Bowling is an important part of American culture, a competitive sport that almost anyone can participate in. The familiar sounds of a bowling alley, the low lights, casual dining, and friends to share it with have become a favorite pastime for many. For others, it's a way of life.
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A History of Bowling
The concept of bowling has been around since the days of ancient Egypt or even earlier. The tomb of an Egyptian child that dated back to 5200 B.C. contained items for a game similar to bowling, where a stone ball was rolled through marble arches before knocking down nine stone pins.
Old Germany used a bowling type of game as a religious ritual to determine whether or not a person had been living virtuously. If they were able to knock pins down, it was viewed as a token that the bowler was godly. If the pins were missed, it indicated a lack of virtue. The famous German theologian and reformer Martin Luther enjoyed bowling, and is credited with standardizing the ninepin game.
Hawaii also has an ancient sport that involved rolling a disc-shaped stone down a long narrow pathway; they call this game ulu maika. It faced a serious decline in participation after westerners began to reshape the Hawaiian culture during the 1800's. Missionaries did their best during that era to suppress ulu maika due to its associations with native religion and gambling. To replace it, bowling (as we know it) was introduced to the islands of Hawaii, and it was an instant hit, most likely because the concept was already familiar to the people.
By the middle of the 1800's, bowling had already established itself in the United States. Tenpin bowling became the most popular version. Leagues were popping up all over the country, and they began to organize, forming the National Bowling Association, the American Bowling Congress, and the Women's International Bowling Congress. These groups still continue today, as well as many others.
One thing that sets bowling apart from other sports is the fact that it is mainly participated in, rather than being a spectator sport. That is to say, if a person is going to the local bowling alley, it's not to watch others play, but to play themselves. It is a social event where friends get together and enjoy an evening of fun, food, and game; donning the traditional shoes, perhaps a bowling shirt, and of course their favorite ball.
Anyone can play the game; for the casual bowler, it is affordable to rent shoes and a ball for the evening. Serious bowlers often buy their own equipment so that they can have consistency in their games. It's common for the pros to get 7 to 8 strikes (knocking all 10 pins down) in a row!
Remembering Your Special Bowler
If your loved one could be found at the bowling alley often, they were one of those people who loved the sport for all it represented; competition, fun, and an evening with friends. Perhaps you'd like to keep those fond memories alive by choosing a bowling themed cremation urn. These custom urns are engraved with the image of a bowling ball about to make that classic clatter as it crashes into the pins.
The bowling ball is just like every life; it is projected into the world with a goal. With skill and hard work it will be directed straight for the prize, to conquer all that life has in its path. For those who lived a good life and made a positive impact on the world around them, we honor them best by remembering their legacy.