Bowling or Tenpin


Bowling has been around for many years now, and over the years, there have been many variations, like those we discuss here.

Bowling vs. Tenpin

In bowling, you have to roll a bowling ball straight or with a hook down a bowling lane without crossing the foul line and knock down the formation of pins at the end of the bowling alley. This differs according to the type you play. For example, 5-pin and 9-pin bowling have 5 and 9 pins, respectively. A tenpin is a form of bowling with ten pins, set in a triangular shape, as a target.

Main Difference

The main difference between bowling and tenpin is in the weight and design of the balls and the total number of pins that are the target. Looking at the history, the place of origin of these games is different as well. The difference also lies in the number of frames and the number of turns in each frame. In tenpin bowling, there are ten of them. Meanwhile, in the case of bowling, the number of frames and turns depends on the kind of bowling.

Candlepin Bowling (Candlepin)

Candlepin bowling is a popular sport in New England. Going back in time, one can find that this type of bowling was invented in Massachusetts around 1880. This game consists of thin pins and candlepin balls that are small, with a 4.5” diameter. The ball usually weighs two pounds and seven ounces.

Candlepin Bowling

Don’t be fooled by the shape of these pins. Arranged in a triangular shape, these 10 candlepins are a challenge to knock down with the first ball. There are a total of ten frames, and there are three turns in each frame.

Ten-pin Bowling

Ten-pin bowling is also known as simple bowling to Americans. In 1895, the official rules for this game were drafted by the American Bowling Congress. However, some versions of this game even date back to the Civil War.

The tenpin bowling ball has three holes, and it weighs between six and 16 pounds. Moreover, the pins of this game can be made out of wood or plastic, and the weight of each pin ranges between three pounds six ounces and three pounds and ten ounces. With a total of ten pins, each pin is 15 inches tall and 4.7 inches wide. The number of frames in each game is ten, and each frame has two turns. The highest score in one frame is 30, a perfect game would therefore mean achieving a score of 300.

9-Pin Bowling (Kegel)

A bit different from tenpin bowling, in 9-pin bowling, the next player gets to pick up from where the first player left. And, of course, there are nine pins instead of ten.

Until the 20th century, this game was one of the most popular ones in the USA with a lot of league bowlers. It had a cult-like following in central Texas and was noticeably popular in Europe as well. The 9-pin ball has three holes, and it weighs the same as a tenpin bowling ball.

In contrast to other bowling games, the nine pins in this game are arranged manually in a diamond shape. And the red pin is placed in the middle. There are six frames in this game, with two turns in each frame, even if players manage to knock all the pins on the first go.

5 pin bowling

5-pin Bowling

Five pin bowling is popular in Canada, and its setting is a bit different from the rest. The five pins are arranged in a V shape, the head pin in the first position, and each pin has different points. The bowling ball for five pin bowling is small enough to fit in a hand. The 5-pins are smaller when compared to 10-pins, but they are larger than duck-pins. In the middle of each pin, you will see a rubber hand, which makes these pins fly harder, increasing the possibility of knocking down other pins.

In total, there are ten frames in this game. The number of turns in each frame is three. This game is more about just force. One has to play it strategically.

Duckpin Bowling

Popular in the United States, duckling bawling has similarities with candlepin and tenpin bowling. In this game, all the pins are shorter and a bit stout, much like tenpin bowling pins, but they are lighter, making it easier for players to get the pins knocked even if the ball contacts only some of them.

Duckpin balls don’t have finger holes, and they weigh around 3.75 pounds (1.7 kg). With a total of ten frames in one game, the players get to take three turns in each frame.

Duckpins bowling

How Many Bowling Pins are There?

The number of bowling pins depends on the bowling game played. Regular bowling or ten pins have ten pins on the lane. Candlepin bowling and duckpin bowling also use ten pins. Nine-pin or kegle and skittles are played with nine pins. Canadian or 5-pin bowling uses five pins. Bowling-and-a-half is a game that is played with 15 pins.

Closing Thoughts

We have shared five types of bowling with you, and each one is different from the other. From candlepin bowling to 5-pin bowling, duckpin bowling, and many more, choose any you like. The point is to have fun both playing with your friends or family at the bowling centers or participating in professional bowling leagues. Each one has different rules, but there is some common ground as well.

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