The ASG Bowl Blog

Candlepin Bowling

Posted on Fri, Oct 19, 2012 @ 01:30 AM

Most bowlers today are familiar with standard 10-pin bowling, but throughout the course of history, bowling has developed into multiple subtypes. In this post, we take a look at Candlepin bowling, a game developed in the Northeastern United States and now played throughout multiple locations around the world. Candlepin Bowling

Most people will realize a few things right away about what makes Candlepin bowling different. In this game, bowlers use 3 balls which are smaller than those used in 10-pin bowling. The balls don’t have holes and thus must be gripped in the palm. The pins are taller and thinner than those in 10-pin bowling and pins are not cleared in between plays. Beyond the key differences in appearance, the games are also scored differently

There are a few key dates to know about Candlepin Bowling. 

1880: The time that the inventor of Candlepin bowling, an American by the name of Justin White, dreamt up the shape and size of the pins.

1906: Candlepin bowling gains a loyal following with notable players and dedicated spectators.

1940s: After undergoing a period of decline due to complexities of manual pin-setting, the game sees a revival when Howard Dowd and Lionel Barrow install their automatic pinsetters, the “Bowl-More” in a bowling alley in Massachusetts.

1950s: Automatic bowling pin setters are more widely adopted and with increased popularity, Candlepin bowling sees city, state and national championship games.

While we’ve given you some helpful tips and tricks  in the past for traditional 10-pin bowling, the keys to success are a bit different in candlepin bowling. In the latter game, your grip is all about balance and grasping the ball, sans holes, evenly in your palm. You also must factor the fallen pins into your strategy, and be sure to practice your release low to the ground to get better speed and position on your throws.

Topics: Bowling, Bowling Technique, Bowling Tips, How to Bowl, Candlepin bowling

The History of Bowling Part II

Posted on Fri, Oct 05, 2012 @ 11:30 AM

describe the imageThe game of bowling dates potentially as far back as 3200 B.C., but in more recent history, has been filled with some major moments. Like any other sport or iconic past time, bowling has had some watersheds in recent history that serve as bookmarks for anyone who plays the game today.

Timeline of Major Events in Bowling History

  • 1939 marked a watershed year for the game with the founding of the National Negro Bowling Association.
  • 1941, the ABC Hall of Fame was instituted just two years after the founding of the National Negro Bowling Association, but it was not until 1950 that the terms “white only” was removed from its constitution.
  • 1958 marks the founding of the Professional Bowlers Association or PBA. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, the PBA is the sanctioning body for the sport of ten-pin bowling. The PBA is also a treasure trove of information about the facts and history of bowling.
  • In 1975, the PBA established the PBA Hall of Fame. (See the full list of PBA Hall of Fame inductees._
  • In 1981, the Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour was formed, but it wasn’t until 1993 that phrase “male only” was removed from the ABC constitution.

In the late 1980s bowling made its way to ESPN broadcasting which solidified an already enthusiastic fan base and made the sport more accessible to wider audience.

A lot has happened in recent memory for this storied game. In the past century alone, bowling has evolved with regard to skill, accessibility, and participation against the context of history, and today continues to grow ever more popular.

Topics: history of bowling, PBA, national negro bowling association, PBA hall of fame, Ladies Pro Bowler Tour, Professional Bowlers Association

Tips for Beginning Bowlers

Posted on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 @ 11:29 AM

describe the imageHere at ASG, we’ve spent some time with bowling enthusiasts and those who might call themselves experts. Take for example our tips and techniques for improving an already stellar game. But we know that each year millions of new bowlers, young and old, hit the lanes for the first time and we’ve got a few tips just for you.

Equipment (Rent vs. Own)

When you’re just starting out it’s perfectly fine to use equipment already available at your local bowling center. Get a feel for the right ball and shoes for you. After that, you’ll have to tweak and add equipment based on what you need such as wrist guards, insert tape, or custom balls. We covered how to find the right bowling equipment in this post.


