Posts Tagged ‘bowling history’

International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame

April 15, 2010

I visited the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame (www.bowlingmuseum.com) in Arlington, Texas last week to do research for my upcoming book, Milwaukee’s Historic Bowling Alleys. It wasn’t what I expected, beginning with the outside:

Seriously, you gotta love a huge, see-through bowling pin. I guess everything really IS bigger in Texas…

The museum is part of a large complex that houses the United States Bowling Congress (USBC), which is the result of a merger in 2005 between the American Bowling Congress, the Women’s International Bowling Congress and the Young American Bowling Alliance. In addition to the museum and administrative offices, the USBC’s International Training and Research Center is also on the property.

I expected a collection of relics from the past, presented in display cases, with lots of trophies and medals from great bowlers throughout history. There IS some of that, but the museum is up-to-the-minute modern, with interactive displays, computerized bowling games and a real live pair of alleys for keglers to practice their hook. The balls are small enough to fit in your palm, and each of the mini-pins is tied to a string, allowing for automatic resets.

Interactive games such as The Coach’s Corner (above) let you challenge a couple of friends to see whose skills are up to par. Wait a minute, that’s golf terminology. Sorry…

You’ll see plenty of historical information on bowling champions throughout the ages, bowling in other countries–it’s huge in Korea–plus details on the intricacies of competitive bowling. Did you know, for example, that there are many different patterns of oil application that can be used to increase or decrease the difficulty of the lanes? Each pattern has a name: Scorpion, Viper, Cheetah, etc.

Bowling pins, meanwhile, have several forms, from small duckpins and candlepins–both of which are still in use in some areas of the country –to the kind typically used today, with all those sexy curves.

The museum is located in the entertainment center of Arlington, right across the street from Six Flags, and close to both the Texas Rangers ballpark and the Dallas Cowboys Stadium.

International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame

621 Six Flags Drive

Arlington, Texas 76011

817.649.5105

www.bowlingmuseum.com