Mini Bowling (Everything You Need to Know)

Mini Bowling (Everything You Need to Know)

Bowling nights are not only iconic, but extraordinarily common for families, friends, couples, and competitive clubs to partake. Whether you’re in it to bond, or completely obliterate your enemies, bowling is the way to go. Bowling is a sport that is also very inclusive. Regardless of your age, gender, or general physique, you can expect to have a good time. 

Upon booking a time slot you note that there are two options: bowling and mini bowling. Mini bowling is different from regular bowling for a number of reasons. 

Mini bowling is a fun, competitive game that is merely a smaller-sized version of regular bowling. The same rules apply for the most part, only with thinner lanes and smaller bowling balls. Perfect for a little friendly competition among your loved ones!

What is Mini Bowling?

Mini bowling is a downsized version of traditional bowling. Mini bowling is relatively the same with the same rules and the same vibe; only with fewer and thinner lanes, accompanied by lighter bowling balls. You are given only five frames and are expected to get a certain amount of points at a shorter distance. 

Most Mini Bowling alleys have either HEX LED lighting, Vintage Themes, or both.

How Big is a Mini Bowling Alley?

The average Mini Bowling alley is typically under 400 square feet. 36 to 45 feet in length and lanes of 2 meters in width. The most you would see is a 55-foot long lane but they aren’t too common for mini bowling. 

For context, a regular bowling alley is 60 to 100 feet in length. Thus making the average mini-bowling approximately half the size of a regular bowling alley. 

Bowling balls and pins are often on the smaller side as well in comparison to regular bowling products. These balls weigh around 2.5 lbs and upwards on average. Gutters are also smaller in consideration of the smaller bowling balls. 

How Do You Play Mini Bowling? 

A mini bowling game will give the players a minimum of 5 frames to complete. This means that each player gets around 10-11 shots. Any number of individuals can play at a time, whether you’re dividing them up into teams or interchange, or potentially face off against one opponent. As long as groups A and B get 11 throws. 

You do not need bowling shoes, nor do you typically need any sort of protective gear whatsoever that you might have considered for your hand in regular bowling. 

After that, the rules used in regular bowling are now applied, only the goal is cut in half: 

In Summary:

The goal of the game is to strike down all of the pins at the end of the alley, in as few throws as possible. You also want to get more points than your opponent. Each strike has a different amount of points you can score, all determined by the number of pins knocked down at once. The points you’ve gotten will show up on the scoreboard. The person with the most points by the end wins. 

Some Important Terminology:

  • Strike: Knocking down all of the pins in the first throw 
  • Split: Knocking down all of the pins that were left on the second throw 
  • Double: Getting two strikes in a row
  • Turkey: Getting three strikes in a row
  • Badger: Getting Four Strikes in a row
  • Perfect game: Meaning you’ve gotten 12 strikes in a row, but in this case, it would be 5-6 in a row. 
  • Open frame: Referring to a turn that resulted in obtaining zero points 

As you can see, there are so many different words used to describe different hits. The better your throw, the more points you will obtain per throw. Once again, your goal is to get the most points possible so to get a Badger would be unbelievably good! 

The rules of the game are the same, only the points end at approximately 150 rather than a maximum of 300. That’s truly it! Simple as that! 

Basic Mini Bowling Rules:

5 Frames per Game:

A regular game of bowling would have 10 frames, but Mini bowling typically has a maximum of 5 frames. This is because of the bowling alley itself, as well as the products, pins, and balls as half the size of a regular game’s setup. Half the amount of frames is thus suitable. Mini bowling is also typically family-oriented, kid-friendly; attracting those who are not necessarily competitive more often than not. 

You cannot pass/cross the indicated line that starts at the beginning of the lane:

This is a very basic rule in more games that follow this motif. You cannot pass the foul line, as to not create an unfair advantage. Everyone must start at the same distance from the pins and throw as follows. 

The ball is not allowed to be changed or altered during a game unless it is broken or significantly unusual:

All of the balls used to play bowling should not be changed or swapped out during the game, as to not allow for a potentially unfair advantage. Alterations? There are some individuals who might take the bowling ball and add extra slip to them with certain chemical solutions. 

The ball is not allowed to come out of the gutter:

When the ball goes into the gutter, it is expected that the ball will go to the back of the machine and either not return, or be sent back for the player to use in the next frame. You cannot simply pick the ball up and try again for that frame. You simply do not get a point and move forward with the game. 

Final Thoughts

You now know what mini bowling is, a basic summary of the experience, and some important rules to follow before booking a mini-bowling night!  Strike, split, or simply throw the game out. At the end of the day, someone’s team will become livid… Just don’t let it be yours!

So bring your friends, family, and loved ones together and play a fun game of mini bowling! It’s fun, active, and will surely be a night to remember. From the aesthetics and food to the game itself, there’s something for everyone! 

Indoor Game Bunker

We are Indoor Game Bunker, a group dedicated to providing reviews, how to guides, and helpful information to those interested in a wide variety of games and hobbies.

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