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Candlepin bowling

Candlepin lanes at a bowling alley in Woburn, Massachusetts

Candlepin bowling is a variation of bowling that is played primarily in the Canadian Maritime provinces (specifically Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), and the New England states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,[1] and Vermont. There is also a set of lanes in the Wyoming, Ohio civic center,[2] and a center in Fostoria, Ohio has candlepin lanes.

Comparison to ten-pin bowling

An early 20th century four-lane candlepin alley in Windsor, Vermont, USA, about 1910 - note also the presence of stored tenpins and duckpins on a shelf behind the pit areas.

Candlepin bowling was developed in 1880 in Worcester, Massachusetts, by Justin White, a local bowling center owner, some years before both the standardization of the tenpin bowling sport in 1895 and the invention of duckpin bowling, said by some sources to have been invented the same year. Today the game is enjoyed in many diverse places such as California and Germany in addition to New England.[3] As in other forms of bowling, the players roll balls down a wooden pathway (lane) to knock down as many pins as possible. The main differences between candlepin bowling and the predominant ten-pin bowling style are that each player uses three balls per frame, rather than two (see below); the balls are much smaller (11.43 cm or 4½ in diameter) with each ball weighing as much as only one candlepin and without finger holes; the pins are thinner (hence the name 'candlepin'), and thus harder to knock down; and the downed pins (known as 'wood') are not cleared away between balls during a player's turn. Because of these differences, scoring points is considerably more difficult than in ten-pin bowling, and the highest officially sanctioned score ever recorded is 245 out of a possible 300 points,[4] by Ralph Semb in 1984, who is currently the head of the International Candlepin Bowling Association. This score was matched on May 13, 2011 by Chris Sargent of Haverhill, Massachusetts, at the Metro Bowl Lanes candlepin center in Peabody, Massachusetts, and accepted by the ICBA.[5]

Game play

Candlepin bowling pins are specified as Script error: No such module "convert". high, have identical ends, and are almost Script error: No such module "convert". in diameter at the center.
Numbering of a "full rack" of ten candlepins.
File:Candlepins down.jpg
Unlike in ten-pin bowling, fallen or "dead wood" candlepins are not cleared away between balls during a player's turn.

A candlepin bowling lane, almost identical to a tenpin bowling lane, has an approach area of 4.3 to 4.9 meters (14 to 16 ft) for the player to bowl from, and then the lane proper, a maple surface approximately 1.05 meters (42 in) wide, bounded on either side by a gutter (or "channel", or trough.) The lane is separated from the approach by a foul line common to almost all bowling sports, which must not be crossed by players. At the far end of the lane are the pins, 18.3m [60'] from the foul line to the center of the headpin (or pin #1), placed by a machine called a pinsetter which occupies space both above and behind the pins. Unlike a tenpin lane, which has a level surface all the way from the foul line end of the lane's approach to the back end of the lanebed's "pin-deck", a candlepin lane has a hard-surfaced "pin plate" where the pins are set-up, with the pin plate depressed 7/16" below the lanebed forward of it. The pin plate can be made from hard-surfaced "phenolic", "steel", "high density plastic", or a "synthetic" material. Behind the pin plate area of a candlepin lane is a well-depressed "pit" area for the felled pins and balls to fall into. A heavy rubber backstop, faced with a black curtain, catches the flying pins and balls so they may drop into the pit. Generally there is seating behind the approach area for teammates, spectators, and score keeping.

