When a person initially steps into the world of bowling, he or she may find some unusual bowling lingo confusing to a layman at first. Some of the confusion may stem from how the points system in bowling works, but once you look into it, the rules can come off as fairly simple. The sport doesn’t change much between every game; all that differs is whether a handicapped is used or not to calculate the score, and if the handicap is out of the play, you get another kind of scoring system. That scoring format is referred to as Scratch Bowling.
What is scratch bowling?
Scratch bowling is a format in which a team is scored based on their pin count, disregarding handicap, so this may be the simplest way to score a team’s earned point by just simply adding up their pin counts and nothing more. This makes the game highly competitive by other bowling standards as all that matters in this format the player’s skills and how many points they can rack up by knocking the pins without any point modifier in effect.
What’s the difference between handicapped and scratch bowling?
Handicap bowling is another scoring system used in bowling where the term “handicap” is introduced. The team’s total score is calculated by adding up their total pin count and a handicap value which would be decided upon. The handicap is determined by calculating the average pin count of a team and multiplying a percentage to the pin count during league playoffs.
So why follow handicapped bowling when the scratch point system is much straightforward on calculating which team is winning? The main benefit of handicapped bowling is to give teams with a low average pin count the ability to participate in league tournaments. If you take a league where one set of bowlers score above 200 and the other team scores on average below 160, you can see how the other team would have no chance of competing in the said league so to balance out everything for the sake of competition and keeping things exciting for everyone the handicapped point system exists.
The main benefit of handicapped bowling is that it may help to even the playing field between individual teams. Therefore, it offers lower-scoring teams a reason to take a position within the competition.
But others argue that scratch bowling tournaments are more beneficial for the long run as it promotes a more skillful bowling and a more natural competition between competing teams as it makes each team test their limits and push themselves in order to win. If one team’s average tends to be lower than their competitors, then this would push them to work even harder on their skills to bring up their respective average to continue competing in scratch-based tournaments also making you a more passionate player towards the sport you are participating in as time passes. Scratch-based scoring also has a more straightforward way to calculate the points allowing participants to have more fun and focus on the game rather than the math’s behind it.
Many players in this regard enjoy scratch bowling more than handicapped bowling and participate in regular tournaments held in their area. Age is not an issue when it comes to scratch bowling as you can easily find tournaments for junior players all the way up to senior players and all ages than come in between.
It is also possible to compete in scratch bowling competitions not just in a team-based format but as an individual as well, and it again comes down to the sole difference of how your score will be exactly whatever you get from knocking your pins down making the scoring system easier for the members to keep up with and making scratch based bowling look more attractive to players than handicapped bowling as all that matters, in the end, is your raw bowling skills helping you win the game.
What makes a scratch bowler?
The first step in order to be a scratch bowler is to enjoy the game. Scratch bowling is all about your score, and to get that score, one needs to have a good mental attitude towards the game in order to face any situation and promote their skills towards improvement. Focus on having fun with the game more than dominating the game.
If someone is interested in joining a scratch bowling league, they may consider going to their local bowling alley as a start to practice and join scratch bowling tournaments. From there, you can find information about score caps needed to participate as an individual or as a team to participate in scratch bowling tournaments. You may also find information on how to contact concerning clubs and teams in scratch bowling leagues to earn membership so that you may be able to participate with them.
Through your local bowling alleys, you can also gain coaches to help you improve your game for scratch bowling tournament standards. With coaching and hard work into your skills, you can be more in sync with your throws, work with different angles on the lane, increase and decrease your ball speed for a shot, and gain experience on what to do to counter each shot.
An ideal scratch bowling participant should have an average of 200 and above so that they may get to compete in scratch bowling tournaments and leagues and have a chance at winning gold wherever they go as it is mentioned that there is no modifier to increase your score and even the playing field, what you knockdown at the end of the lane is what you get in scratch bowling. Getting spares, using the correct ball, and reading the lane shall be your best friend to achieve that goal.
In the end, it all comes down to one’s preference on which format they truly like to compete in and which league a player finds themselves most comfortable in to keep on playing. Scratch bowlers often criticize bowlers competing in a handicapped bowling league claiming that players can win based on their luck as well as someone who bowled with a 145 average score can shoot up to 195 just from the handicap multiplier applied, taking out the raw skill it takes to win a tournament series.
A new person stepping into the world of bowling can see this as a stepping stone rather than an unfair advantage, a ladder they are climbing in their competitive career as they can build their skills up to the mark whether they are competing in a scratch based scoring league or in a handicapped based scoring league. If they are in the handicapped division, then its nothing to look down on if they are participating there; what truly matters is the love for the game that they hold in their hearts participating in the game and putting their earned skills up to the test and once when they feel that they are ready to take things up a notch and play more competitively then they can gladly join the world of scratch bowling leagues.
Bowling is a sport after all that will keep on evolving; new players will come and go, each better than the previous, breaking the ceiling of scratch bowling leagues setting new records and averages to keep everyone, especially the game in question, on its toes keeping things fresh and exhilarating for everyone to enjoy.