How Much Is A Spare Worth In Bowling?

Bowling is a popular sport that many people enjoy for recreation and in competitive leagues. One of the key aspects of scoring in bowling is the value of a spare. If you’ve ever asked yourself ‘how much is a spare worth in bowling?’ this comprehensive guide will walk you through all the details.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: a spare is worth 10 points plus the points from the next ball rolled.

Scoring Basics in Bowling

Each frame consists of two shots

In the game of bowling, each frame consists of two shots for a player. The player stands at the starting position, known as the approach, and aims to roll the bowling ball towards the 10 pins at the end of the lane.

The first shot is called the “first ball,” and the second shot, if necessary, is called the “second ball.” These shots determine the player’s score for that particular frame.

10 pins are set up at the end of the lane

At the end of the bowling lane, 10 pins are set up in a triangular formation known as the “pin deck.” The pins are numbered from 1 to 10, with the pin in the front center being number 1. The pins are made of a sturdy material and are designed to withstand the impact of the bowling ball.

Knocking down one or more pins with each shot is the objective of the game.

The goal is to knock down all 10 pins

The main goal in bowling is to knock down all 10 pins with each shot. This is known as a “strike.” A strike is achieved when all the pins are knocked down with the first ball. If the player fails to knock down all the pins with the first ball, they can attempt to knock down the remaining pins with the second ball.

If all 10 pins are knocked down with the second ball, it is called a “spare.”

It is important to note that knocking down all the pins with a spare or a strike is not the only way to score points in bowling. Each pin knocked down counts as one point towards the player’s score. The cumulative score of all frames is calculated to determine the winner of the game.

There are 10 frames in a complete game

A complete game of bowling consists of 10 frames. Each player gets a turn to bowl in each of the 10 frames, alternating with other players if it is a multiplayer game. The score for each frame is calculated based on the number of pins knocked down and any bonus points earned from strikes or spares.

The final frame, the 10th frame, allows the player to throw additional shots if they score a strike or a spare.

Bowling scoring can be a bit complex, but it adds to the excitement and challenge of the game. Keeping track of scores and understanding the rules and strategies can enhance the overall bowling experience.

So, next time you step into a bowling alley, remember these scoring basics and aim for that perfect game!

What is a Spare in Bowling?

In the sport of bowling, a spare occurs when all 10 pins are knocked down using both shots in a frame. Unlike a strike, where all the pins are knocked down with just one shot, a spare requires two shots to clear the lane.

A spare occurs when all 10 pins are knocked down using both shots in a frame

Let’s say you’re on your first shot of a frame and you knock down 7 pins. On your second shot, you knock down the remaining 3 pins. This is considered a spare because you cleared all the pins with two shots.

It’s important to note that the order in which the pins are knocked down doesn’t matter, as long as all 10 pins are cleared.

The first shot knocks down some pins, the second shot finishes clearing the lane

When you’re aiming for a spare, your first shot is crucial. It sets up the pins for your second shot, which will hopefully knock down the remaining pins. This requires accuracy and precision, as you need to strategically position the pins for an easier second shot.

Bowling is a game of strategy and skill, and successfully converting a spare is a testament to a bowler’s ability.

A spare is marked with a ‘/’ on the scoresheet

On the scoresheet, a spare is marked with a ‘/’ symbol. This distinguishes it from a strike, which is marked with an ‘X’. Keeping track of spares and strikes is important for calculating a bowler’s score.

Each spare is worth 10 points, plus the number of pins knocked down on the first shot of the following frame. This adds an element of excitement and strategy to the game, as each spare can have a significant impact on the final score.

Understanding what a spare is and how it is achieved is essential for any bowler. It requires precision, accuracy, and the ability to adapt to changing lane conditions. So the next time you knock down all the pins with two shots, remember to mark it as a spare on your scoresheet and celebrate your accomplishment!

How Scoring Works for a Spare

A spare is worth 10 points, just like a strike

In the game of bowling, a spare occurs when a bowler knocks down all remaining pins with both balls of a frame. When a spare is achieved, the bowler is awarded 10 points, just like a strike. This means that if a bowler continues to throw spares throughout the entire game, their score would be 10 points per frame plus any additional bonus points earned.

An additional bonus is earned based on the next ball rolled

What sets a spare apart from a strike is the additional bonus points that can be earned. After rolling a spare, the bowler gets to add the number of pins knocked down by their first ball in the next frame to their spare score.

This means that the bowler has the opportunity to earn even more points and potentially increase their overall score.

