The whole concept of a strike is to effectively
roll a bowling ball in a path where the ball hits the pins
and knocks them all down. If all the pins are
knocked down, the bowler is credited with a
"Strike". Pins may be hit
directly by the ball, or when hit, the pins may be deflected into other pins until all the
pins are struck and knocked down.
Normally, on a strike
hit, the ball only hits four pins: the
1, 2, 5, and 8. The 1 pin hits the
3 pin, which in turn hits the 6, which
then hits the 10. After the ball
hits the 1, it is deflected into the 2
pin which hits the 4 pin, which in turn,
hits the 7. After hitting the 2
pin, the ball is deflected back into the
5 pin, then again into the 8 pin.
The 5 pin is deflected into the 9 pin.
Normally on a strike hit,
the ball only hits four pins: the 1, 3,
5, and 9. The 1 pin hits the 2
pin, which in turn hits the 4, which
then hits the 7. After the ball hits the
1, it deflects into the 3 pin which hits
the 6 pin, which in turn, hits the 10.
After hitting the 3 pin, the ball is
deflected back into the 5 pin, then
again into the 9 pin. The 5 pin is
deflected into the 8 pin.
But what happens
if you don't knock all the pins down? The
next best thing is to knock down whatever pins
remain standing with a second try. In
bowling, bowlers may bowl once or twice in order
to knock all ten pins down, and this process
completes the bowler's turn and is called a
"Frame". When a second ball is required,
if all the remaining pins are knocked down, the
bowler is credited with what is called a
"Spare". A spare is awarded if no pins are
left standing after the second roll of the ball.
Spares are sometimes referred to as a
half-strike, and indicates that all the pins
have fallen after the second ball of a frame.
The process of picking up a multiple pin spare
utilizes the same concept as the strike. The
task is to effectively place the ball where the hits
the remaining pins, or where the pins that are hit
directly are deflected into the remaining pins until
all the pins are struck.
Effective Spare Shooting
Even when bowling well, bowlers don't normally
strike in every frame.
emphasis is placed on bowling strikes, and that is
certainly the objective of the game,
most games, and the highest averages,
are most often
attributed to picking up the spares.
The fact is, spares do matter if you want to be an
Establishing a reliable method of picking up spares
is a part of the game that most bowlers ignore, even
though it is key to achieving a higher average.
leaving open frames has a devastating effect on your
scores. Sparing is more effective than
striking if you leave open frames in between.
Effective spare techniques can easily raise your
Hints For Sparing
a. Use a Spare Ball
Generally, it is advisable to
consider using a non-hooking spare ball for many
spare shots. The advise of rolling a straight
ball for most spares is based on the fact that lane
conditions routinely change as carrydown affects the
back ends and dried out front ends affect the
predictability of the lane. Using a
non-hooking spare ball enhances the consistency of
rolling a ball that won't over-react or under-react
as the lane conditions change throughout the game.
If you prefer not to use a spare ball, the
difficulty of consistently picking up spares is more
difficult and should be considered.
b. Cross-Land Principle
The first rule of spare shooting involves simple
geometry - the cross-lane principle. When pins are
on the left side of the lane, the best starting
position is on the right and vice-versa. You can
develop a separate spare line for each of the back
row of pins (7, 8, 9 and 10) or you can use the
arrow-dot alignment for these shots. This simple
spare system can be effective, and you'll get better
at executing these shots with practice and
While there are varied spare shooting techniques,
this text presents the four most commonly utilized
methods: the Target Pin System, the 3-6-9 System,
the 2-4-6 System, and the KISS System. Each
method has merits and should be understood and the
merits of each considered.
c. 1 or 5 Pin Leave
If there is a 1 pin or 5 pin left standing (alone or
in a combination), line up and aim the same as you
would for a strike ball. This is your
Listening to the Lane
strike ball is hitting too high or even Brooklyn,
consider adjusting both your strike ball alignment
as well as your spare ball alignment. This
assumes, of course, that you accurately delivered
your strike ball, and lane conditions alone affected
the path of the ball. Shift your starting
point 2 boards and target 1board as your ball path
dries up and your strike ball begins to move higher
on the head pin.
Now, let's look a few of the most
commonly applied spare techniques. There are
many systems, and some of them work, and of course, some
don't. The system that works for you is the correct
one. The most scientifically correct system is the
3-6-9 Spare Targeting System, and even there bowlers modify
it to their individual preferences. Review these spare
targeting systems, and stick with whatever fits you best.
Spare Targeting System
The KISS Spare
The 3-6-9 Spare Targeting System
The 2-4-6 Spare Targeting System
Learning what to choose, and how to choose,
the most important education you will ever receive.
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