How To Keep Score

Bowling is always fun, whether you’re just bowling a few rounds casually with friends or having a friendly, or not so friendly, competition! While most understand the concept of how to bowl, how to keep score on the board is a completely different story. Of course the person with the most points wins, but how are those points totaled? And what are the dashes and Xs on the scoreboard? Keep reading to find out how to keep score while bowling.

The Basics

To understand how to keep score, you need to know how a game is set up. Each player gets two turns to bowl each frame. The exception to this is during the last frame where each player gets an additional turn if they get a strike in an attempt to earn more points.

Keeping Score

When you are going through each of your turns, you receive one point for each pin that you knock over with your bowling ball. Your turns that have a strike or spare result in bonus points. A perfect game of bowling consists of 12 strikes, making the maximum number of points in a singular bowling game 300. 

Terms to Learn

Strike: A strike is when all 10 pins are knocked down during the first shot. It is indicated on the scoreboard using an X and is 10 points plus the sum of the points in your next turn.

Spare: A spare is when you knock down all 10 pins total during both of your shots. It is indicated on the scoreboard as an /. Points wise, you will receive 10 points plus the number of pins knocked down after the next roll.

Open Frame: An open frame is when all 10 pins are not knocked down during your turn. It is marked down by writing down the number of pins bowled in each turn.

Foul: A foul is when you step past the fowl line. It is marked by using the letter F. Even if you foul, you can still finish out your turn by completing your two total rolls.

Gutter Ball: If your ball goes into the gutter or misses any pins, you will see a – on the scoreboard.

10th Frame: During the 10th and final frame, you get two more shots if you get a strike and one more shot if it’s a spare.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to bowling! If you’re looking for more practice near Richmond, Indiana, get a strike with us at Richmond 40 Bowl.