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ABC: American Bowling Congress official rule making body for ten pin bowling for its members in the US, C
Action: Spin on the ball and the movement of the pins caused by that spin. A relatively slow ball with a lot
Activity: Recreational or leisure in nature. Generally fun and less physically and psychologically challenging
Address: The bowler's stance before beginning the approach.
Adjustment: The changing of part of your game to be more competitive on the particular lane and/or lane conditio
Adult Bumper Bowling: A term used to describe a lane condition that is very easy.
Aerobic Exercise: Exercise utilizing oxygen and body fats as the main energy source. Endurance in nature and usually a
AJBC: American Junior Bowling Congress former governing body for junior bowlers; since replaced by the You
All Events: A score based on a bowler's combined total from singles, doubles, and team events in a given tournam
All The Way: The act of completing a game with all strikes from a given point in the game.See also off the sheet
Alley: Strictly, a group of lanes or the bowling establishment that houses them. Often used, though, to mea
AMF: American Machine and Foundry was the original name for the acronym. AMF made the first automatic pin
AMF 3 Dot: A hard rubber ball popular in the old days. It was solid black with three white dots above the bridg
Anaerobic Exercise: Exercise utilizing carbohydrates as the main energy source. Short term habitually requiring maximal
Anchor Man: The last bowler to roll for a team; usually the team's best bowler. Sometimes used in a derogatory f
Angle: Usually refers to the line a player is throwing; see also entry angle. The direction at which the ba
Ankle Shot: Hitting your ankle during the delivery. Ankle shots are both undesirable and painful!
Apple: The bowling ball; see rock.
Approach: 1) The movement of the bowler from address to delivery. 2) The part of the lane behind the foul line
Approved Ball Cleaners: Under the current rules, once competition starts, it is illegal to put foreign substances (cleaners,
Arc: A type of ball reaction favored by many players in that the ball has a slower continuous hooking act
Arc Reaction: Used to describe the hook action of a ball, regardless of amount, when the hooking action is gradual
Area: A player has area if they are able to hit a larger number of boards and still get the ball back to t
Area Bowler: A player that uses their instincts to make subconscious adjustments in release as they throw the bal
Area Check: A ball that is intentionally thrown too wide or intentionally thrown tighter; the purpose is to chec
Arena Bowling: In some tournaments the final stepladder finish is held in a special location such as a convention c
Arid: Describes a very dry lane surface.
Armswing: The path your arm takes from your pushaway to release. See also outside in and inside out. Generally
Arrows: A targeting system comprised of seven aiming points marked in the lane some fifteen feet from the fo
Arsenal: A collection of balls owned by a competitive player such that each ball reacts somewhat differently
Athlete: An individual who competes in sport subsequently developing lifestyle habits which enhance sport and
Automatic Foul Detector: An electric eye device that sets off an alarm if the bowler's foot crosses the foul line.
Axe The Ball: Usually used in a derogatory fashion as in You got a lot of wood with that dull axe.
Axis: Generally the reference is to the positive axis point (PAP), which is the point on the ball where th
Axis Leverage: A drilling pattern with the Center of Gravity located on the bowler's P.A.P. and the pin in the leve
Axis Of Rotation: The distance between the translational energy and the rotational energy. In English, the amount of a
Axis Tilt: Ranging from 0 to 90 degrees, this is determined by the direction your axis is facing when you relea
Baby Split: A split that a ball can convert into a spare by fitting between the pins; i.e., the 3-10, 2-7, 4-5 e
Baby Split With Company: A baby split with an additional pin; 4-5-7; 2-7-8; 3-9-10 etc.
Baby The Ball: Being too deliberate; too delicate in the release; used to describe a type of release when the lanes
Back End: Back end ratings seem to confuse bowlers. A ball's back end is the angle or degree of hook at the br
Back Ends: Usually refers to the far end portion of the lane where the most hook can occur.If the backends are
Back Pitch: Angling of the thumbhole backward so the tip of the thumb is extended away from the palm. It is used
Back Row: Pins 7-8-9-10; often used to describe the type of spare a player was leaving; i.e. I was hitting the
Backup: A ball that breaks in the wrong direction, e.g. to the right for a right-handed bowler.
Backup (Slice): A ball which curves or 'fades away' to the right for a right hander and vice versa for a left hander
Backup Ball: A type of release that causes the ball to hook opposite from the norm; i.e., a ball that moves to th
Bad Rack: A full set of pins that appears to have one or more not properly spotted; generally undesirable.
Bagger (Derogatory): Shortened version of sandbagger, someone who keeps their average artificially low in order to obtain
Bagger (Such As Five Bagger): A string of strikes; i.e., five bagger is five in a row.
Bake The Pocket: A ball hitting solidly and leaving a solid back row pin.
Baker Game: A method of team play in which in all five players bowl together to make one game; player #1 bowls f
Baking A Ball: Modern resin balls tend to soak up the lane oil. Placing heat onto the ball track can bleed some of
Balance (As Applied To A Ball): The weight of a bowling ball is not always evenly distributed in the sphere. ABC rules allow a ball
Balance (As Applied To A Player): A player is in balance if, at the point of release, they are able to complete their follow through w
Balance Hole: As a general rule, if you take a bowling ball and place the label in front of you and then exactly d
Balk: An incomplete approach taken in which the player walks to the line but does not actually release the
Ball Rack: Portion of ball run, alongside the approach, on which balls remain after their return from the pit.
Ball Return: The physical part of the equipment upon which the ball sits after being sent back to you after a del
Ball Spinner: A machine that is used to spin a ball in a container (half/bowl) so that the user can apply ball pol
Ball Track: (1) the area of the lane where most balls are thrown; (2) the area on a ball here the ball rolls; mo
Balsa: A hit on the head pin with little power behind it.
Barmaid: A pin that's hidden behind another pin.
Barn Door: Any favorable WOOD directly in front of the key pin(s), (ROAD BLOCK.)
BB: A ball thrown with extra speed; see bullet and rocket.
Beak: The nose; the center of the headpin.
Bed: The area surrounding the lane, including the approach, the pit, and the gutters.
Bed Posts: The 7-10 split.
Beer Frame: In team play (usually of three or more players), either (a) a pre-designated frame in which the play
Behind The Ball: The act of keeping your wrist firm through the shot, not imparting any side rotation by coming aroun
Belly The Ball: Describes the type of shot where a players stands inside and tosses it to the outside in the hope it
Bench Jockeying: As in baseball, conversation or gibes meant to distract an opponent.
Benchmark Ball: A favorite or starter ball used for reading lanes (an oil pattern). A bowler understands the benchma
Bender: A curve or hook that nearly falls into the gutter before beginning to break.
Bent Elbow: The act of bending your elbow through the approach; normally not desirable.
Bicycle: Same as barmaid.
Big Ball: A type of hook that is very overpowering; also, describes a pressure situation in which a player nee
Big Count: Usually refers to the number of pins after a string of strikes or a spare; usually means 9 pins, but
Big Ears: The 4-6-7-10 split.
Big Fill: Getting nine or ten pins following a spare, or a double following a strike.
Big Five: Any SPLIT with two pins on one side and three on the other (No.1 and No.5 are among those down), see
Big Four: The 4-6-7-10 split, see also Big Ears.
Big Three: 1-2-3 (front TRIANGLE) (Missed the BIG THREE, etc.).
BJI: Bowler's Journal International magazine.
