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## Raising Your Bowling Average – Scoring Facts and Oddities

Recent statistics suggest an average bowling average for all bowlers in the United States between 150 and 155 per game. Bowling at this level can be accomplished by converting around 50% of your spares; however, most bowlers will also throw 1 or 2 strikes per game.

To increase that average to level 175-190, you only need to start throwing 3-4 strikes per game and convert around 60% of your spares. This could be accomplished by most recreational bowlers with practice and instructions for picking up your spares.

Moving your average above 190 and up to 200 will require throwing 4-6 strikes per game and converting around 90% of your spares. If you want a game over 200, those strikes must include at least one double (2 consecutive strikes).

From the above, it’s easy to see that you can increase your average the fastest by learning how to collect a larger percentage of your spares. Of course, it never hurts to have a good mix of strikes as well.

Below are some interesting facts and oddities about bowling scores.

How hard is it to throw a perfect 300 or play? It is estimated that there are over 4 million avid bowlers in the United States, if each of these bowlers bowls an average of 20 games per year (which would be a very conservative estimate), that means there are at least 80 million games played in the United States each year. In a typical year, there will be between 40,000 and 50,000 perfect games played, according to USBC, the official custodian of annual sanctioned game statistics. So doing a little math shows that 0.0005-0.0006% of all games played in a typical year could be a 300 game.

Is it more difficult to launch an 800 series than to launch a 300 game? To throw an 800 streak, you need to average more than 266 for your 3 games. According to USBC statistics, a typical year will produce 11,000 to 15,000 800 series. So yes, it is about 4 to 5 times harder to throw an 800 series than to throw a 300 game.

If someone offers to teach you or show you how to bowl 300 every time, or an average of more than 260, think about the statistics above and don’t waste your time or your money.

A game of 279 requires 10 or 11 strikes and can be scored by bowling 11 strikes and a reserve of 9 pins anywhere from the second to the ninth frame. It can also be thrown by counting 9 pins and converting the reserve in each of the 1st and 2nd frames, then hitting all the remaining shots, or having strikes in each of the first 9 frames, a count of 9 on the first ball from the tenth, converting this reserve and then a strike on the last ball.

The rarest score in bowling is a game of 292, which requires 11 consecutive strikes followed by a count of 2 on the last ball, and has only been accomplished about 20 times.

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