The earliest record of any type of bowling game dates from around 3,000BC in ancient Egypt, while Polynesians have enjoyed their version of the sport for several centuries.
In Europe, bowling originally developed in Germany. The Dutch then developed the game and, by 1650, the sport encompassed nine pins set in a diamond pattern toward the end of a 18.28m lane (track).
Tenpin bowling, which features a 60ft lane and pins set in a triangle pattern, is believed to have derived from the Dutch version.
Scoring for strikes and spares came about during the mid-century when heavier bottle-shaped pins replaced the earlier tall and slender version.
European colonists took the game to the US, where it became hugely popular. When ninepin bowling was specifically banned in 1841 following problems with gambling, people got around this by simply adding an extra pin, and tenpin bowling was born.
The American Bowling Congress was formed in New York City in 1895 and published the first set of rules; the Women's International Bowling Congress followed 22 years later.
The world governing body for both tenpin and ninepin, the Federation International de Quilleurs (FIQ), was formed the same year.
Today, the sport is played in more than 90 countries worldwide and the FIQ continues to lobby strongly for it to feature in the Olympics.
Bowling was introduced into the 8th Asian Games in 1978 in Bangkok, Thailand.