OBJECTIVE OF BOWLING: Throw a heavy ball to run on a long, flat runway to knock over wooden pins and score more points than the other players.


MATERIALS: Pins, runway, heavy ball, shoes, and gloves




Ancient books say that the game of throwing stones over some objects placed in the distance dates back to Ancient Egypt and Rome. Italians played a variation of this game called bocce, which was later introduced to the United States, giving birth to bowling as we know it today. This is a fun game that can be played competitively.


bowling game rules


The standard pin is 15 inches high and 4.75 inches wide (at the widest bulge). It weighs between 3 lb 6 oz to 3 lb 10 oz.

The 10 pins are arranged in 4 rows in a triangle with about 12 inches (30 centimeters) of space between each pin.


The lane is straight and flat, with a layer of oil applied to reduce friction. It is 60 feet long and 42 inches wide. The lane approach where bowlers deliver the ball is 15 feet long.

On the lane, there are two sidelines and a horizontal foul line that bowlers cannot cross when throwing the ball. There are also 7 arrow lines to help players align the ball.


how to play bowling

Players bowl alternately. The first player chooses a ball and goes to the lane approach. Next, the player runs to gain momentum, approaches the foul line, and then aims and rolls the ball to knock over the pins on the other end of the lane.

A single game of bowling consists of 10 frames. And at each frame, each player is allowed 2 throws.

The aim of the game is to get the highest number of points by knocking down as many pins as possible. The number of points a player gains in a single frame is calculated as total pins knocked down + any reward points.


Scoring in bowling can be a bit confusing, so let’s go over how everything works.


An open frame occurs when some bowling pins are still standing after the 2 tries in a single frame. In this case, the points are calculated for the number of pins knocked down. No bonus points are awarded.

So, if a player knocks down 2 pins on the first try and 4 additional pins on the second try, the player is awarded 6 points for that frame.


A spare occurs when all 10 pins are knocked down on the second try. A spare is usually indicated with a slash (/) on the board. The scoring for a spare is 10 points + however many pins are knocked down in the next roll.

For example:

Frame 1, ball 1: 6 pins

Frame 1, ball 2: 4 pins (/)

Frame 2, ball 1: 2 pins

Frame 2, ball 2: 4 pins

Then the score for the spare for the frames are as follows:

Frame 1: 6 + 4 + 2 (bonus) = 12

Frame 2: 2 + 4 = 6


A strike occurs when a player knocks down all 10 pins in the first throw of a frame. The player is awarded 10 points + bonus points equal to the number of pins the player knocks down in the entire next frame. In other words, the score of the next frame is counted twice. A strike is marked as an “X” on the scoreboard.

For example:

Frame 1, ball 1: 10 pins (X)

Frame 2, ball 1: 2 pins

Frame 2, ball 2: 4 pins

Then the score for the two frames is as below:

Frame 1: 10 + (2 + 4) = 16

Frame 2: 2 + 4 = 6


Here are the different terms to describe the number of strikes.

  • Double: Two strikes in a row
  • Turkey: Three strikes in a row
  • Four-Bagger: Four strikes in a row
  • Five-Bagger: Five strikes in a row
  • And so on

Although there are only 10 pins, the maximum number of points in a single frame is 30 points. So, every consecutive strike after the second one is worth 30 points.


The tenth and last frame in a bowling game works differently from the other frames. You do not get any bonus points for spares or strikes in this frame, but you can get an additional third shot. However, on the flip side, if a player does not score a spare or strike in the tenth frame, they do not get an additional try.


Calculate all 10 frames. The player that scores the most points is the winner!