World Bowling (WB; known as the Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ) between 1952 and April 2014) is the world governing body of nine-pin and ten-pin bowling. WB was founded in 1952 in Hamburg, Germany by officials of the International Bowling Association (founded 1926) to foster worldwide interest in amateur ten-pin and nine-pin bowling, as well as international friendship by encouraging world and zone tournaments and other competition between bowlers of different countries. WB has been recognized by the International Olympic Committee since 1979 as the governing body for bowling sports. Starting with five member federations in 1952, it grew to 141 in 2010.
|Headquarters||Arlington, Texas, United States|
|134 national federations|
|English, German, French, Spanish|
|Sheikh Talal Mohammad Al-Sabah|
WB has member federations located in all five Olympic regions. With more than 100 million participants, 10 million competitors and 250,000 bowling lanes, it is one of the largest and best organized sports in the world.
- To encourage the development of tenpin and ninepin bowling throughout the world.
- To foster international friendship by promoting national and international competition in tenpin and ninepin bowling.
- To pursue the recognition of tenpin and ninepin bowling as a fully recognized athletic competition in the Olympic Games.
- To support national organisations that promote tenpin and ninepin bowling within their respective countries and the world as a whole.
The foundation of WBEdit
The first attempt to coordinate the sport of bowling at world level by organizing world championships and by bringing uniformity through universal playing rules, was undertaken in 1926 by Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the US with the formation of the International Bowling Association (IBA).
In December 1951 the officials of the old IBA took initiative to invite delegates from all interested countries to come to Hamburg, Germany on 27 January 1952 to discuss the status of bowling and the possible re-activation of the IBA.
Representatives of the following countries attended the meeting in Hamburg, Germany:
- West Germany
- Luxembourg (represented by proxy given to Belgium)
The unanimous decision of all present was to form a new international bowling federation. The first proposal was to make it a European federation, but it was pointed out that the US being a strong ten-pin country, may also want to affiliate. The new federation would be a worldwide international organisation with 4 different sections: One for Tenpin bowling and 3 for Ninepin bowling: Asphalt (later: Classic), Bohle and Schere.
The new organisation would be named as proposed by Mr. René Weiss from France, Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ – International federation of Bowlers). Mr. Heinz Kropp from Germany was elected as its first President. Also Section Presidents were elected: for Tenpin Bowling – Mr. Hans Berger from Sweden; for the Asphalt Section – Mr. Leopold Hatzi from Austria; for the Bohle Section – Mr. Willi Stark from Germany; and for the Schere Section – Mr. Francois van Arkels from Belgium.
Although Denmark was not present at the meeting, it had promised to attend and for this reason considered as a member and included among the countries practicing Bohle.
All federations were given the task to prepare for each respective section, playing rules as well as regulations for equipment and to circulate such information among the member federations for comments before the next ordinary meeting. Mr. Weiss and Mr. Hatzi were authorized to draft a proposal for a FIQ Constitution respecting the IOC regulations.
The first official WB Championship was also decided upon:
- First European Championships of Asphalt were given to Zagreb, Yugoslavia in May/June 1952.
- First European Championships of Schere were given to Brussels, Belgium in July 1952.
The Ten-pin Section was planning to conduct its 1st World Championships in Helsinki, Finland in July 1952 during the Olympic Games. But because of Germany's disagreement based on the fact that three championships in the first year would be financially a heavy burden for the federation, it was decided that the Ten-pin Championships should be postponed to 1954.
After the circulation of the minutes of that Conference, Austria wanted to add as a leading principle for the newly established FIQ, that the Chairmanship of the FIQ or of a Section is not given to a nation, but to a person who has been elected to the position. That person would also have the right to lead his/her own national federation. The FIQ received its first funds from the former IBA, which was eventually dissolved in March 1952.
One of the immediate tasks for the new leadership was to recruit more member federations. Either Ninepin or Tenpin could be found in:
- United States
It took some time, but in the first year Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Saarland and Spain accepted the invitation. Later, the German Democratic Republic (the former East Germany) and the Netherlands also accepted to be members.
In the first year (1952) there were also disappointments, because the 1st European Asphalt Championships had to be cancelled due to delayed preparations; they were moved to Zürich, Switzerland. The Championships for Schere, however, were held and were attended by participants from five countries.
The first FIQ Congress was hosted by the German federation in November 1952 in Munich; eight member federations attended. During that meeting the first FIQ Constitution was adopted and it became the guideline and law for almost 20 years. Also a scale and method for charging annual membership fees was adopted. Also this lasted almost 20 years until the first raise of annual fees and a new scale were found necessary. Another decision adopted, which would be impossible to follow today, was that the official language for all Congress meetings was German. Rules, however, were to be printed also in English and French.
The last congresses in the history of the Federation Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ) and World Tenpin Bowling Association (WTBA) were held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 during which the merger of the two organizations into one entity, World Bowling.
List of FIQ congresses:
|2001||Abu Dhabi||United Arab Emirates|
|2009||Las Vegas||United States|
|2015||Abu Dhabi||United Arab Emirates|
1953 brought six more member federations and in 1954 FIQ had 15 member federations in total. It took five more years (1959) to register the first non-European member federations: Mexico and Venezuela. These two countries had participated in 1958 in the World Tenpin Championships in Helsingborg, Sweden as provisional members. The Constitution provided the Presidium the authority to grant new member federations provisional membership status, to be confirmed (or rejected) at the next regular congress.
The development of the membership looks as follows:
5 national associations
15 national associations
17 national associations
32 national associations
41 national associations
52 national associations
64 national associations
73 national associations
79 national associations
89 national associations
134 national associations
|Heinz Kopp||West Germany|
|Dr. Iwan Krizanic||Yugoslavia|
|Frank K. Baker||United States|
|Soetopo Jananto (Jap Soei-Kie)||Indonesia|
|Roger H. Tessman||United States|
|Gerald L. Koenig||United States|
|Kevin Dornberger||United States|
|Sheikh Talal Mohammad Al-Sabah||Kuwait|
WB regulates two disciplines – tenpin and ninepin. The two organisations that administer these disciplines are the World Tenpin Bowling Association (WTBA) and the World Ninepin Bowling Association (WNBA). Both organizations were founded by WB (then FIQ) in 1973.
- Asian Bowling Federation (ABF)
- European Tenpin Bowling Federation (ETBF)
- Pan American Bowling Confederation (PABCON)
- Section Classic (NBC)
- Section Bohle (NBB)
- Section Schere (NBS)
- "World Bowling Celebrates Industry Wide Support as It Launches New Brand". World Bowling. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2014.