The candlepins themselves are Script error: No such module "convert". tall, have a cylindrical shape which tapers equally towards each end (and therefore having no distinct "top" or "bottom" end, unlike a tenpin), giving them an overall appearance somewhat like that of a candle, and have a maximum weight of Script error: No such module "convert". apiece.[6] Candlepin bowling uses the same numbering system and shape for the formation within the ten candlepins are set, as the tenpin sport does. Also, as in ten-pin bowling, due to the spacing of the pins (12", or 30.5 cm, center to center), it is impossible for the ball to strike every one. However, while in ten-pin a well-placed ball (usually between the head pin and the 2 or 3-pin) may knock down all ten pins (a strike if on the first ball in a frame) from the chain reaction of pin hitting pin, in candlepins the smaller thickness of the pins makes throwing a strike extremely difficult. In order to count, the pin must be knocked over entirely; in unlucky circumstances, a pin may wobble furiously, or, even more frustratingly, be "kicked" to the side by several inches, yet come to rest upright, thus not being scored (and not be reset to its original position for any throws that remain, though it may of course still be knocked over by subsequent balls). It is even possible for a toppled pin to bounce off a side "kickback", and return to a standing position on the lane's pin deck in the candlepin sport. However, in the event that a fallen pin returns to a standing position, the pin is still counted as fallen and is played as live wood.[6]

In addition to the foul line for the bowler themselves, there is a line Script error: No such module "convert". down the lane from the foul line; this is the lob line, and the ball must first contact the lane at a point on the bowler's side of it. Violation of this rule constitutes a lob and any pins knocked down by such a ball do not count, and such pins are not reset if the lobbed ball was not the third and last shot for that player in that box.

Also, a third line, centered Script error: No such module "convert". forward of the head pin (number-1-pin) spot is the dead wood line, which defines the maximum forward limit that any toppled pins ("wood") can occupy and still be legally playable ("live wood"). This lane specification essentially results in the presence of three foul lines, more than in any other bowling sport.

The ball used in candlepins has a maximum weight of Script error: No such module "convert"., and has a maximum diameter of 11.43 cm (4½ inches), making it the smallest bowling ball of any North American bowling sport.[6] The nearly identical weight of the ball, when compared to that of just one candlepin, tends to cause rapidly delivered balls to sometimes bounce at random when impacting a full rack of pins on the first delivery of a frame, and sometimes when hitting downed "dead wood" pins on subsequent deliveries.

A game of candlepin bowling, often called a string in New England, is divided into ten rounds, each of these rounds being most commonly referred to as a box, rather than a "frame" as in ten-pin bowling. In each normal box, a player is given up to three opportunities to knock down as many pins as possible. In the final box, three balls are rolled regardless of the pincount, meaning three strikes can be scored in the 10th box.

One unique feature of the candlepin sport is that fallen pins, called wood, are not removed from the pin deck area between balls, unlike either the tenpin or duckpin bowling sports. The bowler, according to the rules of the sport — before delivering the second or third ball of a box — must also wait until all of the wood on the deck comes to a rest. Depending on where the fallen pins are located on the pindeck and their angle(s) after all movement of them ceases, the wood can be a major help, or obstacle — partly due to the ball having nearly the same weight as one candlepin — in trying to knock down every single standing pin for either a spare or "ten-box" score in completing a round.

In each of the first nine boxes, play proceeds as follows: The first player bowls his first ball at the pins. The pins he knocks down are counted and scored. Then the player rolls a second and a third ball at any remaining targets. If all ten pins are knocked down with the first ball (a strike'), the player receives ten points plus the count on the next two rolls, the pins are cleared, a new set placed. If all ten pins are knocked down with two balls (a spare'), the player receives 10 points plus the count of the next ball, pins are cleared and reset. If all three balls are needed to knock all the pins down, the score for that frame is simply ten, and known in New England as a ten-box. If more than one player is playing on the same lane at the same time, bowlers will typically roll two complete boxes before yielding the lane to the next bowler.

In the tenth box, play is similar, except that a player scoring a strike is granted two additional balls, scoring a spare earns one additional ball. Three balls are rolled in the tenth box regardless.[7]


A foul (scored by an "F" on some computer scoring systems) refers to a ball that first rolls into the gutter and then strikes deadwood (felled pins resting in the gutter) or hops out of the gutter and strikes a standing pin, a "lob"-bed ball that touches neither the approach, nor lane in the three meters' distance of lanebed before the lob line, or as in tenpins and duckpins, a roll made by a bowler's foot crossing over the foot foul line shared by nearly all bowling sports. Special scoring comes into play.

