A Brief Introduction to Bowling as a Sport

Bowling is a popular sport that has been enjoyed by millions around the globe for centuries. From its early origins in ancient civilizations to the modern, technologically advanced game we know today, bowling continues to captivate players of all ages and skill levels.

It's a game where precision, patience, and strategy come together in a bid to knock down pins with a rolling ball. In this blog post, we'll be looking at one particular aspect of bowling - scoring a turkey.

Introduction of the Term "Turkey" in the Context of Bowling

In this world of strikes, spares, and splits, there's another term that holds a special place: "Turkey". For the uninitiated, it might invoke images of the Thanksgiving bird, but in the context of bowling, it carries a completely different weight.

What Is a "Turkey" in Bowling?

In bowling terminology, a "Turkey" refers to the achievement of scoring three strikes in a row during a single game.

The term is believed to have originated from the old bowling prize tradition where, during Thanksgiving or Christmas, live turkeys were given as awards to players who managed to bowl three strikes in a row.

Scoring a "Turkey" is a significant milestone for any bowler, whether they're a seasoned professional or a casual player. It requires precision, consistency, and a deep understanding of the game's dynamics.

History and Origin of the Term "Turkey"

Explanation of How the Term "Turkey" Came About in Bowling

The term "Turkey" in bowling has an interesting backstory. It dates back to the late 18th century when bowling alleys would give away a live turkey to players who managed to score three strikes in a row. This was a difficult feat, and thus the reward was quite significant - a whole turkey!

One amusing anecdote tells of a local champion who was so good at scoring turkeys that the alley owner had to change the rules, limiting the number of turkeys one could win in a day.

The champ, however, undeterred, simply started bringing his friends along to claim the extra birds on his behalf! Over time, the live turkey giveaways ceased, but the term stuck around, still used today to celebrate the impressive achievement of scoring three consecutive strikes.

What Does "Turkey" Mean in Bowling?

Detailed Definition of What Scoring a "Turkey" Means

In bowling terminology, a "Turkey" refers to scoring three strikes in a row during a single game. This is no easy feat, as it requires precision, skill, and a bit of luck. When a player successfully bowls a strike, they knock down all ten pins at once.

Doing this once can be challenging enough, but doing it three times consecutively earns the player the coveted title of scoring a "Turkey". It's an impressive feat that requires focus, accuracy, and a deep understanding of the game's dynamics.

Explanation of Its Significance in a Game

The significance of a "Turkey" in a bowling game cannot be overstated. Not only does it provide a substantial boost to the player's score, but it also serves as an indication of the player's skill and consistency.

Additionally, achieving a "Turkey" can significantly shift the momentum of the game in the player's favor, putting pressure on their competitors and often leading to exciting turnabouts in the game's outcome.

The Skill and Strategy Behind Scoring a "Turkey"

Discussion on the Skills Required to Score a "Turkey"

Scoring a "Turkey" requires a combination of several skills. Firstly, a player needs to have a solid understanding of their bowling technique, including their approach, release, and follow-through.

Consistency is key here, as the player must be able to replicate their successful strike technique three times in a row.

Furthermore, a good understanding of lane conditions and how they affect the ball's movement can also increase the chances of scoring a "Turkey". In addition to technique and strategy, luck also plays a role in achieving this feat.

Strategies and Tips for Players Aiming for a "Turkey"

For those aiming to score a "Turkey", here are some strategies and tips:

  1. Practice Consistency: Replicate your successful strike technique. The more consistently you can bowl, the higher your chances of scoring consecutive strikes.
  2. Understand the Lanes: Bowling lanes can vary in their oil patterns, which can affect how the ball moves. Understanding these patterns and adjusting your throw accordingly can help improve your chances of striking.
  3. Stay Calm and Focused: Bowling is as much a mental game as it is physical. Staying calm and focused, especially after scoring the first two strikes, can help you nail that third one for the "Turkey".

Remember, scoring a "Turkey" is an impressive feat, but it's not the be-all and end-all. Enjoy the game, keep practicing, and those "Turkeys" will come when you least expect them!

Famous Instances of "Turkeys" in Professional Bowling

Highlighting Memorable Moments in Professional Bowling Where "Turkeys" Were Scored

While it's challenging to pinpoint specific instances of "Turkeys" in professional bowling due to the frequency of this occurrence at the professional level, there are some notable events that stand out.

