What is a 900 Series in Bowling?

Bowling may seem like a simple and easy-to-learn sport, but many complex terms must be grasped when studying its rules. If you’re wondering what a 900 series is, you have come to the right place.

A 900 series in bowling refers to three perfect games played by a single bowler in a row. Since the maximum score a player can make in three consecutive games is 900, this is termed “a 900 series”.

If you want to learn more about this rule, how much the prize money is for scoring a 900 series, and who is known as “Mr. 900” in the world of bowling, keep reading on.

What is a 900 Series in Bowling?

What is Termed As a Perfect Game in Bowling?

To have what is known as a “perfect game” in bowling, one has to throw 12 consecutive strikes in a single game. And therefore, to total a score of 900, an aggregate of 36 consecutive strikes is needed. Thus, 900 is the maximum score in a 3-game set, with 12 strikes in a row.

To bowl 12 strikes, the bowler would have to achieve one strike each in the first nine frames and three more in the tenth and last frames. Each frame (except the last one) offers two chances to the bowler to strike down all ten pins.

There are three bowling formats in which a maximum score of 300 is possible. These are ten-pin, candlepin, and duckpin bowling. In five-pin bowling, on the other hand, it is possible to score a total of 450.

Read more about a perfect score here: What is a Perfect Bowling Score?

The Certification Process to Approve a 300 Game

Today, almost 60% of the entire bowling is recreational. In these types of games, it is not very difficult to score a 300 and get recognition for this feat. But when it comes to a professional bowling game, obtaining certification is quite lengthy and complicated.

First, the regional bowling association performs a series of tests to check the hardness, weight, and other factors associated with the balls. Then they test the oil condition of a lane using a tape reader. These steps are conducted to ensure that the organization’s rules and policies are met.

After these initial tests are completed and approved, the certifying body of the league then approves a 300-game. Several 300 games have been televised live on national TV, and the first player to receive recognition for a 300-game live was Grazio Castellano.

Who Was the First Player to Bowl a 900 Series?

Glenn Allison, popularly known as Mr. 900 in the bowling universe, was the first-ever player to bowl a 900 series. Back in 1982, Allison was able to achieve this feat with the help of a plastic bowling ball.

However, American Bowling Congress (ABC) did not officially recognize his accomplishment due to non-compliant lane conditions. Allison used only one ball for every shot and could still score a 900.

Today, synthetic lanes and high-tech balls are available for bowling, and players can use up to four balls, so we can’t compare Allison’s accomplishment with what today’s bowlers have access to.

Later, in 1997, Jeremy Sonnenfeld became the first official bowler to score a 900. Robert Mushtare is known around the world as a bowler who was able to score a 900 twice in his bowling career.

If we consider the history of the Professional Bowlers Association, the first PBA player to bowl a 900 was Joe Scarborough in 2013. Currently, 39 bowlers in the 900 Club have bowled a 900 series from 1997 to date. Bryan Deck recorded the latest 900 in bowling on June 20, 2022.

These days, it is not impossible to have a 300 game owing to the easy conditions, making a 900 series less tricky than it used to be. If we look at annual bowling stats, we find that more than 50,000 300 games are recorded annually.

What is the Prize for Bowling a 900 Series?

Different bowling centers announce prize money for professional bowlers if they score a 900. Some offer up to $10,000 to the first bowler to shoot a 900 in a three-game series. However, these contests are open only to certified league and tournament players.

To claim the prize, the bowler has to get his 900 series approved by the United States Bowling Congress. These types of contests are held throughout the year, and any USBC-certified bowler can participate.

Usually, there is only one winner in these contests – the first bowler to have their 900 series recognized by the USBC.

USBC also offers rings to winners who score a 900, known as the “900 rings”. As a winner, you can choose among five different styles and submit an application within 20 days of scoring a 900 series.

While filling out this application form, you can specify your finger size and inside engraving. The different styles offered in these rings include Monarch 900, Royal 900, Imperial 900, Majestic 900, and Regal 900.

Youngest Person to Bowl a 900 Series

The youngest person to bowl a certified 900 series is Robert Mushtare. He achieved this feat on December 5, 2005, and he was 17 years of age at that time.

Even this series is considered disputed (although certified) because the bowler managed to roll a 900 during the pre-bowl sessions. Since it was not the league’s regular time, many believe this 900 series should not be recognized.

Nevertheless, it’s a phenomenal achievement for a 17-year-old who probably had just started his bowling career.

If we talk about the youngest person to have rolled a 300-game, it’s none other than Hanna Diem. Hanna was only 9 years old when she knocked down 12 consecutive strikes and became the youngest USBC member to have a certified 300 game to her credit.


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