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Multi-Pin Team Bowling

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Here’s a great bowling activity sent in by Craig Cameron from Altoona, Pennsylvania.  2-8


Background: This activity is a modification of “Team Bowling” that was published in the May/June, 2002 issue of Great Activities. Special thanks to Drew Gallardy from Altoona High School for his suggestions and changes to the original game!


- 15-20 Polyspots
- 15-20 Gatorskin balls
- 10 bowling pins or similar targets

Set-Up: Divide the play area into two equal sections, placing the polyspots down the center. Place the 4-5 bowling pins about 3 feet from the rolling and throwing line, making sure they’re evenly spaced. Divide the class into two teams and place each one on a sideline. One player from each team is the designated “Rover.” This person stands off of the play area and acts as their team’s ball retriever and pin setter.


Starting the Game: The gatorskin balls are distributed to each team. On the teacher’s signal, each team tries to knock down the other team’s pins. This is done by throwing/rolling the ball across the line of polyspots to hit a pin on the other side. Since there are no guards playing defense to protect the pins, we use a “Gatorskin defense” where the balls act as the defense. Again, balls can be rolled or thrown to protect the pins.

Rovers: In our version of Team Bowling, if a pin is knocked down for “any reason in the world,” the Rover enters the court and removes the pin, taking it back to his position. However, the team that lost their pin may get it back! If their team strikes down a pin on the other side, the Rover will return the team’s pin to its original position. When this happens, a new Rover comes in and the old Rover goes to the end of his team’s line. Rovers also get any balls that are stuck on their side of the play area. Remember, any time a pin is reset, a new Rover rotates in!

Scoring: Play continues until a team has lost all of their pins and only then is a point recorded. Since the teams can get their pins back, the game can go on for quite some time before a score is made. Have fun!

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