Just like any other specialized arena, the bowling alley comes with a set of often unspoken rules. Pay attention and play the game with respect. According to, some basics to keep in mind include always wearing bowling shoes, never stepping over the foul line, yielding to the bowler to your immediate right, and staying out of other lanes.


Form is important when you’re starting out. Where you stand, how you position your wrist, how you release the ball - it all adds up. Keep your wrist strong. Stand about six inches away from the foul line when you release your ball. Keep your eyes on where your ball is headed and stay focused mentally.

And the best tip of all? Have fun.

Check out some more basic techniques from a pro here.

Topics: Bowling Center, Bowling, Bowling Fans, Bowling Tips, Bowling Beginners, How to Bowl

Life Lessons from Bowling

Posted on Tue, Sep 11, 2012 @ 02:52 PM

Life LessonsWhile bowling is a fun past time for millions, the game can also offer a lot of life lessons. Beyond the high scores and fancy moves, bowling offers some important practice for qualities like balance, focus, preservation, and others that can be applied to life’s daily changes. This week we will look at some of the life lessons gleaned from bowling.


Balance is an important quality to have in bowling. Physical poise, stance, and position are all important in perfecting your technique - and the mental balance required to give the game your best is something that can be practiced off the lane.


As with other sports that require athletes and novices alike to be fully present in the game, bowling provides constant challenges and life lessons in mental focus. Research has shown that moderate physical activities, such as bowling, can reduce cognitive impairment in old age. Bowling combines physical activity with lessons in how to stay calm and centered.


Although a single bowling game can be highly competitive, the sport as a whole is known for a general air of cooperation and group work. From bowling leagues and tight-knit teams to mutual respect between the world’s greatest bowlers, this game reminds everyone of the teamwork touted by mom’s and coaches alike.


Bowling is a game that potentially dates as far back as 3200 BC! For thousands of years, humans have worked on perfecting their skills in this game. Every bowler, from amateur to pro, knows that patience, persistence and perseverance are critical to achieving success.

Last but not least, bowling teaches us that if you’re not having fun at something, it’s probably not worth doing - so it's important that your favorite sport or hobby are truly making you smile.

Topics: Bowling, Life Lessons

The Psychology of Bowling Part 3: Visualization

Posted on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 @ 04:47 PM

visualizationAs we discussed in previous posts, psychology can play a major role in success when it comes to your bowling game. Whether it’s reaching peak performance in sports or achieving a financial or personal milestone, physical energy combined with mental focus can lead to success.

This week we look at the power of visualization and how you can use it in bowling. The body of scholarly research on visualization is abundant and supports the claim that imagining a desired outcome can increase the probability of achieving that outcome.

But why is visualization so powerful?

Visualization and Confidence

Imagining an event or scenario before it happens will help you mentally prepare for some of the obstacles that can arise. You can prepare a strategy to overcome these obstacles. You can also use visualization to more clearly see your goal and plot a way to get to that goal. Being able to see success builds confidence.

Visualization and Focus

Visualizing and focusing on key components of the game can help you stay more present when the big moment arrives. Instead of worrying about other distractions, visualization exercises will prepare you to stay focused so you can give it your best.

So we know that visualization is a big part of success, but how exactly do you get there?

Sports Psychology expert and coach Dr. Jo Ann Dahlkoetter advises that you start with deep breathing. Place both hands on your abdomen and focus on centering your mental focus while you take in some deep breaths. Other important steps include imagining yourself at your best and aligning all five senses.

For more tips on using visualization in sports, check out Dr. Jo Ann’s video.

Topics: Bowling, Bowling Tips, Psychology of Bowling

The Psychology of Bowling Part 2: Relaxation

Posted on Fri, Aug 10, 2012 @ 10:25 AM

deep breathing and relaxationIf you have ever participated in a competitive sport, you can appreciate the strong mental integrity in which they require. Whether it’s an intense game of poker or a wild match of rugby, every sport involves an intense readiness – often not relieved until the completion of the game.

