How to Keep Score when Bowling

For individuals who have been fortunate enough to enjoy an in home bowling alley that was available to them whenever they wanted to play, it might have been all for fun and not for competition. For some people going out bowling with friends for the first time, keeping score may also be a challenge. While most bowling alleys around today have electronic displays that keep track of your score, knowing what you are aiming for will help you improve your game. While points are counted in some games, they are referred to as pins in bowling. The following methods of scoring are based on the use of ten pin bowling equipment for ten pin bowling, which is the most popular game of bowling today.

  • When you go to the bowling alley, you usually pay for a game that consists of ten frames. Each frame includes two turns, per bowler, to attempt to knock down all the pins. When playing with ten pin bowling equipment, this means you will be trying to knock down ten pins that are arranged in a triangle with the “V” pointed toward you.
  • Strikes — If you manage to knock all ten pins down during your first roll of the ball, you made a strike. A strike is worth 10 pins, in addition to the score for your next two rolls. For example, if your next roll is a 9, and the third is another strike, your total score for the strike will be 29 — 10 for the strike, and the additional pins for the next two throws.
  • Spares — If you only knock down part of the pins with the first roll, and then knock down the rest with your second attempt, this is called a spare. When scoring a spare, your score is determined by the spare itself (10 pins), in addition to the value of the next roll.
  • Open Frames — If you take both turns at rolling the ball down the lane without knocking down all of the pins, this is called an open frame. Scoring for an open frame is done at face value. The total number of pins knocked down is the number of pins added to your score.

At the end of the tenth frame, if you have scored a strike in the first shot of the frame, you need two more shots. For a spare, on the first two balls, you will need an additional shot to determine the value of the spare. When either situation occurs, a fill ball is used to determine your final score. Once you have finished the game, all of the “pins” are added together to determine the final score of each player. Learn more from Murrey Bowling by calling 310 532-6091.

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