USBC Bowling Rules
You've got your shoes, picked out your ball, programmed the score sheet and now it's time to begin the bowling match–most legitimately by following these basic USBC bowling rules. You may not be an Earl Anthony or Nelson Burton Jr., but knowledge about the rules will avoid conflicts and make the match more fun. Surprisingly enough, there is more to U.S. Bowling Congress (USBC) bowling rules than throwing hard. Here's a primer:
- The basics. A regulation match of bowling is divided into 10 frames–10 "turns" if you will. Players get two chances in the the first nine frames to knock down all the pins. In the 10th frame, if a bowler is successful in knocking down all the pins with the first two balls, he or she gets a bonus roll.
- The roll. A frame consists of two deliveries of the ball to the playing area. A delivery occurs when the ball leaves the player's hand and crosses the foul line into the lane area. No device can be used to deliver the ball.
- Scoring. Knocking down all the pins with the first roll in a frame is called a strike. In that frame the bowler will get 10 pins for the strike plus the total on the next two balls. So, for example, if a bowler starts the game with a strike , and then follows that up with nine pins over the next two balls, the bowler scores a 19 in the first frame. The score in that frame is the 10 pins for the spare plus the total on the next ball. So, for example, if the game starts with a spare, followed by a six pins the next roll, the bowler records a 16 in the first frame.
- Fouls. A foul occurs when any part of the bowler's body touches or goes past the foul line. In the case of a foul, the player receives no pins. There is no foul if the player holds onto the ball - the foul only occurs when the player delivers the ball to the pins. If a player deliberately fouls in a situation to get the benefit of the foul, the bowler gets no pins and cannot roll the next ball.
- Set-up. Bowlers have the obligation to make sure that pins are set correctly. A bowler must insist on re-setting the pins before delivering the ball to the lane. If the bowler does not ask for a re-set, it is assumed that the pins were set correctly.
- Lane use. Teams alternate lanes. If one member of team bowls on the wrong lane, a dead ball is declared and the player must rebowl. However, if more than one member of a team bowls on the wrong lane, the previous scores count as legal. The teams then return to the correct lanes as soon as possible.