Why is bowling in America a topic worth discussing? Because while in Europe bowling was hiding in taverns and clubs, America gave it a name, a set of rules. Finally, she marked an important milestone in the history of sports – she created the first official organization – the American Bowling Congress.
This happened in 1895 and contributed to the explosive growth in the popularity of bowling in America and then around the world.
And before that, how did bowling appear in America at all? The answer is obvious – he came with settlers from Europe. But he did not just come, but poured out almost simultaneously from Britain, Holland, Germany. The Dutch and the British brought bowling as something forbidden and unworthy. In Great Britain, in the 19th century, he found himself shelter exclusively in taverns, and together with taverns moved to the States.
The Germans have made perhaps the greatest contribution to the development of bowling in the United States. Even the time of the rise in popularity of bowling coincides with the period of the most active immigration of Germans – this is the middle of the 19th century. Eyewitnesses recall the times when it seemed that only Germans played bowling in America. They did it on rough outdoor areas whenever the opportunity presented itself – during a picnic or on a holiday.
Later, here in America, bowling got its modern name and 10-pin shape. Prior to this, bowling was described descriptively as “the 9-pin bowling game.” American players used the English bowl, “rolling balls,” for a more capacious name that became ubiquitous. And the 10-pin form of the game, which is also the most widespread today, bowling is obliged to prohibit the non-9-pin form.
Bowling developed and gained popularity spontaneously, in New York there were several clubs with closed rooms for the game. There were more and more clubs, but there was still inconsistency of rules and standards. There was a need to create bowling organizations. They began to appear one after another. New York City Bowling Center Organization, National Bowling Association (NBA), American Bowling League (ABL). None of them have been able to do what the American Bowling Congress (ABC) has done. This organization has made the game a unified national sport. Its success was partly due to the direct mailing of more than 1,000 copies of the published rules and standards of the game; partly – a carefully thought-out service for teams and clubs.
Having received a unified management, bowling in America gradually became the main national sport. The American Congress was organized in 1895, in 1916 bowling went international with the first Women’s International Congress.
Since 1966, the American Congress has been supported by the student department, and in 1982 an independent organization for youth appeared – the Youth Bowling Alliance of America.
Now every year the Congress holds ABC Masters tournaments with the participation of the strongest bowlers from around the world, since 1901 the national bowling championship has been held. This is 12-16 hours of daily play in different cities, the total duration of the championship is 100 days or more.