Bowling is both a fun way to spend time with friends and a serious competitive sport. Whether you want to know how to be a casual player or how to advance your bowling skills, you’ve come to the right place.
1 – Understand what a bowling alley is
Before you start playing, you must understand how the bowling alley works. A bowling lane is 16.98 meters long from the fault line, the line closest to the player, to the leading keel, the keel closest to the player. There are gutters on each side of the bowling alley. If a ball deviates from the track, it goes into the gutters and is out of the game.
- The approach area is 4.5m long and ends at the foul line. The player can not cross the foul line during his approach otherwise his throw will not count.
- If a ball goes into the gutters, then bounces and hits the pins, it will not count.
2 – Observe how the pins are placed
To explain the bowling pins, ten pins are arranged at the end of the bowling lane at the beginning of each frame. They are arranged in a triangle formation with the tip of the triangle towards the bowling player. In the first row there is a keel, which is the leading keel, two pins of the second row, three in the third row and four in the fourth row.
- The pin positions are numbered from 1 to 10. The pins in the back row are numbered 7 to 10, the pins in the row above the back row are numbered 4 to 6, the pins in the second row are numbered from 2 to 3 and the leading keel is keel # 1.
- The player wins a point if all pins are reversed. Bowling numbers are based on the location, not the keel value
3 – Learn the jargon of bowling
Before you can call yourself a real bowler, you should be aware of a few different bowling terms. If you know these terms, it will also be a lot easier for you to understand the rules.
- A strike is when you drop all the pins with the ball on your first try.
- A spare is when you drop all the pins on your second try.
- A split is when the first ball of a frame overturns the leading keel (the keel closest to you), but leaves two or more pins that are not side by side. It is difficult to make a spare in this situation, especially if you still have pins 7 and 10, which is the most difficult split to play.
- A triple or turkey means three strikes in a row.
- If the pins remain standing after the player’s turn, this is called an “open frame”.
4 – Understand how a bowling game works
A bowling game consists of 10 frames. Each frame is equal to one turn for the player. The goal of the player is to drop as many pins as possible in a frame, ideally all bowling.
A player may roll the ball twice in each frame, provided that he does not succeed in a strike.
5 – Learn how to count points
If a player has an open frame, then he simply scores for the number of pins he has knocked down. If a player drops 6 pins in 2 turns, he simply gets two turns. However, if a player makes a spare or a strike, the rules become a little more complicated.
- If a player makes a spare, then he must score a slash on his score sheet. On his next turn, he will receive 10 points plus the number of pins he drops this turn. So, if he drops 3 pins after his first turn, he will receive 13 points before his second turn. If he then drops 2 pins on his second turn, he gets a total of 15 points for that turn.
- If a player succeeds in a strike, he must score an X on his sheet. The strike pays the player ten points plus the number of pins shot on his next two shots in the next turn.
- The maximum score a player can score in a game is 300 points. This represents 12 strikes in a row or 120 pins that have been reversed in 12 frames. A perfect game has 12 strikes and not ten, because if the player gets a strike on the last frame, then he can play two more rounds. If he also strikes on these two rounds, he will have 300 points.
- If a player makes a spare in the last frame, then he can play one more round.