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Difference between Candlepin and Ten Pin Bowling



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In the early 1880s, Justin P. White, of Worcester, Massachusetts came to the conclusion that the sport of ten pin bowling was a little too easy. He decided to vary the game to make it a bit more difficult. Using broomsticks, he made thinner pins and fashioned a ball, about three inches wide, from local hardwood. He followed pretty much the same principles as utilised in ten pin bowling but made some significant changes to the rules, equipment and scoring. Over time these have developed into the game played today, particularly in north east America and some Canadian provinces. Its origins are reflected in its current form and there are many similarities as well as differences in the way the two games play out.

Playing Arena

Both of these games are played on a bowling alley. This is a long thin lane, a little over a metre wide, which has ten pins, or candlepins, at the end of the lane set up in a triangle, with one pin in the centre on the front row, followed by two either side of the central pin in the second row, three evenly spaced in the third row and ending with a row of four. Although the set up is the same, the pins are very different. Candlepins are 15 inches tall and tapered at each end, being just under three inches in diameter at the centre and about 1.75 inches at each end. Pins used in ten pin bowling are skittle shaped, looking something like an elegant bottle, and are 4.7 inches in diameter at their widest point. They too are 15 inches tall.

At the other end of the lane is the foul line. This is sixty feet away, and when playing, the player bowling must not allow their foot to cross this line, otherwise a foul is called. This is the same for both games.

Unique to candlepin bowling are an additional two lines on the lane.

Ten feet from the foul line, towards the pins, is the lob line. In order for the ball to be counted as legal it must make contact with the lane before reaching the lob line otherwise a foul is called. This is to encourage the bowling of the ball, rather than a throw or lob.

Two feet in front of the candlepins is the deadwood line. In order that pins can be counted towards a player's score, it must not cross the deadwood line.

One other major difference between candlepin bowling and ten pin bowling is that, for candlepin bowling, the pins that have been knocked down are not removed from the lane, whereas for ten pin bowling they are.

In both games, either side of the lane are gutters. These look just like housing gutters, as if a tube had been cut in half and laid next to the lane. These are there to catch poorly bowled balls and safely carry the balls away. It avoids people having to run over other lanes to retrieve errant balls.

The candlepin bowling balls are quite different to ten pin balls. They are between 2.4 and 2.7 lbs in weight and, as well as being so much lighter, they are also a lot smaller at a diameter of 4.5 inches. They are completely smooth and do have finger holes like ten pin bowling balls. They aren't needed since the ball sits nicely in the hand and can be bowled quite easily.

Ten pin bowling balls come in different weights, the heaviest being 16lbs. Players should choose a weight that is comfortable for them, but remember, the lighter the ball the more effort that is required to bowl at speed. Each ball is smooth save for three holes, one for the thumb and two for fingers. It is using these three holes that the player picks up the ball and maintains their grip. As you bowl the ball, you allow your fingers to slip out of these holes, but be careful, if you do a lot of bowling your fingers will chaff and become sore.

Objective

Both candlepin and ten pin bowling have similar objectives; that is to score as many points as possible. Points are scored by knocking down the pins.

Scoring

Both candlepin and ten pin bowling split each game (called a string in relation to candlepin bowling) into ten. Each of these ten rounds is called a frame in ten pin bowling and a box in candlepin bowling.

Probably the most significant difference between the two sports, is the number of balls bowled in each round (frame or box).

Scoring for ten pin bowling.

The player may bowl up to two balls in each frame in an attempt to knock down all ten pins. If all ten pins are knocked down with the first ball bowled in a frame, it is called a strike. If any pins remain standing after the first ball, and these are all knocked down by the second bowl, it is called a spare. These two terms are very important for the scoring process, as they allow players to obtain a higher score than simply the number of pins that they have felled.

If a player has any pins standing at the end of the frame, the score for that frame is simply the total of the number of pins that they knocked over. If the player has scored a spare within one frame, then the score for that frame is ten plus the number of pins felled by that player by the first ball bowled in their next frame. If a player scores a strike, then the score for that frame is ten plus the total number of pins felled by that player's next two bowls.

Example:

In the first frame the player fells 4 pins with the first bowl and 6 with the second (a spare).

In the second frame the same player fells 6 pins with the first bowl and 1 with the second.

In the third frame the same player fells all ten pins with one bowl (a strike).

In the fourth frame the same player fells 6 pins with the first bowl and 2 with the second.

Their score will be

Frame 1 - 16 (ten plus six from the first ball of the second frame).

Frame 2 - 23 (sixteen from frame 1 plus seven pins felled in frame two)

Frame 3 - 41 (23 from frame 2 plus ten plus 8 for the next two of the player's bowls)

Frame 4 - 49 (41 from frame 3 plus eight for the pins felled in frame four)


Scoring for Candlepin bowling

For candlepin bowling, the player may bowl up to three balls in an attempt to knock down all ten pins. If all ten pins are knocked down with the first ball bowled in a box, it is called a strike. If any pins remain standing after the first ball, and these are all knocked down by the second bowl, it is called a spare. These two terms are just as important for the scoring process as in ten pin bowling, as they too allow players to obtain a higher score than simply the number of pins that they have felled. If any pins remain standing after the second bowl, a third ball is bowled, but even if all pins have been knocked down by the third bowl in a box, only the number of pins knocked over are counted for the score; no additional score is accrued in this circumstance.

If a player has any pins standing at the end of a box, or the final pins were felled by the third ball in a box, the score for that box is simply the total of the number of pins that they knocked over.

If the player has scored a spare within one box, then the score for that box is ten plus the number of pins felled by that player by the first ball bowled in their next box.

If a player scores a strike, then the score for that box is ten plus the total number of pins felled by that player's next two bowls.

Example:

In the first box the player fells 4 pins with the first bowl and 6 with the second (a spare).

In the second box the same player fells 6 pins with the first bowl, 1 with the second and 2 with the third

In the third box the same player fells all ten pins with one bowl (a strike).

In the fourth box the same player fells 6 pins with the first bowl, 2 with the second and 2 with the third.


Their score will be

Box 1 - 16 (ten plus six from the first ball of the second box).

Box 2 - 25 (sixteen from box 1 plus nine pins felled in box two)

Box 3 - 43 (25 from box 2 plus ten plus 8 for the next two of the player's bowls)

Box 4 - 53 (43 from box 3 plus ten for the pins felled in box four)

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