Now for something REALLY different! Some friends and I invented this game in my home in Union, SC in 1995. It's different, it's fresh, it's definitively Redneck, and it's very, very cool! Range Bowling combines the skill and hand-eye coordination of marksmanship with the excitement and satisfaction of watching bowling pins careen off of each other.
I'm working on some nice graphics and diagrams for the site, but in the meantime this simple page will have to do!
Note: If you happen to have invented this game independently, that doesn't change the fact that I did it as well. Second Chance Bowling Pin Shooting is not the same thing! Bowling Pin Shooting uses real pins, does not follow the rules of bowling, emphasizes the gun, not the game, and just isn't as fun, nor is it as safe. Sorry, guys, complain if you want, but I shoot crayons, you shoot bullets. Do the math.
Plastic set of ten pins, obtainable from Toys-R-Us or any other good toy store. I use a "Big Ten Bowling Set" from Come-Play, which you can get at Wal-Mart.
A gun. Here's what I've found to give the best results, if you don't mind cleaning your gun and don't plan to shoot real bullets in it.
One .38 caliber revolver (you can't do this with an automatic). It must be a pistol. The crayon won't easily clear the barrel of a rifle.
At least one box of Crayola crayons
One box of empty cartridges (of the type used to pack your own ammunition. DO NOT play this game with live ammo!!!)
Place a crayon in each cartridge and snap it off so that the crayon does not extend beyond the caseing. Load the cartridges into the revolver and you're ready to go! DO NOT put gunpowder in the cartridge! The primer is already in it and that's all you need! (In fact, if you try to use powder it will just vaporize the crayon wax.) The maximum number of cartridges you'll need per player per game is 21. The minimum is 12 (that's a 300 game! Good Luck!)
Part of the fun of this game is the sheer lunacy of using a real gun (even in a safe way such as we're doing here) However, If you can't take the thought of using a potentially lethal weapon for frivolity, then a decent plastic pellet gun of some sort will do nicely. Don't use BB guns, as the BBs will damage the pins.
Folding card table
Bedsheet and some apparatus to hang it.
Hang the bedsheet up behind the card table. Since we normally played this indoors, and I had an old house with a nice, long hallway, I just hung it up over the back door (I clip it to the curtain rod with wooden clothespins) and place the card table in front of the sheet. The bottom of the sheet is secured under the back legs of the table, which is pulled forward so the sheet angles away from the wall. This is important if you want to prevent dents in the wall, or in my case, broken glass. Outdoors the sheet is still useful because it makes it easier to retrieve ammunition and because it helps block out distractions behind the pins. Securing the bottom of the sheet prevents the sheet itself from becoming a distraction.
The rules are simple. Actually, they're the same as if you're bowling with a ball (download the ABC rules if you don't know them. They're in Adobe Acrobat format). Here's a summary:
Set the plastic pins up on the card table as in 10-pin bowling. Just in the event you've NEVER seen bowling (doubtful) they should be set out in an inverted triangle, with the 1-pin closest to you, then the 2-3, then the 4-5-6, then 7-8-9-10.
Shots are taken from a distance of 10 paces (about 30 feet). You may have to adjust this distance based on the strength of your pellet gun. My hallway just happens to be this long.
All shots must be taken with the player's feet behind the line. The player's arm and pistol may extend over the line. Shots are taken in the standing, not seated or prone, position. The player may choose any standing position that is comfortable.
Each player takes two shots per frame, except in the last frame, where a strike or spare earns an extra shot, as in standard bowling.
Scoring is as in standard bowling. To keep with the spirit of the game, you should keep score on standard bowling scorecards, and be sure to observe bowling terminology... "strike", "spare", "turkey", etc.
If a player knocks down all 10 pins on his first shot, then that frame is a "strike" and the player doesn't take a second shot. This frame scores 10 plus the next two shots.
If the player knocks down all 10 pins with two shots, then the frame is a "spare". This frame scores 10 pins plus the next shot.
If the player doesn't knock down all 10 pins with 2 shots, then the frame is "open" . This frame scores the total number of pins knocked down.
Three or more strikes in a row is a "turkey". Of course, an advantage of Range Bowling is that if you really suck at the game you can always head for the woods and try your luck against real turkeys.
A perfect score is 300. This can be done with 12 shots.
Duckpins, etc... Basically, you can substitute the rules of any other type of bowling. Rules for Duckpin Bowling
Handicaps are used to give weaker players a better chance of winning against stronger players. You may choose any method of handicapping that is acceptable to all players. Here are some suggestions:
(300-player's average)*20% the base handicap is 60. This gives only small differences in the handicap and is best suited when you have strong players that are fairly close in skill.
Example 1: Your average for 3 games is 120. (300-120)=180 : 180 * .8 = 36. Applied to a 120 game your score is 156.
Example 2: Your average for 3 games is 180. (300-180)=120 : 120 * .2 = 24. Applied ot a 180 game your score is 204.
In these examples you can see that, given a 60 pin difference in averages, the weak player only gets a relative handicap advantage of 12 pins and has to make up the remaining 48 pins with skill.
(200-player's average)*80% Preferred for mixed play. Players with an average of over 200 have no handicap. Handicaps are higher, but they peter out faster. The base handicap is 160. You can see that this method leads to closer scores and give a very weak player a definite chance against a very strong player if the weak player plays well above average.
Example1: Your average for 3 games is 120. (200-120)=80 : 80 * .8 = 64. Applied to a 120 game your score is 184.
Example 2: Your average for 3 games is 180. (200-180)=20 : 20 * .8 = 16. Applied to a 180 game your score is 196.
In these examples you can see that with the same 60 pin difference, the weak player has only to make up 12 pins with skill. Above 200 the handicaps disappear entirely.