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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  1) How To Calculate Bowling Scores?
  2) Bowling Etiquette
  3) What's My Average score ?
  4) What is a handicap?
  5) What is Scratch Bowling?
  6) What does POA mean?
  7) How to Release a ball?
  8) What should the release angle be?
  9) What is a Free Armswing?
  10) How to pick a ball ?
  11) How to hold the ball ?
  12) Where to stand ?
  13) How to Stance?
  14) How to take your Steps ?
1) How To Calculate Bowling Scores?
                Let us work with a sample set of marks, in this case, uh hem, we will use my career high bowling score of 210!

                Alrighty, remember these two rules, for strikes, X, we add the next two scores, not frames, and for spares, /, we add the next score only. These are rules set for extra points; for strikes and spares, there are extra points. Oh yeah, there are a total of 10 pins standing.

                The box in each frame holds the first roll value, and the space to the direct right holds the next score, if needed to finish the pins of that frame. The total scores of each frame are calculated and placed at the bottom of the box.

                Lets look at the first frame, the number 1, it is a 9/. This means, I hit 9 pins the first bowl, and 1 pin the second bowl, to finish off to a spare. So this clearly is 10 points, but since it is a spare, the rule says, add the next score.

                We see the next score is an X, meaning I knocked them all down, a strike, and this counts as 10 obviously cause there are 10 pins. And since this is the next score, it shall be the bonus to the first frame, so the final score of the first frame is 9/ = 10 + next score of X = 10 = 20 points!

                 Let us look at the second frame, in which I got an X, this means, add the next two scores, not frames, so that means, I will add the 3rd frame X, and the 4th frame score of 7.

                These two scores equal 17 points extra to add to the second frame. So now the second frame, it should be 20 from the first frame, plus the 10 I got for the X, and the next two frames, which is 17 points, totally 47. For cases of X and spares, you will need to wait to calculate the score.

                So to review the calculating of the 2nd frame:
20 (from previous total) + 10 (from current or calculating frame, 2nd frame) + 17 (value of next two SCORES) = 47.

                For the 3rd frame, which is an X, we add the next two scores, which happens to be 7 and /. This is a total bonus of 10 points, because 7 + the remaining 3, which makes the spare.

                So to reviewing calculating the 3rd frame:
47 (from previous total) + 10 (from current or calculating frame, 3rd frame) + 10 (value of next two scores, 7 and /) = 67.

                Okay, let us skip ahead assuming you can do the math, if not, keep doing it till it makes sense. We shall now just to frame 9. In this case, previous points is 182, and since it is neither a strike nor spare, it is just 9 points plus previous because there are no bonus points for not finishing all the pins. So just add 9 points to 182.

                The final frame, frame number 10, is just straight value also. So if there are 3 X's, there is no bonus calculating in the 10th frame, and its just a straight 30 points. So just add the 3 lil boxes and you have the score from the 10th frame to add to the previous frame 9 score of 191. This will total 210!

                Congratulations, you graduated from Van's training and can now compose bowling scores in the real world, you are trained and are able to think, act, add, write, configure, computing, and deduce the correct score because of this tutorial. Now you can put that on your resume!


                Each sport has a list of unwritten rules that make playing the game easier and more fun for everyone - Rules of the Road so to speak. Most of them are just common sense. Here are some of those Rules of Etiquette:

                1. Remove your street shoes at an appropriate place, particularly if they are wet. Water & bowling shoes DO NOT mix. Trying to bowl with a shoe that has a wet bottom will cause you to stick and fall. Please be careful for all concerned.

                2. Be on time for you league and be ready to bowl when it's your turn. If both teams are ready except for 1 or 2 late individuals, please begin on time. Your late bowlers have 5
frames to catch up in most leagues.

                3. If you are going to be absent please contact your team captain and the league secretary to inform them and possibly allow them to find a substitute for you.

                4. Right of Way! When two bowlers step onto the approach at the same time, the bowler on the left hand lane should step to the back until the bowler on the right hand lane has delivered. At that point the left hand lane can make their address and delivery while the right hand lane steps back. This is to allow each bowler to concentrate without being distracted. As long as everyone is prompt it allows the game to move along smoothly.

