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3 Best Places For Candlepin Bowling In USA

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Candlepin Bowling is a game that is played as a form of recreation. There is no doubt that people are completely immersed in their daily lives and are so busy that they do not have the time to relax or have fun properly. It is a wonder that despite being so busy most of the time, people do find the time to enjoy themselves.

As a result, when they do have the time, people in Canada and the states of New England of the United States prefer to enjoy themselves by playing candlepin bowling.

What is Candlepin Bowling?

Candlepin Bowling
Candlepin Bowling

Candlepin bowling is a type of bowling that is more prevalent in Canada and the United States. The game of Candlepin bowling is played with a small ball that fits a person’s hand, and tall, narrow pins which look a lot like candles. Thus, the name of the game is candlepin bowling.

Candlepin Bowling is a fascinating game that requires players to be extremely skillful, as this game is not about showing off your strength. Instead, it is about being skillful in knowing about the timing and when to roll the ball. It also tests the dexterity as well as the patience of each of the participants.

To play this game, the players must stand on one end of a long, narrow lane and start competing against one another to see who can knock the most of the pins over at the other end of the lane by rolling down it. The difference between candlepin bowling and the standard bowling depends mostly on the details of how the game works, its terminology, as well as how people score by playing it.

History of Candlepin Bowling

As stated in the website of the  I.C.B.A. (or The International Candlepin Bowling Association), Candlepin bowling was first discovered by Justin White, who is known to be the owner of a billiards and bowling hall, in 1880 in Worcester, Massachusetts. According to a 1987 Sports Illustrated article, it is also said that the game was invented by John J. Monsey, a billiard player in the year 1881.

In particular, in 1906, Monsey created the National Duckpin and Candlepin Congress to regulate the size of the ball, the shape and size of the pin, and surface characteristics of the lane, which in turn helped in facilitating the formation of leagues as well as other competitions. The World Candlepin Bowling Council (WCPC) is said to have begun its Hall of Fame in the year 1965, while the International Candlepin Bowling Association (ICBA) was formed in the year 1986.

Important Terms to Know in Candlepin Bowling

Even though both Candlepin Bowling and standard bowling seems to be a lot similar, the terms used in the game differ quite a lot from each other. A few of the essential terms used in the game of Candlepin Bowling are as follows.

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Bowling
  • Game is instead known as String — In candlepin bowling, a single match is called a string.
  • The frame is instead known as Box — An opportunity to gain points with the help of using three (instead of two as in standard bowling) rolls of the ball to knock down a single set of ten pins.
  • The strike is called the same, that is, Strike — When a bowler knocks, all ten pins down at once on their first throw itself.
  • Spare is called the same, that is, Spare — When a bowler knocks, all ten pins down on their second throw.
  • N/A in Standard Bowling but is known as Ten-box in Candlepin Bowling— When a candlepin bowler can knock down all ten pins on their third throw.
  • N/A in Standard Bowling but is known as Wood in Candlepin Bowling— Fallen pins that remain on the lane after being knocked down.
  • N/A in Standard Bowling but is known as Half Worcester in Candlepin Bowling— Candlepin bowling has several colorful terms (you can check out Wikipedia for more information) for specific combinations of pins that are remaining after either one or two throws. This particular term refers to the pins remaining after a ball hits the pin to the right or left of the headpin ( which is the one that remains in the very front) and knocks over only that particular one as well as the one that stands behind it.

The Game of Candlepin Bowling and How to Score in it

Even though scoring in Candlepin Bowling seems to be rather challenging, I am here to tell you that it is relatively easy. It may seem to be rather complicated, but it turns out to be simple.

The string is divided into ten boxes, during which each bowler is supposed to knock down the ten pins. The number of pins a bowler knocks down is equal to the number of points he receives. Thus, it means that each hook that the bowler knocks down fetches him one point. Therefore, the number of pins a bowler knocks down in three chances is equal to the number of issues they get. So it is easy, right?

But that is not all. The tricky part of the game arises when a bowler knocks all ten pins down before she has finished using all the three balls allotted for him or her. There is nothing to panic about, though, because the critical thing to remember is that no matter what happens, each box gets the score of three throws.

This means that, if a bowler knocks down all ten pins in two throws, she gets ten plus however many pins she knocks down on her next roll. If a bowler knocks down all the pins in one throw, he gets ten plus the number of pins he knocks down on his next two rolls.

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Candlepins and the ball

Instead of taking the time for those extra rolls independently, we simply use the roll or rolls from the bowler’s next turn and those count for the previous and current box. The only exception to this is the tenth and last box. Since there is no next turn, the bowler takes one or two extra rolls right after knocking down all the pins during their normal turn.

Difference Between Candlepin Bowling And Standard Bowling

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Candlepin Bowling
3 Best Places For Candlepin Bowling In USA 8
Standard Bowling

The two categories in which the differences between candlepin bowling and standard bowling may occur are how the game is played and the equipment used to play the game. Since the name of the game comes from the candle type pins used, let’s start there. The bowling pins generally used in standard bowling are quite different from those used in the other game.

