Saturday, January 5, 2013

Game Time: Bay State Bowling

There was a time in the 80's when my local cable system carried a second channel from Massachusetts. WSMW, channel 27, was home to reruns of Sgt. Preston of the Yukon, among others, but also introduced me to a different kind of bowling.

Most of us have played the traditional game, 10 pins, a large ball, weighing no more than 16 pounds on the average. In some states, such as Massachusetts, there is a different version, such as candlepin, which uses a smaller ball, and, yes, the pins are shaped like candles, hence the name. The other difference is it requires 3 shots instead of 2 to knock all ten pins down in a frame, which means it'd be rare for someone to strike out in the 10th frame.

A smaller ball can be rolled down the line harder and faster, as you'll see in the following sample clip:

Haven't seen any of this since WSMW was removed from cable systems in the mid-80's, but I will tell you, if someone was enterprising enough to try to bring candlepin bowling to my area, I would take a shot at it. (Yeah, the pun is that obvious)

Rating: A.


SaturdayMorningFan said...

I used to live in Massachusetts and I've tried both forms of bowling. I have to say, candlepin can be very frustrating and I much prefer duckpin, as the other more prevalent form is called in Massachusetts. Apparently, candlepin originated in New England and spread out to areas where New Englanders retired to, like Florida and California and probably other warm places. Duckpin is much more fun, IMHO.

hobbyfan said...

I've never seen Duckpin bowling, though I've heard of it. My cable system had WSMW for a good chunk of the 80's, then dropped it, largely because, IIRC, the station either closed or was sold and repackaged.

WSMW also was home to horse racing from Suffolk Downs, which now can be had via OTB simulcasting. Go figure.