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Rules of the Game - Bowling Rules and Regulations

It's not as simple as throwing a ball at ten pins. Learn the rules, regulations, and guidelines for bowling equipment, attire, conduct, and play in the sport of bowling.

How to Score a Game of Bowling
An explanation of how the bowling scoring system works, how to add strikes and spares, and why 300 is a perfect score.

No-Tap Bowling Scoring
An explanation of how to score a no-tap game of bowling.

Baker Team Competition Format
An explanation on the Baker format of scoring during team competition.

Bowling Scoring - Petraglia Scoring System
An explanation of how the Petraglia bowling scoring system, sometimes referred to as golf, works.

Sandbagging
You may have heard about sandbagging, but do you know what it is? And have you ever seen it put into action?

Where to Stand When Bowling
Is there a particular place you have to stand while bowling? What are the rules regarding a bowler's starting position?

Why Does it Take 12 Strikes to Reach 300?
A perfect score in bowling is 300. Why does it take 12 strikes to get there when there are only 10 frames?

How to Calculate Your Bowling Average
A quick explanation on how to calculate your bowling average.

How to Calculate Your Handicap
An explanation on how to calculate your bowling handicap.

Stepladder Competition Format
A brief explanation on the stepladder format of competition, often used to determine PBA Tour champions.

Eliminator Competition Format
A quick tutorial on how and when to use speed adjustments to your advantage.

Fouls
An explanation of the foul line and its function.

Illegal Pinfall
A list of scenarios in which pins you knock down don't actually count.

Dead-Ball Scenarios
A description of the the dead-ball rule, which gives bowlers another chance at a delivery without penalty.

May a PBA Tour Bowler Drink Alcohol During Competition?
May a PBA Tour bowler drink alcohol during competition?

Dead Ball FAQ
When you throw a dead ball, the delivery doesn't count and you get another chance without penalty. This FAQ explains when and why you may call a dead ball.

Dead Ball FAQ - What if the Human Pinsetter Interferes With Any Standing Pins?
What happens if a human pinsetter accidentally or purposely interferes with any standing pin before the ball gets there?

Dead Ball FAQ - What if I Bowl on the Wrong Lane?
What happens if you or someone else bowls on the wrong lane?

Dead Ball FAQ - What if I Bowl Out of Turn?
What happens if you or someone else bowls out of turn?

Dead Ball FAQ - What if a Pin Falls Before My Ball Gets There?
What if a Pin Falls Before My Ball Gets There?

Dead Ball FAQ - What if Someone Interferes With Me While I Bowl?
What happens if someone makes contact with you while you're in the process of throwing the ball?

Dead Ball FAQ - What if My Ball Hits Something on the Lane?
If your ball makes contact with any foreign obstacle on the lane, what happens?

Dead Ball FAQ - What if I Bowl Without All Ten Pins in the Deck?
If you bowl and quickly realize you were missing one or more pins from the pin deck, what happens?

Official Rules of Bowling
The complete bowling rule book from the United States Bowling Congress.

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