For example, the annual "Thanksgiving Turkey Shootout", where both the Roswell Varsity and Roswell Junior Varsity teams compete, often sees multiple "Turkeys" scored, contributing to the excitement and competitive spirit of the event.

Notable players, such as Norm Duke and Sean Rash, are also known for their impressive "Turkey" streaks during the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour. From beginners to professionals, scoring a "Turkey" is an achievement that's celebrated by bowlers all over the world!

Discussion on the Impact of These Instances on the Games

The impact of scoring a "Turkey" in professional bowling can be game-changing. It not only boosts the individual player's score significantly but also often shifts the momentum of the game.

The psychological impact on both the player who scored the "Turkey" and their competitors cannot be underestimated!

The excitement of achieving a "Turkey" in competitive bowling is truly special, and it's no wonder that these events are often the highlight of professional tournaments. Additionally, these famous instances of "Turkeys" serve as an inspiration for bowlers around the world to strive for greatness.

In short, scoring a "Turkey" is a feat that's celebrated by everyone involved in competitive bowling!

"Turkey" in Bowling Culture

Exploration of How the Term "Turkey" is Celebrated or Recognized Within the Bowling Community

The term "Turkey" holds a special place in bowling culture. It's a term that's not only used frequently but also celebrated within the community.

When a player scores a "Turkey", it's often met with cheers and high-fives, signifying the accomplishment's significance.

It's also worth noting that while a "Turkey" refers to three consecutive strikes, scoring more consecutive strikes has led to the coinage of other terms. For example, four strikes in a row are known as a "Hambone", further adding to the colorful language of bowling.

Moreover, scoring five strikes in a row is known as a "Wild Turkey", which is even more impressive.

Any Traditions or Rituals Associated with Scoring a "Turkey"

While there may not be universal traditions or rituals associated with scoring a "Turkey", individual bowling alleys, leagues, or groups of bowlers often develop their own.

These can range from specific celebrations, like a unique high-five sequence or a round of applause, to fun, light-hearted rituals, like donning a turkey hat.

Bowling's rich history and its embedding in pop culture have led to the term "Turkey" being recognized beyond just the players.

From references in popular shows like The Flintstones to the comedic "Turkey Bowling" tradition during Thanksgiving, where a frozen turkey serves as the bowling ball, the term "Turkey" has become a symbol of the sport's fun and quirky nature.


In the world of bowling, the term "Turkey" carries significant weight. It represents a moment of exceptional skill and consistency, where a player manages to score three strikes in a row.

Achieving a "Turkey" is no easy feat and requires a deep understanding of the game, from mastering the right technique to understanding lane conditions.

Scoring a "Turkey" not only boosts the player's score but can also shift the momentum of the game, often leading to exciting turnabouts. It's a term that's celebrated within the bowling community, and scoring one is often met with cheers and recognition.

Whether you're a professional bowler or an enthusiastic amateur, aiming for a "Turkey" can add an extra layer of challenge and excitement to your game. So next time you're on the lanes, remember the significance of the "Turkey" and give it your best shot.

With practice and patience, you might just find yourself part of the celebrated Turkey club! Happy bowling!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does a "Turkey" mean in bowling?

A "Turkey" in bowling refers to scoring three strikes in a row during a single game.

2. Is getting a "Turkey" in bowling considered good?

Absolutely! Scoring a "Turkey" is considered a significant achievement in bowling. It requires consistent precision and can greatly boost your overall score.

3. How can I increase my chances of scoring a "Turkey" in bowling?

Improving your chances of scoring a "Turkey" involves practice and understanding of the game. Work on your technique, aim for the 'pocket' (the area between the first and second or second and third pins), and learn to adjust to different lane conditions.

4. What happens after you score a "Turkey" in bowling?

After scoring a "Turkey", the player often receives recognition and cheers from other players or spectators. In terms of scoring, each strike in a "Turkey" adds 30 points to the bowler's score for the frame where the first strike was scored.

5. Does the term "Turkey" exist in other sports or is it specific to bowling?

The term "Turkey" is specific to bowling. While other sports may have their unique terms for specific achievements, "Turkey" is a term that originated and is used within the context of bowling.

6. How is a "Turkey" celebrated in bowling culture?

Celebrations can vary among different bowling communities. Some may cheer or give high-fives, while others might have specific rituals. The achievement is generally met with recognition and excitement.

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