Bowling Study Guide
No single source of origin, bowling has been played in various forms dating back almost
7000 years. Dutch settlers brought it to North America in the form of a game called
“ninepins” in the 1620s.
An activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Objective is to roll a round weighted
ball along a runway called a “lane or alley”, attempting to knock down a set of ten pins
placed upright in the shape of a triangle. Each contestant is allowed two attempts per turn
or “frame” to knock over all ten pins before the pins are reset for the next bowler. A
game consists of ten frames. Players keep score on a sheet that lists the bowler’s names,
the frame, the number of pins knocked down with each ball, and the final score.
In each of the first nine frames the bowler rolls one or two balls. If the bowler knocks
down all ten pins with the first ball, he/ she has rolled a strike, the best roll possible. An
“X” is recorded on the score sheet, and the bowler receives ten points (the number of pins
knocked down) plus a bonus of the number of pins the bowler knocks down in his/ her next
two rolls. The maximum possible score in a strike frame, therefore is 30: the strike
followed by two more strikes on subsequent rolls (10 + 10 + 10 = 30).
If any pins remain standing after the first roll of a frame, the bowler takes another roll.
Knocking down all the remaining pins results in a spare and a “slash” is recorded on the
score sheet. The bowler receives ten points plus a bonus of the number of pins knocked
down with the next roll. The maximum possible score for a spare frame is 20.
If the bowler fails to knock down all ten pins with both balls, the point total is simply the
total number of pins felled. If no pins are knocked over, a scratch is recorded on the
sheet with a “dash”. Players who roll spares and strikes in the tenth and final frame
receive bonus balls. A top score of 300 is known as a perfect game and are very rare.
Skill Pointers
Grip: Uses the thumb, middle, and ring fingers placed in the grip holes of the ball and the
weight of the ball rests on the non-bowling hand somewhere between the shoulders and
Approach: Four-step delivery.
• Find proper start position (4½ steps back from foul line).
• Move ball & right foot (right-hand bowler) down/ forward in a slow, short movement.
• Step w/ left foot & let ball swing backwards.
• Step w/ right foot as ball reaches top of backswing & left arm out for balance.
• Shift body weight to left foot step w/ knee bent letting ball swing naturally forward
to release.
Horseshoe Pitching
Also known as “quoits” and may have originated when Roman soldiers first started to shoe
their horses and used the game as a way of breaking up the monotony of military camp life.
Brought to colonial America by the English in the 1700s.
A game in which the essential feature is to toss or pitch a u-shaped horseshoe at a set of
pins, pegs, or stakes that are 40 ft apart. The objective is to ring the pin or get the
horseshoe as close to the pin as possible. The game is played by two or four contestants
and each player stands at one stake and pitches two horseshoes at the other stake.
Ringer – made when the thrown horseshoe encloses the stake with heel calks
extending beyond the stake (3 points). Note: If both players have a ringer they
cancel each other out and take next closest shoe.
Shoe closest to stake – when no ringer is thrown (1 point).
Game – first person or pair to 50 points.
Pitched shoes cannot be touched until all points have been totaled.
Players are not permitted to walk to the target stake in order to check the position
of an opponent’s shoes before pitching.
Skill Pointers
Grip – place the horseshoe between the thumb & and inside edge of the bent index
Approach - throwing side foot starts against front side of stake while taking one
step forward w/ opposite foot. Shoe is tossed w/ underhand motion.