Whether you are a professional or beginner bowling enthusiast or are a fan of the sport and love to watch it, learning about the history of bowling is particularly important from the knowledge aspect.
A commonly asked question is: Is bowling an American sport?
Bowling is not an American sport. It was brought into the North American region in the 16th to 18th century by English and Dutch settlers according to the few pieces of depicting pieces of evidence in literature and art form.
Many people are interested in knowing the origin of a game they play or want to make a career in. It helps them gain an insight into how the game evolved and what its rules were before evolving into the modern-day sport. Bowling is no different.
But that is not it. If you want to learn about the complete history of bowling and the arrival of bowling into America and its popularization, make sure you read this article till the end.
The Origin of Bowling
In the 1930s, British excavators found remnants of an old child’s tomb in Egypt, where they found pins and bowling ball-like objects. This leads to historians believing that Bowling has been around since 3500 B.C.
Ancient architecture, runes, art pieces, and decorative statues also provide depictions of the game, proving the theory of historians that bowling is an ancient sport.
In 400 A.D, a sport close to post-modern bowling called Kegel and rocks was popular in Germany among the masses. This game has entertainment and spiritual values since the people believed that throwing these rocks at the Kegels would cleanse their sins and purify their souls.
From the 10th to 17th century, bowling became an actual sport in the United Kingdom. The kings outlawed bowling for peasants, which allowed only royalty and people of the higher status to play the game because of how lavish it was considered.
In the 17th century, many German and English settlers made their way to modern North America, and that is when they brought the sport of bowling to the American region.
Although bowling cannot be considered a traditional American sport, America has influenced and popularized the game so heavily that it is mostly regarded as one of the original American sports in modern times.
By the 19th century, bowling was flourishing in America, with many states and famous cities adopting the sport and making outdoor bowling alleys for the people to enjoy.
In the late 1800s, as bowling was becoming extremely popular, it was decided that, to host leagues and make bowling an official professional sport, a set of rules and regulations and a governing body must be officiated.
The American Bowling Congress
In 1985, in New York City, the American Bowling Congress was organized. This bowling overseeing organization created standard bowling rules and regulations that are still in use even now.
In 1901, the ABC realized their first official professional bowling tournament, and then many tournaments were held by the organization. Bowling continued evolving. The American Bowling Congress’ success led to the creation of the Women International Bowling Congress in 1916. And in 1982, the Young American Bowling Alliance was officiated.
Finally, in 2000, by the American Bowling Congress’s joint efforts, the WIBC and the YABA, nation-wide bowling governing body called the United States Bowling Congress (USBC), was established, which is still the main organization for bowling-related events and professional leagues in the country.
With the help of the American Bowling Congress’ efforts, women, men, and children who wanted to become a part of the official bowling sport and be supported financially and resourcefully were given the opportunities to live their bowling dreams.
America is known as one of the birthplaces of the post-modern sport of bowling. As a bowling enthusiast, you surely need to know about the role of the American Bowling Congress in the game’s success. I have tried to discuss every aspect of Congress and how it operates in this short but comprehensive article.