A foul always scores zero (0) pinfall for that ball's delivery. A player may reset the pins after a foul on the first or second ball provided no pins have legally been felled in that box. Therefore, if on the first ball there is a foul or zero, and on the second ball the bowler fouls and knocks down pins, the pins may be reset, allowing the bowler an opportunity to score a ten box on their third ball. Knocking down all ten pins after resetting immediately following a foul in the first ball results in a spare. Fouling on all three attempts scores a zero box.

If the first ball knocked down at least one pin, the rack can not be reset because of a subsequent foul. Those pins felled by a foul ball (a ball rolled into the gutter, a lobbed ball, a ball delivered by a bowler over the foot foul line)--whether standing, playable wood, or pins in the gutter—remain down and reduce the maximum number of pins to be counted for the box. Therefore, if there are six pins standing after the first ball, a foul on the next ball that manages to knock down the remaining six pins means that the frame is finished, with a score of 4. However, if the foul ball knocked down only some of the six standing pins, a third ball may still be rolled to attempt to knock down the remaining upright pins. In this example, the raw score might appear to be "4 4 2 = X", but after adjusting for the foul second ball, the true score is "4 F 2 = 6". Similar logic holds when rolling two good balls and fouling in the third attempt: the frame is over and only the pins felled in the first two attempts are recorded for the score for that box.[6]

While some candlepin alleys have automated scoring systems, and thus know when to clear and reset pins, other alleys, especially older ones have a button, or floor-mounted foot pedal switch, which players must press to manually initiate the clearing and resetting of pins. Automatic pinsetters were introduced in the late 1940s; prior to this, as with ten-pin, pins were set by workers called "pinboys".

In league play, a bowler will roll two boxes at a time. A "Speed League" format will have bowlers rolling five boxes at a time. "Tournament" bowling will typically have bowlers rolling five boxes at a time.


One point is scored for each pin that is knocked over. So, in a hypothetical game, if player 'A' felled 3 pins with their first ball, then 5 with their second, and 1 with the third, they would receive a total of 9 points for that box. If player 'B' knocks down 9 pins with their first shot, but misses with their second and third, they would also score 9.

In the event that all ten pins are felled by any one player in a single box, by no more than two throws (just as in tenpins) bonuses are awarded for a strike or spare. A strike is achieved with just the first delivery downing all ten pins, with a spare needing two throws, again just as in the tenpin sport. If all ten pins are felled by rolling all three balls in a box, the result is a Ten or ten-box, usually marked by an X (as in the Roman numeral for ten) but no additional points are awarded. (In ten-pin bowling, a strike is often scored with an "X").

The maximum score in a game is 300. This is scored by bowling 12 strikes: one in each box, and a strike with both bonus balls in the 10th box. In this way, each box will score 30 points (see above - scoring:strike).

This scoring system, except for the scoring sheet's appearance and the graphic symbols used to record strikes, spares and 10-boxes,[8] is identical to that of duckpins, as it is the other major form of bowling that uses three balls per frame.


When all 10 pins are knocked down with the first ball (called a strike), a player is awarded 10 points, plus a bonus of whatever they score with their next 2 balls. In this way, the points scored for the two balls after the strike are scored twice.

Box 1, ball 1: 10 pins felled (strike)
Box 2, ball 1: 3 pins felled
Box 2, ball 2: 6 pins felled
Box 2, ball 3: 1-pin felled
The total score from these throws is: 10 + (3+6) + 3 + 6 +1= 29
A player who scores multiple strikes in succession would score like so:
Box 1, ball 1: 10 pins fell (strike)
Box 2, ball 1: 10 pins fell (strike)
Box 3, ball 1: 4 pins fell
Box 3, ball 2: 2 pins fell
Box 3, ball 3: 2 pins fell
The score from these throws is:
  • Box one... 10 + (10 + 4) = 24
  • Box two... 10 + (4 + 2) = 16
  • Box three... 4 + 2 +2 = 8
TOTAL = 48
A player who bowls a strike in the 10th (final) box is awarded two extra balls, so as to allow for their bonus points. If both these balls also result in strikes, a total of 30 points (10 + 10 + 10) is awarded for the box.


A 'spare' is awarded when all pins are knocked down with a fair ball in or by the second ball roll in the same frame. For example, a player uses the first two balls of a box to clear all ten pins. A player achieving a spare is awarded 10 points, plus a bonus of whatever they score with their next ball (only the first ball is counted).

Box 1, ball 1: 7 pins fell
Box 1, ball 2: 3 pins fell(spare)
Box 2, ball 1: 4 pins fell
Box 2, ball 2: 2 pins fell
Box 2, ball 3: 1-pin fell
The total score from these throws is: 7 + 3 + 4(bonus) + 4 + 2 + 1 = 21

A player who bowls a spare in the 10th (final) box, is awarded one extra ball so as to allow for their bonus points.


A Ten (known as "Ten-box") is when all the pins are knocked down after the third ball of a box. A player achieving a Ten is awarded 10 points, but without any bonus for the following ball.

Box 1, ball 1: 7 pins felled
Box 1, ball 2: 2 pins felled
Box 1, ball 3: 1-pin felled
The total score from these throws simply is: 7 + 2 + 1 = 10[8]

Calculating scores

Correct calculation of bonus points can be a bit tricky, especially when combinations of strikes and spares come in successive boxes. In modern times, however, this has been overcome with automated scoring systems. When a scoring system is "automated", the bowler only has to bowl. It keeps score and will reset the pinsetter after three balls are thrown or all 10 pins have been knocked down. If a scoring system is "semi-automated", the bowler has to enter the score but the computer will keep track of it. The bowler needs to press a button at the end of the ball return to receive a new "rack" of pins.

Scoring sheet

The candlepin scoring sheet is different from either tenpins or duckpins, in that it is usually oriented vertically, with two columns of squares in a two-square-wide, ten-square-tall arrangement to score one string for one player. The left-hand column is used to detail the "per-box" score, with the cumulative total being recorded down the sheet as each box is rolled in the right-hand column of squares.

Spares and strikes are also marked uniquely in candlepins. Spares are recorded in a box by coloring in the left upper corner of the appropriate left-hand square (using a triangular shape to "fill-in the corner"). If a strike is recorded, opposing corners of the left-hand square are similarly colored in, while leaving sufficient space between the "filled-in" opposing corners, to record the score from the two succeeding balls' "fill" total for the strike. A common (albeit unofficial) practice is to mark a strike on a strike's bonus ball (double strike) by shading in the remaining two corners of the first strike.


Candlepin bowling uses its own colorful jargon to refer to the many scenarios that can arise in a game, with most of the terms denoting different combinations of pins left standing after the first ball has been rolled. Examples of these terms include:[9]

