We need more candlepin bowling in this world.

I’m of the belief that bowling – the sport that Jim Rome was said was the only sport that your skills improve by the more beers you drink – needs to embrace its New England / Atlantic Canada derivative.

I shall explain.

Tenpin bowling – the sport most of us know – allows you to throw a 16-pound bowling ball down a well-oiled lane to an arrangement of ten wooden pins. You get two shots to clear all ten pins, and thanks to modern bowling ball technology (reactive urethane balls with off-center cores, specifically oiled lanes and rotation-heavy throws), one can eventually achieve a perfect 300 score at some point in time.

Now let’s try candlepin bowling.

Candlepin bowling exists in New England and in Atlantic Canada, and it’s a far cry from tenpin bowling. A seriously far cry. The throwing ball is much smaller. The pins are like narrow sticks. You get three shots to knock the pins down, and any pins that fall down on your first or second shots can remain on the floor as “dead wood” – to use to pick up ricochet or bank shots.

And as for a 300 game? Nobody’s ever hit one. Ever. I think the record might be 245 in league play. That’s the difficulty and excitement of candlepin bowling.

Don’t believe me?

Here’s a video that defines the simple rules and quirky charm of candlepin bowling.

And as I said … in terms of difficulty … this next video shows a bowler achieving a 500 triple in candlepin bowling. In 1992. Thirty years ago. Yep, watch it in all its old VHS charm right here.

As I said before, candlepin bowling does have its charm and its difficulties.

And there’s actually a set of candlepin lanes in the Albany area – at Crossgates Mall, as part of the Apex arcade location. So you don’t have to haul over to Massachusetts for a few strings of candlepin bowling.

It’s certainly worth a try.