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Bowling Spare Tips


I’m going to outline a spare shooting system for single pin spares that my bowling instructor gave me when I first started taking lessons that improved my bowling scores dramatically. This system is outlined for right handed people if you’re left handed you’ll have to do the reverse. Also this system is for plastic balls. So if you bowl with a hook ball you will need your own system or you can purchase a plastic ball for spares, which I recommend anyways.

Bowling alleys are made up of individual boards about one inch think. Each board has it’s own number. The arrows mark every five boards. So the first arrow from the right is board five, next ten, etc. When I say stand on board number what I mean is the inside of your left foot should be on that board.


The above image shows the pins and their corresponding numbers. For pin numbers 1,3, and 5 you use your normal strike ball. The rest of the system is outlined like this:

  • 10 pin – Stand on board 32
  • 9 pin – Stand on board 26
  • 8 pin – Stand on board 21
  • 7 pin – Stand on board 15
  • 6 pin – Stand on board 29
  • 5 pin – Strike Ball
  • 4 pin – Stand on board 18
  • 3 pin – Strike Ball
  • 2 pin – Stand on board 21
  • 1 (head) pin – Strike Ball

You will have to assign your own targets based on your own targeting system but an easy way to find a general target is to stand on your approach and draw a mental line from your right foot to the imagine reflection off of the lane.

The system will take getting used to but oil conditions play almost no role and you can use this system on any bowling lane. Make sure you practice a lot.

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