What Is a Perfect Score in Bowling?

Perfect Score in Bowling

A favorite activity for date nights, family outings, and friendly competitions, bowling is an exciting game involving knocking over maple-wood crafted pins with a heavy ball. Players take turns rolling a ball across a slick lane throughout 10 rounds known as frames.

Although bowling is a very accessible sport for everyone, a feat rarely achieved is scoring a perfect game. Keep reading to learn what a perfect score in bowling is and how to score a perfect game.


Bowling Scoring

Each bowling game consists of 10 frames, and every player gets two chances to knock down all 10 pins per frame. If a player knocks down all the pins on their first try, they are awarded a strike. They receive a spare if they use both turns to knock down all 10 pins. Any player who does not get all the pins is awarded points equal to the number of pins they knocked over.

Spares give a player 10 points plus the number of pins they knock down in their next throw. Strikes give a player 10 points plus the number of pins they knock down during their next two throws. Thus, strikes award the highest amount of points.

What is a Perfect Score?

A perfect score in bowling is 300, meaning the bowler recorded a strike on every turn. 

The tenth round of a bowling match has a specific set of rules.

  • If a player fails to get all ten pins in their first two tries, they get no bonus throws.
  • If a player knocks over all ten pins within their first two tries in the tenth round, they get a bonus throw.
  • If they knock over all the pins on their first try, they get two bonus throws; therefore, players can throw three strikes on the last frame.

When a bowler bowls a perfect game, they earn 300 points, including a strike in the first nine frames and three strikes in the tenth frame.

How to Score a Perfect Game

To score a perfect game, a bowler needs to get a strike on every turn. This means throwing 12 strikes in a row. Strikes award players 10 points plus their next two throws. If the next two throws are strikes, that would be 10+10+10, equaling 30, which is the maximum score per frame. Thus, every frame would be worth 30 points. Since there are 10 frames, a perfect score is 300.

How Difficult is it to Score a Perfect Game?

Scoring a perfect game in bowling is extremely difficult. Most bowlers achieve scores in the 100-200 point range. Only professionals, or those with tons of experience, are capable of scoring 300 points for a perfect game. In fact, many bowlers never achieve a perfect game in their lifetime.