I don't bowl, and even in my youth never used the big balls that are standard across the country. We had candlepins in New England, and very occasionally at older lanes, duckpins. Scoring is much lower. For kids playing, getting over 100 was a big deal. Local leagues would have top players who averaged 130 or so, I seem to recall. Maybe higher. No one I knew ever broke 150, but I read about some of those in the paper or saw it on TV. It was on television every Saturday on WHDH Boston, with Don Gillis hosting. Mindless TV, even by my very low standards of watching virtually anything that was on the screen. Later the TV games also gave out cash awards. I think duckpin scoring was worse still.
My friend John "Big Mal" Malyerck who was 6-7 and athletic was very good at this, and when he went to South Carolina to play basketball, bowled for his first time with the large balls. He held the record for many years for best score in an initial game - a 234 or some such. One can see why. After so many years of bowling in a different format it was only technically his first game.
This just showed up in my YouTube feed for some reason, and I have no interest, but somehow it was just fascinating enough to keep watching. I never knew any of this.