The bonus is the number of pins knocked down by the next shot

Let’s say a bowler rolls a spare in the first frame and knocks down 8 pins with their first ball in the second frame. In this case, the bowler would receive a bonus of 8 points, which would be added to their spare score of 10 points. So, in total, the bowler would earn 18 points for that frame.

It’s important to note that the bonus points for a spare only apply to the immediate next frame. If a bowler rolls another spare in the subsequent frame, the bonus points would not carry over. Each spare is treated as its own separate event in the scoring system.

Understanding how scoring works for a spare is essential for any bowler looking to improve their game. By consistently aiming for spares and taking advantage of the bonus opportunities, bowlers can maximize their scores and increase their chances of achieving victory on the lanes.

Spare Scoring Examples

Throw a spare, then get 7 pins on the first shot of the next frame – Worth 17 points

When you throw a spare in bowling, it means that you knocked down all the remaining pins on your second shot. But what happens if you manage to knock down some pins on your first shot of the next frame after getting a spare? Well, in this scenario, you will be awarded a total of 17 points.

Let’s break it down:

  • For the spare itself, you get 10 points.
  • Then, for the next frame, where you knocked down 7 pins on your first shot, you receive an additional 7 points.

So, the spare followed by 7 pins on the first shot of the next frame will give you a total of 17 points.

Spare, followed by a strike – Worth 20 points

Now, let’s take it up a notch. Imagine you throw a spare and then follow it up with a strike on your first shot of the next frame. This is an impressive combination, and it will earn you a total of 20 points.

Here’s how the scoring works:

  • For the spare, you receive 10 points.
  • The strike in the next frame is worth 10 points as well.

So, when you calculate the total, you end up with a fantastic 20 points for this sequence.

Spare, then a gutter ball – Worth just 10 points

Now, let’s explore a scenario where you throw a spare but then follow it up with a gutter ball on your first shot of the next frame. Unfortunately, this combination won’t earn you as many points.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • For the spare, you still receive 10 points.
  • However, when you get a gutter ball on your first shot of the next frame, you don’t score any additional points.

Therefore, the total score for this sequence is just 10 points.

For more information and a detailed breakdown of bowling scoring, you can visit

Strategy and Skill for Bowling Spares

When it comes to bowling, spares can make or break a player’s score. While strikes are undoubtedly exciting, it’s the ability to consistently convert spares that separates the truly skilled bowlers from the rest.

To maximize your scoring potential, it’s essential to develop a solid strategy and hone your spare shooting skills.

A spare requires accuracy with the second throw

When faced with a spare, accuracy becomes paramount. Unlike with a strike, where knocking down all the pins in the first throw earns you a perfect score, spares require precision in both throws. The second throw becomes crucial as it determines whether you can successfully knock down the remaining pins and secure the spare.

To achieve this, bowlers must focus on their targeting, release, and follow-through to consistently hit the desired mark.

Aim for consistent spares to maximize scoring

While knocking down all the pins on each frame may seem like the ultimate goal, consistently converting spares can be just as valuable. By focusing on spare conversions, you can accumulate a higher score and maintain momentum throughout the game.

Remember, even professional bowlers don’t strike every time, so being able to consistently convert spares can greatly improve your overall score and increase your chances of winning.

According to a study conducted by, bowlers who converted spares at a rate of over 70% had significantly higher average scores compared to those with lower conversion rates. This statistical data highlights the importance of spare shooting in achieving success in bowling.

Practice spare shooting drills to improve skills

Like any other skill, spare shooting requires practice to improve. Incorporating spare shooting drills into your training routine can help you develop the necessary muscle memory and accuracy needed to convert spares consistently.

Some popular spare shooting drills include the 3-6-9, where you aim to knock down the corner pins, and the 7-10 split drill, which helps you master the most challenging spare in bowling.

Additionally, working on your spare shooting technique with a coach or experienced bowler can provide valuable feedback and guidance on areas for improvement. By focusing on your weaknesses and practicing specific spare scenarios, you can develop the skills needed to become a more accurate spare shooter.


In summary, a spare in bowling is worth 10 points plus the pin count from the next ball rolled. It takes both accuracy and some strategy to successfully convert spares. With practice, bowlers can improve their spare shooting ability to boost their scores.

Knowing the value of a spare helps any bowler keep track of their score.

We hope this detailed breakdown demystifies how much a spare is worth in the game of bowling. With an understanding of spare scoring, you can better track your skills and aim for higher scores!

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