  • Head pin: The 1-pin, which is in front of the other pins.[9]
  • King pin: The 5-pin, which is in the center of the pins, and directly behind the head pin.[9]
  • Wood: The fallen pins lying between the standing pins, often strategically used to knock down multiple standing pins which can be far apart.
  • Deadwood: Fallen pins lying in the gutter, or on the lane either touching, or to the bowler's side of the Deadwood Line. Deadwood touching or on the bowler's side of the line must be removed from the lane before the bowler may roll their next ball. Deadwood in the gutter is left in place, however if a delivered ball should strike the deadwood prior to hitting any wood or standing pins on the lane, then that parricular ball is considered "dead" and any pins felled will not count to the bowler's score.
  • Four Horsemen: Four pins in a diagonal line, from the head-pin outward;[9] if the 1-2-4-7, it is known as "Four horsemen, left side," and if the 1-3-6-10, it is known as "Four horsemen, right side." The usual tenpin term for a spare leave of this kind is a "picket fence" (used for a different spare leave in candlepins) or "clothesline".
  • Caliri: The Four Horsemen left side (1-2-4-7) plus the 9 pin, or the Four Horsemen right side (1-3-6-10) plus the 8 pin. Named after bowler Bob Caliri, and similar to any one of the "washout" spare leaves in tenpin bowling.
  • Spread Eagle: A split configuration consisting of the 2-3-4-6-7-10, caused by the first shot striking the head pin too directly, leading to a failure to scatter the pins.[9] Video of the "spread eagle" being left, then converted
  • Diamond: Four pins that form a diamond-shaped configuration,[9] either the 2-4-5-8, known as "left-side diamond," the 3-5-6-9, known as "right-side diamond", or the 1-2-3-5, known as the "center diamond" (this same configuration is usually referred to as a "bucket" in standard ten-pin bowling, and while it is very difficult to convert into a spare in candlepin bowling, in ten-pin bowling a spare is usually made from it by an experienced bowler).
  • Half Worcester: Perhaps the most distinctive term used in the game. This results when the first shot strikes either the 2-pin or 3-pin too directly, and knocks down (or punches out) only that pin and the one immediately behind it;[9] when only the 2- and 8-pins fall it is a "Half Worcester Left," and when only the 3- and 9-pins fall it is a "Half Worcester Right". According to legend, the term was coined when a team from Worcester and a team from Boston were competing in the semifinal round of a statewide tournament held sometime in the 1940s; late in the last match of the round, one of the bowlers on the Worcester team "punched-out" only two such pins with his first ball, prompting a member of the Boston team to taunt him by saying, "You're halfway back to Worcester!"[10] It is sometimes said that a player will get "one a game" referring to the Half Worcester.
  • Full Worcester: Knocking down 2-3-8-9, or two Half Worcesters.
  • Quarter Worcester: Another term derived from the Half Worcester, knocking down half as many pins—either just the 2-pin or just the 3-pin.
  • Picket Fence: Rare shot leaving the whole back row standing—7-8-9-10.
  • Hi-Low-Jack: This term refers to the 1-, 7-, and 10-pins, which are on the three corners of the triangle.[9] Trying to knock down all three in one shot (with no wood) is sometimes a contest as part of a televised candlepin bowling program.
  • Goal posts: when after the ball is thrown, only the 7 and 10 pins remain standing on the lane. If there is no wood, it is the hardest two-pin combination to completely knock down on one ball.
  • Woolworth: leaving the 5 and 10 pins. Named after the F.W. Woolworth Company five-and-dime stores.
  • Backdoor Strike: A strike in which the 1-pin is the last to fall.
  • Hammer: A hard-hit, fast-moving strike.
  • Triple: A three-game series. When spoken, it follows a rough total of the series, such as "500-triple," meaning the bowler rolled 500 or more for three games.

Television broadcasts

From 1958 until 1996, a weekly professional bowling match was produced by Boston television station WHDH-TV/WCVB-TV Channel 5, airing every Saturday morning, called Candlepin Bowling. The winner of this match would return the following Saturday to face a new opponent determined by the outcome of qualifying matches, or "roll-offs," held during the week. The program was hosted by sports announcers Jim Britt and Don Gillis. Cash prizes were awarded to both the winner and loser of the televised match, with bonuses for rolling three consecutive marks (strikes or spares in any combination, or a larger bonus for three strikes in a row), and for rolling a cumulative score of 400 or higher in the three games, or "strings," of which each match consisted. The highest series achieved in the history of the show was a 500-triple by Paul Berger, in 1992. The bowler was given an additional cash prize for reaching 500. For most of the year, this competition was restricted to men only, with a few weeks devoted to matches for women only; other televised matches were also held, involving mixed doubles teams of one man and one woman bowler.

There is also a show that originates from the 1-7-10 Sportscenter in Augusta, Maine. It is on Adelphia channel 9 and is shown every Sunday night at 7 pm. This show has been on air since 1997.

The ATV network in Atlantic Canada also broadcast a weekly candlepin bowling show in the 1980s and early 1990s, matching bowlers from New Brunswick against those from Nova Scotia. Its sponsors included Number 7, Mark 10, and Belvedere cigarettes.

