Understanding 10 Pin and 5 Pin Bowling

As we age, we often wonder if it is too late to take up a new hobby. Are we past that time when we can actually excel at something different? For many senior citizens in Ontario, Canada trying out new things is normal. The activities can range from culinary classes to sport and fun games, such as bowling. 5 pin and 10 pin bowling does seem like a physical activity that requires strength, but it is in fact a lot easier than you might think. Remember how bowlers say that “it’s all in the wrist”? Well, this is true, and technique trumps physical strength when it comes to bowling. Also, you don’t have to reach for the heaviest bowling ball.

5 Pin Bowling – Game Overview

Canadians love to put a homely twist on everything they come in touch with. Bowling is no exception. The Canadian version, 5 Pin Bowling, goes back to the late 1900s when Thomas F. Ryan developed the game, right here, in Toronto, Ontario. However, the original game goes back to 18th century Europe.

Thomas decided to chip away at the ten-pin version, removing the strenuous element of the game, and making the 5 Pin Bowling game far more accessible. Thomas decided to reduce the number of pins to five and opt for hand-sized hard rubber balls instead, thus making it quite easy for children and even senior citizens to participate and be part of the fun.

5 Pin Bowling – Game Overview

Today, the game continues to be just as important as in any other time in history. There are many events that run all across Canada, with the Canadian Five Pin Bowler’s Association and Bowl Canada hosting two of the major gigs each year.

If you are not a competitive player, you can still enjoy quite a few places around Ontario that actually offer the five-pin version of the game. If you drop by Toronto’s bowling center, you will be able to find 16 lanes. There are another eight lanes available in Espaniola and the Great Vancouver Area hosts two centers that offer the game as well.

There are naturally some smaller places that you might have heard about if you are a local. In any case, 5 Pin Bowling remains a beloved game by youngsters, adults and older people in Ontario where the game originated.

5 Pin Bowling Rules – Your Handy Guide

5 Pin Bowling rules are easy to learn while the game remains somewhat more demanding to master. Each game consists of ten frames. To understand what this means, we will now explain frames.

Each frame is three-balls played in succession by the same player in a bid to knock out all 5 pins. However, if a bowler manages to clear the pins with the first ball, then this is a “strike“. If a bowler succeeds upon his second attempt, then this is a “spare“.

The game itself is played on a special polished terrain and each individual player will stand in their “lane” where the pins will be placed at the end of the lane. The bowler then tries to knock out the pins. To be able to successfully read the score, you will need to know how points are calculated.

If you ball and hit the center pin, i.e. the headpin, you will receive 5 points. The remaining four pins are valued between 2 and 3 points. Every time you conclude a throw, you need to note down your progress. Let’s take the following example:

  • First ball: You topple the headpin – Mark down 5 points
  • Second ball: You hit one of the 3-point headpins – Mark down 3 points
  • Third ball: You miss the pins, but the ball doesn’t leave the lane. – You put down “-” and 0 points are marked down.

In the case of a “foul“, i.e. the ball completely leaving the lane, you will suffer a -15 penalty. This process repeats itself across all ten frames with the players diligently marking down their score.

10 Pin Bowling – The Original Game

10 Pin Bowling is the original bowling game. In the past, the game used to be more difficult to play due to poorer production quality of balls. It’s also worth noting that the size of the ball is bigger and therefore the ball is slightly heavier than the balls in the five-pin version.

The game saw a significant overall improvement in the 1990s when new technology allowed ball design to be streamlined. This version of the game is just as popular in Ontario as is the Canadian version of the five-pin one.

10 Pin Bowling – The Original Game

It’s also interesting to note that in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and nearly everywhere in the United States, the game will be just called “bowling,” but this changes slightly in Canada where we distinct between ten-pin and five-pin versions.

Overall, the ten-pin version is a great game and it is popular in Ontario. Today, the game is very accessible regardless of your age group.

10 Pin Bowling Rules – All You Need to Know

10 Pin Bowling rules are very simple. Once again, you have ten frames and, as we have explained, frames are three balls played in succession by the same player. The game uses a number of special symbols to make tracking your score simple.

If you see “X” it means that the player has knocked all pins on their first try. It is called a “strike”. “/” indicates a spare, which means that a player has knocked all remaining pins in the second round. If you see “-“, it means that a player has missed the pins. Conversely, an “F” stands for foul and it entails a penalty.

The most important part about 10 Pin Bowling is obviously keeping the score. In this version of the game, each pin is worth one point. There are some special bonuses for strikes and spares. If you score a strike, you get all 10 points, plus you get to have your other two rolls and add that to your first frame overall score.

For a spare, you get the 10, plus points for pins you manage to knock down on your next turn. As you can see, keeping score in this version of the game is quite easy. Whether you prefer five-pin or ten-pin bowling, you will find that Ontario to offers a variety of facilities welcoming players of all ages with the perfect setting to play and socialize.