Bowling Scoring

The Basics Of Bowling Scoring

Learning the basics of bowling scoring is not terribly complicated. In many, perhaps most bowling alleys, scoring is done automatically and electronically. In years past, everyone who bowled either had to keep score manually, when bowling alone, or take turns keeping score when bowling with one or more friends, or on a team. Today, manual scoring is usually required only in the event of an automated scoring system failure.

Still, the basics of bowling scoring are nice to know, and are one of the first things you should master when learning how to bowl. The object of bowling is to knock down as many pins as you can during the course of a game. The high score wins. A game consists of 10 frames, and you get two chances to knock down ten pins during each frame. If you knock down eight pins in your two tries, your score for that frame will be 8. If you throw two gutter balls, your score for the frame will be 0.

Suppose you knock down a few pins with your first ball, and then knock down all the rest with your second. That's called a spare. A spare is designated by a slash "/". You don't receive a score for that frame until you throw your first ball in the next frame. You then add the number of pins knocked down with that first ball to the number 10 (the number of pins you knocked down in the previous frame, your "spare" frame). So, if you knock down 5 pins with that first ball, your score for the spare frame will be 15. If you throw a gutter ball, the score will be 10 (very frustrating), and should you throw a strike, the score for your spare frame will be 20.

When you throw a strike, you mark an "X" in the frame. The eventual score for that frame will be 10, plus the number of pins you knock down with the next two balls. If you knock down 8 pins in the next frame, your score will be 18 for your "strike" frame, and 8 for the next frame. If you pick up a spare in the next frame, your score for the strike frame will be 20.

If you bowl a strike in the next frame, and knock down 7 pins with the first ball of the following frame, you score would be 27 for your strike frame. If you throw two strikes after your first strike frame, your score for that frame will be 30. Throwing three strikes in a row is called a "turkey". Turkeys are good, as are strikes in general, for that matter.

If you throw a strike in the 10th and final frame, you get to throw two additional balls. The supreme goal is to throw strikes in each of the 10 frames, and then throw strikes for both of your bonus balls, following the 10th frame. According to the rules of bowling scoring, you'll end up with a total score of 300, a perfect game. Congratulations!