Historical background

The origin of the nine pin skittle game is still unknown. It used to be played in the county of Béarn in the 15th and 16th centuries and it became popular in the whole South West of France in the 19th century.
It was brought to America by French emigrants.
The first important nine pin skittle competition took place in Dax in 1898 and other competitions followed in the South West of France.
The French nine pin skittle federation was created in Orthez (Atlantic Pyrenees) in 1948.
It is now part of the F.F.S.Q. (the French Skittle Federation), now called the F.F.B.S.Q. (the French Skittle and Bowling Federation).
It has about 650 members.

Here are the different shapes of skittles from 1882 to 1910 :

historical