rubber band duckpin bowling). The official small pin is about 9 3/8 inches (24 cm) high and 4 1/8 inches (10 cm) in diameter at its widest part. It weighs no more than 1 pound 8½ ounces (700g). The standard duckpin ball has no finger holes. The maximum diameter is 5 inches (13 cm). For duckpins and candlepins, the maximum weight of the ball is 4 pounds 12 oz (1.7 kg).
- Five-pin bowling: Played in Canada.
- Nine-pin skittles: Played in Europe.
- Bumper bowling: Ten-pin bowling played with the addition of barriers to the channels, making "gutter balls" nearly impossible, popular with children's parties.
- Power Wheelchair Bowling: Recent advances have made it possible for people who are severely disabled to bowl alongside able bodied players through use of a ramp that attaches to the wheelchair. This sport is approved by the United States Bowling Congress.
The second category 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: