3-6-9 Spare System

Learning how to use the 3-6-9 spare system is an easy way to pick up more spares, and picking up spares is a great way to boost your bowling average by 10, 20 or even 30 points. In fact, learning how to make more spares is one of the best ways to boost your bowling game.

The 3-6-9 spare system is one of the most common tools taught by bowling instructors and it is simple to learn and put into practice. The 3-6-9 system refers to moving your position on the boards to improve your odds for making a spare. As the name infers, you move 3, 6 or 9 boards from your strike position, depending on which pin is in front of the row you need to convert. Moving your feet the right number of boards almost always results in picking up a spare. Just remember that the change starts at your normal strike position.

The 3-6-9 system has a high conversion rate for spares, but there are a few skills that need to be consistent: aim, approach and delivery. The target arrow you aim for stays the same, but you move your feet to either the left or right. The direction you move depends on the pins that remain standing, and you move in 3-board blocks – either 3 boards, 6 boards or 9 boards. The specific change in foot position is what helps hit the pin you need to pick up the spare.

Don’t forget that you always adjust your position based upon your strike position. For example, if you want to pick up the 2-pin and your strike position is on board 25, you move 3 boards to the right to board 22 for the spare.