The rules of skeeball are pretty simple. We keep it that way because we expect you to be drinking and having a good time, not worrying about how to play. So the less complicated the better, right?


  • Groups must have at least 5 rollers on their roster to be elevated to Team status
  • In order to determine sides of the machine, teams will “Rock, Paper, Scissors” Best of 3- the winning team decides the side of the skeeball machines for the game
  • Every ball must be rolled while standing with both feet on the ground in front of the machines (i.e., no rolling from the side of the lane) Violating this rule will result in a score of zero for balls rolled during the infraction.
  • Players are NOT ALLOWED to lean onto the skeeball machines
  • Balls that fail to enter the scoring zone and roll or otherwise return to the thrower are able to be re-thrown.
  • Rules are up to the hosts discretion. If you have any questions of interpretation of rules, please e-mail

Game Play

You will play one of two ways: standard (or traditional) and match play.

Traditional Skeeball Rules (12 Rounds)

  • A match will consist of two teams rolling 12 regular frames and one “mystery round”(worth 100 bonus points). Each frame is one full game with 9 rolled balls.
  • Each team must have a minimum of 3 rollers per game. No player may roll more than 4 frames in any given game.
  • Each player will roll all 9 balls per frame.
  • A re-roll is when a player rolls all 9 balls and is displeased with the score. They then MUST alert the host they would like to use a re-roll. The same player that played that round must do the re-roll. The re-rolled score is the only score recorded- regardless if it is higher or lower than the original. Each team is allowed 3 re-rolls in a 12 round game. You cannot re-roll a re-roll during a round or use the re-roll on a Mystery Round.

Match Play Skeeball Rules

  • A match will consist of two teams playing a best of Seven (7) or Nine (9) series, depending on the league size and number of machines (the first team to win 4 or 5 games wins the match). Teams will roll at the same time. The “series number” will be spelled out for each league and season.
  • Each team must have a minimum of 3 rollers per game. Each player will roll three consecutive balls, and no player may roll more than 3 balls in any given game.
  • Skeeball etiquette requires both players to pause and wait before they roll the 9th (and final) ball. The person with the higher score rolls first. The winning team gets a point toward the total tally and play continues into the next game.
  • If the final score results in a tie, there will be a tie-breaker round determined by the host.

Mystery Round/Tie Breakers

  • Speed: Both teams will present one roller who will each begin to throw their balls at the command of the host. The first player to roll all of their balls and have the machine flash “game over” or for their score to flash will be considered the winner.
  • Relay: Each member of the team present will roll one of the 9 balls. If less than 9 players are present the team will rotate through their players in the same order as they began the frame. The team with the highest score wins that round.
  • Speed Relay: Using the above relay rules the winning team will be decided not by total score but by the first team to have their machine count all 9 balls rolled and the game to be declared over, indicated by the flashing score or “Game Over”.
  • Blind Folded: One roller will be blindfolded and led to the machine where they will roll one full frame (9 balls). Teammates may assistance through verbal direction but are not allowed to physically aid the blinded folded roller. The top score between the two teams wins the round.
  • Skee-off: Teams choose one roller from the opposing team to compete against the player the opponents have chosen from their team. The roller with the highest score after a single round of 9 balls wins a bonus 100 points for their team.
  • Lowest Score: The team with the lowest total score after rolling all nine balls wins the round.
  • Price is Right: Host designates a total score (160, for example), and the team that gets closest to that score without going over wins the round.

Scoring or Machine Malfunctions (they’re not human, but they have flaws, too)

Some machines are older than others. Players are advised that the league plays on a variety of models, styles, and ages of machines and that scoring errors are an inescapable aspect of the game. When a scoring error is made it is the responsibility of the witnessing party to IMMEDIATELY bring the scoring error to the attention of the other team and host.

If both captains are able to agree upon the alternation of the score to fix the machine error the game may continue. If captains are unable to agree then the host will make a judgement ruling given the testimony of the captains and their personal knowledge of the machines. The ruling will be in the form of a score alteration and will be considered FINAL. Scoring errors do NOT result in re-rolls or voids of frames.


Teams & Rollers are encouraged to introduce themselves to their opponents prior to the start of each frame.
Teams are encouraged to “line up” after their match and shake hands, give high fives, or otherwise congratulate their rivals.
Skeeball is considered a game for the civilized and friendly. While healthy competition is encouraged, any player deemed to be acting in an unsportsmanlike manner will be warned on their first instance, removed from the game on their second (and their score fore-fitted) and finally removed from the league on their 3rd infraction. Examples of unacceptable conduct include excessive badgering of players (to include cussing, shouting or heckling) and or excessively rude conduct to other bar patrons or bar staff. League Reps will have the final decision on any issues regarding enforcement of this rule.