Bowling Spare Tips To Increase Your Score

August 27, 2009

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While the average person would ask, “Just how difficult can it be to throw a bowlig ball down a straight alley and knock down ten pins?” a novice bowler knows it can be more difficult than you’d think! If a bowler fails to knock down all of the ten pins on the first attempt, then he has a “spare” to pick up. If the remaining pins are too far apart, the bowler has a dreaded “split.” Thankfully, the creators of the sport decided to be merciful… bowlers get not one, but two tries to knock down all ten pins.

The Benefits of Picking Up Your Spares…

There is a fantastic benefit for picking up your spares. When your spare or split is cleared, a bonus score gets added to the next frame, thus greatly increasing your score. Imagine what your average would be if you routinely cleaned up your act! Learning how to pick up spares or splits will always vary in difficulty, but with practice, patience and perseverance, you too will be clearing frames like the pros!

The Tools to Knock ’em ALL Down

If your spare is a cluster of pins or a single pin, you have an easy job. Just aim your bowling ball straight at the leftover pins. Keep your arm swing smooth past your body and your wrist straight and vertical, like you’re going to shake somebody’s hand.

However, if your offending pin is next to the gutter, on the same side as the hand you use to bowl, for instance, on your left and you are left-handed, there is an easy way to hit the 7 or 10 pin, as the case may be. Move to the opposite side of the lane as your bowling hand and bowl across the lane at your pin. More advanced bowlers can use a hook to aim at a single-pin target when it’s on the opposite side of their bowling hand.

When two adjacent pins are left standing, your target is the forward pin. Simply clip it on the side opposite of the pin next to it, and your ball will knock them both down. Be careful of your technique if you try to knock the rear pin over…if the pin is hit too hard it will probabaly fly right past the other pin and leave it standing.

Hitting the Splits

The secret to picking up your splits depends on which pins are split.

The 2-7 or 3-10 Split: When clearing the 2-7 or 3-10 split, hit the leading pin on the side next to the other pin. Under normal conditions, the ball will go back and knock down the rear pin as well.

The 4-5 or 5-6 Split: In these splits, the distance between the two pins and the bowler are about the same and in order to knock the pins both down, you must aim directly between them, hitting each pin at the same time by going straight through the middle.

The 7-10 and Other Far Splits: These splits are too far apart to hit them both with the ball simultaneously. A different technique, as well as a bit of luck is required. Hit one pin hard enough on the inside to cause it to ricochet off the side wall, back across the alley and into the remaining pin.

Knowing the secrets of bowling spares will result in much higher scores and an improved average. You can use the right techniques to accomplish your spare bowling goals and impress your fellow bowlers. You will definitely look like the Pro by bowling clear frames!


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