List of candlepin bowling video broadcast shows

Each show is listed with its station of origin

  • Candlepin Bowling - WHDH-TV/WCVB-TV, Channel 5 - October 4, 1958 to January 27, 1996
Hosted by Jim Britt (1958–1961) and Don Gillis (1961–1996)

Candlepin Bowling was the first candlepin bowling show to be broadcast on television. When WHDH lost its broadcast license, the show simply moved to the new channel 5, WCVB. Originally taped at the former Boylston Bowladrome (1260 Boylston Street, Boston, MA), then at Sammy White's Brighton Bowl, the show moved to the Fairway Lanes (demolished in 2011) in Natick (where Candlepin Doubles was already taping) when Sammy White's closed down in 1986. From 1976 to 1995, there were a total of 20 candlepin championship shows that were broadcast live at the end of every season with the top bowlers with the top scores posted during the regular season of Candlepin Bowling. The first seven pitted the top two bowlers in a three string championship final, and then starting in 1983, the top five bowlers competed to take home $10,000 for first place. The first ten were at Sammy White's from 1976 to 1985, then at Fairway Lanes from 1986 to 1987, and from 1988 to 1995 at Pilgrim Lanes in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Candlepin Bowling was cancelled in 1996 due to WCVB's lessened interest in the broadcasting of local shows. WCVB was also more interested in the broadcasting of Boston College football games. During the 1980s and 1990s, this program was also locally syndicated to WGGB-TV Channel 40 in Springfield, Massachusetts and WPRI-TV Channel 12 in Providence, Rhode Island.[11] In the late 1970s through 1985, the show used Van McCoy's disco dance hit The Hustle as its theme song.

  • Winning Pins - WHDH, Channel 5 - 1961-1974
Hosted by Jim Britt

A children's version of Candlepin Bowling, showcasing the best bowlers under 16 years of age. Taped at Sammy White's Brighton Bowl.

  • Candlepin Champs - WNAC, Channel 7 - 1970s
Hosted by Dana Hersey. A youth bowling show taped on two candlepin lanes in the Channel 7 parking garage in Boston. Each program consisted of two 2-string matches, one boys' and one girls' match, in one of two age groups (junior/senior).
  • Bay State Bowling - WSMW, Channel 27 - 1970–1982
Hosted by Bob Fouracre and Dave Adams

WSMW-TV (channel 27) in Worcester first aired in 1970. This was one of WSMW's inaugural shows when the station first went on the air. The format was similar to channel 5's Candlepin Bowling. This show was notable for its use of the 1972 pop hit Roundabout by the British band Yes, as well as the 1975–1981 animated opening theme to the tune of The Spinners' Rubberband Man. This show, and all of WSMW's other programming, got cancelled in late 1982 when the station's pay-TV movie block expanded to a 24/7 schedule.

  • Candlepin Superbowl - WCVB, Channel 5 - 1972–1983
Hosted by Bill O'Connell (1972–1982) and Brian Leary (1982–1983)

Candlepin Superbowl was a mixed doubles show. Premiering soon after WCVB took over the channel 5 band, the Superbowl pitted 2 teams made up of one male and one female bowler each. Taped at Sammy White's Brighton Bowl.

Hosted by Bob Gamere (WNAC) and Rico Petrocelli (WXNE)

Candlepins for Cash, being Boston's regional version of Claster Television's Bowling for Dollars franchise, devolved from a competitive nature to more of a game show format. Bowlers were introduced one by one to win money and prizes by how well they did on the lanes. Also featured a special "red pin" which was worth extra cash if felled on a strike. WNAC taped the show in-studio on lanes built specially for the show (there were 2 lanes in the studio alley). When WNAC chose not to renew the show in April 1980, production moved that fall to WXNE, channel 25, which taped the show at an actual bowling alley, the Wal-Lex Lanes in Waltham, Massachusetts. Host Bob Gamere stayed on for a while after the station switch, but after he left, WXNE hired former Boston Red Sox star Rico Petrocelli as the new host.

