Bowling centers are popping up all over the country and the sport is quickly achieving an all time high in popularity among people of all ages. For those of you that are not yet up to date on how to bowl or more importantly how to score a bowling game (without the use of computers), then this guide is just the thing for you. Lets start with understanding the items you will need to bowl with.
The Basic Equipment
Bowling centers will typically supply you with all of the basic items you will need in order to bowl a game at their location. The basic items you will need include a bowling ball (usually available for free throughout the back of the center) and bowling shoes (usually available for rent at the service desk in the center). Typically the bowling balls that are ready for use at the bowling alley are made of a poly blend material (it is light weight plastic). The weight of the ball varies from six to sixteen pounds. There are three holes drilled into the ball for your fingers. The top two holes (which are side by side) are for your middle and a ring finger, the larger bottom whole is for your thumb. And that is how you will grip the ball (you should bowl with the hand you write with).
To be on the safer side, you can also list of the best straight bowling balls so that it would give you an idea to buy the one that would fit into your fingers like a tee and help you play a perfect game without any scope for mistakes.
The Bowling Lane
A standard modern bowling lane is made of synthetic fiber (older lanes are made of wood fibers). That is where the variations in lanes end. Everything else about the lanes and their setup is regulated by a national bowling board. The lane is sixty two feet, ten and three sixteenths long from the foul line (black strip at start of lane) to the back of the pit (the area where the pins set). The lanes width is between forty one and forty two inches wide, plus the gutters. The approach (the area you walk on in front of the lane) is fifteen feet long.
As you look out on the lane, there are several marking you will see on the lane. On the approach area, you will see 2 sets of dots across the approach. These are suggested approach line which you will learn about when you have more experience. At the beginning of the lane itself you will see a solid black line. This is the foul line, if your foot crosses this line, you will be fouled for that ball and you will get no credit for that ball. About 10 feet down the lane are two set of dots on either side of the lane. These are marks that bowlers use as a guide for throwing the ball to put the ball on a particular part of the lane. Further down there is a set of arrows, these arrows line up with the front line of pins that you see. There are ten pins at the end of the lane. The pins are number from front to back and left to right.
Bowling Game Scoring
There are ten frames in a bowling game. The first nine frames consists of two attempts, the tenth frame has three attempts. The concept is to knock down as many of the tens pins as possible per frame in the attempts allotted. The total number of pins you get a chance to knock down in a game is one hundred and twenty; the maximum score possible in a single game is three hundred. This is due to two special marking, strikes and spares. When you knock over all ten pins on the first attempt of a frame, this is called a strike. When you bowl a strike, your next two throws will be added to that frame then added again in their respective frames. A spare is what happens when the remaining pins are knocked over in the second attempt of a frame. When this happens, the next throw is added to that frame.
These are the very basic concepts on the game of bowling. See my other articles for more in depth bowling concepts.