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Bowling Rules

Every Bowling Enthusiast Must Know These Basic Yet Important Rules

Bowling is easy to follow, except that the scoring can be a little confusing to understand. Here are the important rules of the game.
SportsAspire Staff
Last Updated: Nov 19, 2018
Bowling, or specifically 10-pin bowling, is a competitive sport where a player is supposed to roll a ball, especially meant for bowling on a wooden lane. The purpose is to knock down as many pins as possible at the end of that lane.
bowling
It is quite a popular sport the world over, and as such, obviously distinct rules have been laid down for playing this game.
Playing Area
The bowling lane is 60 feet long, that is the distance measuring from the foul line to the head pin. Then there are a set of guide arrows about 15 feet from the foul line. The width of this lane is 41.5 inches, and comprises 39 wooden boards, or boards made of synthetic material.
The Equipment
Pins
US Bowling Congress (USBC) lays down the rule that the pin must be 15 inches in height, and its width at the widest point where the ball comes in contact with it, should be 4.7 inches.
The weight of a single pin should be at least 3 pounds and six ounces, but not more than 3 pound and 10 ounces. The top of the pin has to have a uniform arc, measuring 1.273 inches of radius. The pins need to have accreditation of either the USBC or the British Ten Pin Bowling Association (BTBA), that is USBC approved or BTBA approved.
The Ball
The weight off the ball used for bowling cannot be more than 16 pounds, that is 7.26 kg, and the circumference of the ball should not exceed 2.25 feet, that is .69 m. The ball should be smooth enough, apart from the holes, which are indentations required to help in gripping the ball.
Playing and Scoring Rules
A game in bowling includes 10 frames. For every frame, a player gets a couple of chances for knocking down as many as pins as he or she can. A strike is awarded when the bowler knocks down the pins in the first attempt itself.
He gets a spare when he knocks down all the pins using two balls of a frame. In case the bowler gets all the pins down in the 10th frame, he or she is allowed 3 balls to play for that frame. This is the basic scoring structure.
When there is a long string of strikes, the number of strikes is succeeded by the word 'bagger'. Lately, bowling 4 consecutive strikes has also been known as a 'ham bone'. A player who bowls a spare in the final frame is given an extra ball, which allows him to earn bonus points.
However, at the end of the day, calculating the bonus points correctly becomes an arduous task, especially when there is a combination of strikes and spares in consecutive frames. In addition to this, there is another method for scoring.
The rules include spare, when points which are scored for the next ball are doubled, that is, 2 points per pin knocked down. A strike, on the other hand, refers to points scored for the next two balls which are doubled. That means, 2 points per pin.
If there are 2 or more strikes in a row, then points scored for the succeeding ball are tripled―3 points for a pin. Finally, in case all 10 pins are not knocked down, there are no bonuses to be scored on the remaining throws. 300 is the maximum score one can achieve.