Bowling Techniques (Part 2) – Strikes and Spares

Bowling Techniques – The Perfect Strike

Certain bowling techniques will almost always result in a strike, because certain things happen during every strike. In fact, the same 4 bowling pins are hit during a strike. The pins differ for right-handed bowlers and left-handed bowlers:
Right-handed strikes hit only the 1, 3, 5 and 9 pins.
Left-handed strikes hit only the 1, 2, 5 and 8 pins.

Here is what the bowling ball does during a perfect strike:

First the bowling ball heads toward the pocket, just between the 1 and 3 pins.



Next the ball hits both the 1 and 3 pins, knocking them down.



Now the ball heads to the 5-pin, hits it and knocks it down.



Next the bowling ball carries through to the 9-pin, which is hit and falls down.



And there you have the perfect strike.

Bowling Techniques – Picking Up Spares

If you miss the strike, the next best thing is to get a spare on the second shot. Luckily, there are 2 spare systems that can help you pick up those spares: the 3-6-9 spare system and the 2-4-6 spare system. The 3-6-9 spare system is the most common because it is easier to use and simpler to learn.

When using the 3-6-9 spare system, the target remains the same and your feet move either 3, 6 or 9 boards to the right or left. Here’s the clincher: if the pins are to the left, then you move right, and if the pins are to the right then you move left.

Here’s an example:


Say the 10-pin is left standing. You want to move all the way to the left, square your shoulders facing the pin and aim for the third arrow from the left.


If the 6-pin is left standing, simply move a little bit to the right.
If the 3-pin is left standing, move a little more to the right.
If the 2-pin is left standing, start at your strike position and move 3 boards to the right.
If the 4-pin is left standing, move another 3 boards to the right.

The big difference between this and the 2-4-6 spare system is the target and the way the ball is thrown. The feet stay on the same boards, but the bowling ball is thrown either to the left or right of the target arrow, changing the target by 2, 4 or 6 boards.

As with anything, using either spare system requires practice. Once you work on it, you will discover what works best for you.