Pins and Alleys and Lanes - Oh My!

By Joy Neighbors

French Lick Springs Hotel Bowling Alley - 1930s

Today is National Bowling Day; a day when bowling alleys across the country hold special contests, giveaways and offer free games or free shoe rental. The day was introduced in 2012 as a way to celebrate this “great American pastime.”

The game of bowling has been played for thousands of years dating back to Egypt in 3200 BC. A form of bowling has been played in Europe since the 1300’s.

In the U.S., bowling began as a game played on the lawn, similar to croquette. Played with only nine pins, gamblers realized they could win bets on it easily. Several states outlawed the game before a tenth pin was added to create more of a challenge and bowling was once again played for fun.

In 1895, the American Bowling Congress (ABC) was formed and adopted a standard set of rules for the game. The ABC began organizing national competitions and interest in the game grew. The United States Bowling Congress (USBC, formerly the ABC) plays a major role in regulating and promoting the sport.

Today, bowling ranks number one as the most popular participatory sport in the country. The Bowling Proprietor’s Association of America (BPAA) reports that 95 million people take to the alleys each year in more than 90 countries, and half of these bowlers are women. Kids are also enamored with the game; more than 10-million attend bowling parties each year.

French Lick Resort is home to Pluto’s Alley with six lanes for play and “Cosmic Bowling,” a family-friendly event held on Wednesday evenings. The alley can also be rented for private events and parties. An arcade, complete with pool tables and assorted games, is located next to the lanes. Great pizza, calzones and pretzels can be found at Pluto’s Pizzeria, and adult beverages are available at Pluto’s Well.

Pluto’s Alley, located in the lower level of French Lick Springs Hotel, is open Sunday through Thursday from 11am - 11pm, Wednesday from 5pm – 11pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am – Midnight.

If you can’t make it to the lanes today, mark your calendar for National Family Bowling Day coming up on October 11th.