Blind: A score marked for a team's absent player. In many leagues, the bowler's average or the average minu
Block (As It Applies To Games): In a tournament with multiple games, it is not unusual to bowl a limited number of games, take a bre
Blocked Lane: A lane condition that assists the ball in getting to the pocket; usually means heavy oil in the midd
Blow: A missed spare; an open frame but not a split; an error so that the spare is missed.
Blow The Rack: Most people use this to mean a type of strike in which the ball enters the pocket light and has enou
Blowout: Knocking down all but one pin.
Blue Dot: A ball made by Columbia, noted for its hardness and low hook; often used as a spare ball or a ball f
Board: A lane consists of several strips of wood, each called boards; they are usually numbered by the play
Board 17: Refers to the pocket area of the pins.
Body English: Movements and contortions and the body intended to steer the ball as it travels down the lane. Usual
Bono: A condition typified by a severe lack of lane conditioner - see Mojave Desert; term seems to be conf
Bonus: In some competitive play you get additional pins, a bonus, for winning the game or match; these pins
Bonus Time: The shots you take after getting a fill in the 10th frame.
Boomer: A big hooking ball; a person that throws a big hooking ball.
Bottom Weight: The weight of a bowling ball is not always evenly distributed in the sphere. ABC rules allow a ball
Bowl Out: The practice of allowing a team player to complete their game by bowling more than their schedule tu
Bowl-Off: First elimination of bowling (semi-finals). A Roll-off is final eliminations, (Finals).
Bowling Center: Bowling Establishment, (Bowling Alley, HOUSE.)
Bowling This Month: The premier bowling magazine for players.
Box: A frame.
Box-Frame: In horizontal scoring, the smaller box is used for 3 ball score, or bonus on mark. In vertical scori
BPAA: Bowling Proprietors Association of America.
Break: (1) A lucky shot (2) used to indicate that a string of strikes was stopped (3) used when stating tha
Break Point: The portion on the lane where the thrown ball begins to hook back to the pocket. Finding the proper
Brickyard: Derogatory term for a bowling center that is notorious for low scores. Same as grave yard.
Bridge: Usually refers to the distance between the finger holes; in houses without automatic scoring, a play
Broke Down: The act of a mechanical malfunction that disrupts play; i.e., the pinsetter broke down; the term use
Brooklyn: A ball that hits on the opposite side of the player's normal pocket; i.e, a Brooklyn for a right han
Brooklyn Hit: A hit on the wrong side of the headpin; i.e, the left side for a right-handed bowler, the right side
Brooklyn Strike: A strike that results from a Brooklyn hit.
Broom Ball: A ball with so much action that it seems to sweep the pins away.
Brunswick: One of the big two bowling firms in the country along with AMF. They have a full line of capital equ
Brunswick Black Beauty: One of the old time hard rubber balls; very popular in its day.
Brunswick Crown Jewel: One of the first polyester balls. The original series of balls was highly popular as they were bette
BTBA: British Tenpin Bowlers Association; the UK equivalent of the ABC.
BTBIF: British Tenpin Bowlers Instructors Federation; the organization that regulates instructors and coach
BTM: Bowling This Month magazine.
Bucket: A diamond-shaped, four-pin cluster, e.g., the 2-4-5-8 or 1-2-3-5. Some claim it to be the 2-4-5-8 fo
Bucket With A Man In Motion: The 2-4-5-7-8 for rightys and the 2-5-6-8-10 for leftys.
Bullet: A ball thrown with extra speed; see also bb and rocket.
Bumped The Oil Line: Usually means that a player has thrown what they think is a pretty decent shot on a crowned conditio
Bumper Bowling: To help children keep the ball in play and on the lane, manufacturers have developed a system of eit
Burner: A pin that remains standing after an apparently perfect hit.
Bury or Buried: Describing a ball that is apparently solid in the pocket.
Buzzard: Three splits in a row. You can see them circleing (the symbol for a split is a circle). See also tur
By The Back Door, (Made): When front pin(s) fall last.
Carry: Refers to how often an apparent pocket hit gets a strike. If your carry is good, you get mostly stri
Carrydown: The oil conditioner on the lane does not soak into the boards, it sits on top. As balls are thrown,
Carryoff: Similar to carrydown except the bowling ball soaks up the conditioner and removes it from the area o
CC: A 200 game.
Center: The lanes you bowl in...the physical building.
Center Of Gravity (Cg): The heaviest part of a bowling ball. The CG is signified by a dye mark placed on the ball by the man
Channel: The formal name for a gutter. The area to the right and left of the playing surface that catches a b
Cheater Ball: A derogatory term used to describe modern highly aggressive bowling balls that can offer the hook an
Cheesy Cakes: Lanes that are dressed so that it's easy to get strikes.
Cherry: Missing a spare cluster by taking the front pin or pins only; it usually means that the ball hit too
Chicken Wing: A term used to describe the movement of the elbow of the throwing arm as it flares away from the bod
Choke: Failing to perform in a positive manner when the pressure was on the player. To perform poorly in an
Chop: To knock down one pin of a spare leave, while the pin next to or behind it remains standing. Seel al
Christmas Tree: The 3-7-10 or 2-7-10 split; so-called because of the triangular arrangement.
Cincinnati: The 8-10 split.
Clean Back Ends: A generally desirable lane condition in which the back ends of the lane have little or no conditione
Clean Game: A game without any open frames.
Cleanup (Ten): Down all remaining pins with the third ball, (Cleanup ball).
Closed Pocket: A full rack of pins set up for your strike ball such that the head pin is a tad off spot towards you
Clothes Line: A group of four pins in a single line; i.e., 1-2-4-7 or 1-3-6-10.
Clothesline: The 1-2-4-7 or 1-3-6-10 leave.
Clutch: Pressure situation; a player that responds well to pressure.
Columbia 300: One of the big manufacturers of balls.
Come Around The Ball: The act of rotating your fingers around the ball to impart rotation; too much can result in a ball b
Coming In Behind The Headpin: This is a ball that leaves a ten pin on an apparent solid hit, but the ball enters the pocket late.
Coming Through: The act of a player performing positively under pressure.
Coming Through The Ball: A phrase to describe the player's release.
Concourse: Open space where crowds gather behind the settee. They are usually separated by tables and chairs.
Condition: The overall term used to describe the lane surface; i.e., was a dry condition.
Conditioner: Another name for lane oil. All lanes need some type of protective coating to prevent burn marks in t
Conventional Grip: A type of ball drilling where the fingers are placed up to the second joint. Not used by many higher
Convert: To make a spare after a split leave; loosely, to make any spare.
Core: The material in the center portion of the ball.
Core Torque: Internal or core torque refers to the mass distribution within the core and the internal lever arms
Count: The number of pins knocked down with the first ball in a frame.
Cousin: Usually the term used to describe the anchor player on a team that had a chance to stick a teammate
Cover: To make a spare; I covered the five pin.
Coverstock: The material that makes up the outer shell of the ball; the hardness, texture, and shine of a bowlin
Cranker: A player that uses exaggerated arm/wrist action to impart a great deal of hooking action. Usually me
Crawler: A strike on which the ball misses the head pin. So called because the 4, 2, and 1 pins usually fall
Creeper: A slow ball.
Creeper Speed: A person that throws the ball very slowly; very slow ball speed.
Croaker: A combination of a cranker and stroker.
Cross-Over: A ball that results in a Brooklyn hit.
