No-Tap Bowling Scoring

It's the Same as Regular Bowling, With a Small Difference

Bowling alley and pin
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In standard bowling, a strike is a strike. That is, your ball has to smash through all 10 pins on one throw. You get rewarded for this with not only 10 points for that frame but also scoring bonuses for the next two rolls you make. No-tap formats, which effectively give weaker bowlers a handicap, are occasionally used for pro-am tournaments or during recreational leagues or events. In a no-tap format, strikes are awarded for any pin count at or above a certain score.

So for example. in nine-pin no-tap bowling, any bowler who knocks down nine or more pins on his or her first ball is awarded a strike.

Nine-pin no-tap bowling is the most common form, but it's not unheard of to come across eight-pin no-tap (any score 8 or above counts as a strike) or even seven-pin no-tap. Technically, you could set up a no-tap event all the way down to zero-pin no-tap, but there would be no point in doing so.

No-tap bowling is often used to help those who are not as talented bowl with more skilled bowlers on a level playing field. For instance, a youth league might have an end-of-year party in which the kids bowl with their parents in an eight-pin no-tap format, giving the kids a better chance of keeping up with the adults. The same theory is used in pro-am tournaments, when regular shlubs try to compete with PBA bowlers. A no-tap format makes it less lopsided.

Scoring a Game of No-Tap Bowling

The scoring method is exactly the same as standard bowling scoring once the no-tap rule is put in place.

That is, if you're participating in a nine-pin no-tap game and you throw a 9, you are given a strike and your turn is over. That frame is then added to your score as a strike for the full number of pins, and you are entitled to the regular scoring bonuses that come with a strike.