Gone Outdoors

Fun Ideas for Bowling With a Large Group

by Eilla Kat
Non-traditional games at the bowling alley will provide entertainment for you and your friends.

Non-traditional games at the bowling alley will provide entertainment for you and your friends.

An evening spent with friends and family at the local bowling alley can be a fun and friendly night of competition. Whether you and your group are gathering for a birthday party, a family reunion or just for fun, bowling in a large group brings hours of entertainment and memories made. Along with the traditional, official rules of bowling, there are many fun non-traditional bowling games to be played with your group at the alley. Bring along fun prizes for the winners, and Disney Family Fun suggests bringing quarters along in case there is an arcade at the bowling alley as well!

Highest Cumulative Score

Instead of the highest scoring individual from each lane being deemed the "winner," create a competition between groups of people within your group at large. Divide your large group into teams of 4-6 people, with each group bowling on a different lane. After each group has bowled one complete game, add up the individual scores of those in each group to create an overall group score. The group with the highest score is the winning group.

Lowest Cumulative Score

This bowling game is similar to the game in section 1, except the goal is to see which group can bowl the lowest cumulative score. Challenge the groups to see who can bowl the lowest score with bumpers inflated in their lane, making it difficult not to knock down pins and score. Divide your large group into teams of 4-6 people, with each group bowling on a different lane. After each group has bowled a complete game, add up the individual scores of those in each group to create an overall group score. The winner of this game is the group who has scored the lowest number of points.

Backwards Granny-Style Bowling

Instead of the tradition front-facing, one handed bowl, have each person bowl facing backwards, while bending over at the waist, using two hands to bowl between their legs. This fun style of bowling will provide a lot of laughs and picture opportunities throughout your gathering. The person to score the most points granny-style within their group is the winner.

"Pick Your Style" Challenge

After dividing your large group into groups of 4-6 people per lane, explain the "Pick Your Style" challenge. Each person in each group gets an opportunity to bowl any way they would like, with fun and creative styles encouraged. Each person in their group must then follow in suit, copying the bowling style of the originator for one frame. After everyone has bowled a frame in the same style, the next person gets to pick her style, with everyone else following in suit for a frame. This rotation continues for the rest of the game. The person with the highest score at the end of the game wins.

About the Author

Eilla Kat is a journalist for "The Global Voice," a publication of Global Outreach Developments International. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, and is currently pursuing a B.A. in international development and education with an emphasis in international journalism.

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