If you go bowling a whole lot then by now you probably know how scoring works in bowling. There are some people who only go bowling occasionally though and those people might not understand the scoring in bowling. If you’re one of those people who wonders how scoring in bowling works or if you’re one of those people who wonders how come there are ten pins to knock down and ten frames but it is possible to score 300, then this article is for you.
First is the easy part. Naturally if you bowl a 4 on your first ball and a 2 on the second ball then your score is a 6. If someone bowls and never gets a strike or spare then the score is pretty easy to calculate, your score would just be to add up all the points. If you never get a strike or spare your score isn’t going to be very good though because the best possible score you could get would be a 9 in each frame, which would be a 90 total. Since the maximum score is a 300, 90 isn’t very good.
Bowling a strike or a spare makes the scoring a little bit tougher to calculate, let’s start with a spare. Anytime you bowl a spare your score is ten for the spare, plus whatever you bowl on the very next ball. So if you bowl a spare in frame 1 and then in frame 2 you bowl a 2 on the first ball then your score for frame 1 was a 12, 10 for the spare and 2 for the next bowl. The 2 you bowled in the second frame still counts towards that frame also though. So if the first frame was 4 and a 6 for a spare and the second frame was a 2 and 5, then your score in the first frame would be 12, and the second frame would be 7.
Of course a strike counts as ten points so if you got a spare in the first frame and a strike in the second frame then your score for the first frame would be 20, ten points for the spare and then ten points for the next bowl.
Bowling a strike is a little bit more complicated. When you bowl a strike the bowler gets ten points for knocking down all the pins plus the score of the next two bowls. So let’s say the bowler gets a strike in frame one and then in frame two he gets a 4 in the first bowl and a 3 in the second bowl. The score for the first frame would be 17, ten for the strike and seven for the next two balls.
If the bowler got a strike in one frame and then a spare in the next frame he would get a 20, ten for the strike and ten more for the next two balls. If the bowler gets three strikes in a row then his score for the first frame would be 30, ten for that frame and then twenty for the next two balls, which were ten each since they were strikes.
Let’s say a bowler gets a strike in the first frame, a strike in the second frame, a strike in the third frame and then a 6 and a 1 in the fourth frame. Can you figure out their score after 4 frames?
In the first frame the bowler would score a 30, ten points for knocking down all the pins plus the next two bowls, which were both strikes. In the second frame the bowler would get 26. He would get ten points for the strike and then sixteen for the next two balls, which were a strike and a six. The third frame would get a 17 score, ten for the strike plus the next two bowls, which were a 6 and a 1. Finally the fourth frame would be 7 points for bowling a 6 and a 1. So with scores of 30, 26, 17, and 7 the bowler’s score after four frames would be 80.
If a bowler gets a spare on the tenth frame then they will be allowed one extra bowl after the tenth frame so they can see how many points will be added to the spare on the final frame.
If the bowler gets a strike on the tenth frame then he gets two additional bowls to see what his score on the tenth frame would be. That is why it is possible to score a 300 in bowling. If you were to bowl a strike on every single frame and also on the two additional bowls then every frame you would get a 30, ten points for your strike and twenty points for the next two balls.
Next time you go to the bowling alley, try taking your own score with pencil and paper instead of looking at the computer and see if you can figure out your scores on your own.
Now you can understand how scoring works in bowling. If there is some confusing in your mind about how the score card is kept, you can check out Bowling advisor for a more detailed article about scorecard. You can look at several videos and articles there to better your understanding of the game.