Variants of bowling around the world

AMF League Bowling - The Masters

Most people are familiar with tenpin bowling, that staple of work party activities that is played all around the world.

However, did you know that there are some weird and wacky variations of this popular game that are also enjoyed in various corners of the globe?

It turns out that the tenpin bowling you play at your local AMF isn't exactly the only form of knocking down pins with a ball. Here are two similar - and legitimate - sports that are played by many people today.

Five-pin bowling

Think knocking down ten pins at a time is too difficult? Why not cut the game in half and enjoy the compact version that is five-pin bowling!

No, this isn't some watered-down version of tenpin that only lazy bowlers indulge in. It is a sport that dates back to the start of the 20th century and is officially recognised with its own governing bodies.

Played mainly in Canada, five-pin bowling was invented to address the complaints of the first tenpin bowlers in the country, according to the Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers' Association.

The size of the individual pins was reduced, with the overall number of pins also halving to five, to cater for those who simply wanted a 'lite' version of the game.

Duckpin bowling

Don't let the name fool you - no animals are harmed in a game of duckpin bowling!

This version of the sport uses a much smaller ball, lacking finger holes and only slightly larger than a softball in size.

The pins themselves are arranged in similar fashion to tenpin bowling, but are also smaller and lighter, and players are allowed three rolls per frame.

So next time you're at an AMF for your corporate party, feel free to let everyone know that there is more to bowling than just the tenpin variety!