I used to always think that bowling is a hard game – hitting all the pins is extremely hard when I went bowling for the first time but it actually went well for me, I scored a 170 in my first ever bowling game which is an average of many people who are bowling for years. In this article, I will be telling you how hard bowling actually is, sharing my experience and tips to bowl well for the first time.

Is Bowling Hard?

Bowling is not a very hard game, it is very easy to learn the basics of bowling but mastering consistency in bowling is pretty hard and may take years of practice. You can easily become a good weekend bowler but bowling at a professional level will require a ton of practice.

But that doesn’t mean bowling is a very easy game, many people think that it is just about throwing the ball straight but in reality, it is much more than that, there are a lot of different things one needs to learn like positioning, releasing, hooking the ball, etc.

In fact, you can never hit all the pins by just throwing the ball straight, you will have to hook the ball which is the most difficult part of bowling.

Also, it will take a lot of effort to score even a 100+ (I will share how I scored 170+ further in the article), to score a 200+ you will need to learn a lot of fundamentals including the oil pattern, revolution, ball speed, releasing, hooking, etc.

So, definitely, it is not a very easy sport that anyone can go and score a 200+ easily.

Another reason why bowling is easy is that there are no complicated rules like other sports have, you just have to throw the ball without passing the foul line and you’re good to go. Although there are some other rules as well, none of them is too complicated and all of the rules are very simple.

How Long Does It Take to Get Good At Bowling?

Bowling strike

On average, It will take 3-4 games to learn the basics of bowling and score around 150 but to master bowling and to get an average of 200+, one can take 50-60 games with a coach. It can even take more than 100 games to master consistency in bowling without a coach.

There are just a lot of variables in the above numbers, but it is pretty average and that’s what most people do too.

But, you can fast forward this, with proper training and some techniques, you can even score a 200 in your first game. But still, after following the techniques and tips I’ve mentioned most of you will score in the 130-170 range, and trust me that’s a really good score for a first-timer.

What Do You Want to Achieve With Bowling?

How hard bowling is for you depends upon what you want to achieve with bowling, there are basically three types of bowlers-

Professional Bowlers

Professional bowlers are very serious bowlers who participate in different local and state-level tournaments and their main goal is to get into PBA.

It takes a lot of effort to become a professional bowler because now you have to master the technique, you will be competing with dozens of other pro bowlers. Becoming a professional bowler in bowling is a hard task but it is still achievable with a ton of practice and with the guidance of a good coach.

You can still manage to become a pro bowler without a coach but it will then take a ton of time and a ton of practice.

Professional bowlers bowl almost every day. Although there are also many bowlers who bowl every day but still are not very serious about it, they just enjoy it.

Weekend Bowlers

The majority of the bowlers around the globe are weekend bowlers who bowl every weekend or once every week. Weekend bowlers are not very serious bowlers, they play for fun with their friends.

As Weekend bowlers are not very serious bowlers, they don’t need to master the approach, they just need to learn the basics which will be easy to learn.

Many times, these weekend bowlers get serious about bowling and try to become a pro, in fact almost every professional bowler was once a weekend bowler.

Once a Month Bowlers

There are many people who just want to try bowling and may bowl once a month or even once a year. These bowlers get slowly shifted to weekend bowlers when they start enjoying bowling.

These bowlers are not at all serious about bowling, they are just looking for something to have fun and they find bowling to be one of it.

When I started bowling, I was one of them, I bowled my second game after more than 10 months of my first game, then slowly I became a weekend bowler and now I almost bowl 3-4 times a week.

Average Bowling Score In First Game

An average bowling first-timer will score around 60-100, with the help of some techniques and proper research, first-timers can also score 130-150 and go even further in their first game.

How Hard Is It To Score a 200+ In Bowling?

Score 200 Bowling

Scoring 200+ in bowling is hard but still achievable with some practice. Scoring 200 in the first game is very hard but with the help of some proper techniques, it can be done. The hardest part is remaining consistent with the score.

Now, as we have talked about how difficult bowling is going to be, it’s time to get deep inside bowling and learn the basics and how you can have a good score in your first bowling game and impress your friends.

Basics Of Bowling

Learning the basics of bowling is very important, you can never score a 100 without knowing the basics of bowling.

  • In Bowling, you have throw a weighted ball ranging from 4-16 pounds on a 60 feet long lane and try to knock down all the pins.
  • You score a maximium of 300 in Bowling.
  • There are 10 frames in a game of bowling and in each frame you get 2 chances to knock down all the pins.
  • The tenth frame is the bonus frame, if you knock down all the pins you will get two bonus throws, if you knock down all the pins in both throws, you will get one more chance.
  • When you knock down all the pins in your first throw, it is called a Strike.
  • When you knock down a few pins in your first throw and the rest of the remaining pins in your second throw, then it is called a Spare.

Bowling Scoring System

Many people don’t understand the scoring system correctly, it is a little complicated and took a little while for me to understand.

