How Long is a Game of Bowling?

If you are thinking of going bowling with your friends and family, but at the same time you have a tight schedule, knowing how long a game of bowling lasts could be important, so you can get home on time and take care of important work. Well, depending on a player’s professionalism level, the time varies from game to game.

The question you might have is, how long is a game of bowling? No need to worry because that is what I am here to tell you.

In this article, I will talk about how long an average game of bowling is, what scoring conditions do to the length of a bowling game, the lengths of a perfect game, and the longest a bowling session could be. So, make sure you read this article till the end.

How Long is a Game of Bowling

How long does an average game of bowling last?

Compared to other sports like Baseball, Billiards, and Soccer, Bowling is a very short-timed game. That is why most people worldwide choose bowling as a pastime when they have not got too much time to spare.

So how long does an average game of bowling last? Well, it truly depends upon the number of players playing together in the bowling alley, in my opinion. If there are 2 players, the average game will take less, but around 4-6 players, the same average timing might change.

A single player may take above or below 10 minutes to complete their 10 frames to give you a reference. This means the total time a game would take will equal the number of players times 10. So, if you are playing with only another person, a game of ten-pin bowling might take only 20 minutes to conclude, but the same game may take an hour if there are 6 players, including you.

Bear in mind that these figures are for the average. Some people may not be good at scoring, be slower or quicker in taking their shots, and some problems in the bowling alley can also contribute to a difference in the game time.

So, no matter what important work or activity you have planned for, if you face no delaying problems after the game, the game might be finished within an hour, and you will be home doing your thing in no more time than that.

How do Scoring and Player Conditions play into the length of a bowling game?

We all know that a game of ten-pin bowling has 10 frames with 2 shots each. A player can score a strike, a spare, or an open frame in these frames. The game’s length greatly varies depending on the different scoring elements.

This means that a game where a player scores more strikes and spares may last less than a game where a player scores more open frames. So, the length of a bowling game also depends upon a player’s skill level.

Read more on Perfect Score in Bowling here: The Ultimate Guide to Achieving a Perfect Bowling Score.

If you are a player with more experience who knows what angle to use, which ball to pick, and when to throw the ball, you will score better in frames and be done with your shots quicker. A new player might take time adjusting, figuring out angles, throwing style, picking the right ball, and even holding the ball. This is how different scoring conditions and player experience might affect the game time.

Perfect Game Length

What is a perfect game? You might be wondering. Well, if a player scores 9 strikes in the first 9 frames and then scores three more strikes making a total of 12, it is known as a perfect game with a maximum of 300 points which is the highest you can get in a game of ten-pin bowling.

As there are 20 total shots to be taken in a game, and a perfect game only needs 12 shots to achieve the 300-point mark, a perfect game would require lesser time to complete.

That is why the shortest game of ten-pin bowling is where the players achieve a perfect game. Even though the overall time taken for the game to complete and shots taken might be less than usual, the score will be higher. That is why a professional player should always aim for a perfect game.

How long can a bowling game last?

If you are not professional enough to get a perfect game, the only possibility is a normal game with strikes, spares, and open frames. Well, in this case, the time could vary greatly.

If a person takes all 20 shots in a game, which means that all the frames are open frames, the score will not be remarkably high, yet still, the player’s overall time would be a lot more than a perfect game.

Also, if you make a lot of fouls, it may take longer to complete the game. Read more on fouls here: What Constitutes a Foul in Bowling?

A mix of spares and open frames might take less time since the overall number of shots will be less than average. The score, in this case, might be higher than usual.

A proper balance between strikes, spares, and open frames is kept, achievable by professional and intermediate players of the game. The score may be over 220, and the time taken might be closer to less than 10 minutes per player.
Why did I mention the score of 220? Read about it here: What is a Good Score in Bowling?

So overall, the length of a bowling game cannot be fixed. But no matter how a player might choose to play the game, the overall time taken will not exceed 15 to 20 minutes per player. That is why bowling is considered a better game for workers than others.

How about if you bowl alone? Read about it here: Bowling by yourself.


Bowling is one of the world’s most versatile, technical, and popular sports. It does not take too long to finish, and that is why, unlike other sports that get boring after 3 or more hours, bowling stays interesting and fresh throughout the game. That is why I suggest you lace up your boots, get to the nearest bowling alley with your loved ones, and have a great time bowling.

Check out the latest posts