Is bowling a 300 game a perfect game or perfect score ?

As bowlers we all hope to achieve this great accomplishment, but is the name correct?

The majority of bowlers spend many years bowling, watching themselves or others throw a 300 game aka “Perfect game“, however we never really take the time to think is it really perfect. We all know the definition of perfect , now did you just throw the perfect game? or did you just throw 12 strikes? more likely than not you just threw 12 strikes in a row. Congratulations you just bowled a 300 game. You have reached the maximum score possible in a single game of bowling. We see that achieving a 300 game does not mean a perfect game, it just means you bowled a perfect score.

Now a lot of bowlers will say yes I did bowl a perfect game. Did you throw 12 100% identical shots with the exact same release, reaction and hit the pocket at the exact same mark every time? You may have. Does that mean you just bowled a 300 game? No it doesn’t. There can be many different factors that prevented your score from reaching 300. A major factor in bowling that may have caused this is old-fashioned bad luck or what we call “bad breaks” in bowling. This is when you do something perfect and the result is  nothing close to what it should be. One example is throwing a perfect pocket shot and leaving a 7 10 split, we have all done this at some time aka the “bad break”.

Millions of bowlers have watched a fellow bowler bowl a perfect game and never even knew it. You may ask why didn’t I notice it. This is because he may have only bowled a 202 game. Now you’re saying but a 202 game isn’t a perfect game, you are correct a 300 is a perfect score. Now If this bowler did everything perfect for the entire game and could not carry strikes until the 10th frame he would only achieve a total score of 202 for that game , however it would have been considered perfect from watching it being bowled. For example we can relate this to baseball for the moment, A pitcher throws a perfect fast ball down the strike zone, will this end in a strike or will the batter have the perfect pitch to hit a home run? The result of this pitch could end either way.

So the next time you go to the bowling alley and you watch someone throw 12 perfect shots. Take a moment out of your day and say that was “a perfect game” and acknowledge their great bowling. Sometimes that means more to a bowler then just another 300 ring.