Bowling in UK

The bowling game receives different names depending on the country where it is practiced. In the same way, there may be small differences in their characteristics and rules of the game: bowling, birillas, mingos, bitlles, different names, but a common origin.

The first thing you should know is that bowling is considered one of the oldest sports in mankind. In the beginning, it was not like the one we know and play today. Over the centuries, it has undergone constant evolution and various modifications in its regulations.

The first record of civilization or people who played bowling is in the Neolithic, about 4,500 BC Judging by the artifacts found in archaeological sites, such as stone balls and bone bowling, it can be deduced that it was a game quite similar to the current one.

Who Invented Bowling Game?

It was also practiced in Ancient Egypt. This statement is based on some remains that were found in 1930 by the British archaeologist Finders Petrie in the tomb of an Egyptian child dating from 3200 BC. These are elements in the form of primitive bowling.

The ancient Greeks called esferistikós a game similar to the current one of bocce or bowling. In Classical Greece, they saw in their practice a healthy exercise that allowed the relaxation of its citizens, allowing popular entertainment.

Bowling in Ancient Times

The Greek poet of the eighth century BC Homer, tells how the suitors of Penelope, wife of Ulysses, played bowling or Procos game to settle their sentimental complaints and occupy their leisures during the long wait. In fact, the game of bowling derives its name from the Greek bowling = piece of stick.

In the same way, in the glorious and ancient Rome, it was usual for games of this sport to be held that seems to be the origin of the bowling game. It was a distraction that spread throughout the land of the Roman Empire. Maybe you also like to know the history of billiards.

A few years later, already in the third century, it is known that the Germans practiced it regularly. At least that follows from the written documentation alluding to this fact that has been able to reach our days.

Different Modalities of Bowling Game

In the European monasteries of the early fourth century, bowling seems to have been part of a certain ritual of a religious nature: the bolus was the devil, placed at an angle of the room so that with a ball, he would be knocked down. If the one who threw the bowling ball was correct by knocking down the bolus or conical shank, everyone would praise him and consider him free from sin.

If, on the contrary, he erred, some penance was imposed so that he would abandon some bad habit. Throughout the Middle Ages, bowling was a game extended to all segments of the population, and one of the most popular hobbies. It soon became a competition game and regulated in some way, being a pastime of noble and rich men.

Apparently, the first bowling club was English, from the city of Southampton, it was founded no less than in 1299. In England, it enjoyed so much popular favor that King Edward III (1312 – 1377) became concerned, and, in 1365, he forbade it: like football, it threatened the most useful practice of archery, fencing and horse riding, activities necessary for war.

Origin of Bowling in Europe

But the people did not give up their practice and overcame all prohibitions. The English king Henry VIII (1491-1547) became so fond of him that in 1530, he ordered the construction of bowling lanes in his Whitehall palace, a pleasure he wanted for him alone since he forbade it to his subjects.

In fourteenth-century France, it was given the name of jeu des grosses boules. The nobility and especially King Charles V of France l (1338 – 1380) banned it in 1369. However, the game still had adherents who practiced it secretly, when not in the open in the area of ​​Lyon.

From the Leonese bowling game, the Provencal bocce would derive: from the French pèd tanco = fixed foot, a game that initially used a small boxwood ball called cochonnet = bowling or cheetah. But this mode of bowling has little to do with its original nature.

Martin Luther

Throughout history, bowling has known various forms of play. The number of pins or pins varied from three to fifteen and the size of the balls could also differ, as well as the distance from which it was thrown. One of those who worried about providing it with improvements was Martin Luther (1483 – 1546), who set the number of bowling at nine.

The current bowling game was regulated in the mid-19th century. This game of bowls, as we have said, had not experienced a continuity solution since antiquity. And there were nine bowling to take down until in 1845 he added the tenth bolus in the United States, where his popularity is as great as the number of those who practice it (more than 70 million players today) since he was taken to the North American country the Dutch settlers in the seventeenth century.

Scroll to top