How Long Does a Game of Bowling Take?

Not everyone is aware of the fact that bowling is one of the oldest sports in the world, dating back to 4,000 years ago. Fast forward to the present, bowling has become a recreational and professional sport loved by people all over the world.

It is a low impact and easy game to learn, so both children and the elderly often join in on the fun. Many children celebrate their birthdays at the bowling alley, and there are even bowling sets specially made for kids so they can enjoy the sport in the comfort and safety of their homes.

Bowling centers truly go above and beyond to ensure visitors have a wonderful time, with most of them having a snack bar and arcade games.

Bowlers need not even carry their personal bowling balls, shoes, or covers⁠ — everything is readily available. Some bowling game centers even have specialty lanes for the blind and disabled.

Everyone seems to have time to go bowling. However, if you are someone who lives by strict time management, you’ll likely wonder how long a game of bowling usually takes.

After all, accurate information can help you schedule your bowling game, and your day as a whole, more efficiently.


How Long Does it Take to Bowl a Game?

According to reliable statistics, the average person takes around ten minutes to complete an average game of bowling. Of course, the more strikes you get, the quicker the game will be.

Using ten minutes as a benchmark, you can then compute the total time a game of bowling will take, depending on the number of bowlers in your group. For example, two bowlers will likely take around 20 minutes, four bowlers will take about 45 minutes, and 6 bowlers will take about one hour to complete one game.

Should you rent the lane by the hour or pay per game? 

Generally speaking, there is no obvious answer to this question; it all depends on the circumstances. Likewise, how many games can be played in an hour depends on how many bowlers are playing.

One person who wants to practice on his own will benefit from renting by the hour; with an average of ten minutes for one game of bowling, a single player may be able to complete up to six games per hour. Similarly, a small group of bowlers (two or three players) can also cram in a couple of games in an hour.

Remember: the more strikes that are thrown, the shorter the game will be. More time is spent when players have to wait for their ball to be returned and then throw again in an effort to hit the remaining pins.

Meanwhile, a larger group of six players might not even be able to finish a single game if they pay and play for only an hour. How many games you can play in an hour really depends on the number of players and the intensity and focus of the people playing.

Bowlers who wish to socialize, eat, enjoy playing, and not worry about a time limit should pay per game. The competitive nature of the game makes it a fun option for anything from a first date idea to a family reunion.

In most cases, a lane can fit up to six players at a time. Larger groups can often split up and get two lanes with seating that faces each other, making it easy for the group to stay together.

Why should you know about lane courtesy?

When in the bowling alley, there are numerous unwritten rules you should follow.

Be courteous when bowling in the lane. Be on the lookout for people playing on the two lanes beside you.

Wait for the person beside you to play before you begin your approach. You wouldn’t want anyone to distract you in the middle of your throw, right?

Before playing, take some time to read up on bowling play etiquette and lane courtesy.

Why should you bowl frequently? 

You can reap plenty of benefits from bowling frequently. Here are some things bowling does for you.

Tones and strengthens your muscles

All the walking around, lifting a 14-pound bowling ball, and the exertion of force during ball release helps to strengthen your muscles. Each throw tones and works on a variety of muscle groups.

Bowling exercises your joints, ligaments, tendons, legs, etc. If you find yourself getting tight every time you go bowling or being sore for days afterward, this is a sign that your body needs more movement.

Of course, if you have serious pain associated with game play you should consult your doctor. Exercise that may be helpful for one person could be harmful for someone with specific physical limitations.

But otherwise, your goal should be to play as much as possible. You can be confident that your body will get stronger with every round of play when you’re bowling; even one game played in ten minutes or less can be beneficial!

Burns calories

Although played in a relatively tight space, there is still plenty of movement even in one game of bowling.

On average, a bowler walks around half a mile in three rounds of play. Every round of bowling helps up your step count for the day.

Additionally, you exercise many parts of your body when you lift the bowling ball and use your force to swing the ball towards the pin deck.

In an hour, a bowler can burn anywhere between 160–300 calories. The goal of going for strikes increases the intensity of play and muscle exertion, so this should always be on a player’s mind.

Bowling may seem to be an easy and relaxed sport but it is actually a great way to burn calories and stay fit and healthy.

Helps you socialize

Bowling helps you keep in touch with your friends and family and provides you with a platform to build new relationships.

Socializing even once a week can help boost your immunity and prevent depression. Stronger immunity means fewer chances of contracting diseases and suffering from various medical conditions.


Since bowling doesn’t require a heavy investment of money or time, you should reap all the benefits the sport has to offer.

Aiming to play one game of bowling each week can be great for both your physical and mental health. While you can bowl by yourself, many find that having a group of five players — or even six — makes their game most enjoyable.

If you want to find a person to bowl against, try chatting with the people around you at the lanes with the hope of striking up a friendship. Don’t be afraid to throw it out there if you’re looking for a bowling partner; try one game as a trial run to see if your playing styles match up.

In an hour of bowling, you get to catch up with old friends or family members, snack on your favorite food, build new relationships, burn calories, release stress, and enjoy a fun game.

Can you think of a more productive way to spend time? Probably not!