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Bowling Average Score


In this modern era of automatic scorers, it is surprising how many newcomers or beginners in the game do not understand how their bowling average score is determined. bowlingball.com wishes to point out to new bowlers that the scoring system is used universally and, therefore, computation of the bowling average score is the same.

Most bowling leagues and tournaments require an entering average to determine the bowling handicap for individuals or for teams based upon the rules for the given league or tournament events. Your bowling average score, in handicap leagues or tournaments for example, allows you to compete against other bowlers with varying levels of skill and abilities with an equal chance of winning.

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The process of determining a bowling average score is as follows:

1. Add the total of the number of individual game scores together to arrive at a series total score. If in a three game series, such as is the case in most leagues, you bowl games scores of 167 + 171 + 148, your series total score would be 486.

2. Divide your series total score of 486 by the number of games bowled in the given series (3 games) and arrive at your per game average of 162. If your average game score is, as example, 162.5, then the average score is still 162 until more games are compiled and averaged into the overall total pinfall at which time your average may increase or decrease accordingly.

3. If your average is 162 for three games recorded in your league and then you record another three game series of 512, your total combined pinfall is 486 + 512 = 998 for 6 total games recorded and your average would then become 166.34 based on six games but would show on the average sheet provided by the league secretary as 166.

4. Your average will increase or decrease as you continue to bowl each week in your league. The process continues throughout your league play, adding the total number of pins you have scored and dividing them by the total number of games you have played. Averages tend to change more quickly with fewer games bowled at the beginning of a league than when more games are recorded at the end of a league.

5. Bowlers competing in multiple leagues will show a range in average scores with the highest average typically being used for entry into other competitive events such as handicap tournaments, etc. Normally, a minimum 21 games of recorded competition are used as a player's average when entering a handicap competition or when joining a league where their are restrictions on entering averages.

Of course, the object of a league or tournaments is to enjoy the fun of competition. Developing a bowling average allows you to join teammates or friends in a variety of events competing for prizes or monies.


bowlingball.com urges all bowlers to learn the general scoring system so you can keep track of your progress while in competition. It is best to keep score yourself until you learn the scoring system during practice sessions.

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