The Baker System


The other day I was asked what exactly a baker game is.  I was surprised to see that quite a few people have never experienced the baker format so lets take a minute to explain.

The Wrong Kind of Baker

The Wrong Kind of Baker

The Baker System is a team format where more than 1 bowler comprises the score of one game.  The most common would be the 5 person format where bowler 1 bowls frames 1 and 6, bowler 2 bowls frames 2 and 7, bowler 3 bowls frames 3 and 8, bowler 4 bowls frames 4 and 9 and bowler 5 (often referred to as the anchor) bowls frames 5 and 10.  The order is set at the beginning of the match but can be changed after the completion of each game.

It is common to see the baker format in intercollegiate bowling and some tournaments.  In fact one of the leagues I am in has a baker game at the conclusion of the 3 game format.  It provides a lot of team camaraderie, additional pressure and an awesome close out to the night.

A lot of people don’t like the baker format because they like to have an established average at the end of the night that is their own, as most bowlers are used to bowling for themselves.  This is unfortunate as those whom have never experienced the baker system are missing out.

Additionally there must be some careful strategy in setting the line up.

Have you ever competed with the baker system format?  Leave a comment and let everyone know what your thoughts are.

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Categories : Bowling 101


  1. I bowled baker a few of the four years I bowled in high school. I enjoyed the baker system. Many of the bowlers, however, did not like it. A downfall to them was they were only able to throw two frames per game. And if they were taken out for a sub to come in to get Varsity experience they would complain because they bowled so little in the match. I believe that bowling baker makes you stronger as a bowler. I helped me out dramatically as far as team work, my mental game and that every shot does count! And there must be something to the system because it is used, as you mentioned, in college ball, so to speak. It is great for teamwork and indeed camaraderie.

    Thank you for posting something about the baker system to enlighten every one on just another form of bowling. Ladies and Gentleman, try it at home and make some sort of league for it, even it is just one like Coach 3G mentioned!

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  3. Roz della Giordano says:

    I bowled 3 seasons for Utah State at Logan and watching this Baker matche on TV I find them boring. I like when a bowler gets hot and starts a run. We bowled 5 man teams and under the Baker system it seems you’d bowl a lot yes. Each Tourney was a 9 game format. It takes a few frames to zero in on the shot we were allowed “1” practice ball to determine lane conditions.

  4. […] placed fourth in a total eight team field. The panthers played 40 Baker-style matches and scored a total of 7,217 points, making the team’s average points-per-game 180. […]

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