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The Bowling Lane
The sport of ten-pin bowling is performed on a straight, narrow surface known as a lane. This bowling lane is 60 feet from the foul line to the head pin. About 15 feet from the foul line are a set of guide arrows. The lane is 41.5 inches wide and consists of 39 boards. The bowling lane has two sets of approach dots; from the foul line back to the first set of approach dots is about 12 feet and to the second set of approach dots is about 15 feet. Each lane has a coat of lane oil to protect the surface from abuse from the repetitive rolling of the bowling ball. Lanes were originally made out of wood, but now most bowling alleys have synthetic wood lanes. The original wood bowling lane was made up of several different types of wood, the first 15 feet was normally maple a very hard and durable wood, the next 45 feet was usually made of pine a softer material that also increase friction. Where the pins are set (pin deck) was also made of maple to with stand the abuse of the pins falling over.
 
The Pins
USBC rules specify that a pin must be 15 inches tall and 4.7 inches wide at its widest point, where a rolling ball would make contact. There are additional measurements which delineate the shape. The weight of a single pin must be at least 3 pounds, 6 ounces and no more than 3 pounds, 10 ounces. Within a set of ten pins, the individual weights may vary by no more than 4 ounces, if made from wood or plastic coated or just 2 ounces if synthetic. The top of the pin shall have a uniform arc with a radius of 1.273 inches, 1/32 inch. The USBC also has regulations governing the weight distribution of the pin from top-to-bottom. Pins are allowed one or two “voids” (holes) in the belly area. The voids are needed to balance the narrower top half of the pin with the wider bottom half. Without them, the pins would be too bottom-heavy to fall properly when struck. The pins must show the name and mark of the maker, either “USBC Approved” or “BTBA Approved” and appear uniform. The head pin or 1 pin stands on board 20 of the lane.
 
The Bowling Ball
The circumference of the ball must not be more than 2.25 feet, and the ball cannot weigh more than 16 pounds. The ball must have a smooth surface over its entire circumference except for holes or indentations used for gripping the ball, holes or indentations made to bring the ball back into compliance with weight-distribution regulations, identification letters and numbers, and general wear from normal use. A bowling ball can’t have an once or more of weight on the side, more than three ounces top weight, or an ounce difference between the top and bottom of the ball. Bowling balls were originally made of wood, as time progressed they began making them out of harden rubber or plastic, then urethane, and now resin.
 
Basic Rules of Play
A game of bowling consists of ten frames. In each frame, the bowler will have two chances to knock down as many pins as possible with their bowling ball. In games with more than one bowler, as is common, every bowler will take their frame in a predetermined order before the next frame begins. If a bowler is able to knock down all ten pins with their first ball, he is awarded a strike. If the bowler is able to knock down all 10 pins with the two balls of a frame, it is known as a spare. Bonus points are awarded for both of these, depending on what is scored in the next 2 balls (for a strike) or 1 ball (for a spare). If the bowler knocks down all 10 pins in the tenth frame, the bowler is allowed to throw 3 balls for that frame. This allows for a potential of 12 strikes in a single game, and a maximum score of 300 points, a perfect game.
 

Bowling Terms & Slang

 

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