The sport of Candlepin bowling is a bowling game unique to New England and the Provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada. First played in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1878, Candlepin bowling is an exciting, skillful sport, requiring minimal physical strength while demanding great accuracy, timing, dexterity and patience from each participant. Candlepin bowing is enjoyed by participants of all ages, young and old, and all abilities, from those who may be physically challenged to professionals. Candlepin Bowling is truly a sport for all people.
As in other forms of bowling, the players roll balls down a wooden pathway ("lane") to knock down as many pins as possible. The main differences between candlepin bowling and the predominant tenpin bowling style are that each player uses three balls per frame, rather than two (see below); the balls are much smaller (11.43 cm or 4½ in diameter) with each ball weighing as much as only one candlepin and without finger holes; the pins are thinner (hence the name "candlepin"), and thus harder to knock down; and the downed pins (known as "wood") are not cleared away between balls during a player's turn.
Because of these differences, scoring points is considerably more difficult than in tenpin bowling, and the highest officially sanctioned score ever recorded is 245 out of a possible 300 points. This score was first achieved in 1984 by Ralph Semb, who is the President of the International Candlepin Bowling Association as of 2016. The record was matched on May 13, 2011 by Chris Sargent of Haverhill, Massachusetts, at the Metro Bowl Lanes candlepin center in Peabody, Massachusetts, and accepted by the ICBA.
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The International Candlepin Bowling Association (ICBA ) was formed in 1987 to act as the umbrella organization of Candlepin bowling to oversee rules of the game, standards and specifications of lanes and equipment, and to act as the governing body of all issues related to Candlepin bowling, wherever played.
- ICBA website: www.candlepinbowling.com
- ICBA Facebook page: www.facebook.com/candlepin
- ICBA Twitter feed : twitter.com/Bowl_Candlepin
- ICBA Instagram page: www.instagram.com/bowl_candlepin/
- ICBA YouTube page: www.youtube.com/channel/UCehQ0L-LVUzvh8YkdbIV3DQ
- The official website for the Candlepin Hall of Fame and Virtual Museum: www.candlepinmuseum.com
- The official website for open bowling and Candlepin Bowling promotion: www.webowlcandlepin.com