If you ask any young child today what their ideal birthday party would entail, a number of popular family activities are likely to crop up - laser skirmish and tenpin bowling, to name a few.
So far in our series we've looked at the very beginnings of bowling and how it has developed through the centuries. We've examined how the game was shaped by different civilisations and played for varying purposes, from pure leisure to activities of a more religious nature.
Today we'll answer a few questions on how bowling came to be where it is today: How did the game continue its meteoric rise into the popular pastime played by everyone around the world? When was the first official governing body of the sport formed?
The American Bowling Congress
The word 'congress' usually brings up images of men in suits and boring debates.
However, the American Bowling Congress, or ABC, was actually the first official organisation to represent the sport of bowling.
Being the pioneers they are, the Americans formed this body as early as 1895, underlining the shift in the status of bowling as a mere pastime to a serious and competitive sport.
Those behind the ABC felt that bowling, while a widespread and popular activity, needed a set of standardised rules and regulations to make it a viable sport. For example, bowlers in New York had different rules compared to other cities.
The ABC was merged in 2005 with a number of other bowling organisations, such as the Women's International Bowling Congress, to form what is now known as the United States Bowling Congress (USBC).
Thanks to the help of such developments, we are now able to enjoy a standardised version of bowling that can be played anywhere around the world.
AMF, for example, is the perfect place to host parties for kids - head down to your local centre and let them loose at the bowling alley!