Formats (Page 3 of 5)
1- History &
2- The Essentials (Scoring,
3- Formats (Open, League, Etc.)
4- Alley diagram
5- Glossary of Bowling
Open bowling: Recreational bowling
performed by millions of people every year.
Leagues: A common league format
is to create teams of four bowlers that face different
teams in the league each week. Each team typically
bowls three games and the team with the highest
combine score of all four members wins the game.
One league point is given for each game won. Some
leagues award a 4th point for the most overall
points for all three games. League points accumulate
throughout the season to determine league standings.
Recreational leagues often use handicaps to even
out the teams.
Amateur: High school and college
formats vary at each competition. Many competitions
feature the Baker System, where a team of 5 players
rotate turns and each bowler scores 2 frames of
a game for the team. Some competitions are similar
to league bowling and have each bowler bowl a
full game and use the combined team score to determine
the winner of each game. Other competitions feature
individual bowlers in match play, a head to head
competitions where the bowler with the higher
score advances to the next round.
Professional: Professional tournaments
usually feature several days of qualifying games
where as many as 5-9 games are bowled a day and
the top overall scoring players advance (usually
24 or 32 bowlers). The remaining bowlers then
switch to match play and the winner advances to
the next round, while the loser is eliminated.
The only equipment that a bowler needs is a bowling
ball and bowling shoes. Bowling balls typically
weigh 15 pounds and have three holes—two
finger holes and a thumb hole. Youth balls can
be as light as 6 pounds. Bowling shoes have a
smooth surface on the soul of the toe that allows
a bowler to slide as he bowls the ball. While
most lanes provide balls and rental shoes, serious
bowlers opt to wear their own bowling shoes, and
often have several balls.
Recreational vs. advanced bowling:
Advanced bowlers average over 200 points and rarely
leave an open frame. These players bowl with a
spin that sends the ball in a hooking pattern
down the lane. From this angle, the ball has the
potential to hit more pins. Advanced bowlers have
balls that are custom fit to their hands so that
their fingertips barely insert into the ball.
The balls are also counterbalanced and have a
reactive surface to create a larger break. Bowlers
often carry several balls for different circumstances,
such as to pick up spares or for different lane
conditions. Unlike in recreational bowling, in
professional and college tournaments, the lanes
often have different oil patterns that increase
the difficulty of the game.
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