Bowling Study Guide

Bowling Study Guide
History of the game can be tracked back at least seven thousand years. The ancient Egyptians enjoyed a
version of the game, as indicated by bowling balls and pins found buried in an Egyptian child’s grave.
By the 1840’s bowling had become popular in America. The first indoor bowling lanes were built in
New York. Abraham Lincoln was among the many famous Americans who enjoyed bowling. The
American Bowling Conference (ABC) was founded for men in 1895. A women’s organization, the
WIBC, was founded in 1916. Bowling originally started as a game with only 9 pins instead of 10.
The object of the game is to knock down as many pins as you can each time you send the ball down the
alley. Each pin counts as one point. Each game is divided into ten frames. If you knock down all the
pins in each frame you will score thirty points in each frame and three hundred points for a perfect game.
For a novice bowler, a score of 120 or so is considered good. An average bowler is 160-180, while
professionals average more than 200 points in a single game.
In each frame, the bowler gets two chances unless the first try is a strike (X). A spare (/) means all the
pins have been knocked down in two turns. A gutter or a miss would be marked with a (-) sign. An (F)
means the bowler committed a foul. When a foul occurs no score is recorded for that shot.
When selecting a bowling ball one should examine the weight, the distance between the finger holes and
the circumference of the finger holes. Other equipment needed to bowl include, bowling shoes, bowling
pins, a bowling lane and possibly a wrist support if needed.
There are four basic shots in bowling. They are the straight ball, hook ball, curve ball and back up ball.
The straight ball is exactly what its name implies except that it is rolled down the alley slightly off center
in order to hit the first pin at an advantageous angle. The hook shot consistently beats other shots in
producing strikes. The hook, if thrown properly, will start a chain reaction among the pins. The hooking
motion of the ball’s trajectory results from the way in which the middle fingers are released. The hook is
the shot that consistently scores more strikes than the other shots. The curve ball is difficult to control. It
is an exaggerated version of the hook shot, but because of the path, there is more room for error in this
shot. The back up ball is seldom used. It works from left to right, the exact opposite of the other three
shots. Most professional players advise against using this type of shot.
When bowling one should aim at the arrows and not the pins.
• Try to roll the ball over the second arrow from the gutter
• If you hit the second arrow and the ball travels too far right, move your feet further right
• If the ball travels too far left, move your feet further left
• Move the way the ball misses
• Right handed bowlers should guide their ball to the 1-3 pocket
• Left handed bowlers should guide their ball to the 1-2 pocket
• A “Brooklyn” is when the ball crosses the headpin and hits the opposite pocket
• A “Sleeper” is when a pin is hidden behind another
The bowling pins are arranged on the lane in the following manner.
Follow Through
• When the ball is released the thumb comes out first followed by the fingers
• Upon release the opposite arm should extended for balance
• The ball is held at the shoulder to the side
• For a 4 step approach, right handed bowlers begin with their right foot
• For a 5 step approach, right handed bowlers begin with their left foot
• The same arm and foot begin moving at the same time
• Bend at the knees as you begin your release
• The last step is a slide with the opposite foot as you release the ball
• A spare (/) is scored ten points plus the next ball you roll
• A strike (X) is scored ten points plus the next two balls you roll
• A perfect game is 300 points
• If a strike or a spare occurs in the tenth frame the bowler is entitled to an additional ball
• Scoring is accumulative throughout the game