North American Bowling News

Exploring the Different Bowling Variations



Skittles is a hugely popular bowling variation played in the pubs of Europe, primarily England and Ireland.  It is the most difficult of the ‘pin and ball’ versions of bowling in which to attain a high score.  Leagues are comprised of teams with rosters loosely ranging from 6 to 15 players.  Skittles is a true team sport, and while the scoring is low, the enthusiasm is extremely high, with a very relaxed atmosphere.

Skittles is a close 2nd only to the game of darts in the United Kingdom as a recreational activity, despite it not being promoted as heavily as darts.

The pin configuration consists of 9 pins in a diamond pattern.  There are several styles of the ‘skittle pin’, and they are made of wood.  The balls are 4” to 5” in diameter, and weigh about 3½ lbs.  It’s extremely difficult to get a strike in the game of skittles.  A score of around 70 is considered very good in the game of Skittles.

*Photo courtesy of “”


How to play


Poole and District Skittle Association
Irish Skittles Association


A typical Skittles league match  (Rams vs. Old Pens)