Canadian Sports: Five-pin Bowling

August 9, 2008 at 2:05 am 10 comments

Today was the opening ceremonies for the XXIX Summer Olympic Games. XXIX is ’29’ in roman numerals. The next Summer Olympics will be the the 30th, and will be represented as XXX. This will be known as the Adult Olympics.

One sport not represented in the Olympics, possibly because it is only played in Canada, is five-pin bowling. Five-pin bowling, much like the ‘normal’ ten-pin variety, requires the participant to knock down pins by the use of a ball. Other than that the two sports are vastly different. For example, five-pin bowling uses five pins, as opposed to the ten pins used in ten-pin bowling. This is probably why they are called five-pin and ten-pin bowling respectively.

The ball for five-pin bowling is also different. It is much smaller than the traditional ten-pin ball, so much so that you can hold the five-pin ball in one hand and there are no holes for the bowlers fingers. Some people–not mentioning any names–have been known to bowl overhand with a five-pin bowling ball. This behaviour usually upsets the owners of the bowling alley, and is generally frowned upon.

(A five-pin bowler and a five-pin bowling ball. I’ll let you figure out which one is which.)

In order to understand the sport of five-pin bowling better, I thought it best to examine the terminology used in this sport. I found the article on Wikipedia to have a good list of the terms that are particular to the sport. Unfortunately most of the definitions are wrong. Below I have listed the correct definitions.

  • “Punch” – What you do to your opponent when the aren’t looking.
  • “Plug” – What you suggest your opponent puts in his mouth when he starts trash talking.
  • “Pick” – Each player is allowed one ‘pick’ per game. This is where you serrupticiously place a booger on your opponent’s ball. This action results in your opponent being ‘grossed out’ and will often cause them to flub their next shot.
  • “Headpin” – If your opponent discovers you delivering a ‘pick’ they are then allowed to smack you upside the head with a bowling pin.
  • “Chop” or “Chop-off” – What the winner of the game does to one of the losers fingers.
  • “Split” – What the loser does immediately after the game to avoid the ‘Chop-off’.
  • “Howie” – If your name is Howie you automatically get an additional 15 points.
  • “10 the hard way” – What happens to a bowler who is found cheating. See “Punch” for further details.
  • “Strike Out” – If a bowler scores a perfect game , they get to ‘strike out’ their opponent, often by use of a “Headpin” or “10 the hard way”.
  • “Turkey” – Five-pin bowler’s favourite sandwich.
  • “Clean game” – A game with no “Picks”.
  • “Wood” – What a female five-pin bowler causes.

Entry filed under: canadian, culture, humour, sports. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sun Warrior  |  August 9, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Only in Canada, you say?


  • 2. C. Fraser  |  August 11, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    LOL, nice reference. Except I used to buy Red Rose in the States. Apparently it’s not just available in Canada anymore…

  • 3. Mark  |  August 11, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Is there a special 5-pin bowling term for what happens when you place a sensitive bit of your opponent’s anatomy in the ball receptacle doo-hickey before a ball gets returned?

  • 4. C. Fraser  |  August 13, 2008 at 1:16 am

    I think it’s called “The Squeeze.”

  • 5. Anonymous  |  May 5, 2009 at 7:20 am


  • 6. Ryan Lepore  |  February 2, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Help us try to get 5 pin bowling in Massachusetts someday:

    A Petition to get 5-Pin Bowling in Massachusetts:

    5 Pin, Rubberband Duckpin & More Duckpin Bowling in Massachusetts Petition:

    Bring Automatic Free-Fall Pinsetter Machines for 5-Pin & Rubberband Duckpin Bowling back Petition:

  • 7. Daily Sports Tips  |  July 8, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Tips To Bowl Better Scores In Ten Pin Bowling…

    The sport of bowling has long been popular but sadly, the most well known American version of it has been losing popularity over the past thirty years or so. There are many variations of bowling, such as lawn bowling, Irish road bowling, Italian Bocce,…

  • 8. Mike  |  November 12, 2010 at 12:52 am

    Stay out of Canada you idiot or you will disappear.

  • 9. Ryan Lepore  |  July 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Please sign my “Keep the Free-Fall System for Bowling Traditional Petition”:

  • 10. Johne567  |  June 4, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Hiya, I am really glad I have found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossips and web and this is really annoying. A good blog with interesting content, that is what I need. Thanks for keeping this website, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it. eceeekdkgkdb


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