Tag team bowling rules
The above statement can be read in two ways: I could be talking about how the game works and explaining the rules of it; or I could be talking about how it is super awesome. Both of these things are true.
If you follow my stuff you know that one of my favorite things is our weekly outings of competitive bowling that happens every Thursday. I have met most of the people that I know via this group that is called DUMBO (DaNang Underground Mental Bowling Organization) and while it started out as just 3 people it has over the years evolved into a gathering of more than 20 people each week.
It has become such an event that the management of the lanes will not allow anyone to bowl from 11am until we are finished every Thursday, and if they do let them, it is only after they ask permission from us if we are OK with it. Even then they only allow them if there is an unoccupied "buffer lane" between them and us. We did not ask for this, it is just a courtesy on the part of the bowling alley because they have a guaranteed income from us each week.
Since the starting day more than 2 years ago DUMBO has evolved into a small competition among friends into a massive competition with a lot of rules and also silly championship belts. These are a lot of fun but in the end you are only depending on yourself for how well you do. After a while I introduced something that myself and my friends in high school did back before I had a driving license and we called it tag-team bowling.
It's a lot of fun and I highly recommend that you give it a try if you have 3 or more friends that you can go bowling with. The concept is relatively simple but we still have to remind people how this works basically every week.
Since it is a "tag-team" it should be evident that there are two people per team. The concept was evolved from when I was a kid and basically everyone in my crew were wrestling fans.
Teams should be decided randomly: I have an app on my phone that we put everyone's names in and then it rearranges them in randomized order. To ensure it is truly random I will hit the "shuffle" button multiple times. Then the person whose name is next to yours is who your team-mate is. You do NOT get to choose your partner because this would make the less-talented bowlers feel excluded and this is something we try to avoid.
The rules are like this: In frame 1 whoever's name appears first on the list rolls first and then unless the person gets a strike the other person on the team has to bowl the second ball in an attempt to clean up and get a spare.
Then in frame 2 the order alternates. If you bowl first in frame 1 you will ALWAYS bowl first in all the odd-numbered frames. Getting a strike does not change who goes first. One person bowls first in the odd-numbered frames and one person bowls first in all the even-numbered frames.
If you look above you will see some pretty decent scores with a lot of filled frames (getting a strike or a spare) and here's the amazing part. Of almost all the people involved in tag-teams, they end up bowling BETTER than they do on their own regardless of who they are partnered with. I don't know what makes this phenomenon occur but perhaps it has something to do with not wanting to let your team down. When you fail in singles there isn't really a lot of pressure but if you let your team-mate down, now you feel the need to apologize. To me it is quite interesting because there are some people in our crew that almost never get strikes or spares in singles competition but in tag team, they turn on the heat somehow and almost seem to change how good they are like magic.
Take these final scores for example: Both of these teams are people who if they break 100 at all during singles competition, they are quite happy about it. The team on the top consists of two people that have NEVER broken 120 but somehow as a team they were able to get to nearly 150.
The reigning tag team champions are the only team that is pre-determined every week and this is by design. While with the singles competition the champion will only be playing against one person, the tag-team champions have to defend against everyone. Because of this, there have only been 3 instances of the tag-team championships being successfully defended in 2 and half years.
So if you have access to a bowling alley and 3 friends I highly suggest you give this a try. It is a lot of fun to be able to high five your teammate and the other participants get more excited about this than about individual scores. Also, the game moves quite quickly because there are 2 people bowling and no one needs to wait for the ball return.
It is the part of the day that I look forward to the most when we go bowling and I think that if you give it a try, you will end up feeling the same way.