ABC . American Bowling Congress. Official rule
making body of ten-pin bowling.
Alley (also lane bed). Surface
on which the ball is rolled.
Approach (also runway). The space extending back
from the foul line used to make the steps and delivery.
Arrows . The triangles embedded on the lane used
in aiming the throw.
Baby split . The 2-7 or 3-10 split.
Backup ball . A ball that curves left to right
for a right-handed bowler or right to left for a left-handed bowler.
Bed posts . The 7-10 split.
Big four (also double pinochle). The 4-6-7-10
Blind score . When a league bowler is "blind" and
can't find his/her way to the league that evening, the bowler's average
is simply used (as if he/she just bowled that score) when figuring
the team's total for each game.
Blocking . Creating an illegal track to the strike
pocket by the way the lane is dressed (oiled).
Blow . A miss or an error failing to covert a spare
other than a split.
Brooklyn (also crossover). Refers to a ball that
crosses over to the other side of the headpin opposite the side it
was thrown (i.e. a Brooklyn strike hit the 1-2 pocket for a right-hander).
Bucket . The 2-4-5-8 or 3-5-6-9 leave after the
Carry . To knock down a pin or pins.
Channel (also gutter). Semicircular grooves or
drop-off area on each side of the bowling surface.
Cherry . To pick off the front pin or pins but
leaving the back pin on a spare attempt.
Christmas tree . The 3-7-10 split for a rt. hander;
2-7-10 split for a left hander
Clothesline (also picket fence). The 1-2-4-7 or
1-3-6-10 pins still standing after the first ball.
Count . Usually the number of pins knocked down
in the next frame that apply to a spare or strike.
Cranker . Person that puts a lot of power and revolutions on a bowling ball. A power player.
Creeper (also known as a puff ball). A slow ball.
Curve ball . A ball thrown with spin that follows
a wide arc toward the pins.
Dead ball . A weak ball that has lost its drive,
rotation, or forward thrust
Deadwood . Pins that have been knocked down.
Delivery . The rolling of the ball.
Dime Store . A split leaving the 5-10.
Double . Two consecutive strikes.
Dutch 200 . A game of exactly 200 by alternately
rolling spares and strikes.
Field goal . A missed throw between widely separated
pins hitting nothing but air.
Foul . Touching the foul line or beyond in any
way when delivering the ball.
Foul line . The restraining line between the lane
and the approach.
Four bagger . Throwing four strikes in a row.
Frame . One of ten units that comprise a game (represented
by a large square and smaller squares within on the score sheet).
Game . A line on the score sheet consisting of
10 frames. (Same as Line.)
Goal posts . The 7-10 split. (Same as Bed posts.)
Graveyard (s). An extremely difficult lane in the
Gutter (also channel). Semicircular grooves on
each side of the surface on which the ball rolls.
Gutter ball (also channel ball). An errant ball
that enters the gutter before reaching the pins.
Hambone Term given to a 4-bagger (four strikes in a row).
Handicap . An adjustment in scores in order to
equalize competition by adding pins on a predetermined basis.
Head pin . The number one pin.
High hit . A solid hit on a pin due to contact
near its front center; hitting too much head pin on a strike attempt.
Holding lane . A lane where the ball does not curve
or hook much.
Hook . A ball that initially moves straight down
the alley and curves towards the pin (from right to left for a right-hander
or left to right for a left-hander) on the latter part of the lane.
House . The bowling establishment or building.
Kegler . A bowler (German word).
Kickbacks . The side boards around the pins that
divide lanes where pins frequently rebound or "kick" back
onto the lane aiding in pin action.
Kindling (wood) . Light pins or pins that are falling easily during a game.
King pin . The number 5 pin. It is a key pin to
produce a strike: a light pocket hit or deflected leaves this pin
Lane bed . The surface on which the ball is rolled.
League . Organized competition on a weekly basis
for team play.
Leave . Pins left standing after the first ball
has been rolled.
