Bowling has a long and rich history, and today is one of the most popular sports in the world. A British anthropologist, Sir Flinders Petrie, discovered in the 1930s a collection of objects in a child's grave in Egypt that appeared to have been used for an early form of bowling. If he was correct, then bowling traces its ancestry to 3200 BC.
Bowling for the blind and partially sighted, however, is not so old. Visually impaired people first played ninepin bowling in Germany and the former Yugoslavia in the 1960s. At the end of the 70s the sport spread to what was then Czechoslovakia, and by the end of the 80s it had extended to many other European countries.
At that time, bowlers competed separately in categories for the blind and partially sighted.
The first international competition, the “Slovak Crystal Cup”, took place in 1996, in Kosice, Slovak Republic. Six countries competed and bowlers agreed on a single set of international rules and to adopt the IBSA sight classification system (B1, B2 and B3 categories).
Ninepin bowling for the blind and partially sighted joined IBSA as an official sport at the 1997 General Assembly in Casablanca, Morocco. The first IBSA European championships were held the following year in Kosice, Slovak Republic, and Europeans have since taken place in Romania (1999), Hungary (2000), Czech Republic (2001), Slovakia (2002), Poland (2003), Romania (2004), Croatia (2005), Czech Republic (2006), Hungary (2008), Poland (2009), Slovakia (2010), Slovenia (2012), and Serbia (2013).
The 1st IBSA World Championships in Nine Pin Bowling for the Blind and Partially Sighted were held in Kosice, Slovak Republic, in 2007, and the 2nd World Championships took place in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 2011.
The game involves each player throwing 120 bowls on four lanes (30 per lane) with all the pins set up in. There are team, male and female competitions. In the men's team events there are two players each from the B1, B2 and B3 categories and in women's events one player from each category.
Caption: link to IBSA Ninepin bowling video playlist on Youtube.
B1 and B2 bowlers must have an assistant on the track to pass the bowling balls and provide oral advice. B3 players may also have a coach or assistant sitting behind them and giving advice, but players must take the bowls by themselves.
The results from all team players are included and the winner is the team with the highest number of pins down. The results from team players are also used for qualification in individual finals by category. The best 8 players from each category (B1, B2 and B3) in the male competition and the best 4 women from each category compete in the final. The results from the qualifying round (120 throws), and the final (120 throws) are added together and the winner is the player who knocks down the most pins. Visit the Facebook page of Ninepin Bowling