If you’re pretty new to the world of bowling, the concept of bowling score averages might be foreign to you. A player’s bowling average can be both a badge of honor and the push they need to get better. In a game where high scores are always the ultimate goal, increasing your bowling average is a sign of major progress.

Before we get more into that, let’s step back and ask a simple question…

…what are bowling averages? And what do bowling averages mean?

What are bowling averages and how are they generally applied?

Bowling averages are used to compare bowlers of all different skillsets and different expertise levels, all things being relatively equal. To gauge the overall performance of a bowling enthusiast, a bowling average is calculated by dividing the total composite score of a set amount of games into the total number of games played during that set.

Unless a bowler is logging all of their game scores in competitive and open bowling formats, bowling averages are usually calculated by using only a small number of total games played.

A bowling average is calculated independent of the bowling balls you throw or the other equipment you use. Other factors such as the number of games bowled in a certain night (and fatigue), the stress of competition, and large changes to overall lane conditions could affect a bowling average at a given time.

And what is considered average for one bowler is often not the same as it is for another. The lowest average among a group of professional players would be considered unattainable for most people playing in leagues at bowling centers around the world.

We’re here to shine some light on the average bowling score, defining a good range for averages for a wide variety of different players. The difference between a bowler that throws predominantly strikes and one that struggles to pick up spares is the difference between a high bowling average and a low one. But, statistics can change and bowling averages often increase with effort and lots of practice frames!

An Insider’s Guide To Bowling Averages

What is a good bowling average for a beginner?

The average casual bowler who plays for fun usually carries a bowling average around 65-85. That’s usually because they’re a beginner playing with a house ball, rented shoes, and have an undeveloped sense of bowling lane awareness.

Unlike in test cricket where the number of runs conceded and the number of wickets seems almost infinite when you’re having a bad day, bowlers can only score as low as 0 and as high as 300 in a given game.

Most beginner bowlers won’t average anywhere near a zero, as they tend to find some sort of approach that helps hit some pins more often than not.

As for a good bowling average for a beginner, aim for 120-150 per game. That’s the mark of a novice who knows how to play and is only a few steps away from aiming for amateur tournaments or league play.

What is a good average bowling score for an intermediate league bowler?

If you’re a moderately-skilled league bowler looking for a scoring primer, we’ve got you covered. An average league bowler should aim for a bowling average of around 160-170 per game. The hope is that such a scoring average will be a jumping-off point, though, to bigger and better things.

While the average league bowler isn’t likely to be throwing perfect games any time soon, strike counts are higher and overall marks are more prevalent than for a player just starting.

What is a good average score for an expert bowler?

An expert bowler should shoot for an average bowling score of 180-205 per game. An average of 200 a game is a sign that you might be able to hang with professional bowlers in regional and legit PBA Tour tournaments. Averaging 180-205 per game takes a lot of skill, even more work, and a healthy dose of luck.

Expert bowlers often set an example for beginners and intermediate players. Their approaches are usually more refined, their footwork is much tighter, and their overall bowling lane command is on a different level than most casual players.

Bowling is a sport that rewards patience and repetition. Experts play for years, pushing for their personal record score while keeping detailed logs of what they’ve scored at different times. Be organized with your records and keep track of your score ranges in different playing environments. That’s a big key to turning a solid 160 average into a 180 scoring average or better.

What is the average pro player’s bowling average?

In all levels of professional bowling play, the average bowling score tends to lie somewhere between 225-240. That’s a huge bowling average considering just how tricky oil conditions are in professional bowling tournaments. Compared to the normal house shot, pro-lane conditions are often much more complex and offer much shorter (or longer) bursts of traction and oil density.

A league bowler who averaged 200 on a standard house setup might only average 150 or so on a professional lane outlay. Professional bowlers are tasked with reading different oil conditions and altering their games to meet their challenges. A pro bowler who averages 230 or so in such shifting environs is a different breed of player.

What is a good bowling average for a child?

It honestly depends on the age of the child and their bowling experience. All things considered, 80-90 is a good bowling average for a kid. However, bowling averages for children will be more volatile depending on their level of interest, their physical well-being, and the number of games they play per week and per month.

To help increase a child’s bowling average, give them a safe place to bowl and give them the proper feedback/encouragement to keep them engaged. The more that you make bowling worthwhile to a kid, the better off they’ll be and the more they’ll want to play.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to bowl a 299?

Bowling a 299 is perhaps the biggest disappointment a bowler can face in search of the elusive perfect game. To bowl a 299 out of 300 in a bowling game, you have to start with eleven consecutive strikes. And with just a strike to go between you and perfection, you’d need to throw a nine on your twelfth and final shot.

A bowling score of 299 is exceedingly rare. Throwing eleven strikes in a row to start a game of bowling is extremely hard to do and quite rare. And then you have to follow that up by leaving exactly one pin up on your final throw. So, it’s possible to throw a 299 — but, it’s unlikely.

What is a good bowling score in an amateur tournament?

It depends on your bowling skill level and the level of tournament you’re playing in. According to most statistics gathered from amateur bowling tourneys around the world, bowling averages usually range from 175 to 240 based on the depth of competition within the tourney.

How likely is it to throw a perfect game?

For average bowlers across the globe, the odds of throwing a perfect game are around 11,500-to-1. Those are long odds, but don’t fret — you’re 26 times more likely to reach bowling perfection than you are to be struck by lightning!

As you might expect, this is much different for pro bowlers. The average PBA bowler puts together a perfect game every 260-460 games or so. This depends on their throwing style, ability to read oil conditions, and overall skill level.

Closing Thoughts

A bowling average varies based on a wide variety of factors both controllable by a bowler and completely out of their hands. The best way to increase a scoring average is to play a lot, learn from your mistakes, and then play some more. With practice and understanding, you’ll do more damage and maybe have a bit more fun in the process!