Bowling is the common name for several sports that involve rolling a ball towards a target or to knock down pins.
For the use of this term in cricket see Bowling (cricket).
The sports known as bowling may be divided into two distinct groups.
The first group is played along an "alley", most commonly of wood. Here the players attempt to score points by throwing a ball to knock down pins. Included in this group are
- Ten-pin bowling
- Five-pin bowling, played in Canada
- Nine-pin skittles
- Candlepin bowling, played in eastern Canada and New England, is a popular variation of ten-pin bowling, where the player gets to roll a small ball three times per frame, instead of the normal two.
- Duckpin bowling, commonly found in the Baltimore, Maryland area, in central Connecticut, and in eastern Canada, is another popular variation of ten-pin bowling, where the player rolls three times per frame.
- Turkey bowling, in which the participants throw frozen turkeys along the aisles of supermarkets to knock down 2-litre soft drink bottles, is not a sanctioned sport.
In the second group the players throw a ball (which may be eccentrically weighted) along a lawn in an attempt to put their balls closer to a designated point. This group includes
- Skittles - the sport from which "alley" based Bowling originated