Ran my first “pinbowling” format last weekend and I thought some here might take interest. I know we are not the first to run this format, but I don’t hear much about it happening elsewhere.

Here is a link to our ruleset

Here is a link to our standings display

Target scores
BLUE MAX - 50,000
DEMOLITION MAN - 200,000,000
F-14 TOMCAT - 750,000
GAME OF THRONES - 150,000,000
RADICAL! - 2,500,000
RIPLEY’S - 3,500,000
SHADOW - 150,000,000
STAR TREK - 20,000,000
X-MEN - 12,000,000

All in all I enjoyed the format, though getting everyone acquainted with the scoring system was a little challenging, and then at the end we had to have someone double check all the bowling scoring for errors.

I kind of suspected that our score goals were going to be a little high and I think I was right. I wanted the top players to be getting lots of strikes, and the more novice players to at least get a few strikes, just like in real bowling. To me, the fact that the highest score of the day was 156 says that our goals were probably about double what they should have been.

Regardless, it was an interesting challenge to step up to a game I know well and have to change my entire approach to “what is the safest way to achieve this relatively low target score on ball 1?”. I’ll definitely be running this format again with some adjustments. Maybe @haugstrup will add pinbowling to! :stuck_out_tongue: :bowling:


I’ve been curious about pinbowling but I’ve never seen a ruleset before!

Just to confirm: Do you score strikes like in bowling? E.g. if you get a strike the following two balls are added as a bonus to that frame? Or do you keep it simple where the result of one frame does not affect the scoring of the following frame (except for the 10th frame).

I can add basic support pretty easily where you can just type in a score value for each frame, but I probably don’t want to implement proper bowling scoring where MP figures out extra scoring in case of strikes etc. There are only so many hours in the day and bowling rules are complicated :slight_smile:

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We do score strikes like in bowling, which was fun because getting a strike was great until you walked up to Blue Max as your next frame and plunged two house balls without a flip :persevere: :expressionless:

Even a basic input function for scores may be helpful! The one thing we didn’t have that would have been nice was a live display where we could see how other players were doing as they progressed through the frames. We pretty much had to wait until they were on the 10th frame to have a good idea of where everyone was at, or run around checking everyone’s score sheets all afternoon.

I didn’t honestly expect any kind of support for pinbowling any time soon which is why I made sure to put a :stuck_out_tongue:

Entering scores frame by frame and tallying them up is basically just Pingolf with reverse ordering of the standings (high numbers are best). That’s why it won’t be much work to do. I already have almost everything I need :slight_smile:

Regarding goal setting, I discovered that whatever I thought would be a good par for pingolf (kinda similar to pinbowling if I recall), almost always ended up being too difficult. After 3 rounds in our league I came to the conclusion that I needed to go to about 70% of what I thought would be average to actually get something around average. And interestingly, the averages were usually higher than the median scores, I think due to the variety of skill levels. For example, some players had a lot of trouble with certain holes pushing the average up, while making the median closer to the expected average. I’ve thought at times that it would be great to have a database of results for these types of formats to help with goal setting as I found it the most difficult part of running a goal based league.


I’ve still got all the results from this event if that happens!

I have run 2 bowling formats and people really seem to like it once they grasp how bowling scores work.

Moves along much faster than pin golf since you play 2 balls max
You are never really out of it unlike golf

Constantly explaining the scoring

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Alright @ClevelandPinball you can give it a go now on

Like I said it’s just a pingolf tournament with reverse ordering on the standings. No special bowling scoring is included so if a player bowls a strike you have to handle the bonus points yourself!

Chose “Pinbowling” as the tournament format and let me know what you think. :slight_smile:


Hey! That’s awesome!

I used for the first time a few weeks back. Small casual tournament, really easy to setup and ran flawlessly. Just had to say I am amazed by all of the features you’ve added from user feedback. Fantastic work!


“If goal is not reached on ball 2, on ball 3 (or 5 on EMs), the player will receive a score (pin count) based on the percentage of the goal that they achieved. A breakdown of the pin counts will be posted on each machine.”

So does this mean that it’s not linear and the percentages vary by machine? If so, could you give me an example? I’m curious as to how pinbowling scoring works if you fail to get a strike or a spare.

An easy example would be a game where the target was 10 million. If you get to 10 million on ball one, it is a strike. If you get to 10 million on ball two it is a spare. 9 is 9,000,000 to 9,999,990. 8 is 8,000,000 to 8,999,990 etc. (basically take the target score, divide by 10, and that is the increment).

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poopdotcom is correct. The percentages do not vary by machine, they are always broke down by 10% increments.

Ah, all right then. The scoring is linear, rounded down.

What happens if a player reaches the target score on the third ball or further? Is it marked as a 10 and neither a strike nor a spare?

If you don’t get the strike or the spare, the best you can do on ball 3 is an open frame with 9 pins.

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All right. So if you reach the target score after the second ball, you get a 9 on the frame. Do I have that right?

Yep, that’s right.

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Thank you. I’ll be ready if I ever attend a pinbowling event then. (I’m the sort of person who always reads the manual or rules of something before doing it, so I want to make sure I understand them properly.)

You COULD go duckpin-style where you can get the 10 without the benefit of the strike or spare. I think I suggested that before, not sure if on here or not.


That’s candlepin where I come from!

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