Lift . Upward motion on the ball at the point of
release. (As the ball rolls from the fingers of the up swinging hand,
spin is imparted to help drive the ball.)
Light hit . A ball hitting mostly the side of the
pin deflecting it sideways.
Line . A game--10 frames. Also refers to the path
of the ball from release to the pins.
Line bowling . A method of aiming by visualizing
the imaginary line the ball will take to the pins.
Lofting . Throwing the ball too high above the
LPBT . Ladies' Professional Bowling Tour.
Mark . Making either a spare or strike in a frame.
Miss . An error in a spare attempt other than a
split. (Same as a Blow.)
Mixer . A ball that creates a lot of pin action.
Move in . Adjusting of stance position nearer the
center of the approach.
Move out . Adjusting of stance position nearer
the outside of the approach.
Nose . The front of the pin.
Oil . Dressing or conditioner used to coat the
Open frame . A frame having neither a spare or
PBA . Professional Bowlers Association.
Perfect game . A game of all strikes--twelve strikes
in a row--resulting in bowling's maximum score of 300.
Pin bowling . Looking at the pins to aim and throw
the ball (better bowlers tend to spot or line bowl).
Pin deck . Area on which the pins are set.
Pocket . The space between the 1-3 pins for the
right-handed bowler; between the 1-2 pins for the left-handed bowler.
Pushaway . The pushing out (forward) of the ball
to begin the swing (coincide with first step of four-step approach.)
Railroad . A split.
Rake (also sweep bar). The part of the pin-setting
machine that drops and sweeps the fallen pins into the back of the
Running lane (opposite of holding lane). A lane
where the ball curves a lot relative to a normal delivery.
Sandbagging . Deliberating keeping an average low
so that person can receive a bigger handicap.
Scratch . The actual score the bowler makes; it
is without any handicap adjustment (to equalize competition).
Six pack. Six strikes in a row!!
Sleeper . A rear pin that is not easily seen because
of a pin directly in front of it (Ex.: 2-8, 3-9, 1-5).
Span . On a bowling ball, the distance between
the thumb and finger holes
Spare . To knock down with the second throw the
pins standing left after the first throw.
Split . Various combination of pins standing after
a first throw where one or more pins has been knocked down creating
a space between standing pins and thus a harder spare. Examples:
4-5, 5-6, 4-7, 6-10, 7-10, 4-6-7-10.
Spot . A target on the alley bed (usually the arrows
or the dots) where the bowler aims.
Spot bowling . A method of aiming the ball in which
spots (arrows and dots) on the lane are used as targets rather than
looking at the pins during the throw.
Stiff lane . A non-hooking lane.
Straight ball . Ball thrown that takes a direct
path to the pins without curving.
Strike . Knocking down all ten pins with the first
Strike out . Making three strikes in the tenth
Tap . An apparent perfect hit for a strike but
one pin is left standing.
Thin hit . (See light hit.)
Throwing rocks . Piling up strikes
with a speed ball.
Triple (also turkey). Three consecutive strikes.
Turkey . Three consecutive strikes.
USBC . United States Bowling Conference. It was formed in 2005 by a merger of the American Bowling Congress, Women's International Bowling Congress, Young American Bowling Alliance, and USA Bowling.
Vacancy . A "dummy" score used when a
team does not have the same number on the team roster as do other
teams. The vacancy score is set by the league and carries a handicap
the same as if some bowler was carrying that average.
Washout . The 1-2-10 or 1-2-4-10 leave for right-handers;
1-3-7 or 1-3-6-7 for left handers. Distinguished from a split due
to the head pin (1 pin) still standing.
WIBC . Women's International Bowling Congress. Now part of the USBC.
Working ball . A ball with great spin that produces
a lot of action among the pins. The same ball will break up splits
when hit on the nose.
Note: Official game (or line) is bowled on a PAIR of lanes. Use
of the lanes are alternated frame by frame i.e. odd frames (1,3,5,7,9)
are bowled on one lane and even frames (2,4,6,8,10) on the other
Murphy's Laws on Sex
Wright | MORE Steven Wright