Quilles sur Planche (Switzerland)


Skittles are arranged on the ground at a certain distance from the player, who has to roll them down by launching another object.

One of the traits that distinguishes this family of game is its variability: bowling is undoubtedly one of the least homogeneous traditional games . The game, in fact , is different according to the area and the historical moment in which it was practiced, both in the equipment (one to ten or more pins, and the tool used to knock them down can be a spherical or irregular bowl, a skittle  or even a metal plate), and for the variety of rules and game strategies.

This game variety is often taken as an example to demonstrate how the same type of game can be played by both men and women.

Instead of studying the different levels of strength required, it is important to study the territories where the game is played. Contrary to popular belief, bowling often involves skill and strategy rather than physical strength.

Historical Background

The first archaeological evidence of bowling pins date back to 3,200 BC: nine pieces of stone placed as pawns, and a ball of stone, which had to pass through an arch made of three pieces of marble.
They were discovered in the tomb of an Egyptian child in Nagada and are now at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology at the University of Oxford, England.

This game was also popular in ancient Rome, as evidenced by a Roman sarcophagus preserved in the Vatican Museums (
Giochi e giocattoli nell’antichità, Marco Fittà).
In the Middle Ages, documents testifying the popularity of this game are significant, but evidence on its practice comes mostly from the 15th century. In Polynesia a game called 'Ula Maika' was played, using bowling pins and balls of stone, thrown from a distance of 60 feet (18 meters). It is not a coincidence that this is also the length of modern Bowling alleys.

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