How Long Does a Game of Bowling Take

How Long Does a Game of Bowling Take? [Different Bowlers]

If you are just getting started with bowling, you may be wondering how long a typical game takes. Worry not; in this post, you will learn the average time of a typical bowling game and how you can make the most of your time to ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone.

Bowling, the quintessential American pastime, is a game unlike any other. If you are new to the sport, how long a game should take might not be directly obvious. How exactly does one win the game? Is it simply a matter of knocking down all the pins? And if so, how many chances do you have to do so? If you are curious to learn how long a game of bowling should take, our comprehensive guide has got you covered! From the various factors that may impact the duration to helpful tips for speeding up your play, we've got all the information you need to know. Keep reading to find out more!

Bowling Game Structure

Bowling Game Structure

Bowling is a thrilling game made up of ten frames, each presenting two opportunities to knock down all ten pins. The goal of the game? Score as many points as possible by strategically hitting those pins with accuracy and precision. The ultimate feat is to score a strike, knocking down all ten pins in a single frame. But don't fret if you miss the mark—a spare is achieved by knocking down all ten pins within two frames. If there are pins still standing after the second strike, they are considered an open frame. The number of pins knocked down for each open frame will determine the number of points earned.


  • You have only two opportunities to strike the pins. Once those chances are exhausted, it's the next player's turn, and when everyone has had their turn, you'll progress to the next frame. This continues for a total of ten frames.

The Length Of A Typical Bowling Game

The Length Of A Typical Bowling Game

So, how long is the average bowling game? Well, this depends on a number of factors, such as the number of frames played and the number of players. Nonetheless, a professional bowler can finish their turn in no more than a minute. The casual bowler may take around two minutes to complete their turn. For absolute newbies, completing a single turn may take up to 5 minutes! Depending on the number of frames, a typical game between two players may take 20 – 25 minutes for professionals and 40 – 60 minutes for casual players.

Factors Affecting Bowling Game Length

Factors Affecting Bowling Game Length

There are a number of factors that can influence the length of a bowling game. The following are some of the most common:

  • Number Of Players

The number of players is perhaps the most important factor affecting the length of a bowling game—the more the players, the longer the game! The following is an illustration of how long a typical bowling game will take depending on the number of players.

Number of players Game Length (minutes)
1 15
2 20 – 25
3 30 – 35
4 40 – 45
6 60 – 75

Note that this is just an approximation, and the players' proficiency will also affect how long the game takes.

  • Skill Level Of Players

As prementioned, the player's skill level is one of the other main factors affecting the length of a game. If the game is between newbies, it will likely take longer than one between experienced bowlers. This should, however, not take the fun out of the game. Remember that bowling is a game primarily meant for players to have fun, so if you are a newbie, don't stress about it, take your time on the lanes!

  • Lane Conditions

The condition of the bowling lane can also affect the length of a bowling game. If the lane is too dry, without much oil, it can cause the ball to quickly lose its momentum, resulting in a shorter game.

Efficient Bowling Techniques to Shorten Your Game Time

Efficient Bowling Techniques to Shorten Your Game Time

Are your bowling games taking a little too long? If you want to shorten your game time, there are a few efficient bowling techniques you can use to help you out. The following are  a few  tips to help you become a faster bowler:

  • Play Fewer Frames

Ten frames can be quite time-consuming, especially if you are trying to sneak in a game of bowling during your lunch break. So what's the solution? Play fewer frames. Maybe five or seven or any number that works for you! This is a great way to shorten your game time and still have plenty of fun.

  • Use More Than One Lane:

Yes, you can use more than one lane! If you have some spare cash,  you can save time and improve your game by using two lanes simultaneously. This is the best way to save money if you are playing in big groups or if you are playing multiple games in a row. This way,  you can get your game done quicker and move on to the next game faster!

  • Group Players Based On Skill Level

To ensure a smooth and enjoyable game, consider grouping experienced and inexperienced players together. By mixing skill levels, players can help each other out while keeping the game efficient. Novices won't take up too much time since they'll be getting assistance from more experienced players, and everyone can enjoy the game together. With this approach, players can learn from each other while still having fun and keeping the game moving.

Pro Tip(s):

  • Choose the right ball: Selecting a ball that fits your hand and weight preference will help you to bowl faster and more accurately. It's also important to have a consistent pre-shot routine.
  • Improve your footwork: Working on your approach to the foul line can make your delivery more consistent and efficient, saving you time in between shots.

Final Thoughts

Unlike other sports, such as football and basketball, with a fixed duration, bowling does not have a definite time limit! Various factors, including the number of frames and players involved, influence the duration of a bowling game. Additionally, the skill level of the players also contributes significantly to the game's length. To speed up your bowling games, consider playing shorter games like the five-frame game or utilizing two lanes if you have the budget. Ultimately, bowling is a leisurely activity meant to be relished with loved ones, there's no need to rush through it. Embrace the unpredictability and enjoy the experience!

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