Average Bowling Score: What Is a Good Score in Bowling?

What is a good score in bowling? This is a question that a lot of people ask, and the answer can vary depending on your skill level.

In this blog post, we will look at the average bowling score and what constitutes a good score in bowling.

Keep reading to learn more.

Average bowling scores by skill level

For a beginner, an average score in bowling is anything from 50 to 80.

It typically gets better from there, but it depends on your skill level and what’s comfortable for you.

For intermediate bowlers, the scores are typically in the range of 80 to 150.

Again, it could be lower or higher depending on your skill level.

For advanced or professional bowlers, an average score can range from as low as 150 to as high as 280 or sometimes 300.

This will vary though based on several factors, including strength and physical dexterity.

Average bowling scores by age

As with most physical activities, your age can play a factor in how well you can bowl.

For younger children, bowling scores range from the 20s to the 40s.

As you get older, the average score increases as well.

For teenagers and young adults, an average score is around 90-110.

For middle-aged people, an average score may be around 130-150.

Average bowling scores by gender

The average scores for women tend to be lower than men’s.

This doesn’t mean that men are better at bowling than women, it simply means that they typically average a higher score in comparison with women because there are more high-level male bowlers in the world than female ones.

And the average bowling score for male bowlers is around 165, and the average bowling score for women is 132.

How is bowling scored?

In general, you get a frame score and a match score.

The frame score is the sum of the pin count for each ball, and you can get up to 10 pins per ball.

Alternatively, you can also use an average scoring system instead, where you divide your total score by the number of frames bowled and then multiply that number by ten.

The highest possible score in bowling is 300.

To get it, you must roll a strike (all 10 pins) for all of the frames.

You can also end up with a spare or an open frame, which will lower your average score.

On average, most bowlers will have a match score that ranges from 100 to 180.

When you’re bowling, it’s important to know how many points each pin is worth.

While this might seem simple at first, there are some nuances that make it more complicated than it seems.

For example, if you throw a strike (all 10 pins down in the first throw) the score of the next ball will be 10 pins plus the total number of pins knocked down with the next ball.

However, if you throw a spare (all 10 pins down on two throws) the score of your next throw will be the number of pins that were left standing after the second throw, plus 10 pins.

What is considered a good score in bowling?

average bowling score

How many times have you been to a bowling alley and heard someone say:

“I was robbed. I had a perfect game going, but then that one guy came up and ruined everything.”

Sure it can be frustrating when your average is getting lower because of one turn at the end.

Everyone loves to score high in bowling, so let’s look at what you can score.

According to the United States Bowling Congress, the highest score possible in a game of bowling is 300. (source)

Now how often do you hear about that happening?

Not too often.

The USBC states that “A perfect game has been achieved about 8400 times.”

That means that your chances of getting a 300 are 1/8400.

The USBC also states that the average score in bowling is 206, which means that 50% of people bowl between 196 and 224 points in a game of bowling.

Only 16,000 perfect games have occurred in the US since 1952 when modern scoring was introduced.

Since 1952, 60 million perfect games would have been bowled.

So what is considered a good score in bowling? The USBC states that it takes an average of 7 games (starting with the first game on your current average) for scores to even out.

Meaning if you are averaging 164, it will take you seven games to get closer to your true average of 179.

So you would think that 164 is a pretty bad score.

However, considering the fact that your average scores decline after five games (and it takes seven games to even out), and considering the fact that most alleys do not have air conditioning, 164 isn’t too bad.

How to know if you’re an average bowler?

If you want to know what your average is, all you have to do is keep your scores closely.

Go bowling as many times as possible and keep track of the number of pins you knock down each game.

Once you know how many points per game you knock down, simply divide it by how many games you bowled, and voila.

You now have your average score.

How to improve my bowling averages?

Well, the easiest way to improve your average is practice, practice, and more practice. There are also a few tips that can help you get closer to a perfect score each time you go out on the lanes. These include:

  • Try straightening your wrist as you release the ball. This will help you get more spin on the ball, allowing it to curve less and giving you a better chance of getting ten pins every time.
  • Try moving your arm closer to your body. This will help you get more spin on the ball, making your shot straighter and more accurate than usual. The combination of these two tips will help you get closer to the elusive 300 games.
  • If your ball is throwing off to one side or the other, try moving your hand position on the ball so that it’s more in the center of the ball. This should help you get straighter shots and an increased chance of getting strikes.
  • The main thing to remember is to stay calm, don’t rush your shots, and always keep track of how many pins your knock down. After all, practice makes perfect.
  • Even though it’s not really within your control (unless you’re bowling with bumpers), the kind of surface that the alley has does play a role in what your average will be. For example, if the alley has a difficult surface for rolling, you’ll most likely have to work harder to get your ball to curve. There are also different surfaces that are ideal for certain bowling balls.
  • If you want an even higher score than the 260+ you’ll need to improve your technique and learn how to throw a hook shot. I recommend watching videos on YouTube of Mark Roth for some good technique advice.
  • If you want a high score, I recommend going out to an alley that has bumpers so you can practice throwing hook shots. If the alley doesn’t have bumpers, I also recommend a bowling ball with a lot of hook potential so it will be easier to get strikes.
  • Above all else, don’t get discouraged if you’re not throwing a perfect game every time. There are over 60 million people in the US who know how to bowl. But only a very small number of those bowlers have thrown a 300 game. You can do it. Just keep practicing and stay positive.


Bowling can be a fun and challenging sport, especially if you’re looking to improve your average score.

In order to do so, it’s important to practice as much as possible and familiarize yourself with the different techniques that will help you get closer to a perfect game.

Remember to stay calm and focused when bowling, and don’t forget that practice makes perfect.

Last updated on February 9, 2022