North American Bowling News

Exploring the Different Bowling Variations



Ninepin Bowling exists in several playing formats and environments.  Skittles and Kegel, are the “small ball” bowling versions of Ninepins.  But the version of Ninepins that doesn’t use an alias resides in the state of Texas, and is simply referred to as “Ninepins”.  The pins, identical to those used in the “Tenpin” sport, are set up in a diamond configuration, just as in Skittles and Kegel, but a tenpin ball is used.  

The Texas Ninepin game adheres to the original form of bowling that preceded “Tenpin Bowling”, and has a modest but valuable following in preserving history.  The rules are basically the same as in tenpins, but the scoring is based on 9 pins per frame, and generally only 6 frames are bowled in a game that is dictated as a true team sport.  The game is played mostly in community venues and utilizes pinboys in lieu of automatic pinsetters.

*Photo courtesy of Spencer Selvidge (YouTube)


Ninepin Bowling at Wikipedia (see “Scoring”)


Texas State Historical Association


Texas Ninepin Bowling - Cultural Relic
Archaic Game Survives in Central Texas