Bowling is a ritualized behavior that requires strength, coordination and an often decidedly idiosyncratic technique in order to aestheticize a communally sanctioned exposition of controlled violence. Orrr . . . maybe it's just a fine example of the sort of loud, explosive fun that humans sometimes get up to indoors. Either way, the best photos of people in full bowling mode manage to capture the pastime's difficulties and intricacies while also conveying something of its singular, easy-going appeal.
Hey, what do you know? Here are some photographs that illustrate exactly what I mean.
Ben Cosgrove is the editor of LIFE.com. Picture This is his weekly (and occasionally more frequent) feature for The Stacks.
Photo: Ralph Morse—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images