Tuesday, June 23, 2009

State O' Maine Candlepin Bowling

I came across this wonderful vintage bowling alley on US 1 in Scarborough, Maine just south of Portland. My friend Tom, who considers himself a part time Mainer, explained the meaning of the Big "20". This bowling alley, at one time the largest in Maine features 20 lanes of Candlepin bowling, a style of bowling practiced mostly in New England and Canada. According the official Candlepin bowling website, the pins are taller and narrower than traditional hourglass-shaped bowling pins and resulting in a "candle-like" appearance. Unlike conventional bowling, downed pins are not removed during a players turn. Also the balls are much smaller and have no holes; from what I can tell they appear to be about the size of a softball. According to the Wikipedia site, these differences between Candlepin and conventional bowling make scoring much more difficult and the highest score ever recorded was 245 out of a possible 300 game. One of my favorite aspects about my trip to Maine was discovering peculiar Maine-centric customs and products like Candlepin bowling, Moxie Soda, lobster rolls, popovers and Bangor Taffy. I hope to visit again and try my hand at this challenging game.


  1. I don't like candlepin bowling!

  2. I love candlepin bowling!

  3. next time, time your new england adventure, and go during the moxie festival. I candlepin bowl (and ten pin), and I don't try to strike on candlepin, I generally play the dead wood to win (those pins knocked down, as in candlepin they are not removed like ten pin).