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  Targetting Systems

Strikes and Spares: the scoring systems rewards them with bonus points, so you want to find a strike line and make all spares you leave. You can do this by guessing and experience, but there are better ways that work very well.

Whether you are a 150 average bowler looking to move up to a 180 or a 190 bowler striving to average 200, knowing just a couple of these systems can help you score more than your opponent. Read on for more information...


The table below summarises the popular lane-play systems in use today.

3-6-9This spare system uses simple left-right adjustments in your starting position
2-4-6This spare systems changes your target but works just as well (if not better)
5-4-3This system changes your angle of entry to the pocket to carry more strikes
ComparisonsSide by side comparison of the 3-6-9 and 2-4-6 systems
KISSKeep it Simple Stupid! Hard & Fast with a cheap plastic ball works well too.

Unless you have someone to teach you these systems you may have learned to simply throw "at" your spare: but there are better ways. There are arrows at specific points on the lane, they are they for a reason and these systems make use of them. Think of spares as opportunities - ways to improve your score, with the bonus of the next ball you throw being added on for every spare you make. On the downside, missing simple spares reduces your score. Throwing "at" your spare can work for simple, single-pin spares but, for more complex spares these simple systems can increase your accuracy, help you make more spares and, thus, add those extra pins to your score.



These systems use "lines", which you can see drawn on the diagrams. Of course, when you are bowling you can't draw lines on the lane, so have to imagine it ("the line in your mind" as some call it).

All lines have two ends: these end points are where your feet are on the approach and where the ball hits the pins. We also use a third point, your target, e.g. an arrow or a specific board between two arrows.

Note: These systems are not written in stone: sometimes they can let you down - for example, if there is more oil in the middle of the lane, angling your ball into that 'puddle' may create more skid. But, by combining these systems you can be really creative in choosing your shots: e.g. use 5-4-3 to make a fifteen board jump left and then use 2-4-6 to adjust that new line to pick of a spare using a completely different part of the lane. If your opponent isn't able to do this you have a competitive advantage. To be confident, of course, you must practise this.

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