When was Bowling Invented?

Bowling is an incredibly popular and loved sport all over the world. Learning about the sport’s history and how it was invented is important for all players and lovers of bowling. The history of this game is quite interesting, and it involves the period when it was designed and then the eras when it evolved into a full-fledged sport.

As a bowling enthusiast, you might wonder, when was bowling invented? Well, you are in the right place if that is the case. Because that is exactly what I am here to tell you.

This article will talk about how bowling was invented when it was designed and how it has changed throughout history. So, if you want to increase your knowledge of the sport, sit back, relax, and read this article till the end.

When was Bowling Invented

Ancient History of Bowling

Bowling is an ancient sport with a vibrant history. Traces of the sport date back to 5200-3200 BC. In the 1930s, a British Anthropologist found the pin and ball-like structures within a child’s tomb in Egypt.

This shows that some bowling sport has been played for a while. Ancient markings, wall art, and drawings also point toward the bowling sport’s history. Although not officially, bowling has been around for quite a long while.

Bowling History in Germany

According to a German Historian, William Pehle, Bowling has its earliest traces in Germany around 400 AD. German people would carry wooden Kegel clubs for protection, sport, and religious rituals.

They believed that if they threw rocks at these Kegels, they would be freed of their sins. This is precisely why people who threw stones at their Kegels were known to be called keglers.

So, if you consider this detail, the earliest raw form of bowling may have its roots in Germany, but it’s often questioned whether bowling is an American sport. This is fascinating to see how people of ancient history used to play the same mark as people do now.

Bowling History in England

British Historians believe that bowling was invented in England. According to them, in 1299, the oldest surviving bowling green, which was meant for target-style bowling, was built.

The Old Bowling Green of the Southampton Bowling Club in Southampton is still used. It was previously known as Master’s Close. It is incredible even to think that it is being used even now.

In 1366, King Edward III imposed a ban on and outlawed bowling for soldiers so that they could pay more attention to archery, sword practice, and other training activities.

In 1511, King Henry VII imposed laws on stopping peasants and lower-classed individuals to prevent them from accessing private bowling lanes. He was an avid bowler and wanted to make the sport only available to a higher class of people – shameful by today’s standards, but it is what it is.
Bowling was introduced in the United States around the 1600s when the first few bowling greens were established in big cities like New York City and Brooklyn. And slowly, this sport spread across the world.

English Bowling Association

In 1903, the English Bowling Association was established by W.G. Grace. Holding various events and overlooking the bowling sport within the country’s bounds was the English Bowling Association’s Mission.

In the 20th Century

Bowling became extremely popular in the 20th Century. With bowling alleys opening as entertainment centers in Milwaukee, Chicago, Saint Louis, Melbourne, Mumbai, and many other cities of various countries, bowling became a superbly popular and loved game throughout.

Bowling In the 21st Century

In the 21st Century, many records were established worldwide in bowling. In England, in 2008, the English Bowling Association merged with the English Women’s Bowling Association to make Bowls England. The PBA League was also established in 2013.

Bowling tournaments worldwide started being televised on global sports channels, and it’s often discussed bowling in the Olympics. And now, bowling is one of the most popular sports worldwide.


Bowling has always had an incredible history with traces around various parts of the world. It is a rich and loved sport, and knowing its origin and invention should be your top priority if you are a player. I hope you learned a lot from this piece and you will spread the knowledge even further.

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