Crossing With A Player: Refers to competition in which you move lanes after a game or games and the persons that move with y
Crossover: A ball thrown on the first shot that misses your pocket and hits either on the wrong pocket or even
Crowned Condition: A lane conditioning pattern that places a larger amount of oil in the center of the lane to assist t
Cupping Your Wrist: A type of ball carry that has your wrist bent upwards; it is considered a power/more hook delivery.
Curtain: A blow in the last frame by the anchor man, when a spare would have won for his team.
Curve: A ball that has a big, slow break. Compare to hook.
Cushion: Part of the pinsetter at the back of the lane that absorbs the shock of pins and thrown balls. Also
Cutter: A very sharp-breaking hook.
D.O.A.: Short for dead on arrival; applied to a dead ball.
Dancer: Pin bouncing end to end, or end over end (usually off to SIDEWALL).
Darts: See arrows.
Dash (-): A dash written in the place of a mark where scoring after two balls - indicates that no MARK was mad
Dead Ball: A ball that is out of play, or that does not count as rolled (not fair, not foul). Also ball with li
Dead Wood: Pins that remain on the lane or in the gutter after being knocked down after the machine has reset t
Deck: Shorthand for pindeck; the surface of the lane ends upon which the pins are spotted.
Deep Doodoo: What you are in if your opponent is zoned.
Deep Inside Line: A strike line that is popular among the big hook players in which the player stands on a high number
Deflection: The movement of the ball or pins when they contact each other. Deflection is neither good nor bad, b
Delivered A Message: Usually means that a pin or pins came off the kickbacks to take out another pin or pins.
Delivery: A bowler's entire movement, from approach to follow-through. A thrown shot; the act of throwing a sh
Deuce: A game of 200 or more.
Dexter Shoes: One of the big bowling shoe manufacturers.
Die: An expression used to indicate that the ball stopped its strong hooking action before entering the p
Differential: It is the difference between the lowest and highest RGs. You compute the high and subtract the low f
Dime Store: The 5-10 split.
Dinner Bucket: Same as bucket.
Ditch: The gutter; the channel.
Dive: A sharp, last-instant break by the ball; it is said to dive into the pocket.
Dive or Dove: The action of the ball that hooks greatly at the last moments before hitting the pins. i.e., I swung
Dodo: A ball that is balanced illegally.
Donk - Doink - Dork: An expression used by some players to indicate that they threw a particularly bad shot. I dorked the
Dots: Series of seven spots on the lanes past the foul line but before the arrows; used to assist in targe
Double: Two consecutive strikes in the same game.
Double Gutter: Throwing two balls in a row into the gutter. Detrimental to high scoring.
Double Pinochle: Same as big ears.
Double Wood: Any two pins such that one is directly behind the other; i.e., the 2-8; 3-9; 1-5. Same as barmaid.
Dovetails: The portion of a wood lane where the maple and pine boards meet; same as splice.
Down And In: Refers to a line that is more direct and parallel to the boards; opposite of bellying the ball.
Down The Boards: Refers to a line that is more direct and parallel to the boards; opposite of bellying the ball.
Dressing: The lane conditioner; the act of applying lane conditioner.
Drift: The number of boards that you vary from straight in your approach to the foul line. For example, if
Drive: Usually used to indicate the power of the ball as it hits the pin. It drove through the rack.
Dry Lane Ball: A ball that for you and your game performs better on dry lanes than on more heavily conditioned lane
Dry Lanes: A lane that has less conditioner than normal for your game; usually means earlier and more hook.
Dummy: Score allowed for an absent player; see also blind score.
Dump: To release the ball without bending the knee, which usually makes it travel through the air before p
Dumping: The practice of dropping the ball at or before the foul line; not usually desirable.
Dutch 200: A game of exactly 200 made by alternating strikes and spares throughout the entire game.
Dynamic Imbalance: The planned apparent imbalance in balls due to high tech cores and drilling techniques. Many people
Dynamic Weights: In the old days, before the advent of modern core design in balls, the center of the ball was, more
Eagle: An emblem that is awarded for winning a title at the ABC tournament. If a player has an eagle, that
Early Foundation: A strike in the eighth frame. See also foundation.
Early Foundation: Usually means a string of strikes that includes the 9th and 10th, but started earlier; for example,
Early Timing: Releasing the ball before the sliding foot completes its slide; usually results in less hook and a l
Efrah: Very dry lanes. Acronym for Even Full Rollers Are Hooking; used to describe lanes. It is 'efrah' wea
Entry Angle: The angle relative to the pocket that the balls enters the pocket. As a rule, increased angle means
Error: A missed spare; same as blow. Most players do not count an unmade split as an error, but maybe they
Exercise: Hard work. Produces an overload on the musculoskeletal system or a respiratory training effect on th
Extra Frame: (1) the bonus for filling the 10th frame; (2) frames bowled but not scored on your sheet; houses wit
Faball: One of the major ball firms. Maker of the Hammer line and the very popular 3D Offset series of balls
Fade: The act of a ball breaking opposite to its normal hook trajectory; a very slight back up.
Fair Zone: Portion of lane between the FOUL-LINE and the LOB-LINE.
Faith, Hope, And Charity: Same as Christmas Tree.
Fall Back Shot: A type of shot that starts to the opposite side of the normal pocket and then fades back into the po
Fall Off: Describes either (1) a player losing their balance at the release and they lose their balance off to
Fast Eight: Describes an apparent good pocket hit that gets just 8 pins; typically the right handed players will
Fast Lanes: This has two different and opposite meanings depending on the part of the country you reside. In som
Feel Bowling: The practice of using your instincts to make subconscious adjustments in release as you throw the ba
Fence Posts: The 7-10 split. Same as bed posts.
Field Goal: A ball that travels between two pins without knocking down either of them.
Fifth Arrow: The 25th board from the right (right hand player).
Fill: The pins knocked down after a spare or two strikes. A spare or strike so that the scoring box is fil
Fill (Count): Bonus on strike or spare.
Fill Ball: The ball thrown after a spare in the tenth frame.
Fill Ball; Fill Frame: A final, third ball in the 10th frame, after a spare or the second of two strikes, required to deter
Finger Grips: Inserts that are placed in the finger and/or thumb holes to allow a better grip and generation of mo
Finger Weight: The drilling of a ball so that the finger holes are closer to the ball's label than is the thumbhole
Fingertip: A type of grip in which the fingers are inserted only as far as the first joint, allowing much more
Fingertip Grip: Grip whereby the player inserts fingers only up to the first joint; it is said that it promotes hook
Finish (As Applied To Lanes): (1) the underlying protective coating on the wood, often polyurethane; or (2) the lane conditioner a
Finish (As Applied To The Ball Reaction): The final drive the ball makes toward the pocket. .. a ball that fails to finish comes up short and
Finish (As Applied To The Ball Surface): The amount of shine/gloss on the ball. As a general rule, balls that are heavily polished and shiny
Finish Position: Your body position after release.
FIQ: The Federation International des Quilleurs, the international governing body for tenpins; the FIQ ha
First Arrow: The farthest to the right (for a right handed player); located on the 5th board.
Fit: (1) How your ball is measured for your hands; your span, pitch etc. (2) The act of going between bot
Fit Split: A two-pin split in which the pins are close enough together that the ball can hit them both.
Five-Bagger: Five straight strikes.
Flare (Arm or Elbow): The action of your arm or elbow when it goes away from your body in the armswing or during the relea
Flare (Track Flare): The migration of the ball track from the bowler's initial axis, the axis upon release, to the final
Flat: A ball that deflects too much; ineffective ball; few revolutions; if a ball comes into the pocket on
Flat Ball: A ball with little or no spin, resulting in little or no action.
