Alternative Scoring System for Bowling?

by Gianmarc Manzione 0

“Every aspect of the format and scoring of our events is up for review" - Kevin Dornberger, World Bowling President and CEO

With hopes of making it easier and simpler for a majority of people and mainstream media to follow competitive bowling, World Bowling has created a new group tasked with exploring alternative scoring systems.

World Bowling president and CEO Kevin Dornberger has announced the formation of the Alternate Bowling Scoring System working group that will find a way to engage non-bowling spectators to help the sport grow.

“The hope is that coming up with a simpler format that is easy for non-bowling spectators to embrace will lead to a path to inclusion in the Olympic Games,” Dornberger said. “Our current scoring system is very confusing to people who do not know anything about bowling, and we need to take a hard look at the possibility of adoption of an alternate scoring system.”

Currently at the World Championships, for example, a traditional approach to format and scoring is utilized. Bowlers and teams bowl traditional 10-frame games with six games of qualifying leading to one-game semifinals and finals.

“Every aspect of the format and scoring of our events is up for review,” Dornberger said. “We need a scoring system for spectator and TV presentation that cannot lengthen the process, must be understandable by literate people, and preferably have more wins and losses than once every twenty minutes, without destroying the credibility of the sport.”

To help accomplish the goal of coming up with options, Dornberger has put together an all-star working group from around the world of bowling leaders, athletes, coaches, media, and commercial bowling industry executives.

The group includes:

- Micael Hamberg (Sweden), former chairman, Swedish Bowling Federation, CO-CHAIR
- Brian Graham (United States), Vice President, Brunswick Bowling Products, CO-CHAIR
- Dr. Mohammed Alathel (Saudi Arabia), Vice President, Saudi Bowling Federation
- Dom Barrett (England), athlete
- Andrew Frawley (Australia), national team coach
- Jim Goodwin (United States), media
- Onder Gurkan (Turkey), European Tenpin Bowling Federation Presidium member
- Kirk Von Krueger (United Sates), Deputy Commissioner, Professional Bowlers Association
- Kelly Kulick (United States), athlete
- Veronica Rajii (Chile), Vice President, Chile Olympic Committee
- Bandar Al Shafi (Qatar), Secretary General, Qatar Bowling Federation
- Walter Ray Williams Jr. (United States), athlete

Dornberger said the goal for this group is to come up with an initial recommendation by Dec. 1, 2014, to be presented to the World Bowling Executive Board. The next WTBA Congress will be held in November 2015, which presents the first opportunity for legislative change.

World Bowling invites suggestions from the public regarding this project. Any questions regarding the overall project mission can be directed to Dornberger by email at Any detailed suggestions or opinions about scoring can be sent directly to committee co-chair Hamberg at

About World Bowling:
World Bowling is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the world governing body for the sport of Bowling. World Bowling is autonomous in administering the sport and is responsible to promote the development of bowling throughout the world, promote the Olympic movement, contribute to the achievement of the goals set forth in the Olympic Charter, establish rules for the uniform practice of bowling throughout the world, and ensure that official bowling activities meet the requirements of the Olympic Charter.

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