Scoring in bowling is easy as the number of pins you knock down equals one point but it gets complicated when you start throwing strikes and spares.

Strikes are worth 10 points automatically as you knock down 10 pins and then 10 points is added to your next two throws (next complete frame). While Spares are also worth 10 points but in a spare 10 points are added to your next throw only (not a complete frame).

When you get two strikes in a row, you get a Double where you get 20 points and the number of pins you knock down in your third frame in your first frame and you get the same strike in your second frame.

When you score three continuous strikes, you get a Triple (or Turkey) and when you score four continuous strikes, you get a ‘Four-Bagger’ and you get a ‘Five-Bagger’ when you get 5 strikes in a row.

The highest score in 10 pin bowling is 300, where you have to get 12 strikes in a row.

Bowling Rules

  • One cannot cross the foul line, release the bowling ball from behind the foul line.
  • The ball can’t come out of gutter, if it somehow does, it will be against the rules and no points will be given.
  • You get two chances to throw the ball in every frame with te exception of the tenth frame.
  • You have to wait for the bowler beside you when he’s doing his turn and bowl only when it is your turn.

That’s it, bowling doesn’t have any complicated rules. These are very simple rules that anyone can remember and most of them are just common sense.

Steps Of Bowling

  • Step 1 – The Setup Position
  • Step 2 – Getting Ready
  • Step 3 – The Swing
  • Step 4 – The Release

How to Score 150+ In Your First Game Of Bowling

Now, let’s talk about the main stuff which is actually going to help you and make you look less like an idiot but more like a pro in your friends.

As, you have learned the rules, fundamentals, and the scoring system of bowling. It is time for the real game.

Bowling Ball Grip

Many beginner bowlers hold the ball in the wrong way, this is how you need to hold the ball;

Your hand has to fit in the bowling ball because it is the one that is going to create the power in the shot. You can buy a bowling ball and go to a pro shop and the professional will analyze your hand and get it fit in the bowling ball.

Secondly, you must have a tight thumb hole as it will be holding the ball, so when you put the ball on your side, it should not drop off.

This is so important but technically most of you will not be able to do it as you will probably not be a serious bowler currently but I highly recommend getting a good bowling ball that will fit in your hands.

Proper Set Up Position

Your leg in which you will carry the ball (mostly right) should be behind and your second leg should be in front. There should be a little bit of flex in your knees, don’t stay compact.

Put your elbow (where you have the ball), right above your butt. The bowling ball should be right between your shoulder and chin.

Your leg in which you will carry the ball (mostly right) should be behind and your second leg should be in front. There should be a little bit of flex in your knees, don’t stay compact.

Put your elbow (where you have the ball), right above your butt. The bowling ball should be right between your shoulder and chin.

Proper Swing

Once you get into a proper setup position, it is time for the swing. Make sure your swing is straight and remains in the ball slot (between chin and shoulder).

Push it into the slot a little bit and then swing it backward.

The Release

The release is probably the most important part of bowling. Your hand should be at the center and your hand should have some speed.

There are many people who aren’t able to get the speed the ball need during the release, so make sure you get some power.

Don’t forget to bend down, I have seen a lot of people in their first game where people just don’t bend down and the ball bounces off their hand. The distance between your hand and the floor should not be more than the size of the bowling ball.

If you will not bend, your ball will never get to the speed it needs and if it does not get proper speed, it will fall in the gutter.

Hooking the Ball

Hooking is the most important thing if you want to bowl strikes, you can never get a strike without hooking the ball (exceptions of luck). Hooking is basically like spinning the ball towards the center.

I can never explain hooking in an article as it requires more visuals, So I am linking to a video. Make sure you see this video and learn how to hook because you can’t get strikes without hooking.

Also, when the ball hooks it looks amazing so if you want to impress your friends, it would be the key and so you will have to give it a try.

Other Tips

Watch this video, This is probably one of the best videos on fundamentals and bowling tips.

Can You Score a 200+ in Your First Bowling Game?

yes, you can score a 200+ in your first bowling but it is rare because you are a first-timer and you cannot immediately become a pro. There are many people who are bowling for more than a year and are still not able to score more than 200. It will be more of luck for you if you score more than 200, but you can score 200 easily if you learn how to hook the ball correctly.

How Hard Is It to Become a Professional Bowler

Becoming a professional bowler is tough but achievable with proper dedication and practice, to participate in most of the tournaments, you will need an average of 190-200+ which takes a lot of effort and practice.

If you score 200+ in one game, this doesn’t mean, you can participate in a tournament, you need to be consistent with your scores as it is the average they’re checking not the highest score.

Is Bowling Easy?

Bowling is an easy sport and one can learn the basic fundamentals pretty quickly but becoming a professional bowler is a hard task because you will need to be consistent with your game which is very tough and would take years of practice.

Bottom Line

I hope this article was helpful for you, and do let me know how much you score in your first game in the comments.

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