Flat Condition: A lane oiling pattern that places the same amount of oil across the entire width of the lane. Usuall
Flat Gutter: The normal gutter is shaped somewhat oval so that the ball can roll purely and cleanly to the pit ar
Flattening The Ball: The intentional act of taking power off the ball; often used to throw the ball straighter; usually d
Flip: The action of a highly aggressive ball that seems to be going very long down the lane and then takes
Floater: A ball that has little or no lift or turn, which therefore follows the path of least resistance down
Fluff Shot: A kill shot, either by design or accident.
Flush: Being solid in the pocket.
Flush X Pin: Expression to describe leaving a pin on a solid shot; i.e., I left a flush 8 pin.
Flying Elbow: Same as chicken wing.
Follow Through: What your arm does after the ball leaves your hand. It is generally desirable to follow through towa
Forward Pitch: Angling of the thumbhole inward and/or the finger holes upward so that the tip of the bowler's thumb
Forward Roll: The rotation of a ball that is more towards its full circumference; end over end roll.
Foul: Crossing or touching the foul line at delivery. It's penalized by a count of zero pins. If the foul
Foul Light: An electronic indicator/light, often combined with a buzzer noise, that is triggered when a beam of
Foul Line: The line that separates the approach area from the beginning of the playing surface. A line, usually
Foundation: A strike in the ninth frame; so he called because it lays a foundation for a strong finish, with the
Foundation Ball: The ball thrown in the 9th frame.
Foundation Frame: The 9th frame.
Four-Bagger: Four consecutive strikes.
Fourth Arrow: The 20th board from the right (right handed player).
Frame: One tenth of the game; each frame is numbered from 1 through 10; if you strike in the tenth you get
Frames Per Stop Or (Per Stop): The industry standard for measuring the maintenance performed on pinsetter machines. Most centers wi
Free Hook: An expression when the lanes are very dry; i.e., you can throw a hook for free! No work required!
Fried: A lane condition where the heads have little or no conditioner remaining, causing early hook; usuall
Frozen Rope: A very fast, straight ball. A ball thrown with more than normal speed, straightly thrown into the po
Full Hit: Usually means a ball that is thrown to close to the center of the headpin; see high hit. A ball that
Full Roller: A ball that rolls over its full circumference; see also semi-roller and spinner. The track of the ba
G-Board: The gutter. See also the grey board.
Game: One string by each member of a team or group.
Garbage Hit or Strike: Any hit that produces a strike when it shouldn't, as when it misses the pocket.
Get Away: The act of getting something positive out of a bad release or poorly thrown shot.
Gift: A very lucky result.
Go Long: A balls goes long when it skids farther down the lane before starting its hook. Desirable on hooking
Goal Posts: The 7-10 split. Same as bedposts.
Golden Gate: Same as big ears.
Good Out (Nice Out): Got most of pins remaining on a bad leave (third ball).
Good Try: Good shot on the key pin or the target wood.
Goose Egg: Usually means a split (the scoring symbol for a split is a O); can also mean that you knocked down -
Grab: The act of the ball reacting to the friction of the lane and ball surface.
Grandmas Teeth: The 4-6-7-10 split or any of the big five split combinations; so called because it looks like a mout
Grave Yard: Low scoring lanes or center. Same as brickyard.
Gray Board: The gutter. Many centers have their gutters painted gray; hitting the gray board is an attempt at hu
Greasy: Describes a very oily/heavily conditioned lane.
Greek Church: A split leave of five pins similar to the 4-6-7-9-10; so called because it reminds people of an old
Groove: Ball track or indentation in the lane; also, a bowler that is performing particularly well is in the
Gross Weight: The total dead weight of a bowling ball; often referred to as gross weight before drilling. The maxi
Guide Marks (Line): An aid to finding start of 2 or 3 steps for ball delivery. Most approaches have guide lines (commonl
Gutter: A depressed area, about 9 1/2 inches wide, on either side of the lane which guides the ball to the p
Gutter Ball: A ball that leaves the lane and travels down the gutter before reaching the pins.
Gutter Shot: A line to the pocket that is from the released from the far outside, near board 1-2. It generates a
Half Hit: A ball in the pocket that is heavier than light, but not deeply buried; often results in leaving a 1
Half Ten: See Half hit above. The description of a ten pin that was left by a ball in the pocket and the 6 pin
Hammer: One of the names of the balls made by Faball.
Hammer The Pocket: Hitting the pocket consistently.
Hammered: A person gets hammered when beaten decisively; particularly if the opponent is using a ball from Fab
Handicap: Pins awarded to a player or team in an attempt to equalize competition. Often refered to as a percen
Hang A Pin: Leave a pin standing on an apparent solid hit.
Hard Way: Picking up a spare in the non-traditional method. For example, the 3-10 split is best picked up by f
Head Pin: The 1-pin.
Headpin: The number 1 pin.
Heads: That part of the first portion of the lane that is usually hard maple (wood lanes) to absorb the imp
Heavy: A ball that hits more to the center of the headpin, often leaving a split. Same as high.
Helicopter Shot: A type of release that is used with lighter weight balls such that the ball appears to spin similar
Help (As In Helper Pins): A pin that comes off the sideboards and helps knock down the remaining pin or pins; see also messeng
High: A ball that hits more to the center of the headpin, often leaving a split. Same as heavy.
High Board: Although lanes are built to certain tolerances, humidity and other factors might cause an individual
High Hit: A hit on or near the center of the head pin.
High Roller: Tournament An amateur event that pays a very high prize for the top places and also charges a fairly
Higher: Farther to the left for right-handers, to the right for left-handed bowlers.
Hit: Where the ball contacted the pins..i.e. I hit light in the pocket.; also how it contacted the pins .
Hit Up On The Ball: The act at the release point of coming through the ball with a strong finger release; a ball that is
Hold Spot: A portion of the lane that is more heavily conditioned so that the ball appears to stop its hooking
Hold The Line or Pocket: Describes the reaction of a ball that hits the hold spot. i.e., The ball held pocket.
Hole: Same as the pocket.
Home Alley, House, or Lanes: Either the center where you normally bowl; or, within the center, your favorite lane or lanes.
Honor Score: A score deemed worthy of an award by the governing bodies of ten pin bowling. The ultimate honor sco
Hook: A ball that breaks rather sharply toward the pocket, as opposed to a curve.
Hook - (To Come In): A ball that breaks sharply to the left for a right hander and vice versa for a left hander.
Hook Out (Hook And Set): A type of ball reaction on the lanes where the ball begins to hook and then stops its hooking action
House: The bowling center; the bowl; the alley; the lanes.
House Ball: A ball provided by the center to its customers. Usually, but not always, they are of less quality th
Hypokinetic Disease: A condition or disease resulting from a sedentary lifestyle or too little activity. Examples include
IBC: Intercollegiate Bowling Championships; an elite tournament of 16 men's and women's teams that qualif
IBP: Intercollegiate Bowling Program; governing authority for collegiate bowling.
Icy (Like Ice): Describes an oily/heavily conditioned lane where the ball skids a great if on ice! See al
In The Grove: Zoned, well lined up; unconscious bowling; doing so well that it is nearly automatic.
In The Zone: Lined up; in the groove; consistent and powerful. He is zoned.
In There: In either the left or right STRIKE ZONE (or, ball made a good hit).
In Time: Simultaneous arrival at the foul line of one's sliding foot and release of the ball.
