Sharpen Your Math Skills: Prepare for BowlFest and Back to School

Your kids may not want to admit it, but the end of summer is near. School schedules get passed out along with those super long school supply lists that seem to grow every year. However, there are still ways to get the most out of summer and prep those young minds for the beginning of the new school year.

Scoring is a huge part of sports. It is the determining factor in who won the game and also a good indication of who played better that day. Scoring errors happen all of the time and can cause many issues if not corrected.

While some sports have a simple scoring system, like baseball, soccer, or basketball, other sports include a more complicated scoring process. These sports are not only fun to play, but can also help stretch young minds in sharpening their math skills. Check out these sports with different scoring styles to pull double duty this summer in preparing your kiddos for back to school.

Close up of pins used for scoring in bowling

Scoring in Football

At first glance, it may seem that football scoring is pretty straightforward. Field goals by themselves are worth 3 points, and touchdowns are worth 6 points. Teams can kick a field goal after a touchdown for one extra point. However, the math involved in football has more to do with the downs, and the yardage needed to advance down the field. The offensive team gets 4 tries, or 4 downs, to advance 10 yards down the field or to the next down marker. Usually, teams punt every 4th down to help push the other team farther away from their goal. Understanding the downs combined with the time on the clock is a different way to engage kids with math while also playing or watching their favorite team.

Scoring in Bowling

A great indoor sport to beat the heat is bowling. This sport is fun for kids (and adults!) to play but does have a unique scoring system. Every frame offers the chance to knock down 10 pins. Players get 2 chances per frame to try to knock down 10 pins. Each downed pin is worth a point. A game consists of 10 frames to knock the pins down.

The tricky part of bowling happens when a player knocks down all of the pins on the first roll of a frame. This is called a “strike” and is worth 10 points plus the total of the next two rolls. A “spare” is when a player knocks down all 10 pins during a frame but needs two rolls to do so. Spares are scored as 10 points and then whatever points the next ball receives. There are also up to 2 extra chances on the final frame where players can rack up more points as well. A perfect bowling game is worth 300 points with a strike achieved in each frame plus the 2 extra chances at the end of the game. And, no, there aren’t actually turkeys in bowling. A turkey is the term for three consecutive strikes!

Visual guide to scoring in bowling

Many adults who visit Pin Chasers still don’t quite understand how to score bowling correctly, so don’t worry if your kiddos have some trouble! Brushing up on how to score a game of bowling can help BowlFest players prepare as well. Thankfully, many bowling alleys have electronic scoring systems, but it is always helpful to know how to score a game just in case.

Scoring in Tennis

Tennis scoring is a bit confusing but is an excellent way to look at scoring from a different angle. Each winning shot is worth 10-15 points, and 4 points usually make up 1 game. “Love” is a score of zero and the points increase from love, 15, 30, 40, game. The first player to win 6 games wins the set, and there are usually at least 2 sets played in a match.

How to keep score in tennis

You usually have to “win by 2” in tennis which means that you must win 2 points in a row to beat the opponent. This can mean that a game score could be 40-40, which is also called deuce. The person who wins 2 points in a row from that point forward wins the game. The same goes for a set score of 5-5. The person who wins 2 games in a row would win the set. If you want more of a challenge, ask kids to play out a tiebreaker as well.

Introducing kids to these different sports is not only a lot of fun, but it also is an excellent way to sharpen those math skills. Exposure to various scoring styles also helps develop critical thinking as well as looking at a math problem from a different angle. Consider these sports for kids this summer who could use a bit of a math challenge before BowlFest and the school year begins.