Bowling Rules for Beginners

Are you new to bowling and don’t know its rules and regulations? You’re probably not the first or the last. In this article, you’ll learn the basic rules and regulations of this fun and dynamic game played all over the world.

Learn how to bowl: basic bowling rules and regulations

playing bowling

Bowling consists of rolling a heavy ceramic ball down a line and trying to knock down as many pins as possible. Keep reading for the most important rules and regulations of bowling!

1. 10 Frames in a Game

In bowling, there are 10 frames in each game. A frame consists of each bowler taking one turn, with a maximum of two rolls. In the tenth frame, each bowler gets up to a maximum of three rolls, depending on how successful they are in the first two rolls.

2. 2 Balls per Frame

As we’ve already mentioned, a bowler has a maximum of two rolls per frame. If a bowler gets a strike (all pins down) on the first ball of a frame, their turn ends.

However, if it’s the tenth frame and a bowler achieves two strikes, he can get up to three balls. Nevertheless, a player can only have a maximum of two balls in each frame.

3. The Maximum Score is 300

The maximum score during a bowling match is 300. This score can be achieved by obtaining a maximum score of 30 points on each of the ten frames by accomplishing a strike on each of the first nine frames and three strikes within the tenth frame, and is known as the perfect game. In total, a bowler would have to get 12 strikes during a game.

4. Release of the Ball & the Foul Line

When bowling, the player must release the ball from behind the foul line, so it can roll over the line into the lane of play. If a bowler throws the ball over the foul line, the pins knocked over do no longer count towards the player’s score and no points are earned. 

This also means that it’s forbidden for the player to cross the foul line at any time. If a bowler steps on the foul line, the roll will be taken away and the score is recorded as bowling a zero.

5. The bowling ball can’t come out of the gutter

If a ball gets rolled into the gutter, bounce out and knock down some pins, the pins that get knocked over won’t count towards the bowler’s score. The gutter is counted as out of bounds and once it rolls out, it can’t come back in. The roll does no longer count.

6. Wait for the Bowler on your right

If two people are bowling at the same time, the bowler to the right bowls first. This rule applies if two bowlers walk up to the lane together and are about to bowl at the same time. This isn’t an official rule, but it’s important to keep in mind, as other players could get distracted while playing at the same time.

7. Use proper bowling shoes

To avoid accidents, using the right bowling shoes is mandatory. Also, normal shoes can ruin the wooden lanes, so make sure to rent bowling shoes or bring your own.

Further regulations and rules

  • The player can choose the most appropriate ball
  • The bowling ball can’t be altered during the game.
  • A game of bowling consists of ten turns per player.
  • Each player shall throw two balls in each of the first turns, unless he or she scores a strike.


  • One point is scored for each pin knocked down.
  • The number of pins knocked down in the first throw is marked in the top left-hand box of each square of the scoreboard, and the number of pins knocked down in the second throw is marked in the top right-hand box.
  • If none of the pins left standing after the first throw are knocked down in the second throw, a – is marked on the scoreboard.
  • A strike occurs if all the pins are knocked down. An X is marked in the top left-hand square of the scoreboard. The score for a strike is 10 plus the number of pins knocked down in the next two throws.
  • A spare occurs if all the pins that were still standing after the first throw are knocked down. It is marked with / in the top right-hand box of the scoreboard. The score for a spare is 10 plus the number of pins knocked down on the next throw.

Where to bowl in Gran Canaria

Swing Bowling, located at Holidayworld Maspalomas, is the largest (and only professional) bowling alley on the island. Here you can practice the rules of traditional bowling while enjoying the best food and drink and having fun and laughter with your friends and family.


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