Inside Line: A starting point (well, release point too) near the center of the lane as opposed to the outside, ne
Inside Out Armswing: The inside-out swing has a setup somewhat toward center of the body, but not always. More importantl
Jack Manders: Same as field goal. (Jack Manders was a field goal kicker for the Chicago Bears back in the 1930s, s
Jam: Usually means that you are trying to force the ball higher into the pocket; can also mean a very sol
Jersey Side: Same as Brooklyn side.
Jersey Side or Hit: A ball that hits on the opposite side of the player's normal pocket; i.e, a Jersey for a right hande
Juice: A delivery with high rotation; powerful.
Junk Ball: A ball thrown with little rotation and little power.
K-Mart Ball: Derogatory name for a ball that hits poorly or is ill fitting.
Keggling: Bowling.
Kegler: German word for bowler.
Key Pin: Front of target pin of any leave, (when there is no wood shot).
Kickback: Vertical division boards between the sides of the lanes at the pit end. On many hits the pins can bo
Kickbacks: The dividers between lanes; so called because pins often kick back off a divider to knock other pins
Kill: To overpower your competition by a large margin.
Kill Shot: A ball thrown with the intention of it hooking less; an alternate release to throw the ball straight
Kill The Ball: To take the spin off the ball, resulting in a straight shot. Often used to maximimize accuracy on ea
Kindling: Light weight pins. See also logs.
Kingpin: Strictly speaking, the 5-pin, because its action is usually the key to knocking down more pins; occa
Kitty: Money collected by team members for misses, low games and other fines imposed by team members upon t
KRESGE: An old timer term to describe the 5-7 split; a variation on the Woolworth which is the 5-10 (five an
Lane: The actual playing area, which is 42 inches wide and 62 feet, 10 3/4 inches long. The gutters and th
Lane Machine: The machine that oils the lanes.
Lane Markers: Range finders (alley sights) and foot guide lines.
Late 10: Said of the 10-pin when it is the last to fall on a strike, usually after a moment's hesitation.
Late Timing: When your release of the ball occurs slightly after the slide begins (or in the extreme case, when t
Lateral Pitch: Angling of the thumbhole and/or finger holes to the left or the right. Used to assist in the exit ti
Lay A Foundation: Getting a strike in the 9th frame.
Lead-Off: The first bowler in the line-up of a team.
Leadoff: The first player in the team's lineup.
Leadoff Man: The first bowler for a team.
Leave: The pins that remain after the first ball has been rolled.
Left Field: Area left of head pin: (and RIGHT FIELD - area right of head pin).
Length: Length is an evaluation of how far a ball will travel before it begins to hook. Length does not incl
Leverage: Refers to a balance position at the foul line such that you are able to come through the ball with p
Leverage Drilling: A method of drilling the ball so that it tends to skid farther and finish harder (go long .. hit har
Leverage Point: A point on the ball surface located 3 3/8 from the bowler's positive axis point (P.A.P.).
LHB: Left handed player.
Lift: The upward motion with your fingers at the point of release.
Light: A hit on the pins that is not full; too much right or left of center.
Light Hit: A hit that doesn't strike the headpin solidly.
Light Seven: A light hit that results in the 2-4-5 or 3-5-6 split.
Lights Out: Two distinctly different meanings: (1) when a player shoots incredible high scores; He shot lights o
Lily: The 5-7-10 split; also known as the sour apple.
Linds: Lind Shoe Company; one of the makers of premium bowling shoes. See also Dexter's
Line: (1) The path the ball takes; one game of bowling. (2) Dated synonym for a game of bowling.
Lined Up: In the groove, hitting the pocket consistently.
Little Rail: The rail or picket fence leave minus the 1-, 7-, or 10-pin.
Loafing: Delivering the ball without sufficient lift, which usually results in its rolling off to the right (
Lob: To toss the ball over the lob line which is 10 feet from the approach side of the foul line.
Loft: The distance the ball travels between time of release and the time it hits the lane. A bowler often
Lofting: Throwing the ball onto the lane well beyond the foul line; can cause damage to the lane if excessive
Logs: Heavy pins that are often used for practice, since they generally require more precise hits to achie
Long Oil: Condition in which the lane conditioner is applied from the foul line farther than normal. There is
Looper: A very slow, wide hook.
Looping The Ball: A slow big hook. Also, the act of bringing your throwing hand behind your back in your armswing as i
Loose Hit: A hit low in the pocket, more on the 3-pin for a righthander and the 2-pin for a leftie, than on the
Lose The Ball: The dropping of the ball off your hand early; the ball slipping out of your hand.
Lose The Shot: When you start missing the pocket after several frames of being consistently in the pocket.
Lost: When you have no clue how to play the lanes.
Love Tap: A very light on one pin from another that just barely knocks it down.
Low: Light hit; opposite of high hit. Descriptive of a loose hit.
Low At The Line: Refers to your body position at the point of release. Many coaches suggest that the optimum body pos
LPBT: Ladies Professional Bowling Tour. See also PBA.
Luck: The merging of opportunity with preparation.
Luster King: A machine that applies a wax like substance to the surface of a ball; it promotes less hook.
Makeable Split: A split that isn't terribly difficult to convert, though it may not exactly be easy.
Maple: The hard wood used for the head portion of the lanes (foul line to arrows); see also pine, splice, a
Maples: The pins, because that's the wood they used to be made from.
Mark: A strike or spare; a person that is vulnerable to losing money in a match; your target on the lanes.
Marshmallow: A soft hitting ball; ineffective ball.
Mass Bias: Mass bias in a bowling ball occurs when the weight block or portion of weight block is more dominant
Match: 3, 5, or 10 strings (per player) game between opponents.
Match Play: A kind of competition in which two bowlers compete against one another, rather than against the fiel
Medal Play: Only total pins count. Most local events, city and association tournaments for example, are medal pl
Medic: Called out when a solid corner or 5-pin is left. Sarcastically calling for a doctor because the bowl
Melinda: A phrase sweeping its way through England at the moment is the 'Melinda' call when you get a messeng
Messenger: The name given to the pin that rolls across the pindeck into a pin or pins to either get a strike or
Minus: In competitive play, the amount of pins (including bonus, if any) that a player is scoring under a 2
Miss: An error; a blow; usually does not refer to an unmade split.
Mister 900: Usually refers to Glenn Allison; he had the first 900 series before the SoB; it was rejected as not
Mixed Doubles: A two person team competition in which one is male and the other female.
Mixer: A light pocket hit that scatters the pins resulting in a strike. A ball with a lot of action.
Moat: The gutter.
Mojave Desert: Very dry lane condition; arid.
Morphed: When a pin moves across the deck and does not fall, perhaps changing from an easy spare to a much ha
Mother-In-Law: Usually the 7-pin, because it's often the pin that remains standing to spoil what looked like a good
Move In: To adjust your approach farther towards the center of the lane; towards higher numbered boards.
Move Out: To adjust your approach farther towards the edge of the lane; towards lower numbered boards.
Mr. (Or Mrs.) Average: Facetious name for a bowler who doesn't show up, since his or her average is often used to compute t
Mule Ears: Same as bedposts.
Multilingual: When a player is able to score well from a variety of lines/angles.
Murphy: Same as baby split.
Naked Spare: A single pin spare.
Nationals: The ABC and/or WIBC tournament.
Negative Weight: Weight on a ball that tends to hold back the hook and/or to get the ball into a roll earlier; bottom
Never Up Never In: A philosophy that says that in order to strike you must first hit the headpin; stolen from similar m
No Drive No Five: An expression meaning that to take out the five pin on a pocket hit, the ball must drive through the
No Guts No Glory: Expression meaning be aggressive.
