- You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. Walt Disney
Bowling is a team sport that has become one of the most played nowadays. Interactive and competitive, the game requires a lot of technique and handiness in order to be properly played, qualities that can be improved towards exercise and practice!
It also implies having fun with friend and/or family and inflicts a positive energy state to you and the ones around you. Nowadays, it is one of the most played games, people preferring to play bowling more than playing on the computer. It is a game that requires inventively an dexterity. It is the game of the century!
Before you begin to bowl, you have to understand the function of the bowling lane. A bowling lane is 60 feet (18.3 m) long from the foul line, the line closest to the bowler, to the head pin, the pin closest to the bowler. There are gutters on either side of the bowling lane. If a ball veers off the lane, it goes into the gutters and is out of play. The approach area is 15 feet (4.6 m) long and ends at the foul line. The bowler cannot overstep the foul line during their approach or their shot won't count. If a ball goes into the gutters and then bounces out and hits the pins, it won't count.
Ten pins are arranged at the end of the bowling lane at the beginning of every frame. They are arranged in a triangle formation, with the point of the triangle facing the bowler.
Before you can call yourself a true bowler, you should be aware of a few different bowling terms. Knowing these terms will also make it much easier for you to understand the rules. Here they are:
A strike is when you knock down all the pins with the ball on your first try.
A spare is when you knock down all the pins on your second try.
A split is when the first ball of a frame knocks down the headpin (the pin closest to you) but leaves two or more pins that are non-adjacent. It's tough to hit a spare in this situation, especially if you have a 7-10 split, which is the hardest split to hit.
A turkey is three strikes in a row.
If any pins remain after the bowler's turn, it's called an "open frame."
One bowling game consists of 10 frames. Each frame is equal to one turn for the bowler. The bowler's objective is to knock down as many pins as possible in a frame, ideally all of them.
- A bowler can roll the ball twice in each frame, provided that they do not hit a strike.
Learn the scoring. If a bowler has an open frame, then they simply get credit for the number of pins they knocked down. If a bowler knocked down 6 pins after two turns, they simply get two turns. However, if a bowler hits a spare or a strike, the rules get slightly more complicated.
If a bowler hits a spare, then they should place a slash mark on their score sheet. After their next turn, they will receive 10 points plus the number of pins they knock down with that turn. So if they knock down 3 pins after their first turn, then they will get 13 points before their second turn. If they then knock down 2 pins in their second turn, they get a total of 15 points for that round.
If a bowler hits a strike, they should record an X on their scoresheet. The strike will earn the bowler ten points plus the number of pins knocked down on the player's next two turns in the following round.
The most a bowler can score in one game is 300 points. This represents 12 strikes in a row, or 120 pins that were knocked down in 12 frames. A perfect game has 12 strikes and not ten, because if the bowler gets a strike on the last frame, then they can take two more turns. If those two turns are also strikes, they will have 300 points.
- If a player rolls a spare in the last frame, then they can take one more turn.
How to hold the bowling ball
How to hold the ball in bowling it is very important because holding it properly can change the whole course of the game. Like any sport, it takes practice to play well, but if you take it step by step, you can learn to play.
The fundamental step is learning how to hold the ball. If you are holding it for the first time you have to observe the position of the holes and the angles they form with the rest of the ball and between them.
The holes are the spots where your fingers will be placed and that is the reason why you will have to acquire them the biggest attention possible!
Focus on your balance
Furthermore, it is very important to mention that balance is one of the basics when it comes to bowling. Even if you feel your body tensioned, your body must balance from one point to another in order to be able to focus your energy upon a certain point.
When you release the ball, all your energy has to focus on your left or right foot and if your body is not balancing properly, you may risk sharing only half of the required energy which will lead to a lower release level and, consequently to a slow ball which will not be able to hit the targets.
The biggest mistake that all the beginners make is that they are not able to balance properly in order to focus their energy. Most of them use only parts of their energy and then they wonder why they cannot hit the ball with strength.