What is a Good Bowling Score?

What is a Good Bowling Score

A good bowling score depends on the individual and their level of gameplay. For instance, a beginner playing the game for the first time should shoot for 50 but focus more on quality and consistent rolls than points. Meanwhile, an amateur should strive for a score closer to 100. Once you get to the professional level, a 200+ score is in the running to win tournaments and prize money.


So, how does scoring work in bowling at a high level? What is the average bowling score for a novice/beginner? What is the average bowling score for an amateur, and what about for a professional bowler? Is there a maximum score in bowling? What is a perfect game in bowling, and how do you calculate your average bowling score?


Below we will discuss bowling scoring and the typically expected scores across experience levels.


High Level – How Does Scoring Work in Bowling?

High Level - How Does Scoring Work in Bowling

Scoring in bowling is based on the number of pins you can knock down during a frame. From there, you add up the number of pins you knocked down at the end of the game, and whoever has the highest score will win. The nuance in bowling scores on paper or the video screen comes when you throw a strike or a spare.


When you throw a bowling strike, you then get to add the points from your next two rolls to the strike. So if you score a strike, which is ten points, and in total, with the next two rolls score five points, your score for that frame is fifteen points.


During a spare, the same concept applies; you add the pins from the next roll only. When a player does not score a strike or a spare, this is called an open frame, which means you did not score ten points.


What is an Average Bowling Score for a Novice / Beginner?

What is an Average Bowling Score for a Novice Beginner

A beginner in bowling should expect to score anywhere from 30-50 in the game. This low score is because handling a bowling ball, getting the right spin, and understanding the technique can be difficult. You may also throw nothing but gutter balls in your first couple of games, which leads to no points for that frame.


If you are a true novice in bowling, consider playing with bumpers. Bumpers stop the bowling ball from going into the gutter, which gives you a better chance to score more points when playing. While there is no guarantee you will always hit the pins on every roll, you at least set yourself for a better chance to record points.


What is an Average Bowling Score for an Amateur?

What is an Average Bowling Score for an Amateur

The average player with several games under their belt should score between 100 and 150. Amateurs tend to be familiar with bowling and will have stretches where they roll well. However, amateurs will sometimes begin to lose their form and focus, which can lead to gutter balls.


If you are going to play a few games of bowling as an amateur player, consider playing one with gutters. The gutters can be a good idea to give you some forgiveness on your rolls, especially if it has been a while since you last played bowling. After one game with gutters, you can take the gutters off since you are more familiar and comfortable again with bowling and the form you need to take for consistent rolls.


What is an Average Bowling Score for Professional Bowlers?

What is an Average Bowling Score for Professional Bowlers

Professional bowlers have been playing in bowling leagues for a long time, have the knowledge, and maybe play in professional bowling tournaments. These players know the techniques, and bowling skills, have the proper bowling skills and may understand the lane condition by looking at it. At this skill level, the average score would be well above 200 all the time.


For example, the PBA National Tour in 2022 had the top average score of 220. The player at the end of the PBA National Tour 2022 list was closer to the 170 mark, which is still considered a great score, but still shows the gap from the top. However, what makes professional bowlers so good is their consistency of bowling around the 200+ mark for numerous tournaments.


What is the Maximum Score in Bowling?

The maximum score in bowling depends on which type of game you are playing. For example, Ten-pin bowling has a maximum score of 300, while five-pin bowling is 450.


What is a Perfect Game in Bowling?

A perfect game gets recorded when a bowler scores a perfect score of 300. This score can occur when a bowler hits consecutive strikes from the beginning of the game to the last roll in the tenth frame. To date, 34 televised perfect games have gotten rolled in the PBA league, with the first in 1967.


How to Calculate Your Bowling Average Score?

How to Calculate Your Bowling Average Score

Calculating your bowling average is quite simple.


  • Add up all your scores from official league play
  • Divide the sum total by the number of games you have played.


This score is now your official bowling score average.


Conclusion: What is a Good Bowling Score?

A good bowling score at the end of the day depends on the individual and what they expect from themselves, given their experience level. However, everyone should target between 50 and 150 for novices and amateurs. Professionals should be over the 200 mark to win, which was the case during the 2022 PBA season.


Getting a better score would depend on your skill set, proper equipment, and understanding of the lane conditions. A good bowler has all these things and understands technique simultaneously, which is why they aim for anything above 200. Also, they have experience staying calm under pressure.


Perfect games/scores are something that all players strive for, but it is a score that, for even the best players, is elusive. You can go your entire career and never hit a perfect game, but you can still have a solid career without it.


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