No-Tap: A type of competition where 9 pins on the first ball is scored as a strike; in some instances there
Nose: The beak; center of the headpin; a nosy hit is high on the headpin.
Nose Hit: A hit directly on the head pin; very often results in a split.
Nothing Ball: A ball that accomplishes little because of a poor hit, no action, or both. An ineffective ball.
On The Nose: Descriptive of a nose hit.
One In The Dark: Same as barmaid.
Open Bowling: Bowling for the fun of it, as opposed to competing in league or tournament play.
Open Frame: A frame in which the bowler doesn't get a strike or a spare.
Out And In: A hook that's initially thrown toward the gutterand then breaks back across the lane toward the pock
Out Of Bounds: An area from which the ball can't get to the pocket with its usual break. If, for example, a right-h
Over: To a professional bowler, the number of pins above 200. Thus a score of 224 is 24 over. See also par
Over-Turn: To put too much spin on the ball, usually resulting in too much of a hook, which can lead to a nose
Pace or Pacer: A pacer bowls as part of a team only for the purpose of keeping the pace of the game more even; pace
Pack: A full count of ten; a strike; also, an adjective to describe a full pocket hit; i.e., it was packed
Pap (Positive Axis Point): The point on the ball that is equidistant from all points of the release ball track.
Par: To a professional bowler, a 200 game. See also over; under.
Part Of Building, (Hit): Get 7 or 10 pin only. Hit corner pin with first ball.
Part Of The Building: An expression used to describe a standing single pin after an apparent perfect hit.
Part Of The Building or House: Said of the 7 or 10 pin when it remains solidly standing after an apparently perfect hit. Used in a
PBA: Professional Bowlers Association.
Pearlized: A type of ball surface that is not a solid color, but has a swirling, cloud-like appearance. As a ge
Pencils: Very light weight pins.
Perfect Game: A score of 300, resulting from 12 consecutive strikes.
Physical Work: Activities which are somewhat difficult yet nonspecific to sport. They do fatigue the body at times
Pick: Same as chop.
Pick A Cherry: Missing a spare cluster by taking the front pin or pins only; it usually means that the ball hit too
Picket Fence: The 1-2-4-7 or 1-3-6-10 spares.
Pie: Easy scoring condition; easy lanes.
Pie Alley: A lane that produces high scores; from easy as pie.
Pin (As It Applies To A Ball): The small circle of a different color found on the surface of the ball. It locates the center of the
Pin Action: Motion of struck pins that hopefully will knock down others!
Pin Boy: Before automatic pinsetters, the pins were set by hand. The person, regardless of gender or age, was
Pin Chaser: An employee of the bowling center that helps with machine calls during play.
Pin Count: The number of pins knocked down in a frame.
Pin Deck: The surface of the lane ends upon which the pins are spotted. It is made of a hard wood or synthetic
Pin Placement: Out or In. A drilling term that is relative to a bowler's track designed purposely for creating more
Pinching The Ball: Taking too tight a grip on the ball. Gripping the ball too hard.
Pindeck (Plate): The area upon which the pins are set.
Pindicator: A display board that shows the bowler which pins remain standing after the first ball.
Pinfall: (1) the number of pins knocked down; (2) how the pins fell.
Pinning: Getting single pins and pairs (after the first ball). (Pin it out, etc.)
Pit: The area of the lane behind the pin deck. The area at the end of the lane.
Pitch: Angle at which the holes in a ball are drilled.
Platform: Same as approach (1).
Play The Gutter: Playing a strike angle from the edge of the gutter.
Plug: To fill a hole with a plastic that hardens so that you can drill the holes in a different area.
Plus: In competitive play, the amount of pins (including bonus, if any) that a player is scoring over a 20
Pocket: The desirable location for the ball to hit the pins to maximize strike potential. Generally the area
Pocket Split: A split that is left after the ball hits the pocket; usually it is the result of a ball being deflec
Point: To aim the ball directly at the pocket; usually as part of a frozen rope.
Poison Ivy: The 3-6-10 split.
Polishing The Ball: The process of applying a foreign substance to a ball in order to lessen the friction between the ba
Polyester: Substance (a plastic) that was very popular in ball surface in the 1970's (among top players), and,
Poodle: To throw a gutter ball; probably a facetious corruption of puddle.
Portsider: A lefthanded player.
Position Round: In competition, league or tournaments, in which part of the competition is match play, it is when te
Positive Axis Point (Pap): The axis of the ball during the first few revolutions that is created totally by the bowler's releas
Positive Weight: Weight on a ball that tends to enhance the hook and/or to get the ball into a roll later down the la
Pot Game: A type of gambling competition in which two or more bowlers put money in the pot and the high scorer
Pound: To consistently hit your mark.
Powder Puff, Puff Ball: Same as nothing ball.
Power Player: A cranker; hard hitting, big hook, faster than average speed player.
Powerhouse: A ball thrown very fast and with a lot of action, resulting in an unmistakable strike.
Practice: The act of bowling with a purpose to either improve a skill or to work on acquiring a new skill; it
Preferred Spin Axis (Psa): It is the final axis a ball achieves while rolling down the lane. It is heavily influenced by the am
Puddle: (1) a gutter ball; (2) a spot on the lane that seems to have much more oil than expected.
Pull Shot: An erratic shot that goes off target towards the center or past the headpin.
Pull The Rug: A hit on which a number of pins wobble for a time before falling down simultaneously, as if a rug ha
Pumpkin: A softly thrown ball with little or no spin. A soft hitting ball.
Punch Out: To finish with consecutive strikes, from any frame on.
Punch Out Or Through: Down a pin(s) from the middle only (punch No. 6 out of a full set; or punch through No.1 after a Wor
Punched Out: The act of completing a game with all strikes from a given point in the game.See also off the sheet
Pushaway: The initial movement of the ball to get it into motion; some people push the ball directly forward,
Puzzle: Where wood is an obstruction or is difficult to figure (play).
Quality Shot: A shot in which everything, the approach, release etc all come together in perfect timing and balanc
Quantum: A line of premium balls made by Brunswick; its most famous (or infamous) is the Quantum Helix which
Quick Eight: An apparently good pocket hit that knocks down only eight pins, usually leaving the 4-7 or 6-10.
Rack: The complete set of pins when set on the pindeck; aka full rack.
Radius Of Gyration (Rg): Identifies how fast a ball begins to rotate once it leaves the bowler's hand.
Rail: Same as picket fence.
Railroad: A wide split on which both pins are on the same line; e.g., the 7-10, 8-10, 7-9, or 4-6.
Range Finders: Markers in the lane that help the bowler determine the target line. There are two sets of such marke
Range Finders (Alley Sights): 5 targets, each 1X7 inch, 6½ inches apart; forming a 2 foot long arrowhead centered 20 feet beyond
Rap: When a single pin remains standing after an apparent good hit. See also tap. Same as burner.
Re-Rack: Resetting the pins to a new full rack due to a perceived mis-spotting of one or more pins.
Reactive Resin: A polymer that is a cousin to traditional urethane; used as the coverstock on most modern balls; it
Reading The Lane: Experimentation, usually during practice, to determine the characteristics of a lane. Some lanes are
Reading The Lanes: The process of discovering how your ball reacts on different portions of the lane surface; hopefully
Refinish or Resurface: To sand and/or polish a ball that is heavily tracked in an attempt to restore the out-of-box finish.
