9-Pin No-Tap bowling is a special scoring format in which hitting down just 9 pins counts as a strike.
How many times have you hit a perfect pocket shot and still been left with one pin standing? It happens all the time. No one who saw it happen knows how or why it happened, but there you are with a single pin still staring you in the face.
Wouldn’t you like to look up at the scoreboard and see that it was counted as a strike as that last pin is swept away? That’s where the fun of 9-Pin No-Tap bowling lies.
9-pin no-tap is usually seen in a tournament format, whether it is singles, doubles, trios. or quads. Sometimes bowling centers will offer full leagues with the 9-pin format, but it isn’t too common. If you want to try 9-pin bowling, I recommend contacting your local bowling center(s) and asking whether or not it is something they offer.
How does it work?
While playing 9-pin no-tap, hitting down just 9 pins is the same thing as hitting down all ten in regular tenpin bowling. If you hit down all but one pin, you will receive a strike on the scoreboard, the pin will be swept, and it will be the next bowlers turn with a fresh rack of pins. When it comes to scoring, it doesn’t matter whether you hit 9 or 10 pins down. Other than that, the actual scoring of the game is exactly the same as ten-pin bowling.
What about spares?
If there are any more than one pin standing after the first throw, you have to hit the spare as normal. For example, if you miss the headpin on your first shot and happen to leave the 1, 2, and 4 pins, you must hit down all three on the next throw in order to receive the spare.
Given that spares count the same as with regular scoring, they are incredibly important. Leaving open frames is the easiest way to ruin an otherwise good game. Don’t forget, a game with all closed frames is usually right around 200.
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