Strike 3 Bowling Rules & Formats Released

By Kelly Warren
December 18, 2019

The much anticipated rules for Strike 3 have been released.  There has been widespread interest, including from overseas, discussion, engagement and excitement since the announcement in early December of a brand new bowling format, known as Strike 3.  It is fast, exciting and will see an extremely wide range of players being competitive when playing in this format.

It will also be a fantastic format for centres who have limited tournament time available with an entire Strike 3 tournament taking just a few hours to play.  The lightning fast and exciting format will also be fantastic for TV broadcast and this was one of the key considerations in coming up with Strike 3.

Strike 3 Bowling has set out to help re-ignite our amazing sport and give it a brighter future.  This will take some risks and investment, so come along for the ride and have some fun.

Below are the Strike 3 rules and we look forward to announcing some Strike 3 tournaments across the country in early January, all being held to give you some practice in the lead up to first

Strike 3 World Championship in Hobart on July 31st 2020



Strike 3 is designed to provide an exciting shortened version of Tenpin Bowling, which removes the need for complicated scoring and bowling spares.  This format will expand spectator interest in the sport by providing a format that is easily understood and focuses on the one element of the sport that everyone knows; knocking down all ten pins in a single shot, known as a STRIKE!  Strike 3 is as simple as 1, 2, 3!


The object of Strike 3 is to score THREE STRIKES before your opponent does.  All matches are played head to head in a round robin pool format followed by a knockout finals format to determine the tournament winner. 


  1. The winner of the match will be determined by the first player to score THREE strikes
  2. Players will alternate lanes for each shot
  3. The player allocated to the right lane MUST commence the match and the player playing their shot on the right lane MUST play first each time
  4. Players are not allowed to bowl a second shot (spare shot) at any time.  The pins are to be reset whenever a strike is not scored, which in most cases will be done automatically by the centres automatic scoring system when set to the `single shot’ mode.
  5. If both players score their third strike in the same amount of shots, a `golden strike’ will determine the winner 
  6. A `golden strike’ is the first strike scored by either player.  The player listed on the right lane must commence the `golden strike’ phase with a single shot.  If unsuccessful, the player on the left lane will have a shot on the left lane and if unsuccessful, will move to the right lane for a second shot.  If a strike is still not scored, the match will continue in this format (two shots at a time, one shot on each lane) until a strike is scored, which automatically signals the end of the match
  7. If the match has not been concluded after EIGHT shots each, the match will automatically move to the `golden strike’ phase as outlined under Rule 6 
  8. All other rules of Tenpin Bowling Australia, which do not conflict with the rules of Strike 3, apply at all times


  1. Bowling out of order- One strike awarded to the opposing player
  2. Bowling a spare shot- Forfeit


STAGE 1- Round Robin Pool Stage

Players are placed into pre-determined pools of eight players and play one Strike 3 match against each player in their pool; seven matches in total.  Based on total wins within their pool over the seven matches played, a pre-determined amount of players will progress from each pool to a Top 16 or Top 32 Knockout Finals Stage, dependent on the overall amount of players entered. 

If there is a tie in any pool for the final position to progress from Stage 1, the player/s to move to the next stage will be determined by the fewest amount of shots taken to win their pool matches. 

If a tie remains, one Strike 3 match between the players, regardless of how many are tied, will determine the player/s who progress to the Knockout Finals Stage.

STAGE 2- Knockout Finals Stage

Players are seeded 1st to last, based on the amount of wins and shots taken in the Round Robin Pool Stage.  In the instance of a tie on both wins and shots taken, the player’s names will be ‘drawn from a hat’ to determine their seeding position.  First will play last etc and players will play two Strike 3 matches.

If one player wins both matches, they automatically move to the next round.  If the players are tied one all after the two matches, a `golden strike’, as outlined in Rule 6 will determine the winner.  The player listed on the right lane will start this phase of the match. 

The winners continue to move through each round until a final is played between the remaining two players to determine the tournament winner.  This format will be used for all matches, including the final.

To download the rules and format click here.


The name Strike 3 Bowling and the Strike 3 Bowling logo are registered and owned by Strike 3 Bowling Pty Ltd.  The rules for Strike 3 Bowling are protected by copyright and can only be used with the express written permission of Strike 3 Bowling Pty Ltd.  All rights are reserved. 

All further regulations and subsequent decisions, beyond the rules listed in this document and those of Tenpin Bowling Australia, will be determined by Strike 3 Bowling Pty Ltd at all times.



Managing Director

Strike 3 Bowling Pty Ltd

[email protected]

Or visit