# Bowling Trivia

There is some interesting trivia about tenpin bowling.

• Did you know that there is no minimum weight for a bowling ball?
• The height of a bowling pin is the same distance as the circumference of a bowling pin.
• Did you know that bowling balls were made out of wood until the early 1900s?
• Did you know that bowling a strike followed by a spare (or vice versa) for the entire game is called a Dutch 200.
• AMF stands for 'American Machine and Foundry'.
• A bowling lane is 60 feet long from the foul line to the headpin - very similar to the distance from the pitcher’s mound to home plate in baseball (60' 6").

## Most Games?

• Tammy Lewis, of San Jose, California, lays claim to 33,300 games. She is also the daughter of Lorelei Pippin, who is said to have been the first female to bowl a 300 in Santa Clara County. This just came up today as Tammy rolled a 297 here at the 2012 USBC Women's Championships In Reno, where I work for USBC Media. (from Wendy Clem, USBC Media Specialist, USBC Women's Championships, June 2012)

The following are a few of questions that visitors to my website has posed. We don't know all the answers, maybe you can shed some light on these.

Do you know which sport uses the heaviest balls?

Tenpin Bowling of course!
(if we don't count the shot put!)

## Question 1: What is the bowling score that has been bowled the fewest times?

We have had a huge response to this question, and although there have been many suggested answers, the most common and most credible is 292. Go here to read all the suggestions and see how we came to this conclusion.

## Question 2: What bowling score has the most probabilities to arrive at that score?

(supposedly this score can be arrived at by over a trillion different frame scores. Some scientists used a computer to find out this number)

(submitted my Raymond)
"I would have to guess at something like 165? It's anyone's guess really isn't it!"

(submitted by James)
"According to www.balmoralsoftware.com The bowling score that has the most probabilities to arrive at that score is 77. They offer a very scientific explanation to it ... "

Also from the Balmoral website: How many possible games? "First, it seems evident that the total number of possible ten-pin bowling games is quite large. We have eleven possibilities for the first ball thrown in the first frame (gutter, 1, 2, ..., 9, strike), and the same possibilities occur for each of the other nine frames. So without even considering the second ball in each frame, at a minimum we have 11¹º = 26 billion possibilities. In fact, the true number of games is much, much larger due to the effect of the second ball in each frame. It's easy to show that the total number of possible games is 66^9 x 241 = 5,726,805,883,325,784,576 (about 6 billion billion, or 6 quintillion)!"

(Submitted by Keller)
According to my neurons calculations the answer is: 129. 3 possibilities per frame: Strike Spare or Open. Average pins per spare is 5.5. Average open frame score is ( 5.5 + 2.25 ). So, three strikes + 3 spares + 3 opens = ( 46.5 + 46.5 + 23 ) / 9 x 10 = 129

Seems like we have the best answer. Any comments? let me know.

## Question 3: What is the significance of scoring a 111 in the seventh? Why do most lanes offer a free drink if you achieve that score? (Question from Michelle)

• Because if you bowl a 111 by the seventh frame you are able to bowl a 200. If you don't have a 111 by the seventh frame you will not bowl a 200 (thanks to Tia).
• Thanks also to Bob who clarified the maths - if you have 110 by the 7th frame and strike out you will end up with an even 200.
• Another message on this topic ... "actually bob's maths is off as 110 + 150 = 260"

## Question 4: Have any two bowlers (or more!) have bowled 300 in the same game. Question from Martien, from Whangaparaoa in New Zealand.

• (from Christine) The answer is yes, it happened in Australia at the AMF Mt Gravatt Lanes in Queensland I believe in 2007. It was posted in the AMF monthly magazine. Two competing bowlers in league both bowled a perfect game each, but 1 bowler actually won as it also was a league with a handicap system in place giving the winner the extra pins. We also had the first-ever Australian bowl back to back 300’s about 4 years ago. It was done by a Junior bowler at the Nerang Tenpin bowling center in Queensland Australia, his name was Derek Adams and it happened about 5-6 years ago. I believe he also bowled a 297 for his 3rd game.
• (from Bob Wolfe) My teammate, Robert Hancock, and I, Robert Wolfe, bowled concurrent 300 games in the Tuesday Night Mixed league at Funtime Bowl, Atlanta, GA on 23 March 2010.  We achieved this in the first game of the three-game set.  Hancock bowls in the #4 slot, and I bowl in the #5 slot.  It was Hancock's 5th sanctioned 300 game, while it was my FIRST 300 game!  Hancock went on to finish with a 207 and 201 for 708 series, and I finished with a 212 and 268 for a 780 series.  Quite a commotion ensued.

## More Trivia & Questions

 19 gutter balls in a row during a league game: Richard Caplette, Danielson, Conn., Sept. 7, 1971. Can anyone beat that! Also, Jim asks - a 190 without a strike - has it been done ? Can you tell me the most 300 games ever bowled by the same individual, amatuer and/or pro? Question from Denise

## Related Pages

• Johnathon hinkle (2019)
I rolled a ball and 9 pins fell, one pin scooted half way across the lane but never fell; the machine recorded a strike. You couldn't tell what number the pin was to respot it. What is the rule to handle this situation?
• Aaron johnathon hinkle (2020)
Two things, either one, the scoring system's camera couldn't "see" the pin as it was out of view of its cross hairs when it took a snapshot to determine the score. or two, the pinsetting table knocked over the pin as it was descending. either way, the pin should be respotted in the nearest pin spot it finished up on.
• Rick C (2013)
Bob's comment that in order to score a 200 one has to score 110 by the end of the 7th frame is correct because the maximum score per frame is 30. Thus a perfect score of 300 for 10 frames (30/frame). And therefore, the significance of scoring 111 by the end of the 7th frame, must be that in order to break 200, one has to score 111 by the end of the 7th frame.
• I have a friend that has bowled 32 documented perfect games. Impressive I know. The thing that makes me wonder if he is Guiness book worthy is that he has NEVER bowled a 291-299. That's right, he has closed the deal ALL 32 times. So my question is, is there a record for the longest 300 streak without a 291-299? (from Joe, Nov 2011)

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