Relaxed Fingertip: A grip that is more than a semi-fingertip but not as far stretched as a full fingertip grip.
Release: The point at which the ball is put onto the lane; also, the hand action that takes place at that poi
Rerack Or Reset: A call by a bowler asking that the pins be lifted from the alley and put back properly, because they
Return: A track that brings balls back from the pit.
Rev Leverage: A drilling with the pin 4-1/2 and the CG 3-3/8 from the bowler's PAP. The CG is placed down in the t
Reverse: A severe backup.
Reverse Block: For most people, a very difficult lane condition in which the boards closer to the gutter are heavil
Reverse Pitch: Angling of the thumbhole backward so the tip of the thumb is extended away from the palm. It is used
Revolutions: The number of times the ball rolls over its circumference from when it is released until it contacts
RHB: Right handed bowler.
Ringing 10 Pin: When the 10 pin stands after a particularly hard hitting shot; see soft ten also.
Ringing Ten-Burner: An apparently good hit on the pocket that fails to knock the 10-pin down.
Rock: The bowling ball.
Rocket: A ball thrown with extra speed; see also bb and bullet.
Rode The Oil Line: A method of lane play where there is an oil line/crown into the pocket and the player keeps the ball
Roll Out: A ball that loses its side rotation before hitting the pins; the hook action stops at that point and
Rotation: The spin given to the ball that creates both the break and action.
Rotational Energy: The energy created by the release and rotation of the hand up, around, through, and/or over the ball
Runway: 1) The movement of the bowler from address to delivery. 2) The part of the lane behind the foul line
Runway: Normally the approach area behind the foul line; also the name given to the areas to the side of the
Sanction Fee: A fee paid to a governing body as a requirement to have the scores count towards official averages a
Sand In Their Shoes: A sandbagger. He has sand in his shoes.
Sandbagger: A bowler who deliberately keeps his average low during the first part of the season, to take advanta
Sanding A Ball: The process of applying an abrasive to alter the surface of the ball, the goal to make the ball grab
Sandwich Game: Same as Dutch 200.
Santa Came Early: Expression used after a very lucky shot; a gift.
Scenic Route: The path a ball that hooks excessively takes to the pocket. Path taken by a long, slow curve ball.
Schleifer: A strike, usually from a loose hit, on which the pins slowly fall, one after the other. From the Ger
Scoreability: The scoring potential of a particular lane and condition. It can be used to describe how a lane has
Scotch Doubles: A system of doubles play where the two bowlers on each team play alternate shots throughout the game
Scratch: Actual score, without a handicap added. Bowling without the benefit of handicap.
Second Arrow: Either the actual second arrow from the gutter (also the tenth board), or, the description of the li
Semi-Finger Tip: A grip in which the player's fingers are inserted into the ball approximately half way between the f
Semi-Roller: The most popular shot today; it describes a ball that tracks outside of the thumb and finger holes.
Semi-Spinner: A semi-roller that tracks lower that normal causing the ball to spin quicker. Can be desirable to ge
Series: The set of games that make your bock; most leagues are three game series.
Series (Set): (Usually) three strings total (may be 5 or 10 strings, etc.)
Set: (1) The act of a ball holding pocket. (2) The series of games that makes your block or league sessio
Set Shot: The same as hookout and rollout.
Settee: The area behind the approach and between the concourse.
Setting The Ball Short: Either intentionally or by accident releasing the ball very near, or even behind, the foul line.
Shadow Ball: A practice ball rolled on an empty lane, without pins.
Shining: Adding a polish to a ball to retard its hooking action. See polishing a ball.
Short Oil: Also known as limited distance dressing/LDD. A condition in which oil is applied to the front 24 fee
Short Pin: A rolling pin that doesn't quite knock down a pin that's standing.
Short Rack: A pinsetter malfunction whereby it sets up fewer than the full ten pins.
Sidearming Or Sidewheeling: Pulling the arm away from the body during delivery.
Sideboards: Same as kickbacks.
Sidewall (Kickbacks, Side Kick): The high division boards between LANES at the pins end (partition between pindecks).
Sidewalls The Kickbacks: Vertical division boards between the sides of the lanes at the pit end. On many hits the pins can bo
Six-Pack: Six strikes in a row.
Sixpack: Six consecutive strikes.
Sixth Arrow: The arrow commonly used by Jason Couch and Kelly Coffman ; for a right handed player, the second arr
Skate: Skidding too much, too far before hooking.
Skid: What the ball does when it first hits the lane surface; all balls need to skid before hooking.
Sleeper: A pin hidden behind another pin; see cousin. Same as barmaid.
Slick: An oily lane condition.
Slide Step: The final step of the delivery, on which the bowler's foot slides.
Slot: Term for a very easy lane condition.
Slot Alley: A lane with a worn track that guides the ball into the pocket, making strikes easy.
Slow Lanes: This has two different and opposite meanings depending on the part of the country you reside. In som
Small Ball: An ineffective ball; one that must hit perfectly to strike as the pocket area for them is small.
Snake Eyes: The 7-10 split. Same as bedposts.
Snap: Usually refers to the ability of a ball to go long and then make a violent turn back to the pocket.
Snow Plow: Normally a ball that hits high and plows through the pins for a strike. A strike ball.
Soaking The Ball: In the 1970's, Don McCune, a PBA player, discovered that if you soaked a ball with a particular solv
Soft: The ball hitting the pins without power; the act of intentionally throwing a shot to cut down on the
Soft 10 Pin: A ten pin that is left on a weak pocket hit; see also flat 10.
Solid: (1) a ball surface that is one color, no pearl effect; (2) the act of hitting the pocket with author
Solid (X) Pin: Describes leaving a pin an an apparent solid shot; I left a solid 10.
Sour Apple: A weak hit that leaves leaves the 5-7, 5-10 or 5-7-10 split; also, the 5-7-10 split itself. Also kno
Span: A term used by the ball driller; generally, it is the distance from the thumb hole to the finger hol
Spare: Knocking all the pins with two balls. The score for that frame is 10 plus the number of pins knocked
Spare Ball: A ball used by players primarily for covering single pin spares. Typically, a spare ball will be a l
Spare Leave: Generally, the pins standing after first ball is rolled; often used to mean a leave on which it's re
Spiller: A strike on a light hit, on which the pins fall slowly.
Spinner Shot: A semi-roller that tracks very low on the ball, so low that in some cases you can see the thumb hole
Splice: They are on the lanes where the pine meets the maple; dovetail.
Split: A spare combination in which the head pin is down and the remaining pins have one or more intermedia
Split Leave: A leave on which some of the remaining pins are rather widely separated, making a spare relatively d
Sport: A competitive event governed by various internal and external systems and organizations. The individ
Spot: A place on the LANE where a bowler is aiming, (also, part of a track or line.) Your target on the la
Spot Bowling: Using a particular target on the lane, rather than the pins themselves, as an aiming point. Many bow
Stability: A defined rolling action of a bowling ball as it travels down the lane. Stability is said to be dire
Static: Weights The amount of thumb or finger, positive or negative side, top or bottom weight a ball has af
Steal: To get more pins then you hit for, or that you deserve by the hit made.
Steal A Strike: To get a strike on a less-than-perfect hit.
Stepladder: Three consecutive games in a series that increase by one pin each game; i.e., 145-146-147 is a stepl
Stiff: An oily lane.
Stone 8 (Or Stone 9 Etc): The leaving of the named pin an an apparent solid flush hit.
