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.
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.
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.