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Bowling Tips:
Bowling Terminology & Lane Bowling Etiquette Keeping Score
Perfect Strike Spot Bowling 4 Step Approach
Picking Up Spares Developing Accuracy Adjusting to Lane Conditions
  Mental Game  
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Keeping Score

Even though almost every bowling center in the world, has automatic scoring or is in the process of installing scorers, it's still very important to know how to keep score. Plus, if you are familiar with it, then you could answer that favorite question of many bowlers, "What if I got that strike?"

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  • A game is made up of ten frames. Games can also be called a line by some "old-timers".

  • During each frame, a bowler receives 2 chances to knock down or "pick up" all 10 pins.

  • A bowler that knocks down all 10 pins on his/her first shot of the frame, doesn't take a second shot, and receives a Strike.

  • A bowler that doesn't knock down all 10 pins during his or her's first ball and "picks up" all the remaining pins receives a Spare.

  • An open frame refers to a frame where a bowler left 1 or more pins still standing after taking two shots.
Now that you understand how each frame works, its pretty simple to keep score.
  • An open frame counts as the number of pins knocked down in the frame.

  • A Spare counts as ten points plus next shot.

  • A Strike counts as ten points plus next two shots.
Scoring a Frame:
Scoring Example 1
  • The number of pins knocked down or an "X" for a strike during your first shot is written to the left of the little square.

  • For an Open Frame: the number of pins you knock down from the second ball is written in the little box on the right.

  • For a Spare: a "/" is written in the little box on the right.

  • A running total of the game is kept in the bottom of the frame.
The Tenth Frame is scored differently than the other frames.
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Scoring Example 1 score3.gif
  • If a strike is made in the first shot the bowler receives two more shots.

  • If a spare is made in the first two shots of the tenth frame then, one extra shot is received.

  • If you open or leave pins standing during the tenth frame, no extra shots is received.