Storm: One of the high tech bowling ball manufacturers; their line of balls often has the word storm as par
Straight Player: A player that relies on accuracy at the expense of power.
Strike: The feat of knocking down all ten pins with the first ball. The score for the frame is 10 plus the t
Strike Out: Usually, getting all three strikes in the tenth frame; also sometimes the same as punch out.
Strike Split: A split that results from what was apparently a strike hit. Usually the 8-10 split for a right-hande
Strike Zone: Target area on either side of HEADPIN.
String: A number of successive strikes. A single game of bowling.
Strip The Lanes: The cleaning and removal of back end oil that has been carried down after the normal lane condition
Stroke: The act of releasing the ball in a fluid unforced motion, unlike a cranker who usually hits up on th
Stroker or Tweener: A player that has more accuracy and less power than a cranker, with more power than a straight playe
Suitcase Grip: Holding the ball as you would the handle of a suitcase; promotes reduced hook.
Sweep: The device on the pin-setter which clears the plate.
Sweeper: (1) WOOD that cleans remaining pins off deck (clears remaining pins). (2) Big hook, same as broom ba
Sweepstake: Tournament where contestants pay an entry fee (for prizes).
Swing Area: The amount of error a player has when making a shot.
Swing Shot: The throwing of the ball from an inside position on the lane towards the gutter; i.e., I was startin
Swish: To hit high enough in the pocket so that the five pin slides off to the opposite side in a swishing
Swiss Cheese Ball: A ball with many holes in it, used to determine the proper fit for a bowler so a custom ball can be
System Of Bowling (SOB): An attempt by the ruling body to legislate a minimum condition that all lanes must provide; it was h
Taking The Collar: Choking on an important shot.
Tandem: Same as barmaid.
Tap: The leaving of a single pin on an apparent perfect shot. Same as burner.
Target Pin (Object Pin): The pin that must be hit to make a shot.
Taxi: The shout used when a bowlers misses their mark by a large margin...sometimes in association with co
Team Captain: The player responsible for getting bowlers to the lane on time, setting the lineup, and handling any
Telephone Poles: Logs; very heavy pins.
The Bowl: Another name for the bowling center. I am going to the bowl.
The Foundation: Created by Jim Davis, it is an industry group (private individuals can join also) designed to look i
The Pines: The portion of a wood lane beyond the splice and up to the pin deck. See also heads, maple.
Thin (Hit): Where the ball barely touches the pin (LIGHT HIT or LOW HIT).
Thin Hit: A light hit in the pocket or on any spare. Same as loose hit.
Three Hundred (300) Game: A perfect game.
Three Hundred (300) Game Jinx: Similar to the baseball's no-hit jinx; when a player opens with a streak of strikes, it's considered
Three Quarter Bucket: Three of the four pins of the bucket split.
Three Quarter Hit: First ball hits between 2-4 or 3-6.
Three Quarter Roller: Semi-roller.
Throwing Rocks: Said of a bowler who scores well by rolling a very fast ball.
Thumb Slug: A plastic cylinder that is inserted into a hole that is drilled where your normal thumb hole would b
Thumb Weight: Method of drilling the ball so that the thumbhole is closer to the label than are the finger holes;
Tickler: The 6-pin, when it very gently knocks over the 10-pin, resulting in a strike.
Tight Lanes: Lanes that do not hook much; oily, stiff, heavily conditioned, icy.
Tilt The Five: A weak pocket hit where the ball deflects too much are just barely knocks over the five pin.
Timing: The relationship between your arrival at the foul line and the release. See early and late timing.
Too Thin: Barely misses (near miss) - almost knocked down the pin.
Top Weight: Drilling of a ball so that there is more weight above the label than there is below; it is considere
Topping The Ball: Keeping the thumb in the ball too long at release, resulting in little action because the fingers go
Touch: Same as burner.
Track: Either ball track, which is the area on the surface of the ball upon which the ball rotates as it go
Translational Energy: The energy created by the approach and the armswing toward the focal point.
Triple: Three consecutive strikes.
Triplicate: Three scores exactly the same; Jeremy Sonnenfeld has had the ultimate triplicate, 300-300-300.
Tripped 4: Said of the 4-pin when it's knocked down by the 2-pin on a bounce off the kickback.
Tripped-4: A hit that is a little high in the pocket that seems to leave the 4 pin, but the 2 pin comes off the
Trust: When you believe the ball will come back from a position very close to the gutter. I am really trust
Tug The Ball: Pulling or yanking the ball high on the headpin or crossing over.
Tumbler: Same as spiller.
Turbulence Hole: This extra hole creates air turbulence and causes the pins to fly around and mix better.
Turkey: Three strikes in a row.
Turkey Buzzard: Three splits in a row. You can see them circleing (remember, the symbol for a split is a circle). Se
Turn: The motion of the hand and wrist that imparts rotation to the ball at release.
Tweener: A player that has more accuracy and less power than a cranker, with more power than a straight playe
Umbrella Ball: A high hit that nevertheless results in a strike; so called because the pins fan out as they fall in
Uncle: Usually the term used to describe the anchor player on a team that had a chance to stick a teammate
Under: In competitive play, the amount of pins (including bonus, if any) that a player is scoring under a 2
Up The Boards: A strike line that is straighter into the ball track with little belly.
Up The Hill: When a ball successfully moves over a high board.
Up The Track: A strike line that is straighter into the ball track with little belly.
Urethane: A plastic blend that is normally softer and more porous than polyester; coverstock favorite until th
Vent Hole: An extra hole drilled to relieve suction in the thumb hole; not a gripping hole.
Vicarious Bowling: Watching WRWjr bowl.
Violation: An infraction affecting 2nd or 3rd ball score.
Walk: 1) The movement of the bowler from address to delivery. 2) The part of the lane behind the foul line
Wall: (1) the sideboards/kickback (2) the crown of oil (3) a very easy shot
Wall Shot: A strike that is light in the pocket whereby pins are deflected into the kickbacks and return to the
Washout: A split with the corner pin (7 or 10) standing; symbolised as W; not making the spare is considered
Weak Hit: A flat or soft hit leaving a single pin or possible a pocket split.
Weight Block: The interior portion of a ball that adds extra weight to it to bring the overall gross weight higher
Whoops: What you say when you lose the ball in your backswing.
WIBC: Women's International Bowling Congress; governing body for women players.
Winding Em In: Throwing a big hook back to the pocket.
Winding Them In: Said of a bowler who gets a big hook consistently into the pocket.
Wired: In the zone; very consistent with high scores.
Wood: 1)A pin or pins; 2)the number of pins knocked down; 3)the number of pins given to a bowler as a hand
Woolworth: The 5-10 (five and dime) split; see also Kresge.
Working Ball: A ball that has action and mix to scramble the pins; a hard charging effective ball.
Wow: Make a SPARE (or TEN) out of a SPLIT LEAVE.
Wrap Around: A shot on which the 6-pin almost hits the 10-pin but spins right around it, leaving it standing.
X: The symbol for a strike.
XXXed Out: The act of completing a game with all strikes from a given point in the game.See also off the sheet
Yaba: Young American Bowling Alliance; governing body for youth bowlers.
Yank The Shot: To hold onto the ball too long, thus pulling it across the body before release. Pulling or tugging t
Yellow Dot: An older polyester ball made by Columbia that was known for its excellent roll and hit.
Zero In: To find the path to the pocket, usually after some poor hits and/or experimentation.
Zone: A highly successful ball line from Brunswick; one of the biggest selling lines of balls ever made.