What is 9 Pin No Tap Bowling and How about Rules?

No Tap Bowling

Did you just hear about ‘9-pin no-tap’ bowling for the first time? Well, don’t worry. You’re not the only one. We have come across many avid bowlers who have been bowling for years and don’t know what this particular bowling is. So, if you’re one of them and are eager to learn more about it, you’re in the right place. For those who are wondering what is 9-pin no tap bowling, this article is just for you!

What does no tap mean?

‘No-tap’ is not too common in bowling. That’s why many of us don’t know about it clearly. Simply put, No-Tap means that you achieve a score equivalent to a strike when you knock down less than 10 pins on your first ball. In most cases, it requires hitting nine (9) pins to get a strike in no-tap bowling.

Generally, USBC organizes no-tap bowling tournaments for bowlers who are less talented or incapable of knocking down all the pins in the pocket. Although 9-pin no-tap is the most common form, there can be 8-pin no-tap (you can knock down 9 pins and still get a strike), 7-pin no-tap (hitting 7/8/9 pins is considered strikes), etc. If you want you can even organize a 0-pin no-tap bowling game, but that sounds too easy and pointless. Everyone will end up with a perfect game.

What is a 9 pin no tap bowling game?

In Bowling, a 9-pin no-tap is a special type of scoring system where knocking down 9 pins is considered a strike. How often can you hit all the 10 pins in a single ball roll? Quite rare, right? But how often did you knock down 9 pins and only one of them was standing at the end of the lane? I assume it’s more frequent than a strike in 9 pin bowling game? If so you may have tried to score a spare, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen and the remaining single pin just kept standing there. That must have gotten on your nerves, mustn’t it?

Now, what if I tell you, your hitting 9 pins will be counted as a strike? Sounds unbelievable, right? So what happens in 9-pin no-tap bowling is that a bowler knocks down 9 pins on the first ball. But unlike the regular bowling scoring format, that shot is counted as a bowling strike and the bowler receives points accordingly.

What are 9 pin no-tap Bowling rules

There is no major change in rules in 9-pin no-tap bowling apart from hitting down ten pins is equal to strikes. If you’re playing 9-pin no-tap, and you knock down 10 pins (an authentic strike) on your first ball, that will still be counted as a strike, just like hitting down 9 pins is. So it doesn’t matter if you hit 10 or 9 pins down, it’s a strike you will achieve. Besides this one customization, the standard scoring system of conventional bowling is followed throughout the game.

When you knock down all the pins except one, you will automatically receive a strike on the scoreboard. The remaining single pin will be swept by the machine and the next bowler will bowl a fresh rack of pins.

Now you must be wondering about the spares for a 9-pin no-tap bowling game. Well, after your first ball, if you see more than one pin is standing, you will have to hit the spare as usual. So let’s say, on your first roll, you knocked down 6 pins and 3 more pins are remaining, you have to hit those three pins down on the next throw to score a spare. So, if you want to get a decent final score, try to close all of the frames. That should get a score of around 200.


no-tap bowling is an amazing opportunity for bowlers to play and compete with advanced or pro bowlers inb. If you’re someone who is struggling with bowling a strike, you should definitely give this bowling format a shot! If you score well, this will boost your confidence and skill, no doubt in that! Good luck fellow bowlers!


I’m an aspiring bowler with an immense love for bowling. I started playing the game at a very early age and it’s been an integral part of my life ever since.

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