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Word Count: 896
Rolling a ball to knock down targets has been the object of a number of games at various times and in various parts of the world The implements for such a game have been found in an Egyptian tomb thats more than 7000 years old and a sort of bowling has been popular among Polynesian Islanders for at least several centuries But the modern sport of bowling which seems distinctly American and very secular probably grew out of a German religious ceremony In the 3rd century AD every German peasant carried a Kegel a club similar to the Irish shillelagh for protection It became a customary test of faith in many churches for the parishioner to set up his Kegel as a target representing the heathen and then roll a stone in an attempt to knock it down If he succeeded he was considered free of sin Bowling eventually moved out of the church and became a popular secular sport with a wooden ball replacing the stone and multiple pins from as few as three to as many as seventeen replacing the single Kegel There are several references to bowling in Germany during the Middle Ages Berlin and Cologne in 1325 set a limit on the amount that could be bet on a bowling match A 1463 feast in Frankfurt featured bowling along with a venison dinner And the winner of a 1518 competition in Breslau was awarded an ox From Germany the sport spread into Austria Spain Switzerland and the Low Countries Bowling also moved indoors into covered sheds with lanes made of wood or sun-baked clay These Kegelbahns as they were called in Germany were often associated with inns or tavernsDutch in New Amsterdam were bowling at ninepins by 1650 In that form of bowling which was widespread in Europe the nine pins were arranged in a diamond 1-2-3-2-1 pattern The alley was frequently a plank about a foot and a half wide
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