Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bowling Puzzler IV: 200 on the Scoreboard

For bowlers of lesser skill, 200 is the magic number. It is the difference between a good game and a great game. For our team, the fate of the 200 game almost invariably comes down to the 10th frame. It goes something like this... You are sitting on a 166 and two strikes in the 9th. To get to the deuce, you need to strike your first ball and get at least 7 on the 2nd. Because we suck at bowling, scores of 200 or above are always a late game affair. Here's my question. If we were better at bowling, say with 200+ averages, would we see scores greater than 200 appear on the scoreboard earlier in games? Well, yes, of course we would. But the real question is:

What is the minimum number of frames you have to bowl to see a score of at least 200 on the scoreboard? What about 250?


  1. My guess is you'd have to complete at least 8 frames (X,X,X,X,X,X,-/,X) in order to see the magical 200 on the sheet in the 7th frame.

    For 250, I think the earliest you'd 'see' it on the sheet is in the 9th frame and that's only after you rolled 8 strikes in a row followed by a spare (quickly followed by an expletive of course)

  2. This seems so simple: X-X-X-X-X-X(180)-X-X(200)... You wouldn't "see" it until you bowled something other than a strike in the 9th frame (hitting one pin would show a 201). For a 250 to show up: X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X(240)... The next ball, if a strike, would be 250, but you wouln't "see" it either until something other than a strike with the first ball inthe 10th frame.

    Maybe there's an faster way, I don't know. It's early and I'm simple.

  3. Well, you are both in the right ball park. Remember that the question asks for a score of at least 200.

    After six consecutive strikes, you have a score of 150. After seven, you have 180. If you get at least a 7 on your first ball in 8th, you will 200 on the scoreboard after one ball in the eighth. I'm giving this one to MaddysMaddy

    After 9 consecutive strikes, you have a 240, so for any game you won't know you have a 250 until the 10th. It can be achieved with as few as four pins on the first ball in the 10th after nine straight strikes. This one goes to EB.

  4. Wait a minute. Don't you have to get a strike in the 8th frame to get that 180 in the 6th?

    (told you, I'm simple)

  5. Yes, you do. But I'm talking about a total score of 200. If you have seven straight strikes, you are sitting on a total score of 180 (in the 7th). To get to 200, you need at least 7 on your first in the 8th.


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