The purpose of my lil' duckpin pages is to try to garner world wide
support for this wonderful but dying sport!
In the Washington, DC Metro area alone --Duckpin houses are closing
nearly monthly. It has always been a regional sport, and I could never figure
out why. Duckpin can be played by people of all ages; one to one hundred
and one. For Ten Pin, you must be able to heave a large 8-13 lb ball, so
that eliminates small children and the elderly.
In my opinion, Duckpin takes much more skill and patience than Ten Pin. It's
a very humbling sport. But the rewards are also greater... In Ten Pin, hundreds
if not thousands have played a perfect game; 300. In Duckpin that has NEVER
happened...talk about the Holy Grail!
When you get a strike in Duckpin, you've really done something! You feel
like "king of the world" and you hope that everybody was watching you, too!
The satisfaction and the feeling that you get is the BEST!
My hope is that entrepreneurs the world over will see that this can be a
lucrative business and open more houses. If you build it, they will come.
I never see any marketing money put into this sport. In Maryland you either
bowl or you don't.
There are many reasons the sport is dying. One of them is that the Asian
markets collapsed after a recession and the powers that be, like AMF that
poured money into development decided the whole sport was a dog when that
happened and they decided to "cut their losses".
There are no more manufacturers of new equipment. Everyone that owns a
Duckpin house must continually repair their old machinery. Someday the parts
will be too worn out to be repairable.
to more fun topics: I bowled my highest game ever on December 1, 1999 --a
whopping 172! Woohoo! Not bad for someone who has an average of 102?
(Update 2010 - My average is 107-108)
Here is my short history of play:
When I was a child my parents bowled in leagues, especially my mom. I grew
up looking at her many trophies and the world was all right. I remember many
happy times running through bowling alley and asking mom for nickels and
dimes to play pinball.
When I was was a baby, we lived in Baltimore and she was on Bowling for Dollars!
Then we moved to Montgomery County and she bowled at Wheaton Triangle, which
no longer exists. When I was thirteen, I played for one year in a Jr. league
at Fontana Bowlarama, that alley is of course, now closed. As a teenager,
my friends and I went bowling (usually at Fontana) for the fun of it. Then
I moved to California and for the next fifteen years I was "Duckpin deprived".
Occasionally played Ten Pin, but the original addiction was not cured.
When we moved back to Maryland for good in 1994, I was thirty five years
old and one of my high school friends, Debbie, asked me to be in her Duckpin
bowling league. My youngest child was still too young for me to commit to
playing in a daytime league, but in the fall of 1995, I jumped in. My first
year I started out with an average of 85, and ended the season with a 92,
the next year ending with an average of 100. That's where I've been staying
ever since. I have a 102 right now, and of course am hoping to get better.
I have changed my follow through, I make sure my hand is way high up in the
air with my palm straight. I am currently on the high strikes list and the
high game list on the weekly sheet for our league.
[This page was written in 1997. Update Feb. 2002: My average is
In closing, let me talk you into trying this game. Anyone that has played
the game knows how fun and challenging it is! If you live in
Connecticut, Maryland, Indiana,
Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West
Virginia which does have Duckpin, go out and try it, and then let me
know how much fun you had!
Let the good times Roll!