  • Candlepin Doubles - WCVB, Channel 5 - 1983–1993
Hosted by Brian Leary (1983–1988), Ed Harding (1988–1993).

Candlepin Doubles was a revamped version of Candlepin Superbowl, which removed mixed doubles, with either all-male or all-female doubles groups. Taped at Fairway Lanes in Natick.

  • Big Shot Bowling - NESN - 1985–1991
Hosted by Bob Fouracre and Dan Murphy

NESN's entry into the televised bowling market was similar in format to channel 5's Candlepin Bowling, however qualifying requirements were more strict than channel 5, with intentions to attract the best bowlers in the New England area. Taped at the Londonderry Bowling Center in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

  • Candlepin Stars and Strikes - WNDS, Channel 50 - 1983–2005
Hosted by Doug Brown, Dan Murphy (older versions of the show) Dick Lutsk and Mike Morin (most recent versions of the show)

Similar in format to the channel 5 show, except in a stepladder format. Starting during the 1988-1989 season, each ladder winner qualified for the Tournament of Champions at the end of the season, which was in the same format as the regular season stepladders. Taped at Park Place Lanes in Windham, New Hampshire from 1984 to 1997, and then at Leda Lanes in Nashua, New Hampshire from 1997 to 2005.

  • Candlepin Bowling - 1980s/90s

Originated in Lewiston, Maine, and aired in the Portland, Maine, television market[where?] on Sunday mornings in the 1980s and 1990s. Sponsored by La-Z-Boy furniture, the show was famous for its two hosts being seated in recliner-rockers for the event, including cutaway shots of the hosts.

  • Stars and Strikes Doubles - WNDS, 1991–1994
Hosted by Doug Brown and Dan Murphy

Similar to the singles show, each team pitted two candlepin bowlers with winners qualifying for the Tournament of Champions at the end of the season. Taped at Park Place Lanes during the 1991-1992 season, and then at the Londonderry Bowling Center the next two seasons.

  • Candlepin Skins -WNDS, 1994–1997
Hosted by Doug Brown and Dan Murphy

This format features four bowlers, two champions and two challengers, competing for "skins" prize money. The four bowlers bowled two strings, and the bowler with the high score each frame won the amount the box was worth. If two, three, or four bowlers tied each frame, the money got carried over to the next frame. The two bowlers with the highest total pinfall moved on to the next show the next week to challenge two other bowlers. During the 1994-1995 and 1995-1996 seasons, the show was taped at the Londonderry Bowling Center and there was a total of $400 in prize money up for grabs. The first three boxes each game were worth $10, the next three $15, the next three $25, and the 10th box was worth $50. During the 1996-1997 season, the show was at Pilgrim Lanes in Haverhill, Massachusetts. The prize money increased to $600 per show. The first three boxes were worth $20, the next three $25, the next three $30, and the 10th box every game worth $75. Shows were at 12 noon Saturdays on WNDS, followed by 12 noon Sundays with Candlepin Stars and Strikes.

Similar in format to the original channel 5 show. Taped at the 1-7-10 Sportscenter in Augusta, Maine. Adelphia was sold to Time Warner Cable in 2005, and the program no longer appears on the local TWC-TV channel. It is not currently known when either Adelphia or Time Warner cancelled the show.[12]

Hosted by John Holt, Dan Murphy, and Trina Fernandez

Candlepin Challenge has three bowlers compete against each other, rather than two. Two bowlers compete for one string in the qualifying round, then the winner of that round plays two strings against a third bowler. The overall winner of the second round is declared that week's champion. At the end of each season, the top three bowlers of the season compete in a similar format but with a higher prize than the regular shows. Taped at the Woburn Bowladrome. For its first five seasons on AT&T Cable, the show was called the "$30,000 Candlepin Challenge"; it was renamed prior to its sixth season after Comcast bought AT&T Cable, though until 2008, the now-former station ID of CN8 was part of the name. Due to the closing of CN8 by Comcast, this show moved to Comcast SportsNet New England in January 2009. At the end of that season, production ceased due to lack of money and sponsors.

