A popular regional version of the game Skittles, which much resembles bowling, is known as Old English Skittles. Originating in the Greater London area, Old English Skittles uses nine pins and a cheese. A cheese is disc shaped, ranging from 8.5 to 12 inches in diameter and made from very heavy wood. Once the cheese is thrown using a swinging motion and without hitting the floor, the formation of the remaining standing pins, also known as the broken frame, is referred to with a specific name. All names have a clear London origin, from London Bridge to Portsmouth Road. If a player knocks down all the pins in one throw, it is called a “floorer” and is respected as a difficult play.
Old English Skittles was a popular pub game usually played in areas around the Thames River. Now it is known to only be played at the Freemasons Arms in Hampstead. While the game is now distinctly British, the origins of skittles may have been started by Dutch sailors as they made port in London. This version of skittles is one of the oldest and most unchanged. Centuries of illustrations show pins and cheeses in the same formation and being played the same way as contemporary leagues.