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Learning How to Score Bowling

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 0
bowling ball for kids
There are plenty of people who wonder why they should care about how to score bowling frames, after all - doesn't the computer score the game for you? While it is true in most bowling lanes you no longer have a need to score bowling frames yourself, it is still useful for bowlers to understand the scoring system.
After all, what if the scoring machine does not work or you start noticing discrepancies in the count? No one ever claimed that these scoring machines are perfect. That's why it's necessary to know how to score bowling frames.
How to Score Bowling
First, the absolute basics - each bowling game has 10 frames. During each frame, the bowler is given two opportunities to bowl. The goal is to bowl a strike on your first attempt. However, you have a second attempt, if needed, to knock down the pins that you missed during your first attempt. 
During the final frame, should the player manage to successfully knock down all pins, they are given a "bonus" shot to accumulate more points. So when it comes to keeping score there are a few particulars that you need to keep track of, a few indicators that show specific events when bowling.  If you want to know how to score bowling, it is safe to say that X is your friend. 
This is because X signifies that a bowler threw a strike (knocking down all pins on the first throw) when it comes to keeping score. There is also the / which indicates a spare was thrown, a spare occurs when the remaining pins after the first throw of the frame are knocked down.
While everyone might be shooting for the strike (X), many players are going to record the symbol (-), which indicates that the bowler didn't successfully knock down any pins on the throw. If there is a big circle (or O) around the number of pins knocked down on the scoring machine, this means that the pins after the initial roll are positioned in a 'split'. 
A split in bowling is a situation where there are bowling pins on the lane in non-adjacent groups. There are some bowling scorers that use a 'S' instead of an 'O'.  Finally, there is the 'F'; which indicates that the person who threw the ball committed a foul. This means that part of the body went past the foul line during the shot.
Typically, scoring in bowling is as simple as adding together the pins that have been knocked over, with a special bonus for throwing a strike or a spare. When the bowler throws a strike, they get to count the ten pins they knocked over, but also add the number of pins that were successfully knocked down during the next two bowling attempts to the frame in which they threw the strike.  
When the bowler converts a spare, they get to count the ten pins they knocked over, and then add the number of pins that were successfully knocked down during the next bowling attempt to the frame in which they threw the spare. Finally, if you're capable of bowling a strike on each attempt, you will have bowled a perfect game. Perfect games are often referred to as bowling a '300'.
When it comes to keeping score in bowling, perhaps it is not as necessary as it once was. Many people believe they do not even need to know simply because of the automated process. However, the truth is that in order to fully understand the game of bowling it is important that you understand the aspects of the game, and knowing how to score bowling is a major part of that.


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