Important Dates to the History of 5 Pin Bowling

  • 1909 - Thomas F. (Tommy) Ryan invents 5 Pin Bowling in Toronto, Ontario. Original Pin Count is established as "4‑2‑1‑3‑5".
  • 1910 - First 5 Pin Bowling League was formed at Ryan's Toronto Bowling Club.
  • 1912 - Rubber band was added to the Pins.
  • 1918 - Alfred Shrubb of Toronto bowls first (recognized) 400 game.
  • 1921 - First perfect "450" game bowled by Bill Bromfield in Toronto, Ontario.
  • 1921 - First Ladies' 5 Pin Bowling League started by Marion Dibble in Toronto, Ontario.
  • 1922 - First inter‑city match between Toronto and Montreal using a telephone hook-up.
  • 1923 - Winnipeg's Charles Gibson introduces 5 Pin Bowling to Western Canada.
  • 1927 - First 5 Pin Bowling organization "Canadian Bowling Association" (CBA) formed in Toronto, Ontario. T.J. (Tommy) Simpson elected first President.
  • 1928 - First "Official 5 Pin Rule Book" printed by the C.B.A.
  • 1930 - Western Canada adopts own scoring system. Pin Values equal 1‑4‑5‑3‑2.
  • 1932 - First sanctioned perfect "450" game bowled by Joe Heenan of Toronto, Ontario.
  • 1935 - Blind bowlers' leagues introduced in Western Canada.
  • 1935 - C.B.A. creates Ladies Section. Mabel MacDowell elected first President.
  • 1938 - N. Berry of Winnipeg records first perfect "450" game under Western Canada scoring system.
  • 1940 - Tillie Hosken of Toronto becomes first female bowler to roll a perfect "450" game.
  • 1944 - Western Canada 5 Pin Bowling Association (WCFBA) was formed in Regina, Saskatchewan. Bill Hawrylak elected first president.
  • 1952 - National 5 Pin Count (2-3-5-3-2) introduced by Charlie Hill (President of the CBA) and adopted only by Western Canada.
  • 1953 - First Canadian Championship (East vs. West) conducted in Regina, Saskatchewan.  Deaf bowler, Tommy Mallon wins Men’s Singles. Regina wins Men’s Team event.
  • 1953 - C.B.A. changes name to Ontario Bowling Council.
  • 1957 - First youth organization formed, Canadian Junior Bowling Congress.
  • 1957 - First automatic pinsetting machine introduced.
  • 1958 - First "Pepsi‑Cola High School Championships" held in Alberta.
  • 1959 - Entire country uses National 5 Pin Count as Eastern Canada adopts the "2‑3‑5‑3‑2" system.
  • 1959 - 5 Pin Bowling introduced to international markets in British West Indies (Bahamas) and Scotland.
  • 1961 - Founding father "Tommy Ryan" passes away on Nov. 19th.
  • 1962 - Lane Certification and Tournament Sanctioning introduced.
  • 1963 - Bowling Proprietors' Association of Canada (B.P.A.C.) formed.
  • 1963 - B.P.A.C. introduces Youth Bowling Council (YBC) to replace the defunct Canadian Junior Bowling Congress.
  • 1963 - First automatic string pin-setter introduced.
  • 1964 - First provincial Master Bowlers' Association formed in Ontario.
  • 1964 - Canadian Bowling Congress receives charter from federal government.
  • 1965 - Bowlers' Association of Canada formed.
  • 1965 - Bowling pin measurements standardized.
  • 1965 - Carling O'Keefe Breweries obtained as Canadian Champion­ships sponsor.
  • 1967 - Counter (Blow) Pin abolished by C.B.C.
  • 1968 - Eastern Canada adopts the no‑counter pin ruling but Western Canada disagrees and opts out of C.B.C. and Canadian Championships from 1969 to 1971.
  • 1970 - Master Bowlers' Association of Canada formed.
  • 1971 - Tommy Ryan inducted posthumously into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.
  • 1971 - Western Canada agrees to abolish Counter Pin rule.
  • 1972 - Western Canada 5 Pin Bowling Association (WCFBA) disbands in favour of Provincial Associations.
  • 1972 - Canadian 5 Pin Bowling Championships restored.
  • 1972 - B.P.A.C. introduces National Golden Age Bowlers' Club.
  • 1975 - Government survey reveals 680,000 bowlers in 20,000 leagues across Canada. 102 Local (Zone) Associations with 105,000 members affiliated with the C.B.C.
  • 1976 - 5 Pin Bowling "Standards & Specifications" Committee formed.
