What is No Tap Bowling?

Have you ever heard of no tap bowling? This method of scoring a game of bowling may seem downright weird if you are used to regular bowling. However, this method is a great way to even the playing field between children and adults, or even experienced and inexperienced bowlers.

No tap bowling can be seen in both eight-pin and nine-pin varieties. Depending on the variation, knocking down either eight or nine pins on your first ball counts as a strike, whereas in normal bowling, you must knock down all ten pins. It counts as a spare if you knock down a total of eight or nine pins on your second ball (depending on the variation).

Whether you are totally new to bowling or a buff at the game, you may not be used to the variations of no-tap bowling. Keep reading to discover how to play—and how to win.

What is No Tap Bowling?

What is no tap bowling?

As we previously mentioned, no tap bowling is a variation of regular bowling. Instead of knocking down ten pins on the first ball for a strike or on the second ball for a spare, you only have to knock down either eight or nine pins.

This variation is a great way to allow children and adults to bowl together or even a mixture of experienced bowlers and bowling newbies.

Most of the other game rules remain the same, other than the number of pins needed to make up a strike and a spare. Think about how many times you have knocked down nine pins on your first ball, leaving just one pin standing… if that had counted as a strike, your score card would look a lot different!

Also read: A Strike in Bowling – Did you know all this?

What is the difference between eight and nine-pin no-tap bowling?

The only difference between eight-pin and nine-pin no-tap bowling is the number of pins you need to knock down for a strike or a spare.

Read more on spare here: What is a spare in bowling?

In nine-pin, no tap bowling, knocking down nine pins on your first ball counts as a strike. If you knock down a total of nine pins between your first and second ball, it counts as a spare.

In eight-pin, no tap bowling, knocking down eight pins on your first ball counts as a strike. Knocking down a total of eight pins between your first and second ball counts as a spare.

Nine-pin no tap bowling is more common than eight-pin, but eight-pin is still not unheard of! Even seven-pin no tap bowling exists, though it is much less common.

Is no tap bowling easier than regular bowling?

Yes, no, tap bowling is slightly easier than regular bowling. This is because you must knock down fewer pins to get a strike or a spare, leading to a higher scoring and a lower skill barrier. That is why no tap bowling tends to even the playing field between newbies and pros or adults and kids.

Going on bowling with kids? Check out this article: Bowling for Kids

Do gutter balls still count in no tap bowling?

Yes, a gutter ball still counts as a gutter ball even in no tap bowling. In fact, all of the rules of regular bowling remain the same, other than the number of pins needed to reach a strike or a spare.

How can I play a game of no tap bowling?

If you want to play a game of no tap bowling, you have a few options. First, you could seek out local no tap leagues or tournaments hosted by bowling alleys nearby. This is a great way to meet other players and get into the game.

If you have a lot of friends who are willing to play with you, you could also organize your own game of no-tap bowling. You can either host one unofficially during open lane time at your local bowling alley, or you could approach the bowling alley and let them know that you want to host a no tap game.

Working with the bowling alley may make it easier to score the game since the alley can adjust its scoring methods to allow for no tap.

Are there no tap bowling leagues?

Yes, there are no tap bowling leagues. Often, these leagues will be geared toward children.

Sometimes, regular bowling leagues will host no tap games. For example, a youth league may host an end-of-year no tap bowling game where the kids can play alongside their parents. This will even the playing field for all the players involved.

Read more on bowling leagues here: Bowling Leagues: What You Need to Know

Are there no tap bowling tournaments?

Yes, there are no tap bowling tournaments! Obviously, no tap bowling leagues will participate in only no tap bowling tournaments. However, sometimes regular leagues will host no tap tournaments for reasons like the one outlined above.

Some bowling alleys will host open no-tap tournaments for anyone to enter. Once again, this is a great way to lower the skill barrier so that even new bowlers have a shot at doing well alongside more experienced players.

Conclusion

So, what is no tap bowling? Well, no tap bowling is a variation of regular bowling where you need to knock down fewer than ten pins in order to score a strike or a spare. In nine-pin no tap bowling, you must knock down nine pins. In eight-pin no tap bowling, you must knock down eight pins, and so on and so forth.

All the other rules of regular bowling remain the same in no tap, other than the number of pins needed to score a strike or a spare.

No tap bowling leagues and tournaments exist at any local bowling alley. In order to get involved with joining a no-tap game or organizing your own, reach out to your local bowling alley to get started.


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