Depending on which bowling alley you check out, candlepin or ten pin bowling may be more popular. In the northeastern part of the United States, for example, candlepin bowling is preferred, but what is the difference between the two?
In this article, we will explore these two types of bowling and offer a few tips to help you get into the swing of things.
What Is the Difference Between 10-pin Bowling and Candlepin Bowling?
The term “tenpin” can be misleading for many people. After all, you’ll see ten pins in both types of bowling, so that doesn’t help much when distinguishing between them. One difference is the candlepin bowling ball being lighter – 2 pounds 7 ounces at most.
Moreover, the games have different histories and origins. Candlepin bowling first started in New England in the 19th century and is mostly played there even today, while tenpin bowling was first played in the mid-19th century and became popular there.
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Pins and Balls
In candlepin bowling, the game has a small ball that is gripped in one hand and thrown down the lane at 10 cylindrical pins with the goal of knocking them down. Each person is allowed three attempts to get the job done.
A noticeable difference between tenpin bowling and candlepin bowling is that the former uses deadwood, which are pins that are knocked down and aren’t cleared until the frame ends. This gives you an advantage to use those pins to knock others down, as long as you know where to hit them.
Another main difference between candlepin and tenpin bowling is the size of the ball used. Tenpin bowling balls tend to be heavier and larger, weighing around 13 pounds, versus candlepin bowling balls, which tend to be seven times lighter.
There are also no finger holes in candlepin bowling balls because they are small and light, while in tenpin bowling, the balls must have finger holes as it is a regulated stipulation by the USBC for grip and comfort.
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Retrieving Balls When It’s Your Turn
In candlepin bowling, you can simply grab a ball when it’s your turn to play, but in tenpin bowling, you have to wait until the balls are rolled back to you.
This is because the balls and pins tend to be taller and lighter in candlepin, making the game more unpredictable.
How the Pins Are Arranged
Additionally, there’s how the pins are arranged in each game and the number of pins used. Each game uses 10 pins. However, in candlepin, the pins are lined up in a straight line, while in tenpin, the pins are set in a triangular shape at the end of a line.
Moreover, if you happen to bowl a ball and it somehow ends up in the gutters, you cannot retrieve it. An employee should be called to get it for you instead.
The scoring system for each game is also different. In candlepin bowling, it is more complex than it is in tenpin. Points are given based on where each pin is placed in the lineup, and bonuses are given for spares and strikes. In tenpin, a point is given for each pin knocked down, and bonuses are added for spares and strikes.
Frequency of Play
Both tenpin and candlepin use frames to describe each segment, and lanes are used for both games. Tenpin players play one frame at a time and use two balls per frame, while candlepin players get to throw two frames or three balls per frame.
Candlepin Bowling Tips
- Holding the ball by your fingertips instead of your full palm will give you better control of the throw. The grip should feel repeatable and natural. You should hold the ball from underneath with your fingers spread apart with a firm grip.
- It is recommended that while approaching the foul line, the bowler begins with the foot opposite to the throwing hand slightly ahead of the other foot. The arm that will be used to throw the ball should go backward with the second step and begin to move forward before the bowler starts to make their third step, which is known as the slide.
- Use the most common release technique, “the cross name” throw. It is straight and hard and is aimed at the headpin and the two other pins behind it.
- Do not fling the ball at the pins, as this will cause the ball to bounce and lose power. Instead, try a gentle toss.
Tenpin Bowling Tips
- Keep your shoulders straight and level to avoid sending the ball wide.
- You will have the best shot if you aim to the right if you are right-handed and to the left if you are left-handed.
- It is commonly stated that power and speed should be used to hit a strike, but if you were to slow down, your shot would become more effective and accurate.
- Swing the ball from behind you to the front, and try to keep your arms as straight as possible. This will help the follow-through once you let the ball go.
- You will also find that rolling the ball instead of throwing it will give you more control over it.
- As you move to roll the ball, ensure to lower your knees and align them with the lane. Once you are about to release the ball, slowly start to straighten them again.
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In conclusion, both games, as shown above, are different. The truth is that for some people, it is certainly not easy to choose a favorite between the two. Why not try both and see which suits you? Depending on where you’re from, you may not even have known that one or the other existed.
Grab a few of your friends or family members and head out to your nearest bowling alley. History shows it may be a little difficult to get a perfect score of 300 in tenpin, but it will be fun to bring out your competitive side and have some fun with your loved ones.