CandlePin Bowling at Bowling Bowl

August 24, 2007

I was recently on a Maine Vacation, and I had the opportunity to go bowling at the Bowling Bowl in Brunswick, Maine. Mind you this was not ten pin bowling that I was used to, this was candlepin bowling.Bowling Bowl Candlepin Bowling

CandlePin bowling is a type of bowling that is mainly in the New England states and the maritime Canadian provinces. The balls weight no more than 2lbs 70z, and have a diameter of about 4.5″. The pins of which ten are up at a time, are 15 3/4 ” tall by 2 15/16″. CanclePins

A player gets three rolls, a strike occurs if the player knocks down all ten on the first throw and the player receives 10 plus the score of the next two balls rolled. A spare on the second receives 10 plus the score of the next roll, and ten scored on the last ball, receives just the ten, and no additional points.

Candlepin Bowling BallLizzie and I only played one game, but we had a great time. Being the balls are so light, our keyboard working hands showed no signs of fatigue.

Another difference between Candlepin and 10 pin, is that the pins or woods, stay in the lane, and actually become part of the play. The only time that a wood can not knock down a pin is if a ball enters the gutter and pushes a wood that is in the gutter to knock down a pin. The resulting knocked down pins are therefore not counted.

Matt Laffely, the owner, said he usaully tells people that have never bowled candlepins, to take their average of 10pins and half it and then add ten, to see what they might bowl.

From the one game we bowled, I found that it seems to be a game of finesse rather than muscle.

The Bowling Bowl, is quite a vintage bowling alley, and if you are lucky enough to make it part of your vacation like we did, perhaps Matt will show you the working of the facility and give you a bit of the history. Matt says that there are some ladies from the area that have been bowling at the Bowling Bowl for well over 4o years.

I was particularly impressed with the workings of the pinsetters. Back when the Bowling Bowl opened kids were paid to actually drop the pins in, and were paid a dime per game. Now the vintage machines do it with the click of a button, which each player must do at the end of his or her turn.

The Facility, which Matt is working on even as I type, takes quite a bit of time and money to keep up with. He has to rebuild the Control boxes, which costs about $800 a piece. The setting devices, which are not manufactured anymore, are in continual need of some sort of maintenance. Thankfully Matt is a very mechanical guy and is able to fabricate many of the parts himself. Old CandlePin Bowling Control boxCandlePin Controls
Well, If you get a chance to do some candlepin bowling at the Bowling Bowl or any other candlepin bowling alley, I certainly hope you have fun and remember to take your time and don’t expect to bowl as high as you would at ten pin bowling.


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