High-Tech Rollers

Each year nearly 70 million Americans hit the lanes, making bowling the most popular participatory sport in the U.S. But for serious players with the latest equipment, it's a whole new game

[This article contains a complex diagram -- Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.] Bowling has come a long way since Edward III of England banned the sport in 1366 because it was distracting his soldiers from archery practice. Bowling dates back at least to the Pharaohs, although for the first few thousand years, the game remained pretty much unchanged. You rolled a ball made of stone or wood or rubber at a bunch of pins and hoped for the best.

Over the past couple of decades, however, engineers armed with an array of high-tech materials and sophisticated ideas about angular...

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