How to Keep Score in Duckpin Boowling


A regulation game consists of 10 frames, or boxes. A bowler is allowed up to three balls per frame to knock down as many pins as possible.

If all ten pins are knocked down by the first ball in any frame, it is called a 'Strike' and is typically symbolized on the score sheet with an X or filling in two corners.

A Strike counts as 10 plus the total of the pins knocked down with the next two balls that are rolled.

Strike Symbol
(counts 10 + next two balls)


If all ten pins are knocked down with the first two balls in any frame, it is called a 'Spare', and is typically symbolized with a diagonal line on the score sheet or one corner of the box filled in. A spare is counted as 10 plus the total of the pins knocked down on the next ball rolled.

Spare Symbol
(counts 10 + next ball)


If the bowler fails to get a strike or a spare, he/she rolls the third ball to get the remaining pins and the total pins knocked down on three balls becomes the score for that frame.

Score is kept in an accumulated manner, left to right or top to bottom, through the 10 frames, with a perfect game being 300.  For the record: A Perfect game has NEVER been bowled in the history of Duckpin. Maybe you could be the first!!