Bowling Reference Card

Bowling reference card

Bowling reference and coaching aid. Below is our printable bowling lane reference, setup and series average table. League and tournament bowlers often fail to chart important positions on the lane, where previous “clean shots” resulted in an outcome that needs to be repeated.

Seasoned bowlers and professionals rely on experience and memory to make adjustments while bowling in different locations and across various lane conditions. All bowlers rely on memory and guesswork to find the best position on the lane, and everyone develops their own approach to making adjustments. This bowling reference form is very useful in coaching, league bowling, and when a new or different ball is being used.

Keep a separate sheet for each ball, marking with a pencil the foot position, target mark location and outcome. Missed marks and shots with poor/irregular execution should never be charted. Novice bowlers should keep three setups being: Strike shot, 3-6 pickup, 2-4 pickup, and adjust all other shots from these three. As lane conditions change during a series each of the three positions are easily adjusted based on original best positions from practice.

The free printable Bowling Reference Card is available below for download in Adobe Acrobat PDF form format.

Download Standard Bowling Reference Form

Bowling reference card pdf

Bowling Reference Card

What does your bowling average mean?

If your average is under 140: You’re missing up to four spares per game with up to three strikes per game.
If your average is between 140 – 160: You’re missing up to three spares per game with up to three strikes per game.
If your average is between 160 – 180: You’re missing usually 1-2 spares per game with up to four strikes per game.
If your average is between 180 – 200: You’re missing 1 spare per game, with up to five strikes per game. Usually one double or triple per game.
If your average is over 200: You’re missing 1-2 spares per series and usually more than five strikes per game. Usually at least two doubles or one triple per game or more.

Bowling tips:

If your average is 160 or less you will improve your average considerably by learning to pick up spares more effectively.

If your average is between 160 and 190 you will do well to practice your most difficult spares, and study your strike shot layout to find an angle and pitch that almost always provides a “favorable leave” where you’re most likely to miss your mark or “tug” the ball. The best-case scenario is a tugged ball that hits Brooklyn and an outside mark miss that produces a favorable angle out of the drier regions of the lane to the outside.

If your average is over 190 your enemy is probably lack of solid consistency after a bad shot, or making adjustments prematurely. Hold your ground after poor shots, and seek your marks of best angle for the strike shot AND “favorable leave”. Also don’t adjust ball speed as a “tweak” for a changing lane condition. Promptly move your marks to a different pitch and/or change balls if you begin to fail carrying altogether.