Sport: Bowling
Spiral Bowling   (+11, -1)  [vote for, against]
Bowl in a bowl

Instead of a lane, there is a largish bowl-shaped depression, flat in the center, where the pins are placed around a central hole large enough for the ball to fall through.

Along one top edge of the bowl, the bowler releases the ball, rolling it in a spiral along the inside of the bowl. The throw is clockwise for right-handers, counter(anti)-clockwise for southpaws. The ball moves along like a coin in one of those wishing well donation buckets, until it strikes the balls at the center and then falls through the hole. The pinsetter picks up the remaining pins and clears the deadwood for the next ball.
-- waugsqueke, Dec 02 2003

But I wanna use a gargantuan coin!
-- Letsbuildafort, Dec 02 2003

-- po, Dec 02 2003

Couldn't this be called "Bowlhole"?
-- bungston, Dec 02 2003

// the tricky bit is that the pins are set in a constant radius circle and the ball is traveling in a spiral. Right? //

Still working that one out, actually. Putting a hole in the center helps get rid of the ball after pin contact, but it really messes up the traditional 4-a-side triangular pin layout. I'd like to keep that if possible, but how to merge the two is troubling. Somehow I hafta get the ball outta there to keep it from rolling back and restriking pins.

One thought was to use only 9 pins, replacing the center pin with the drop-hole. Don't care for that much.

o's circle of pins idea might work, provided strikes are still possible (and not too easy). Again with the hole in the middle, though.

One way to do it without the hole would be to have a slight groove surrounding the pins all the way around, so that the pins set up on a slightly raised plateau of sorts. The initial throw would carry the ball through this slight dip, but after pin contact the ball would roll back into it and become trapped, and not roll back up. Hm...
-- waugsqueke, Dec 02 2003

G++d one, waugs.
-- thumbwax, Dec 02 2003

I guess chaotic motion will make this pure gambling. To add to the confusion (or excitement) make the bowl from steel and put little magnets at the bottom of the pins so they can be placed anywhere. Once knocked down a pin will stay down because the magnetic force decreases rapidly with distance. The pins will tumble to the center where they can fall into various holes. The holes have multipliers. - Hit this hole and get 5 points, hit that hole and get 2 points.

The setter could be a funky robot arm reaching down from the ceiling above the bowl. Occasionally it would reach out, grab a beer can from a player and splatter it all over the audience.
-- kbecker, Dec 02 2003

Hm... no, I don't think I like any of those suggestion, kbecker. I'm going for an experience that's as close to regular lane bowling as possible, only curled up. Thanks though.

There's a lawn bowling variation as well to consider. No pins... just try to get balls closest to the jack. Blocking would be tough considering that with a spiral path the ball could approach the jack from any direction.
-- waugsqueke, Dec 02 2003

Black hole bowling. +
I don't see why you couldn't have the traditional pin setup. With magnetized bottoms to make them stay at a tilt, (ala kbecker) and a depressed slot directly behind them for the ball return.
Would this be just a bowl, or would there be a spiraling lane that you have to stay in the centre of?
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Dec 07 2003

You could still have gutters or dimples in the bowl. Very nice idea you have this is. +
-- sartep, Dec 07 2003

You could always have the underside of the pins cut at an angle so that they sit level on a slope. This would of course require the pin setter to be able to orientate the pins correctly. As to the pin layout I doubt the traditional one would work, the pins should be more spread out as unlike a normal alley you will have several passes with which to take them out. I suspect a logical layout would evolve as you practised, but [waugs] has to build this first.

The foyer of the spiral bowling centre should have a parabolic pool table.
-- wagster, Mar 24 2005

-- doctorremulac3, Jun 03 2005

A skilled player may be able to get a strike by rolling the ball across the bowl instead of around it. If aimed right she could get ball to see-saw back and forth a few times, clearing pins, before falling into the center.
-- bristolz, Jun 03 2005

Well, we want to avoid the see saw effect... Instead of a bowl, which makes the see saw thing seem to happen, what if there were just a few concentric, crossed, slightly spiraled lanes of which to choose, and they all converge onto the pins with a single dropoff. LIke geodesic bowling. Can we use my new pinsetter?
-- daseva, Jun 03 2005

I was thinking perhaps there could be some sort of rule stating the ball had to make at least one complete revolution, or else be disqualified. Something like that might prevent non-spiral bowl attempts.
-- waugsqueke, Jun 03 2005

Oh yeah. Rules.
-- bristolz, Jun 03 2005

random, halfbakery