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# How To Keep Score In Bowling

By: Mason Kaho

Break Studios Contributing Writer

To know how to keep score in bowling you only have to be aware of a few simple rules. To those unfamiliar with bowling scoring, it may seem very confusing, but is in fact as simple as elementary-school math. Modern bowling lanes do all the scoring for you, but it’s still good to understand the scoring, in case you ever need to do it in a pinch.

1. Frame your partners. To keep score in bowling, you need to know that a “frame” consists of two bowled balls, one thrown right after the other in an attempt to knock all the pins down.  A frame can consist of just one ball if that ball is a strike, which is when all the pins are knocked down on the first throw.  Ten completed frames by all players make up a full game.
2. What’s with all these boxes? To keep score in bowling, identify the row of boxes across from a player’s name. A large box with a small box inside is where you indicate the score for one frame. Upon a player’s first throw in a frame—assuming he does not bowl a strike—put the number of pins knocked down inside the little box. After the second throw, assuming he does not knock down the remaining pins, write the number of pins knocked down from the second throw beside the little box, in about the same size as the first number. Add these numbers together and write that total in the bottom of the larger box. If it is not the first frame, add the total of the two numbers to the previous frame’s total, putting the new number in the bottom of the big box. This is the running score.
3. "X" marks the spot. To keep score in bowling, you need to understand how to score a strike. When a strike is thrown, place an “X” through that frame. The unique thing about a strike is that it counts for its own ten, PLUS the total of the next two throws, regardless of what they are. You thus do not write a total in that frame immediately. For example, if a strike is thrown in the first frame and the next two throws total eight, 18 is the total for the first frame. If a strike is thrown in the first frame and this is followed by two strikes, the total for the first frame is 30.
4. Spare a minute to learn this. A spare is similar to a strike, and to keep score in bowling you must also understand hot o calculate this. A spare occurs the first ball in a frame does not knock all the pins down but the second ball does. In this case you write the first number down in the little box and after the spare occurs, draw one diagonal line through the box—half of the “X” you draw for a strike. A spare works like a strike, only instead of adding in the total of the next two throws, you simply add in the total of the next throw. If a spare occurs in the first frame and the next throw is a three, thirteen is the total for the first frame.
5. The tenth frame. The tenth frame is slightly different than the rest in that it has three small boxes inside instead of just one. Knowing how to deal with the tenth frame is important to keep score in bowling. The extra squares are if a bowler throws a strike or a spare. If he throws a strike, he gets two extra turns, which are scored in the remaining two squares. If he spares the tenth frame, he gets one bonus roll.
Posted on: Jan. 19, 2011