A Small History of Bowling Balls

By: Amelie Mag

Every man needs to practice some kind of sport in order to detach from daily activities and worries. Some prefer physical sports like soccer or football, or games that stimulate the intellect like chess. There are also other sports that can be practiced indoors with minimum requirements as far as physical abilities go. Among them we can name pool and bowling.

Let's talk about bowling. Even though it may seem like a relatively new sport, this kind of activity has been going on for more than seven thousand years. It can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, where those guys used stone for their bowling balls.

Before the 20th century, in the US, bowling balls were manufactured from wood, oak in particular. In the beginning of the 20th century though, hard rubber was introduced as the new material used for manufacturing bowling balls, and this remained the same for over 60 years.

The next step in the manufacturing process came in the 1970s, when some people started to experiment with the hardness of plastic bowling balls. The developer of this project is known to be Don McCune, who was working at the time for Chuck Hamilton. The later developed a way to soften the balls with solvents, which resulted in a softer cover and higher scoring.

Because of this, USBC went as far as barring some softer bowling balls. It also represented one of the main reasons why USBC introduced some balance regulations for balls, in order to prevent the advantage of some players which could either make the ball hook more of roll earlier.

The beginning of the 1980s marked the introduction of polyurethane as the main material used for manufacturing bowling balls. Ebonite was the one to develop the technology, but the rights were sold to AMF, because the developers did not believe players would pay the high price demanded by the technology. It proved to be a big mistake.

AMF started to produce this kind of balls because they got a better grip on the polyurethane finishes that were used on the lanes manufactured from natural wood. This caused a major change and proved to be a turning point for the entire game of bowling.

In the 1990s the regulations regarding the densities of the balls were changed. Instead of a uniform sphere surrounded by a coating, perfectly centered inside the ball, other methods for manufacturing were now being developed.

No matter what kind of ball a player uses to knock down the pins, transporting the ball from your home to the bowling alley presented some problems. Because of this, bowling bags were introduced to make the task easier. The companies that manufacture the balls have started to produce bowling bags also.

For players that are interested in bowling bags and balls, the internet is the best place to start. One of the websites that offers great prices on bowling bags, balls and any kind of bowling accessory is mgbowling.com. Check out the site and see for yourself.

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