How to Keep Score in Bowling

Scoring cards are available at the customer service desk and you can ask for them when you pay for your game.

The score card has a series of boxes and allows you to keep up with several players in each roll.

The first roll is entered in the upper left-hand corner of the box and corresponds with how many pins the player has knocked down. On the second roll you record the number of pins in the upper right-hand corner of the box.

Bowling scores are kept in this way.

There are 10 frames, which are the turns you get in each game. Each frame gives you two attempts to knock all 10 pins down and the score of each frame is added to the previous frame.

Each pin knocked down on a roll is counted as one point each. When you knock down all 10 pins on your first roll of the frame, it's known as a 'strike'. When you knock down all 10 pins in your 2 rolls, it's known as a 'spare'.

For a strike you use an "X" to mark the frame box. When this happens the next two throws are added to the frame that you got the strike.

A spare is marked with a " / " in the corresponding box and the next throw is added to the frame that you got the spare.

When a bowler steps on or over the foul line, the ball is marked as a foul "F" and no points is awarded.

Where score keeping can become tricky is when you must keep up with special scores, such as spares and strikes, and knowing what to add together to get the final score.

There are two rules that make score keeping much easier to remember: For a strike, the bowler is awarded 10 points plus the total of the next two balls (not frames). For a spare, the bowler is awarded 10 points plus the score of the next ball only.

The maximum amount of points you can receive for one frame is 30, which indicates three consecutive strikes.

If you fail to knock down any pins on a throw, it is called a gutter ball. If this happens on your first throw of the frame, you will get a second try but can at most only get a spare, not a strike.

In the last frame if you roll a strike or spare, you are allowed to roll the ball one more time to increase your score. This is the only time in bowling that the third roll is permitted and allowed for scoring purposes.

A perfect score in bowling is 300. In order to have a perfect score, you need to have a strike in every frame. While it is possible, most of us are not capable of that kind of results, especially when we are just beginning.

The average bowling score for a non-professional bowler is approximately 150 to 220, depending on experience and of course practice.