Bowling vs. Skittles: The differences explained in detail

Bowling and skittles are two related sports that may seem similar at first glance. Both games consist of throwing balls at a group of target objects – pins or cones – to knock them down. Despite these similarities, however, there are some fundamental differences between the two sports. In this blog post, we will explain in detail the differences between bowling and skittles and provide sources and links to support our explanations.

  • Rules and scoring system: Bowling is played in ten frames, and each player has two throws per frame to knock down all ten pins. Strikes (all pins knocked down in one throw) and spares (all pins knocked down in two throws) earn bonus points (source: United States Bowling Congress, https://bowl.com/rules/Rules_Home/USBC_Playing_Rules/). Skittles, on the other hand, has different variants with different rules, such as scissor bowling, plank bowling or asphalt bowling.

Bowling and skittles are two related sports that may seem similar at first glance, but actually have different rules, playing styles and historical backgrounds. The main differences are in the number of targets – in bowling there are ten pins in a triangle, while in skittles there are nine pins arranged in a square or rhombus. In addition, the balls differ: Bowling balls have finger holes and are heavier, while bowling balls have no holes and are lighter.

The history of skittles goes back at least to ancient Egypt, where precursors of modern skittles existed as early as about 5,000 BC. Over the centuries, bowling continued to develop in Europe, especially in Germany, where it was very popular as a popular sport in the Middle Ages. The oldest known bowling alley is located in Frankfurt am Main and dates back to 1463. In the 19th century, bowling also spread to the USA, where it was soon replaced by the bowling variant.

Bowling also has its roots in bowling, but originated as a separate sport in the United States. According to legend, bowling was introduced in the 19th century in response to legal bans on bowling, which at the time was often associated with gambling and illegal activities. To get around the ban, the number of pins was increased from nine to ten and the new sport of bowling was born. The first modern bowling alley opened in New York City in 1895, and in the same year the American Bowling Congress was founded to set rules and standards for the sport.

Since then, both bowling and skittles have evolved, with bowling gaining popularity particularly in North America, the United Kingdom, and Asia, while skittles continues to have a large following in many parts of Europe, especially Germany and the Scandinavian countries. Despite their different developments, the two sports remain closely linked today, offering both recreational and competitive opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.

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