Duckpin bowling is old school and exciting


Photo via Frederick News-Post

Many people have never even heard of duckpin bowling as it is such an outdated type of bowling.

Sarah Watkins, Staff Writer

Usually bowling is seen as an activity for a child’s birthday party or something friends do on a boring weekend night. Yet there is an entirely different kind of bowling that most teens are not aware of.

Duckpin bowling is an old-school way of bowling. The pins and balls used are generally smaller, making it harder to control the direction and speed of the ball when it is rolled. The pins also have to be manually set up because the duckpin alleys that exist in the area are too old to update. 

The balls used are about the size of an average male hand, with no grips. So the main goal is still to knock down as many pins as possible, but with a smaller ball. 

Duckpin bowling originated in Maryland in the early 1900s. Back in the 1920s, it became a country-wide phenomenon.

But fast-foward to today and there are rarely any leagues around. Many people have never even heard of this type of bowling. 

Luckily, South Hills residents have the Owls Club, a duckpin bowling alley in South Park. The club has about six lanes, each are about 70 years old. The club underwent renovations and was taken over by new owners in 2018.

The Owl’s Club holds a league every Saturday for frequent members. Each club member has an access card to enter, and gets to bowl for free. Non-members can bowl on Saturdays for $5. 

Many other cities do not have a prominent duckpin bowling scene, like Pittsburgh does. In a city that is advocates for a busy social and cultural scene, this is one of the oldest sports around, and is worth checking out.