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299 Bowling Score: Can You Get a 299 in Bowling? What Is It?

A beautiful young girl that hasn't thrown a gutter ball is seeking the toughest pin count with a 299 final score.

A 299 is the highest score you can get in bowling without rolling a perfect game. But is it possible to bowl a 299? Can you get a 299 in bowling?

I have never bowled that score, but statistics say that people have. I have taken my time researching various bowling alleys and was lucky to meet a pro bowler who has bowled this score.

Let’s take a look at a 299 bowling score, whether it is possible to bowl one, and how you can improve your chances of getting a perfect score.

What is a 299 Bowling Score?

A 299 bowling score is the second-highest possible score in the game. This score is only achievable if a bowler bowls 11 consecutive strikes, starting with their first ball of the match and then knocking down only nine pins with the 12th ball. If a bowler bowls a 299, they will be 1 point away from getting a perfect game.

The highest possible score in bowling is 300, which can only be achieved if a bowler bowls 12 consecutive strikes and then bowls a strike with their 13th ball.

A young lady is preparing to throw the final ball during the tenth frame as she targets an extremely difficult certain score.

Is It Possible to Bowl a 299?

It is possible to bowl a 299, but it is challenging. It is tricky because you must bowl 11 strikes in a row and nine pins in the 12th frame. That means that you can not have any open frames at all. If you get even one open frame, you will have to start again.

A few people have come close to bowling a 299, and it’s only achievable in a ten-pin bowling game.

This score was bowled once in the 1900s when the bowler hit nine pins in the last frame, breaking the 10th pin into two. One half was knocked down, and the other half remained standing. We could say that it was 299.5 – just kidding!

A female bowler takes a photo before her last ball where she hopes to leave one pin standing, just missing a perfect score.

What Ways Could I Bowl a 299?

A 299 is one of the most challenging scores to achieve in bowling, but it is not impossible. Here are a few ways that you could potentially bowl a 299:

  • By focusing on your form and aiming for the perfect strike, you increase your chances of hitting all ten pins with each ball.
  • If you can get eleven strikes in a row, you’ll only need to hit nine pins with your twelfth ball to score 299.
  • Choose a lighter-weight ball (see my roundup post on the best bowling balls), so you can easily control your shots and aim for the center of the pins.
  • Also, practice your aim and learn to control your ball.
  • Try to bowl regularly to get a feel for the lanes and how the ball reacts.
The back of a girl prepares to throw her second ball during a single frame after she just barely missed a strike.

What Scores Are Impossible to Get In Bowling?

There are a few different ways to score in bowling, but some scores are nearly impossible to get. Apart from the 299, a perfect game, for example, can only be achieved by bowling 12 strikes in a row. Even if you’re a professional bowler, this is a rare feat.

Below are other rare or impossible scores in bowling:

  • 292: One must throw 11 strikes but knock down two pins with the last ball. Hitting two pins out of a possible ten pins is very difficult
  • 290: A bowler must bowl 11 strikes and a spare in the first frame.
  • 280: 280 is a score of 11 strikes and a spare in the second frame.
  • 0: even though it is readily achievable, you’ll need to bowl gutter balls or fouls in all your throws.

Rules of Bowling and Scoring

In bowling, players score points by rolling a ball down a lane and knocking down pins. The game has different variations, including ten-pin bowling games, five-pin bowling games, and nine-pin games.

The player who knocks down the most pins in each frame receives the highest score for that frame.

Players can also earn bonus points for specific accomplishments, such as knocking down all ten pins in a single throw (a strike) or knocking down all ten pins in two throws (a spare). A strike earns the player 10 points plus the number of pins knocked down in their next two throws. A spare earns the player 10 points plus the number of pins knocked down in their first throw.

Here’s a detailed guide I did about the bowling rules, be sure to check it.

A happy young female after leaving a single pin on the last shot leading to a 299 score requiring a little luck.

Can You Bowl a 300 With a Spare?

Most people think that if you can get a spare in bowling, you’re well on your way to a perfect game. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Most professional bowlers will tell you that it’s impossible to bowl a 300 with a spare.

So why is it so difficult?

Well, for one thing, you need to have an almost perfect game even to have a chance at getting all ten pins down with just two bowls. This means that every single one of your throws needs to be on target and have enough power behind it to knock down all the pins.

Tips to Score a Perfect 300

A perfect score is a feat that is not easy to accomplish, but it is possible with the right strategy and practice. 

Here are some tips to help you score a perfect 300:

  • Choose the right ball: The weight and size of your bowling ball should be comfortable for you to hold and throw. If you are unsure, ask a bowling alley professional for help selecting the right ball.
  • Practice your aim: Take some time to practice your aim before heading to the bowling alley. You can do this by setting up some pins at home or using a water bottle as a target.
  • Stay relaxed: It is essential to stay calm when bowling, as this will help you maintain control of your ball and prevent it from veering off course.
  • You need to understand the game well: You need to know the lane conditions and how they affect your ball’s trajectory.
  • A consistent release will help you hit your target more often.
A lady wearing an all-black t-shirt and pants at the bowling alley is asking about maximum scores after missing a spare.

How to Calculate Your Scoring?

If you’re looking to get into bowling, one of the first things you need to learn is to calculate your score. However, it is not something you need to do manually.

Most alleys use computerized scoring systems, but it’s still good to know how it works.

You first need to know that a bowling game consists of 10 frames. You get two chances (or rolls) to knock down all ten pins in each frame. The number of pins you knock down in each frame is your score for that frame.

To calculate your total score, add up the scores for each frame. So if you knocked down seven pins in the first frame and three pins in the second frame, your total score would be 10 (7+3).

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Do Pro Bowlers Bowl 300?

It depends on several factors, including the bowler’s skill level and the type of bowling league they are competing in. Generally speaking, professional bowlers who compete in major tournaments can expect to bowl a 300-game about once every 10 to 20 games.

Why Is 292 the Rarest Score in Bowling?

To get a score of 292 in bowling, you need 11 strikes and two pins with the last ball. That’s like hitting one more strike than you need for a perfect game, and yet this score is only achieved about 1% as often as an ideal game. 

How Many Players Are on a Bowling Team?

There can be up to five players on a bowling team, but variations of two, three, and four players in teams are also common. The game can be played with as few as two people in a team.

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In conclusion, a 299 score in bowling is infrequent and difficult to achieve. You are considered a very skilled bowler if you can achieve this score.

A 299 score is only achievable if you can knock down all 11 strikes and then nine pins on your next last roll. If you are interested in trying to bowl a 299 game, practicing and perfecting your technique is crucial.