  • 1976 - National 5 Pin Bowling "Instruction & Coaching" Program introduced by the Master Bowlers' Association of Canada.
  • 1977 - 5 Pin Bowling included in Ontario Winter Games for the first time.
  • 1978 - Canadian Bowling Congress and Bowlers' Association of Canada dissolve to form new national body, the Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers' Association (C5PBA).
  • 1980 - First International Bowling Cup competition held in Manila, Philippines. Canada & Philippines participate.
  • 1981 - Dave McNutt of Alberta and Sid Manning of British Columbia honoured with Life Memberships in the Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association.
  • 1983 - 5 Pin Bowling participates in Canada Winter Games in Chicoutimi, Quebec.
  • 1983 - Hiram Walker Distilleries Ltd. is welcomed as the new national sponsor of the Hiram Walker “Special Old” High-Low Doubles and League Executive Championships.
  • 1983 - 2nd International Bowling Cup held in Toronto, Ontario with Canada, Philippines, Argentina and the United States represented.
  • 1984 - 5 Pin Bowling returns to national television on CBC's Championship 5 Pin Bowling.
  • 1984 - 5 Pin Bowling celebrates its 75th birthday.
  • 1986 - 100 Local (Zone) Associations with 165,000 affiliated members belong to Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers' Association.
  • 1987 - National 5 Pin Bowler Ranking introduced by the C5PBA.
  • 1987 - Bert Garside and Ernie Roggie of Ontario honoured with Life Memberships in the Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association.
  • 1990 - Rules changed to allow the use of personal bowling balls.
  • 1990 - New Brunswick dissolves as a Provincial affiliate to join as a Zone affiliate of the Nova Scotia 5PBA.
  • 1992 - Life Membership in the Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association is bestowed upon Jack Hales of Ontario.
  • 1994 - Ray Landkamer of Manitoba and Ernie Doucette of Prince Edward Island receive Life Memberships in the Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association.
  • 1995 - Pat McNamara of Northern Ontario honoured posthumously with Life Membership in the Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association.
  • 1995 - Government statistics report 521,000 Canadians participate regularly in 5 Pin Bowling (37% male vs. 63% female).
  • 1996 - Fred Hawco of Newfoundland receives Life Membership in the Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association.
  • 1998 - Life Membership in the Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association is bestowed upon Barbara Thompson of Northern Ontario.
  • 1998 - First ever face-to-face national finals of the Canadian Youth Challenge 5 Pin Bowling Championships (formerly known as the Pepsi High School Championships) held in Hull, Quebec.
  • 1999 - Life Membership in the Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association is bestowed upon Norm Adelberg of Manitoba
  • 1999 - Life Membership in the Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association is bestowed upon Glenda Gallant of Prince Edward Island
  • 2001 - Life Membership in the Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association is bestowed upon Tom Cowan of Ontario
  • 2002 - Bowling Q approved as a mechanical aid.
  • 2003 - Mechanical aid ramp approved for use by Hayley Redmond.
  • 2004 - Life Membership in the Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association is bestowed upon Genny Lee of Newfoundland Labrador.
  • 2005 - Life Membership in the Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association is bestowed upon John Hoffman of Saskatchewan.
  • 2006 - Life Membership in the Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association is bestowed upon Al Hong of Ontario.

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For more information, contact the

Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers' Association.

Updated:  06 November 2006