Look at this backyard bowling lane. It's ingenious, with strings to reset the pins and a sloped gutter to bring the ball back. Then you think about how the strings and pins laying around would interfere with the second ball. How would you ever get an honest spare? But that's really a moot point. The first ball would bounce around against the backboard and knock them all down anyway. And how would the wood hold up against the weather? Not well, if the wooden table on my deck is any indication. But it was the string pinsetter that got the most interest when this picture was posted at reddit. Some folks had never heard of such a thing, while others say it's used at all the bowling alleys where they live. Here's how a string pinsetter works in an indoor alley:
And here's how a robotic pinsetter works, in case you've wondered.
I guess either one beats the old method.