  • Candlepin New Generation (originally Candlepins For Kids) - Southbridge Community Access Television - 2003–2012, NESN - 2012–present, YouTube 2009–present YouTube channels: pcofdirt (seasons 10 and earlier), CandlepinNewGeneration (seasons 11 to present).
Originally hosted by Steve Renaud and Dan Gauthier, now hosted by Robbie Taylor and Dan Gauthier.

Format has a doubles competition by children in three age groups: 11 and under, 12-14, and 15-18. Taped all over states of MA, NH and ME. Each team who wins at each of the 3 stops will participate in the "Tourament Of Champions" to win money and a trophy. Anyone who bowls a double strike, or 3 consecutive marks for the 11 and unders, will be entered in a raffle for new bowling balls. At the beginning of the season they host a Pro/Kids event, which is a doubles knockout of a team including 1 pro adult and 1 kid. The final event in the "International Team Event" where kids from South Centre Bowlarama in Halifax, Nova Scotia come down to compete to get on a team of 6.

  • Candlepins for Dollars - WLVI, Channel 56 - 2006
Hosted by Frank Mallicoat and Mike Morin
Also locally syndicated on 5 other stations in the New England and eastern New York State areas

Despite the similarity in name, this show was not related to the old Candlepins For Cash format; instead it was based more on the Stars and Strikes format. After WLVI's sale to Sunbeam Television in December 2006, the show was put on indefinite hiatus. In February 2007, Executive Producer Bart Maderios reclaimed the rights to his show and announced that two "major networks" were negotiating to bring the show back into production, however, no further updates had surfaced, and the website has now vanished.

  • King of the Palace - YouTube channel "NewPalaceLanes" - January 2013–present
Hosted by Dave Maattala, Steve Bronchuk, and Dennis Nuzzo.

A web-based candlepin program, recorded at New Palace Lanes in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. King of the Palace also airs on numerous Massachusetts local access TV stations. The show is a ladder-based tournament with five seeds, starting with seed 4 versus the defending champion from the most recent tournament, and the winner working his way up to challenge the first seed. At the end of the 4th match, the 1st and 2nd place winners have a shot at the "Spread Eagle Challenge" for a chance to win an accumulative jackpot.

  • New England Candlepins Show- (originally Hockomock Candlepins) - YouTube channel "Ficco's Bowladrome" - 2014–present
Hosted by Ed Don and Nick Remesson

A web-based candlepin program, shot at Ficco's Bowladrome in Franklin, Massachusetts.

  • Classic Candlepins - YouTube channel "Classic Candlepins" - October 2014–present
Hosted by Kyle Bruce, Mark Ricci, and Rich Limone.

A web-based candlepin program, shot at Riverwalk Lanes in Amesbury, Massachusetts. Classic Candlepins also airs on local access TV stations. The show is a ladder-based tournament with five seeds. Each round is a scratch, three-string, total pinfall competition, inspired by the format of the original "Candlepin Bowling" show.

See also


  1. Dufrense, John (2004). <span />The Lie That Tells a Truth<span />. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 244. ISBN 0-393-32581-4. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  2. "Wyoming, OH". Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  3. "About Candlepin Bowling - Ficco's Bowladrome, 300 East Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038.". Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  4. International Candlepin Bowling Association. "World Records". Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  5. Associated Press (May 18, 2011). "Haverhill man matches candlepin bowling world record". Boston Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 International Candlepin Bowling Association (June 2010). "Candlepin Bowling Rules". Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  7. International Candlepin Bowling Association. "Candlepin Bowling Scoring Rules". Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Massachusetts Bowling Association — How to Score" (PDF). Massachusetts Bowling Association. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 International Candlepin Bowling Association. "Candlepin Language". Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  10. Klaft, Lynne (7 April 2007). "On a roll". Worcester Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA). 
  11. "Channel 5 television show information". Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  12. TWC-TV Schedule for the Augusta, ME area as of 11/18/2008[dead link]

External links