Game types

Much like tennis, bowling can be played as an individual sport or in teams. Generally the rules are the same because each roll will still be taken in the same manner. Most bowling alleys in Britain are dedicated mainly to non-competitive open-play, whereby anyone can hire a lane and play by themselves or with friends. In terms of officially sanctioned league and tournament events, there are also different types of play:

  • Singles – Players will usually face off in head-to-heads. Play must be confined to two adjacent lanes.
  • Doubles – Players roll in teams of two with each taking it in turn to roll frames in their own game and the team score being made up of the aggregate of their individual pinfalls.
  • Scotch doubles – A team doubles game in which player one will roll the first ball of every frame and player two the second. Because securing a strike means player two will not have a roll, pairs usually alternate their positions after each game.
  • Baker system team matches – An alternative type of team game in which players roll a combined game instead of keeping their own scores and adding them up at the end. Each team is usually made up of five players, with player one bowling frames 1 and 6, player two rolling frames 2 and 7, and so on. In this way, Baker system matches are much faster than regular team games and more TV-friendly.