Canadian 5-pin Bowling


I celebrated my birthday in St. John's, in the company of my loving husband and fur baby. While the weather is slowly embracing fall in Houston, Newfoundland is already experiencing temperatures in the 40s (Fahrenheit) and below. 

Such weather means a lot of indoor activities and has given us the opportunity to try something I've been meaning to for a while now. Canadian bowling! Much like Canadian football resembles the game in the states, yet totally changes things up on you, so does this 5-pin game. 

First of all, the balls are tiny! Like, fit in your hand, no need for finger holes, tiny. I didn't look up specifics, but I'd guess the balls we played with weighed between 5 and 7 pounds. This allowed us the throw them much harder and faster and almost lead to me skipping a few lanes on my first bowl. 

Most interestingly, the pins are not scored evenly. The head pin (dead center) is a five-point pin, the two on either side are valued at three points and the last two corner pins are worth two points. This means that a strike will bring in 15 points.

Similar to our 10-pin bowling, a strike allows your next two balls to count towards your points in the previous frame and a spare allows one. However, each turn is comprised of three bowls, not two. So you get an extra chance to bring in a spare should you find yourself in a split situation, as I often did. 

One bonus is that if you're lucky to bowl a 100, as I am in 10-pin bowling, you'll find it much easier in the higher scored 5-pin version. By our third and final game I actually overtook James and brought in a whopping 144 points! 

Some history for those who enjoy it, is that this style of bowling came about in Toronto in the early 1900s. According to the Canadian 5-Pin Bowlers' Association, frequenters of the well-to-do Toronto Bowlers' Club complained that 10-pin bowling was too strenuous. The rules have changed a few times over the years, but the concept remains the same. 

We had a delightful early afternoon at Holiday Lanes. I believe we've found a new winter hobby to entertain us once the snow hits. 


LifestyleLyndsay Cavanagh