If you love kicking back with a game of bowling alongside friends in Hampton, VA, chances are you might think bowling is purely an American pastime. However, not only is bowling in other countries very popular, bowling is actually an ancient game. If you’re wondering how bowlers work in other countries, people from other countries might be thinking the same thing!

The game of bowling is older than Jesus Christ and Julius Caesar. It was included in the first Olympic Games in Greece during the year 776 BC, and the oldest primitive bowling set that has been discovered by anthropologists is actually far older than that. Here is just some of the history of bowling in other countries.

The history of bowling

The oldest evidence of bowling in other countries that we know about is a primitive set from ancient Egypt that is thousands of years old. Anthropologists have also found hieroglyphics and artwork that seem to depict ancient Egyptians playing a game of bowling that looks mind-bogglingly similar to what you can enjoy today at Sparetimes in Hampton, VA. The most interesting discovery is that of an ancient Egyptian hall outside of Cairo that seems to have been one of the very first indoor bowling alleys.

But Egypt isn’t the only country with a very old love of bowling. Some historians think that the game of modern-day bowling actually originated in Germany. The first time the game shows up in a historical record is in 1366 AD in England, when King Henry III banned bowling as an unwanted distraction for his soldiers. There were bowling greens in England long before that, but by 1400 the game began to migrate indoors to settings not too dissimilar to today’s bowling alleys.

By that point, there were variations of bowling in other countries all over Europe, from Austria to Switzerland to Germany to England, so sometimes the number of pins in a bowling game was as few as three, and sometimes as many as 17. The size of the bowling ball and the number of players also varied.

The game of bowling found its way to America in the 1600s along with immigrants from England, Germany and the Netherlands. Originally an outdoor game that was sometimes considered seedy and tended to be associated with gambling, eventually it became what it is today: a fun game to play with friends.

Bowling in other countries

Bowling is still incredibly popular in other countries as well. Today, there are more than 100 million bowlers in over 90 countries around the world. People love to bowl, everywhere from Korea to Colombia to Australia, and there is a powerful international movement to bring bowling back to the Olympic Games. Bowling was amongst the eight sports shortlisted to be included in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. It’s already an event included in many international and regional events, including the Pan American Games, Asian Games, World Games, Commonwealth Games, Central and South American Games, Caribbean Games, South East and Far East Asian Games and more.

Ready to go bowling in Hampton, VA?

Luckily, you don’t need to be an international athlete to enjoy the game of bowling. If you’re interested in enjoying bowling like everyone from the ancient Egyptians to today’s league bowlers in Japan, come to Sparetimes in Hampton, VA. Contact us today to schedule your next game!

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