                5. Please do not use another bowler's personal balls. If you don't have your own balls, the house balls are available for your use. If you wish to purchase personal balls, see your Customer Service Controller at the counter.

                6. Please don't put more than 2 personal balls on the rack at a time.

                7. It is also courteous to your teammates not to razz & kid them while they are on the approach. Save the kidding until their turn is complete!

                We want your league bowling experience to be happy & memorable one. We hope this makes it a little easier for you. Please be sure to talk to us if you have a problem or concern. Good luck in new bowling adventure!

3) What's My Average score ?
                Answer : You take your total score and divide that by the number of games you have played. Your average will usually fluctuate quite dramatically for a newer bowler and then stabilize. Important Note: The typical average for a woman is 153, and the typical average for a man is 173.
4) What is a handicap?
                A handicap is an equalizing factor which allows one team or individual to compete on a level playing field with others of greater or lesser skill. Most leagues use team handicapping systems. The handicap is calculated by adding together all of the averages on the team and them subtracting that total from a pre-determined scratch mark. ( usually 1000).

                 Some leagues use a percentage of the difference- 80% or 90%, but most are 100%. Individual handicaps work the same way only with smaller scratch marks- usually 225 or 250.
5)What is Scratch Bowling?
                This refers to scoring without handicaps. Several major leagues operate this way. Your scratch score is your basic game total.
6)What does POA mean?
                POA is Pins Over Average which is the equivalent of 100% handicapping. In a 100% handicap or POA event the winners are determined by the bowler or team which beats their average by the most.

How does our team get points?

                There's a variety of different formats which are commonly used in league play. The following three are the most popular.

                Team versus Team-Your team plays another team on the same pair of lanes and the team with the highest points each game (handicap included) gets points (usually 2) for the win. In some cases the team with the highest 3 games series also receives points for the series win. The Peterson point system is a modification of this system wherein the winning team gets 5 and both teams receive points based on their total pinfall.

(1 point for every 100 pins.)

                Team versus Field.-your team plays all the teams in the league at one time and you receive points (usually 1) for each team you beat. If you were in a 6 team league you would receive 5 points in a game if you beat all 5 of the other teams.

                Match Play- the most common form of match play has each player on the team playing the corresponding player on the other team. Using this method each position is worth 1 point and the team with the highest total sometimes receiving bonus points (usually 3. This system works best with scratch bowling or individual handicaps.

7)How to Release a ball?
                The release point should be triggered at the very bottom of the downswing and must be perfectly timed. Release points beyond the toe are a result of an early swing and results in hitting the ball on the upswing. However, it is necessary to accelerate the hand a fraction before the release point. The acceleration should begin at the flat plane of the downswing, approximately 12 inches prior to release.

                 This maneuver is similar to the acceleration of a golf swing prior to club and ball contact.... commonly referred to as the explosion point. The important thing to remember is the acceleration in the bowling game must be generated from the hand off the shoulder point.... not the forearm.

                 It must be launched into the lane, contrary to numerous instructional manuals, it is detrimental to hit the ball on the upswing. A ball on the upswing will arc up, bounce on the lanes, react to the left or right, and result in poor ball reaction.

                 This theory is not difficult to understand. By "hitting up", the ball is in revolutionary spin while airborne before making contact with the lanes. It reacts immediately upon touching the lane surface and becomes increasingly difficult to control when the front part of the lanes are dry. Bowlers attempting to loft the ball over the heads compounds their miseries.

                 The proper release point can be mastered by slowing, raising, or lowering the pushaway or any timing maneuver at the beginning of the approach that will allow the hand to be slightly behind the slide at the release point. An early swing can be controlled by shortening the first two steps or by moving the approach steps at a brisker pace. Either maneuver will enable the sliding step a fraction ahead of the release point.

