The bowler's target is a set of 10 pins set in a triangular fashion, with
the lead pin out front as the "head pin." The object of the game is to roll
the ball and knock down all 10 pins. The pins are situated at the end of a
60-foot wooden lane. How oily or dry a lane is can make a difference in how
your ball reacts.
Knocking down all 10 pins at once is known as a "strike." Knocking down
all 10 pins in two rolls of the ball is known as a "spare."
Each pin knocked down counts as one point, except for a strike, which counts
as 10 points PLUS the total of the next two bowling frames on the score sheet.
A spare counts for 10 points PLUS the total pins of the next bowling frame
on the score sheet.
Bowling is scored by "frames." A game has 10 frames, or series of chances
to bowl for a score. Bowling two strikes in a row is called a "double," while
bowling three strikes in a row is called a "turkey."
The highest score available is 300 -- this is a perfect score, meaning
you have bowled strikes in all 10 frames of the bowling score sheet.
In the U.S., professional bowlers may join the PBA -- Professional Bowlers
Association. Bowlers do not have to be American in order to join the PBA.
Most PBA members live in the U.S., but they also have bowlers who come from
as far away as Korea.
According to Diana Teeters, a former professional bowler from Louisiana,
to succeed in this career you must not only be a well-trained athlete, you
also must count yourself as an experienced traveler and have a strong mind.
Teeters maintains that you also must remain ready to learn and hone your craft,
while remembering that there is an element of entertainment involved, as well.
The life of a touring professional bowler can be rigorous, both mentally
and physically. Teeters notes that she has bowled as much as 42 games in three
days, not taking into account all the practice shots required.
Physically, a professional bowler needs to maintain a regular exercise
program, placing particular emphasis on the lower body. Mentally, bowlers
must be able to handle the stress of competition and consistently having to
perform at their best level.
Travel is also a large part of the professional bowler's life. According
to Dave Schroeder of the PBA, weekly travel expenses can range from $750 to