You know those mechanical arms that reach out and sweep bowling pins into a pit, the pick them up and reset them?

Well, it turns down they break down a lot, and a new technology is focused on connecting pins to strings, like ten marionettes waiting to be struck.

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 The Wall Street Journal tells us more.

A tougher breed of bowling pin is popping up at alleys in the U.S. and abroad. Serious bowlers have cause to fear them.

New technology makes these bowling pins harder to knock down, according to the U.S. Bowling Congress, the sport's national governing body.

They are a cost-saving measure by alley owners investing in an automated system that uses what are called string pins. These are regular bowling pins with long cords attached to the top and tethered to string pinsetters. The string pinsetters hoist fallen pins like marionettes and lower them into place.

Compared with old-school systems, marked by the big metal arm that sweeps pins into the pit to be sorted and reset by a hidden array of complicated machinery, string pinsetters are said to need fewer repairs.

Double-date and birthday-party bowlers aren’t likely to notice. But top players who consistently hit the tenpin sweet spot known as the pocket say the change messes with their game.

Talk of the new tech is rolling through the bowling media, including, a blog that bills itself as “bowling’s digital daily newspaper.”

“It’s like a big arcade game. Not worth shoeing up,” one comment said.

“I was a skeptic of string machines but I was won over,” said a contrarian.

Read the full story here