Bowling Tips: How to Keep ScoreBowling Tips | Rich Wallace | August 20, 2010 at 7:03 AM
Although it’s very commonplace that just about every house you go to has fully automated scoring systems, it isn’t a bad idea to understand how to manually keep score of your bowling game. You can use this knowledge in forecasting a potential final score, or better your trash talking when your buddy is about to lose the game even before you throw your last frame. In this tip, I’ll cover the basics of how to manually keep score of your bowling game.
The Score Sheet
As seen in the example score sheet above, one individual bowling game is made up of ten frames. A single frame offers two attempts for the bowler to clear all of the pins. If a strike is made on the first attempt, the second shot is not offered and either the next frame is cycled, or the next bowler in line is up.
The highest possible score a bowler can generate in a single game is “300″, which is called, a “perfect game” and includes twelve total strikes in the game. Yes, there are ten frames, but the tenth and final frame didn’t want to be normal and that is covered in the post, “Bowling Tips: The Tenth Frame“. Since the object of the game is to finish off with the high score, we obviously want as many strikes as possible during the game, but don’t be upset if you never hit that perfect game, many of today’s pros haven’t either.
How To Keep Score
Before the game begins, write out the name (or initials) of the bowlers on each line to the far left of the sheet as to identify which bowler is in line to go next and to keep the scores organized. When ready, start the game and let ‘er rip.
Each frame allows for two attempts to knock down as many pins as possible, after the first shot is made, count the number of pins that have fallen and mark that number in the frame box to the left of the smaller box in the upper right hand corner. After the second shot is made (and there are still pins left standing), mark the number of fallen pins inside the smaller box in the upper right hand corner. Add these two numbers together, and that is the final score for that frame.
If a strike is thrown on the first attempt, mark the frame with an ‘X’ in the smaller box in the upper right hand corner of the frame box. Strikes are to be scored by waiting for the result of the next two shots, so we are not ready to put in an actual number just yet. If the next two shots happen to be strikes, we would score the first frame with ’30′, since each strike is worth ten points. Now, where it can seem confusing is that each frame that has a strike also includes the score of the next two shots. As a result of this, it may appear that the bowler many not have an actual score for two or three frames.
If a spare is thrown on the second attempt, mark the frame with a slash, ‘/’ in the smaller box in the upper right hand corner of the frame box. Spares are worth ten points, plus the outcome of the next shot. After the next shot is made, include the number of fallen pins plus the ten points from the previous spare in the score of the previous frame.
Other situations that may arise to be aware of are “splits” and “fouls”. If a split is thrown, the number of fallen pins are to be marked in normal fashion, but is to be enclosed within a circle as to represent the split condition. If a foul occurs, (when the bowler’s foot ends up over the line between the approach and the bowling surface), any pins that do fall are not to be counted and an ‘F’ is to be placed in the scoring location, depending on if the throw was the first or second shot in the frame. Keep in mind, however, that a foul does not necessarily forfeit the entire frame…so if the first attempt is fouled yet, the second attemp is a legit score, any pins knocked down on the second attempt may be counted for the frame’s total score.
Remember, the tenth and final frame is a bit out of the ordinary, as seen in the score sheet example image above, there are three potential opportunities for scoring. Again, for more information on this unwieldy behemoth of a frame, please check out the post, “Bowling Tips: The Tenth Frame“.
Now you can impress your friends, or be labeled a bowling geek, by being able to map out your score and even forecast the rest of your game using a little math. Oops…didn’t mean to throw some education on you there.
Happy Bowling (and scoring)!