Bowling is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. Whether it’s being played at a children's birthday party or in a professional tournament, the sport allows everyone the same opportunity to roll the ball and knock down as many pins as possible. Players can even keep track of how consistently they are knocking picks over by calculating their average score. Keep reading to learn about bowling averages across all levels of competition.
What Is an Average Score in Bowling?
A bowler’s average score can be determined by dividing the total number of pins they have knocked down by the number of games they have played or by averaging the scores of all their previously-completed games. Though the average person may find getting strikes to be rather difficult, doing so is expected of professional bowlers on nearly every roll, and average scores are an easy and important way to keep track of a bowler’s success.
Amateur Bowler Average
It’s tough to determine a single number for the average score of an amateur bowler, as there are a wide range of skill levels. However, there are some general scoring boundaries that tend to separate beginners from intermediate players and intermediate players from above-average players.
For beginner bowlers, a typical score is between 70 and 100 points. Many beginners will have multiple throws go in the gutter or knock down only a couple of pins since they are not consistent enough to score higher. In addition, beginners tend to throw the ball slower, resulting in less force at impact, which means fewer pins knocked over.
For an intermediate bowler, or someone who plays a few times a year, scores usually range from about 100 to 140 points. Any score in this range would certainly earn the respect of fellow bowlers. This range shows potentially a natural aptitude for the sport or a result of beginning practice.
For more advanced bowlers or amateurs who are above average, a score between 140 and 180 is expected. These are normally the bowlers in the friend group who have played recreationally for a long time and put in the practice.
League Bowler Average
The next step above casual play for bowlers is league play. Bowling alleys will sponsor leagues that allow more competitive players to form teams and match up every week with an opponent. In league play, the average score is around 175 points, though some players can reach as high as 200 points.
Anything above 170 is usually considered very good, and any player who breaks a score of 200 in league play would be considered an exceptional bowler. Though members of these leagues are not professionals, they are often bowlers with an extensive background in the sport who play multiple times per week. Since they practice more and have a deeper understanding of the game, they can consistently achieve higher scores.
Pro Bowler Average
Practically every professional bowling score is in the 200s, with the average range falling between 230 and 250. While many people may expect that professional bowlers are consistently recording perfect games or rounds where they get a strike with every throw, such is not the case. The odds of a pro bowling a perfect game are 460:1, meaning it will happen on average once every 460 rounds. Perfect games can be thought of similarly to a hole-in-one in golf. Though it is the objective of every bowler, pulling off 12 consecutive strikes is extremely difficult and rare.