String Bowling


So String Bowling has been given official recognition by the newly renamed International Bowling Federation. What intellectual giants thought that to be a good idea?

Is it April 1st already? String bowling belongs in bowling bars / lounges for social play and an enjoyable night out.

You don't have to possess the intellect of Charles Darwin to understand that pins on strings no matter how (supposedly) advanced the technology may be, will never replicate 10 pins moving freely around a pin deck.

String Bowling has as much realism as the old Skee Ball arcade game.

While the IBF is trying to reinvent the game maybe they should change the way we score? Oh yes that has already been tried. Political correctness gone mad. It seems many people new to the sport have great difficulty solving that complicated arithmetic equation of a double and 9 makes 29 for the frame. We didn't even have computer scoring in this country until the mid 1980s. People were bright enough to score with a pencil and their brain up until then. People scored manually in the US for at least 80 years before the invention of computer scoring.

Oh yes the latest one - first to 3 strikes wins. I suppose a majority of people can count to 3.

Does anyone really believe this garbage is going to not only save the game but help it advance and gain credibility?

Bowling is a great game and that is why many of us have played it for decades.

Keep the social side and gimmicks out of bowling at the competitive level.

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Yes Andy, the Americans got it absolutely right. Hopefully more follow. America is thinking of the game and ensuring the continuation of its integrity.

THE IBF is obviously focused on other unrelated matters.

Below are a couple of quotes from the IBF website.
''We show bowling at its best. By removing the complexity and barriers to play, without compromising the integrity of our sport''.
"Our sport crosses cultures. Truly inclusive, united by a passion for bowling, we bring the world closer together by innovating our sport with technology and data".

I would be fairly safe in suggesting that a BOWLER did not write those quotes.

I thought the object of the game was to roll a sphere down a 60 foot lane and knock over 10 pins.

Bowling in my mind is already inclusive - everyone who wants to play can play and that is how it should always be - subject to affordability.

Bowling is meant to be fun and / or competitive. Surely that is enough. Most people do not walk into a bowling centre for the purpose of having a 'cultural experience'. We go there because we like the game and because our lives are otherwise busy with necessities such as work and education. Bowling is something we CHOOSE to do.

Unfortunately for some people the cost is prohibitive in Australia and that is an area that does concern me.
Simple example below:
A social player walks into a Zone centre in Australia and pays $15.90 for a game. If you walk into my friend's centre in Chicago the prices are $2.75 adult, $2.50 junior & $2.25 senior per game. But after 5pm and on weekends everyone pays the grand sum of $3.50 per game. Oh yes, costs are slightly less for league players.

It is time for the IBF and all bowling federations to address the real issues which are keeping people out of bowling centres.

Thankfully the USBC has gone the right way on String Bowling.
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Don't hold back!!
Sean, as you rightly high-light, bowling is way too expensive here is Aust. And that needs to be addressed. Zone (and other centres) are in business to make a profit. I think that this is reason string pinsetters were invented. Cost. String pinsetters cost far less to operate. They use far less power and power is expensive. Also, there's no need to employ and qualified mechanic (or at least less mechanics). You don't need to be a qualified mechanic to untangle the strings (if that's all that needs doing).
So saving money seems to me to be the motivation for introducing string pinsetters. Cheers and happy bowling.


Thanks Greig,

Still waiting for a TBA response. It is only the most important integrity issue to hit the game since it commenced in Australia 60 years ago.

I would imagine the non-bowling board members are busy doing some Google research. I would like to see the non-bowlers on the board clearly articulate what String Bowling actually is and how it effects the integrity of the sport. That is too much to expect and I know it will never happen. I suppose in reality I would be impressed if they have all made the very minimal effort to gain a basic understanding of bowling balls, pins, lanes, automatic pinsetters and some of the bowlers who were members of the ATBC / TBA before they were even born. Maybe one simple question - How many non-bowling members of the board actually know how to even score with a paper and pencil or more to the point have even bothered to learn? I bet they will now before someone corners them. If they can't deal with the most basic fundamental issues of the game they should perhaps find a position in a field in which they know something about. The USBC immediately dismissed String Bowling as the garbage it so obviously is. To the non-bowling members of the board step aside and let bowlers who understand the game decide the issues that matter. This issue should now have been well and truly dealt with.
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steve jones

Active Member
Sean the simple fact is - and you understand this only too well I'm sure - string machines are with us and won't go away. Greig's comments are fundamentally correct - so certain commercial realities are in play and will remain in play. For traditionalists this is a hard thing to accept - and so I agree with your position from an emotional standpoint - sheer practicality sees me more prudent however. The USBC will hold it's position for just so long until commercial pressures sees that it too will change the current directive.

Your second paragraph however is one of exceptionally skilled and accurate observation ;)


Thanks Steve, yes I acknowledge it is here to stay and it is less expensive to run. I look forward to running cost savings being passed on to the bowlers. I really do still hope that we never see major tournaments and big events like the Nationals being played in String centres unless there is absolutely no other option. I also hope that any bowler with an average of 150 or better or even someone who is simply trying to improve their game would drive another few kms to bowl league in a traditional centre if the option is there.
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