Cheer of the Week: Time for Some New England Candlepin Bowling!

I was recently catching up with two of my friends who moved to Massachusetts. As one of my friends is an avid bowler, we started to talk about bowling and how it’s (apparently!) different in New England than in New York (and I guess anywhere else in the U.S) What the New Englanders have, is “Candlepin Bowling.” I was so intrigued by the notion that a region that is so close to New York has a completely different spin on the classic sport (yes, it’s considered a sport,) that I just had to blog about it.

Candlepin Bowling Club Circa 1910 Photo Courtesy of:
Candlepin Bowling Club Circa 1910 Courtesy of:

Candlepin Bowling is played primarily in Ontario and Quebec in Canada, as well as the New England states, such as Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine, and was developed in Worcester, MA, in 1880. How the heck has this sport been around for so long and I am just now learning of it?!

Candlepin Bowling Lane and Pins
Candlepin Bowling Lane and Pins

Just like other forms of bowling, players roll a ball down a wooden lane to knock as many pins down as they can. A big difference between candlepin bowling and other forms is the fact that the bowling balls are much smaller, and lighter, and do not have holes in them. The pins are not cleared away in between a player’s turn, and they are also much thinner, making them harder to knock down. Did you know that no one has ever reached a high score of 300 in candlepin bowling because of this? The highest they have gotten is 245 by Ralph Semb in 1984!

Image Courtesy of:
Image Courtesy of:

To find out more about Candlepin Bowling, check out the International Candlepin Bowling website! I’m so interested in this sport and am dying to play now (even though I’m terrible at regular 10-pin bowling.) Isn’t it interesting that a region so close to us in the Northeast has a completely different take on what we feel is a classic past time? What other sports do you all play differently than we do in New York? I’d love to hear about it and blog about them! Drop me a line!

Pin Placement
Pin Placement

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