                On the other hand, a late swing will result in pulling down on the forward swing, causing a forced swing. This error develops a flying elbow or "chicken winging", an unpardonable mistake of delivering a ball with the elbow outside the swing line and away from the body. However, neither of these errors would be affected if the arm-swing is free and unimpeded.

8) What should the release angle be?
                The release angle is a continuation of the release point. The release angle should be projected from a position as low to the floor as possible without tilting the shoulder beyond the knee. It should be delivered onto the lane in an outward thrust, somewhat like landing a plane. the ball must contact the lanes with minimum bounce, thus eliminating over-reaction on it's path
The cardinal sin is releasing the ball on the upswing.

                 One of the more beneficial points in controlling the upswing release is keeping the follow-through low and extended, directed outward rather than upward, and propelled by the fingers. REMEMBER, hit out, not up!
9) What is a Free Armswing?
                The most important phase of good shot execution is the free armswing. This is commonly referred to as a pendulum swing. The arm must function like the pendulum of a clock, whereby, the weighted end is propelled by gravity, rather than force.

                 A further illustration is the the technique applied by demolition squads contracted to tear down large structures. Utilizing a wrecking ball that has been elevated to a high point, it is released to a swing on it's own weight to a targeted area. The undeterred gravitational drop crashes through the building with far greater force than that of controlled mechanisms. The free armswing has the same effect, the arm driving through the delivery unimpeded towards the target area.

                 Begining with the pushaway, relax the shoulders, disengage all muscle tension in the forearm, concentrate on a swing that begins and ends from the shoulder point. The pushaway must coincide with the first step in a four- step delivery, or the second in a five-step delivery (It is advisable to pause momentarily after the first step in a five-step delivery in order to coincide the second step with the pushaway). This will permit the ball to fall more freely. It is absolutely imperative that the shoulders remain erect. Any tilt in the pushaway is referred to as "chasing the ball," and obstructs freedom from the shoulder point, thus necessitating pulling the ball into the backswing.

                 When shoulders are erect, this is likened to a pendulum, whereas , the top of the pendulum bar is in an erect position when the weight is forward and vice-versa when the weight is back. Logically, the shoulders and upper body tilt forward on the backswing. This tilt is generated soley on the weight of the ball.
10) How to pick a Ball?

                 Use a ball that weighs closet to 1/10 of your body weight. If youweigh 80 lbs., pick an 8 lb. ball.
                 Put fingers in first - up to the second knuckle. Then your thumb goes in. Your thumb should go all the way into the ball for a good fit. The fingers and thumb should touch all the way around the holes without being tight.

11) How to hold the Ball?

                 Cradle the ball gently in your free hand. Thumb and middle two fingers go into the holes. Thumb should point upward.
                 Aim for the 2nd arrow-your target.

12) Where to stand?

Start at the foul line facing away from the pins.

Take 4 1/2 normal walking steps and turn around facing the pins. DO not look at the floor while walking. THis should be the correct distance for a four-step approach.

Pick up the ball with two hands.

Start with one foot on one of the spots on the approach, preferably the center spot or one to the right.

Stand at the same spot each time you deliver your first ball.Don't move around.

Left foot slightly forward. BOdy weight mostly on foot opposite ball. Heels firmly on the approach.

Align toe or inside of either foot on one of the dots on the approach. Feet seperated about 1 to 4 inches with both feet pointing straight toward the target.

13)How to stance?
               Elbows next to body. Ball at hip height.The hip and shoulders should be squared at the target, not at an angle. Knees slightly bent.
14)How to take your steps?

              Step I: PUSHAWAY- Push the ball out and down. Slightly after the pushaway, step out with your right foot.

             Step II: PENDULUM SWING- Swing the arm naturally withour force, the ball swings down and back. Left arm extends out to the side for balance.

             Step III: BACKSWING- Don't bend your elbow. Ball is not at your backswing. Ball should be no higher than shoulder or waist height.

             Step IV: SLIDING- Watch the target. Thumb comes out of the ball first, lift ball with fingers, balance on sliding foot until the ball hits the pins. Foot- knee-shoulder in straight line.

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