Article by Briannna Breece | Owl Staff


The way a ball curves on the lane.

Oil Pattern
Bowling lanes are oiled for different leagues and tournaments, as well as for the general public. This can affect the ball’s movement on the lane.

Knocking down all ten pins.

Having two pins left that are separated, making it harder to get a spare. A circle will appear on the score sheet around the number of pins that have been knocked down.

A spare is given in the second part of a frame if all the pins left from the first part of the frame are knocked down. If all pins are knocked down on the second ball, it is considered a spare, not a strike.

There are ten frames in a game. In each frame, the bowler has two chances to knock down the pins. In the tenth frame, you will be given a third ball if all ten pins are knocked down.

Bowling three strikes in a row.

A recess on both sides of the lane. If your ball goes into the gutter you will receive a “-” or a score of zero.

Left Handed, pins 1&2;
right handed, pins 1&3.

“Bowlers have to find what works for them. Every ball has a different hook…just try different techniques and eventually you will get a strike.”


  1. Find the correct shoe size for your feet; some bowling shoes are cut larger than a regular shoe.
  2. Find the proper ball, which can weigh six to sixteen pounds. You should be able to lift the ball without any strain. To hold a bowling ball, put your index finger and ring finger in the first two holes and your thumb in the third hole up to your first knuckle.
  3. During your approach, stand at the first of the three sets of dots on the lane and pick up your ball. If you are left-handed, start from a dot to the left of the center pin. If you are right-handed, start from a dot to the right of the center pin.
  4. Point your feet toward the pins, keep your body straight and face the lane or else you will end up throwing the ball in the gutter.
  5. Hold the ball by your chest. Have your bowling hand ready to go with your fingers in the correct holes and your other hand underneath the ball for support.
  6. Slowly move up to the black line; don’t pass it, though! Committing a foul will earn you an “F” on your score sheet, even if you have knocked down pins. If you receive a foul on the first part of a frame, your second ball will start over with all ten pins.
  7. Start with the foot opposite to your bowling arm (left-handed – start with your right foot, right-handed – start with your left foot).
  8. At the line, swing your bowling arm back, then swing it forward and let go of the ball. Remember not to twist your wrist! Power is key. Don’t launch the ball down the lane, the ball will slow down when hitting the lane and might even change its direction!
  9. Make sure to follow through. Keep your arm moving forward after you have released the ball. Act as though you’re shaking hands with someone, this helps the ball follow the path you want it to take.
  10. If the ball doesn’t hit the head pin’s pocket, try moving over to a different starting dot. Bowlers have to find what works for them. Every ball has a different hook, which changes the ball’s direction down the lane. Just try different techniques and eventually you will get a strike.

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