Tonight I had a night out with some of my colleagues. Throughout the year they save up for special group outings.

Over the years I have just happened to be in Germany for some of them.

Tonight we had a kegeln party. One of my colleagues is a member of a local kegeln club and we were able to use their clubhouse for a meal and some fun competition.

Kegeln, German Bowling, Nine-Pin Bowling

So what is kegeln? In the US we would call it nine-pin bowling. It is the predecessor to the ten-pin bowling that is popular in the US. There is one area in Texas where they do play with nine-pins, but it is just not popular in other places.

However, it is very popular in Europe and especially Germany. Many small towns have kegeln teams that compete in leagues with other towns and cities in the area.

German Food, Pork Steaks, Onions

Before dividing up into two teams and starting to bowl, we had a nice meal of pork steaks.

German Food, Pork Steaks, Onions

They are really good with a bit of mustard and a roll.

This type of pork steak is a regional specialty.

One of the interesting things with nine-pin bowling is that the pins are attached by cords to the pinsetter. This makes it easy to reset the pins and to also determine which pins are shown. There are variations of the the game where different pins configurations are used.

Kegeln, German Bowling, Nine-Pin Bowling

Another interesting thing is the ball itself. The ball does not have finger holes and only weighs about six pounds. It is also only a bit over six inches in diameter.

The ball is a bit difficult to keep a grip on and I had a hard time rolling it straight.

Kegeln, German Bowling, Nine-Pin Bowling

The number of balls rolled vary depending on what kind of competition you are having, but there are usually two phases to a team competition.

First, you go for total score. You bowl a set number of balls and only count the score from the initial fall of pins. The pins are then reset for the next ball.

Kegeln, German Bowling, Nine-Pin Bowling

Then you bowl spares. You have to continue to bowl until all the pins have fallen. You then get a new set of pins. Obviously, the less balls it take for you to pick up the spares the quicker you get another nine pins to knock down. Again, there is a set number of balls that varies by the type of competition.

My team lost the first part of the competition but dominated in the spares portion.

What interesting sports have you tried that are not usually played in the US?




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2 Responses to Kegeln

  1. Looks like you are having a lot more fun than I am in hospital. The food looks delish!

  2. Cricket, and “Go!”

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