Essentials (Page 2 of 5)
1- History &
2- The Essentials (Scoring, Etc.)
3- Formats (Open, League,
4- Alley diagram
5- Glossary of Bowling
A bowling game consists of ten frames, or turns.
During each frame, a bowler gets two chances to
knock over the pins. If a bowler knocks over all
of the pins on the first throw, or if the bowler
has completed the second attempt, the turn is
over and the next bowler is up.
There are 3 possible outcomes for a frame: an
open frame, spare, or strike.
Open frame: If any pins are left
standing after the second throw, the player receives
1 point for every pin that is knocked down. For
example, if Bowler #1 knocks over 6 pins on the
first throw and 3 pins on the second throw, he
receives a 9 for the frame. If no pins are hit
down, a – is marked on the scoreboard.
Spare: A bowler that knocks over
all the pins on the second throw of a frame has
bowled a “spare” (marked as / on scoreboard).
He receives 10 points for the spare, and, as a
bonus, adds the score of the next throw to the
frame. For example, if Bowler # 2 gets a spare
in the 1st frame and then bowls a 6 and a 2 in
the second frame, he receives 16 points in the
first frame (10 points for the spare and a bonus
Strike: A bowler that knocks
over all the pins on the first throw of a frame
has bowled a “strike” (marked as X
on scoreboard). He receives 10 points for the
strike, and, as a bonus, adds the score of the
next two throws to the frame. For example, if
Bowler #3 gets a strike in the 1st frame and then
bowls a 6 and a 2 in the 2nd frame, he receives
18 points in the 1st frame (10 points for the
strike and a bonus of 6 and 2).
Below is a sample of what a scoring sheet might
look like for 4 bowlers.
Knocking over many pins following a strike or
spare dramatically increases a bowler’s
score. The maximum score for any frame is 30 points.
This occurs when 3 consecutive strikes are thrown
(10 points for the first strike, and a bonus of
10 points for the second and third strikes). A
perfect game is one in which
12 strikes are thrown, and is 300 points. If a
bowler throws a strike or a spare in the 10th
frame, he still receives his bonus throw(s).
(Note: The score for a spare or strike cannot
be calculated until the next throw or two are
completed. This is why the score for the frame
does not immediately appear).
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