What Is A Good Bowling Score?

What Is A Good Bowling Score

Many people play bowling simply for fun, but those who wish to play the sport more competitively may wonder, what is a good bowling score? As with any sport, bowling becomes easier with practice, and players’ scores will improve the more they play. Here, we will take a look at what makes a good bowling score for beginners, amateurs, and professionals, and also discuss how to calculate bowling averages.

  • Average score for a beginner: 100-170
  • Average score for an amateur: 170-220
  • Average score for a professional: 220-300

What is a Good Score for a Bowling Beginner?

What is a Good Score for a Bowling Beginner

People who are beginners at the sport of bowling may initially be frustrated by the difference between their scores and those of more experienced players, but there are ways to know whether your bowling score is in the average or above-average range for a new player. First, it is important to understand how bowling is scored. Every game, each bowler gets ten tries (or “frames”) to knock down a set of ten pins (or five pins, in five-pin bowling), with each pin they knock down being worth a point. This means that the minimum possible score in tenpin bowling is a zero, and the highest possible score is 300, as bowlers can receive up to two additional turns if they get a strike in the tenth frame.

For bowling beginners, a good score can vary based upon factors such as natural skill, experience, and the environment of the bowling alley. In general, a decent bowling score for a new player lies somewhere between 100 and 170. At the very beginning of learning to play, a true beginner may only score between 50 and 70 points, but with a small amount of practice, most bowlers who play recreationally can manage to score somewhere between 130 and 150 consistently. Average bowling scores are typically considered to be between 140 and 170 points.

What is a Good Score for a Bowling Amateur?

What is a Good Score for a Bowling Amateur

For bowlers who are no longer beginners but may not wish to proceed to the professional level, average scores are generally higher. Amateur bowlers may play in local bowling leagues or may simply bowl often by themselves for fun. Naturally, these players will tend to have higher scores than beginners. Often, amateur bowlers can easily score around 175-200 points in an average bowling game. The general score range for an amateur bowler lies between 170 and 220, with 170-190 considered above average in skill and 190-220 considered a good performance.

What is a Good Score for a Bowling Professional?

What is a Good Score for a Bowling Professional

At the highest level of bowling are the professional players. These bowlers practice consistently, if not daily, and have cultivated their skills to the extreme. As a result, professional bowlers can often average a bowling score of over 200 every game, and many can exceed 250 points per game. In general, anything above 220 is considered an excellent score in bowling, worthy of professionals. Some pro bowlers can even score between 260 and 280 points in a game, and there are a select few who have bowled the coveted perfect game of 300 points.

How Do You Calculate Bowling Averages?

How Do You Calculate Bowling Averages

In bowling, knowing how to calculate averages is an important skill, particularly in league play, where these numbers are relevant to tournaments and rankings. Fortunately, Rule 108 of the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Rulebook explains how to calculate bowling averages. A bowling average consists of dividing the total number of points scored by one bowler in a league by the number of games they have bowled in that league over one season. For these averages, extra pins and fractions are disregarded, and partial games that are played by multiple players cannot typically be used to calculate averages either.

To put this in perspective, we can take the example of a bowler who bowls three times in one week for their league. In the first game, they score 150, while in the second, they score 162, and in the third, they score 135. To calculate the bowler’s average for that week, we would add up the three scores to get 447, and then divide 447 by 3 (the number of games played) to get an average score of 149 per game. Often, bowling averages for leagues can be calculated on a weekly, seasonally, or even yearly basis. Each league can establish its own rules regarding the number of games needed to calculate an average or averages required for bowlers wishing to enter the league. 


Bowling is a relatively simple sport to score, but the wide variety of possible scores in a game makes playing it a lot of fun and adds to the importance of accurate scoring. At the end of the day, improving one’s bowling score comes down to simple practice, and beginners should not be frustrated by low scores initially, as it is very easy to improve.