That said, if you have tuned into any of the 2012 Olympics thus far this summer, you may recognize a unfamiliar similarity amongst the majority of athletes interviewed. One would imagine that competing at the highest possible level in the world would warrant an equally high level of nervousness.

If you have paid particular attention to athlete interviews, however, you will have realized that most of them communicate with a strong sense of calm. This is perplexing for many reasons – because of the pressure they must be physically feeling, the uncertainty they are undoubtedly facing, and the hope they are definitely depending on.

When Usain Bolt was interviewed at Brunel University for the World Athletics Championships in Deagu, Korea, he explained how he copes with stress and turns it into relaxation:

Interviewer: “Before we started you were joking around with the cameras and stuff, do you actually feel nervous?”
Usain Bolt: “No that’s my way of relaxing myself. It’s my personality but it definitely helps not to think about the race. I think about something else at the time so I don’t get nervous thinking about the race…these things will throw you off… I try to think about random stuff in my mind."

So there is a lesson to be learned from these incredible world-class athletes – and that’s that although concentration is necessary to achieve greatness, relaxation is a key component to competitive success.

After all, aside from doing your best, it’s physically impossible to control the outcome of any given competition. Fear is better than faith - and keeping calm in suspense is what will set you apart from any other athlete anticipating an important event.

Topics: Bowling, Bowling Tips, Psychology of Bowling

The Psychology of Bowling Part 1: Concentration

Posted on Thu, Jul 26, 2012 @ 01:17 PM

1780We recently explored tips and tricks for improving your game, looking at some of the physical moves you can make - but what about the mental game?

It’s popularly accepted, and backed by research that mental focus is a major component for success in sports. Without focus, the pressure to perform in any competition can increase stress and decrease an athlete’s ability to perform at his or her peak level.

Today, we’ll explore the importance of concentration and look at ways to sharpen your mental game in the first of a three-part series on the psychology of bowling.

Mental Focus: Why it Matters

Concentration in sports is important because it allows the athlete to stay in the moment while performing competitive tasks under pressure. Distraction can eat at your confidence, interfere with proper form and poise, and throw off your balance in the moments that really matter. Mental focus is important in bowling whether you are playing for fun or in a competition. It’s important to concentrate on the task at hand, keep personal distractions at bay, and see each step through.

How to Stay Focused

Whether breathing to stay calm or talking yourself into being fully present, staying focused in the heat of competition can be a highly individualized undertaking. Some call it “centering yourself,” while others merely do it without much thought. Healthcentre, based in the UK, says centering starts with the basics like listening to your body, paying attention to how you feel and steadying your breath. That feeling of being grounded will not only allow you the poise to bowl your best game, but give you confidence to deliver any moves you may have to impress a crowd.

Major Challenges

Bowlers, much like other athletes, face many challenges when it comes to keeping calm under pressure. It’s important to note that some of the challenges come from outside the bowling room floor. Personal distractions from other areas of your life can seep into your game. Concentration is a mental challenge that can begin long before you pick up a bowling ball. Meditating can often help you attain internal balance. Other tips include practicing as though you’re in competition will help you stay calm when it really matters.

Topics: Bowling, Bowling Tips, Psychology of Bowling

How to Hook a Bowling Ball

Posted on Mon, Jul 16, 2012 @ 02:20 PM

bowling ballIn previous posts we explored some tips to help you bowl like a pro. Today, we’re getting back to the basics and reviewing the fundamentals of how to hook a ball. Perfect this move and you’ll be ready for National Bowling Week.

Following are some basic tips that many would agree are essential to hooking.

Grab the Right Equipment

Most bowling aficionados will say that when it comes to hooking a ball, the ball itself is key, and we agree. Ball technology in bowling has come a long way since man begin rolling round objects to strike down pin-shaped objects. Try a ball made with reactive resin. These balls may not be available as your standard “house ball” down at the local bowling center, which are made of rubber or plastic, but they are easy to find, and if you’re an avid bowler they’re not a bad investment. Since wrist positioning is also important in hooking a bowling ball, a wrist brace, which adds stability and support to your wrist is another piece of equipment to consider.