Candlepins are supposed to be much thinner than regular bowling pins and are virtually straight-up-and-down cylinders. Even though they taper out a tiny bit in the middle, they are less than three inches in diameter at the place they are the thickest. The pins are the same at the top and the bottom and weigh only two pounds, eight ounces.

The ball used in Candlepin Bowling is much smaller than the one used in regular bowling and is only four and a half inches in diameter while it weighs slightly less than a single pin. Unlike a traditional bowling ball, the ball used in this type of bowling easily fits most people’s palms, and there are no finger holes.

In terms of playing the game, the two most significant differences are that each of the bowlers receives three chances to throw the ball down the lane to knock off the candlepins instead of two and that any of the pins that have been knocked down during either the first or the second throw are left on the lane. These candlepins are then left to use as obstacles or things that help the ball bounce off during subsequent throws.

Top 3 Most-Visited Candlepin Bowling Places in the USA

1. Park Place Lanes

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Park Place Lanes

Park Place Lanes are supposed to be the world’s largest luxury candlepin bowling center. It is located in Windham, New Hampshire, and it prides itself on being the only bowling entertainment venue that offers 28 luxury candlepin bowling lanes as well as eight classic candlepin bowling lanes.

It is known to have VIP Semi-Private Lanes, Luxury Candlepin, Classic Candlepin, and open lanes to play candlepin bowling, which is available daily. You can go to this place and select the type of lane you want according to your requirements and then enjoy an excellent time playing either with your special loved one or your friends or maybe even your family.

Along with offering candlepin bowling services, it also provides services such as full Food & Beverage service (thank God for that because playing would automatically lead to feeling hungry, don’t you think?), Lane-side Seating and High Tables, VIP Lounge (finally get to be a VIP, yay!), Function Rooms, Arcade, and so much more! Thus there is a place to have fun for your entire family!

 2. King Bowling Lanes

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King Bowling Lanes

King Bowling Lanes is located in Manchester, New Hampshire. They offer patrons to play different types of candlepin bowling such as Public Bowling, Glow Bowling, League Bowling, and even Bowl-a-thons to make candlepin bowling more interesting.

According to the King Bowling Lanes website (which you can check it out here: King Bowling Lanes), Glow Bowling is a type of bowling that has a twist. First, the lights are turned off, the black lights are turned on, and the place starts to glow. After the place is set up, the neon-colored balls are rolled down the lane at the already burning green pins while the jukebox plays some of your favorite songs.

Glow Bowling is such a game that is enjoyed by all ages and not just the kids. Everyone is probably aware of what Public Bowling and League Bowling are, so I won’t go into further details of that, whereas for Bowl-a-thons, we do not see many bowling lanes hosting it.

A bowl-a-thon is a type of fundraiser where your group gets people to pledge or sponsor them pennies for every pin they knockdown.  The date needs to be prearranged, and the group comes in on that date and bowls three games. The pledges of each of the bowlers are added up, and then they are informed of how much money they will bring in approximately. Thus, this becomes not only a great fundraiser but also a great kind of social event.

Along with candlepin bowling, they also offer pool tables, ping pongs, and accessories such as keychains, which can act as a memorabilia for a memorable day at the lanes playing the game.

3. The Big 20 Bowling Center

Candlepin bowling
The Big 20 Bowling Center

As the name suggests, The Big 20 Bowling Center is a bowling center located in Scarborough, Maine, where people play Candlepin bowling. Some other Leagues and Tournaments are also held in this bowling center. Leagues are generally held during the Fall season and are called Fall League, while Junior Bowling is also. Bowling Tournaments are also held across the region during the year so that all the candlepin bowlers can showcase their talents.

The bowling center also provides entertainment such as ‘Rock N’ Bowl’ where there is a fun candlepin bowling experience waiting for you. You will be able to play candlepin bowling in the glow-in-the-dark lanes while being able to feel the pumping beat of the music coming from the sound system.

This is the best way to enjoy playing candlepin bowling. No wonder this is one of Maine’s favorite past times. The Big 20 Bowling Center is also available to host birthday parties and corporate functions because it has all types of fun-filled amenities available for people of all ages. Check out the pricing plans of such parties or functions at Pricing Plans.

Candlepins
Candlepin Bowling

Candlepin Bowling is such a game that can be played by people of all ages. The ball used in this game is considerably lighter than the one used in standard bowling, making it easier for both the kids and older adults to play with it. This game focuses on a person’s patience and ability, as well as precision. It enhances these senses of a person and thus can be considered to be an educational game as well.

This is a type of bowling game that can be played (and enjoyed) in different ways. If you have not tried candlepin bowling yet, I think it is high time that you check out the game at least once. In the beginning, you might find it a bit hard, but once you get the hang of it, I am pretty sure you will never want to leave the bowling lane!

Oindri Kundu

Written by Oindri Kundu

An artist with hidden talents.
A girl with a love for books.

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