Here’s a bunch of stuff you may or may not know (but most likely don’t need to know) about bowling.
By the Numbers
- The optimal angle for a ball to hit the pocket is 6°.
- A standard lane is 79 feet long from the back of the approach to the back of the pin deck.
- A standard approach is 16 feet long, a lane is 60 feet long, and a pin deck is 3 feet long.
- A pin must tilt 9° to fall.
- Hannah Diem is currently the youngest bowler to have bowled a 300 at 9 years, 6 months, and 19 days.
- Bowling pins weigh roughly 3 1/2 pounds.
- Pins are set 12 inches apart from each other.
- The ball should only hit 4 pins in an optimal strike.
- To be certified, a lane must be level to 40/1000ths of an inch.
- Each pinsetter should carry 20-22 pins at all times.
- The first indoor bowling alley, called Knickerbockers, was built in New York City in 1840.
- Up until 1905, bowling balls were made of wood.
- Before the standardized 10-pin game, bowling was often done with 9 pins and was used for gambling.
- Bowling’s first governing body, the American Bowling Congress, was just for men. It wasn’t until 1917 that women got their own governing body, the Women’s National Bowling Association.
- Don Carter was the first bowler to land a $1,000,000 sponsorship.
Stuff You Really Don’t Need To Know
- In the movie Kingpin, Bill Murray’s character Big Ern McCraken bowls 3 consecutive strikes at a tournament. Bill Murray actually bowled those strikes.
- In 1969, President Nixon had a bowling lane installed in the White House. He and the First Lady were avid bowlers.
- The Brunswick A2 pinsetter is known in the industry as a “tank”. Many centers still operate with A2’s from the 1960’s. With proper maintenance, they’ll last until the apocalypse.