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In the region where I am from (Cantabria, Spain) it is very common to have bowling alleys (indoor or outdoor), every village usually has at least one. Here they play traditional modalities (not bowling 10pin or 9 pin), such as bolo palma, pasabolo tablón, pasabolo losa, bolo pasiego, etc. There is a lot of enthusiasm for this type of game, with teams, regional championships and sports schools in many municipalities.

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Until now I have not known how to correctly label these playing fields. I have used sport=bowls but this type of game does not fit in with others. I do not see that there is a label defining subcategories for different types of bowling games. I know there are similar traditional games in other countries and I would like to know how other mappers are labelling it and if they follow some kind of convention.

asked 10 Feb '22, 11:05

Emilio%20Gomez's gravatar image

Emilio Gomez
accept rate: 0%

edited 20 Mar '22, 09:14

Would sport=boules be a better fit? It is described as covering a wide variety of games, and there is a well-established additional tag boules= to specify the particular game.

This overpass query suggests it already has some usage in northern Spain:

For example

permanent link

answered 10 Feb '22, 12:23

alan_gr's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

edited 10 Feb '22, 12:41

Thanks, I also considered using the label sport=boules at the time, but I noticed that it refers more specifically to games similar to petanque, where balls are thrown but there are no wooden bowls or any other material. It would be something more similar to "Jeu de quilles" in France, for example. From what I see right now in OSM it is difficult to label the game pitches for these traditional game types, so there is no agreement on how to proceed and tags are being mixed up.

(10 Feb '22, 18:43) Emilio Gomez

OK, I understand that these are all games in which the players knock down a target. So perhaps more similar to bowling than to either bowls or boules.

Perhaps leisure=bowling_alley , and invent a new tag for sport= if no tag currently in use is sufficiently close? Maybe you would be able to get agreement in your local region. I see there are quite a few leisure=bowling_alley in Cantabria. As they are mostly in rural areas I assume they are for traditional sports that you refer to (not 10 pin bowling alleys). So it might be just a matter of getting agreement on the sport= tag. After all every tag has to start somewhere!

(10 Feb '22, 20:42) alan_gr

In the UK traditional games like this tend to be called skittles (usually in a long room at the back of a pub), but wikipedia links bitlles to this rather than the terms you use. There are 8 instances of sport=skittles. The idea of tagging the location as leisure=bowling_alley also makes sense, although there is some danger of changing it's meaning There's no reason why a specific tag should not be created for culturally significant sports which are regional in nature (for instance there are a few in the Val d'Aosta). Another example is Schwingen, a uniquely Swiss traditional wrestling style (sport=swiss_wrestling).

(10 Feb '22, 22:17) SK53 ♦

Another example is sport=gaelic_games, which covers a number of sports played mainly in Ireland, and introduces a further level of subtagging if it is desired to specify which sports are played at a given facility:

As it happens Ireland also has road bowling ( which is more closely related to the topic here, but as it is by definition played on normal roads rather than a dedicated facility, I suspect it is not mapped.

(11 Feb '22, 11:24) alan_gr

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question asked: 10 Feb '22, 11:05

question was seen: 1,044 times

last updated: 20 Mar '22, 09:14

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum