When bowling with a group, do you regard scorekeeping as a task? How many times, when bowling in league play, have you run into people who won't keep score-mainly because they don't really know how? It is not difficult to score bowling.
If someone has never really learned to keep score, there's no excuse for it; it's sheer laziness. Scoring in bowling is so simple.
To start with, there are 10 pins in a full rack. If you knock down seven of them with two deliveries, you count seven. If you knock down nine of them, you count nine. If you knock down all of the pins with two shots you have made a spare. If you fell all the timber with your first shot you get a strike.
A split is a combination of two or more pins in which there is a pin down between two standing pins, provided the head pin or No. 1 has been knocked down. However, the following are exceptions and are still called splits: Nos. 4-5, 5-6, 7-8, 8-9 and 9-10. A miss or error occurs when you fail to knock down all of the pins in two shots and there was no split staring you in the face.
A circle is the marking for a split; a horizontal line indicates the dread miss or error; a foreward slash is the score sheet indication for a spare; and a cross is for the most coveted of all-a strike.
The first thing you should remember is that a spare is worth 10 plus the number of pins you knock down on the first ball in the succeeding frame. A strike also is worth 10, BUT there is a premium. The strike is worth 10 plus the number of pins you knock down on the next two balls you throw, whether it takes you one or two more frames in which to throw them.
As an example, say you get a spare in the first frame, then you get an eight count on your first ball in the second frame.
Now to show you how to score bowling when you are striking, let's say that you started with a spare and then got three successive strikes. The spare would be worth 10 plus the number of pins you knocked down on the first ball in the next frame. In getting a strike, you counted 10, so you would score 10 plus 10 in the first frame-20. You have a strike in the second frame which is worth 10 plus the number of pins knocked down on the next two balls.
Your first strike would be worth 10, your second 10 more and your third strike an additional 10, or 30 pins in all. Adding this 30 to your first frame 20, you would have a count of 50 in the second frame. You cannot mark anything yet in the third frame, because you haven't thrown the second ball - your third frame strike needs to complete the count. Say you leave a split in the fifth frame such as Nos. 3-10. The eight pins you got on that first ball in the fifth frame added to the 10 for your third frame strike and the 10 for the fourth frame strike would give you a sub-total of 28 for the third frame or a total of 78.
Say you fail to convert the split, leaving up one of the two pins. Your fourth frame strike is worth 10 plus the number of pins you get on the next two balls which would be nine. So you have a sub-total of 19 for the fourth frame or an overall total in that frame of 97. You made only nine pins in the fifth frame so, for that frame, you add the nine pins to your 97 and you have a fifth frame total of 106.
As long as you've completed five frames, keep on going. You can score bowling!