Project Description


Overview & Examples

Bowling is a sport in which players attempt to score points by rolling a bowling ball down a wooden lane into pins, most commonly a set of ten pins in a triangular formation. The ten-pin bowling game consists of 10 frames in which two attempts are given to each player in each frame to completely knock down a set of 10 pins.

See All Rules

Traditional Formats

While singles tournaments are possible, most intramural programs host leagues with 3, 4, or 5-person teams.


Individual bowling games do not require staffing. Bowling alleys typically employ electronic scoring. In those alleys without electronic scoring, players can self-score their rounds. A staff member may be utilized to coordinate and supervise team play.


Bowling tends to be a self-scored, self-officiated game. The United States Bowling Congress supplies rules for leagues and tournaments nationwide.

The team games common to intramural sports may incorporate head-to-head scoring among team players and a total pin count for additional points.

Notes & Variations

Often, in team competitions, two teams will play up to 3 games (30 frames) to comprise a match. Matches can last between an hour and two hours, depending on the format selected.

Five-player teams can utilize Baker scoring in which each player completes 2 of the 10 frames in a standard game (player 1 completes frames 1 and 6; player 2 completes frames 2 and 7, and so on).

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NIRSA Intramural Sports Community of Practice