Brought to the United States by settlers in the 1600s, bowling has become an American pastime and popularized recreational activity. The game is fairly simple, making it a good sport for all ages.
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Bowling is a target sport in which a bowling ball is rolled down a lane to knock over pins. There are ten pins total, and a player is given two rolls to try and knock them all down. Strict rules and regulations are mainly used by competitive and professional players.
Let’s go over how to correctly choose and swing a ball. We will also discuss the official rules of the game, competitive bowling, and tips for senior bowlers.
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- 109 Pages - 04/10/2022 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)
- Year-round bowling-specific weight-training programs
- Descriptions and photographs of nearly 100 exercises
- Used by top bowlers worldwide
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Rules of the Game
The basic rules of bowling are to play either as individuals or teams and collect points from knocking down pins. There are ten pins set up in a triangular formation at the end of the lane. Bowling lanes should be around 60 feet in length and 42 inches in width. On the opposite end of the pins is where the player stands. There is a foul line that the player is not allowed to cross. This means the ball must be rolled before the player reaches the foul line.
For each turn, a player is given two rolls. A strike occurs when all the pins are knocked over in the first roll. A spare occurs when the remaining pins are knocked over in the second roll. Both strikes and spares can result in bonus points.
The game itself is broken down into ten frames. A frame is essentially a round in which all the players roll. Once every player has gone, the game moves into the next frame. Players have the potential to earn an extra shot and extra points in the final tenth frame if they roll either a strike or a spare.
Leisure vs. League Bowling Games
Technically, there is an official set of rules laid out by the United States Bowling Congress. These rules are fairly extensive and have many technicalities. However, this set of rules applies to professional competitive games. When playing leisurely outside of a league, the rules are left up to the players themselves.
Professional bowling leagues are required to follow the rules given by the bowling congress. Recreational players may choose to play strict games that follow these rules as well. However, this is not a requirement of recreational games. Including professional rules in non-professional games can add extra intensity and difficulty for experienced players.
For beginners, it is unlikely to see strict adherence to official rules. This is because there are lots of techniques and methods to learn and explore. Strict rules during beginner or leisurely games can negatively impact a player’s development of a personal style. It can also make the game too intense for someone looking for a fun and laid back sport.
Ultimately, it is the choice of the non-professional players which rules they wish to follow. The game of bowling is popular with all age groups. This has resulted in many modifications added to recreational games, such as the use of bumpers to prevent gutter balls. While most of these modifications in professional games are illegal moves, they can greatly improve the experience of non-professional players.
Basic scoring in bowling is determined by the number of pins knocked down during a turn. A player can earn a score between 1 and 9 if they do not knock down all the pins. The score they receive in this instance is directly related to the number of pins they knocked over. These types of plays are known as open frames.
In the event that a strike or spare occurs in a player’s turn, the scoring is adjusted. Strikes happen when all the pins are hit down in the first roll. A strike earns 10 points plus the sum of the next two rolls. This essentially means that the next two rolls after the strike are worth double points.
A spare occurs when the pins are all hit down after the second roll. A spare earns 10 points plus the sum of a singular roll afterward.
The maximum score that can be achieved in a single frame is 30 points. This amount of points is achieved after rolling three strikes in a row. A strike followed by a spare, or vice versa, results in 20 points in a single frame.
The highest possible ending score in a bowling game is 300 points. This is reached by bowling a strike every single frame. The tenth frame allows for up to 3 rolls, meaning a player can potentially earn points for three strikes in the last frame.
Fouls and Illegal Moves
While recreational players may not strictly adhere to professional rules, there are still moves considered illegal within bowling. These can be the result of both purposeful and accidental actions.
In professional games, the severity of punishment ranges from earning no points to being disqualified from the game. Recreational players are left to determine punishment and fairness according to their own judgment.