Get a Grip

You’ve probably heard tips such as “place your middle fingers in the holes up to the second knuckle.” There are several ways to grip the ball, including a light finger grip, a thumb-free grip, and now even a two hand grip. This video does a great job demonstrating the different options. Most of your success will come from experimenting with these options.

The Right Release

Keeping the wrist fairly firm, visualize the intended path for your ball. From your backswing, hold the ball with your palm facing up, and release finishing with your hand extended out like you’re getting ready to shake someone’s hand.


The key is to keep at it until you find your groove. From equipment to style and technique, hooking a bowling ball is an evolving skill. Start practicing yours today and get ready to show off during National Bowling Week.

National Bowling Week!

Posted on Fri, Jun 29, 2012 @ 04:40 PM


If you’re a bowling fan, you know there’s no need for a special holiday to take on or watch your favorite sport. But as luck would have it, bowling does have it’s designated day, even its own week!

Every year, bowling center proprietors, fans and players join forces to celebrate this beloved game. This year’s National Bowling day falls on August 11, and you’re invited to help spread the message.

Beat the World Record

The designated day is intended to celebrate bowling every year, and involves a long celebrated record: The most number of games bowled in one day. The 2010 record was 923,948 games in a single day. That’s nearly double the record from just two years ago in 2008, which saw 548,721 games in one day.

Get Involved

Bowlers of all age and skill levels are invited to take part in National Bowling Week. Log onto the Bowling Proprietors of America’s (BPAA) website to claim your coupon and bowl for free. Have fun and do your part to set a new record for 2012. Thousands of bowling centers across the country are expected to take part in this event.

Looking for ways to perfect your game ahead of the big day? Check out our previous posts on how to get the right equipment, perfect your form, and find your bowling style.

Go forth and bowl!

Protecting Your Assets: General Liability Insurance

Posted on Mon, Jun 04, 2012 @ 09:25 AM

describe the imageHere’s a million dollar question: What if a bowling ball falls off a table and onto your customer’s foot, fracturing a bone?

You may get sued, and if found liable, be hit with big financial consequences.

Operating a business in an increasingly litigious landscape means entrepreneurs need to be vigilant of their risks. What’s more, business owners should align their insurance and asset protection plans according to those risks.

Here at ASG, we’ve covered prize indemnity insurance in a previous post.

Today, we take a look at general liability insurance and a proactive strategy for asset protection for any small business. General liability insurance can be purchased as a stand-alone product or as part of a larger policy that also includes property insurance.

Following are a few things to consider about general liability insurance for your business:

Match Your Policy to Your Perceived Risks

This may involve conducting a thorough risk assessment of your facilities, work policies and practices, and even your location. According to Dun and Bradstreet Credibility Corp, some states have been known to award large settlements to personal injury plaintiffs. While it may be a mistake to purchase less insurance than you need, purchasing way more than you require would create a perpetual cut into your profits.

Know What is Covered

Having a general liability insurance policy doesn’t mean that you can count on being completely off the hook financially should you lose a case in court. Read the fine print and ask your broker about the maximum amount of coverage per occurrence. If you’re sued for a million dollars and lose, but your policy only covers you up to 500 thousand dollars per occurrence, you’re left to fork up the rest.

Consider an Umbrella Insurance Policy

Umbrella insurance can pick up and cover where your general liability coverage max ends. Talk to your broker about your options.

One of the key ways to prevent big losses is to control and reduce risky situations in which you can be held generally liable. This starts with setting a holistic safety policy and training your staff to uniformly implement loss control practices. From regimenting safe routines to appropriate signage and clear communications, there are multiple opportunities to prevent a loss from occurring. If something does happen, keep accurate records and document everything.

For more safety tips, check out Brunkswick’s operations manual for bowling centers. 

Topics: bowling centers, General Liability Insurance, bowling insurance, Bowling Center Tips