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Bowling Pin Carry

A big step to increasing your "strike" potential is hitting the pocket with a high percentage of bowling deliveries. When you hit the pocket a lot, you leave corner pins too. That is the trade off.

Everyone wants to increase their bowling pin carry and stop leaving so many “pesty” corner pins on solid pocket hits.

The goal of all bowlers is getting a strike, beginner bowlers included. Let’s examine some general conclusions about pin carry based on a 2009 study presented at an Expo seminar by the United States Bowling Congress (USBC):

1. Optimal bowling ball Angle of Entry into the pocket (both sides of the lane) is 6 degrees. Four to six degrees is the normal range based upon a given bowlers delivery style.

2. An increase in bowling ball weight from 14 lbs to 15 lbs, as the example, increases pin carry.

3. Bowling ball Exit Angles and Entry Angles were used in the study.

4. The Pin Deck has a greater overall effect on pin carry than does the Kickbacks and the Flat Gutters. The Pin Deck and the Kickbacks are the greatest contributors to pin carry, than are the Flat Gutters.

5. On a light pocket hit, the 3 pin carries the ten pin (right handed bowlers) and the ball exits the Pin Deck right of the 9 pin.

6. On a high pocket hit, the head pin hits the 5 pin and the bowling ball exits the Pin Deck hitting the 8 pin.

7. On solid pocket hits, the bowling ball takes out the 1,3,5 and 9 pins by a right handed bowler and the 1,2,5 and 8 pins for left handed bowlers.

These simplified factors presented in the seminar leads us to the conclusion that pin carry varies from bowling session to session. Anytime round objects collide, they can deflect at inconsistent angles depending on the bowling ball speed, the Angle of Entry, the Exit Angle, the Axis of Rotation, and the Rev-Rate a given bowler delivers.

Other pin carry variables are how lively given Pin Decks, Kickbacks, and Flat Gutters are at given bowling centers to aid pins bouncing and moving about to deflect into corner pins or the 8 and 9 pins.

Pin spotting can also be a slight factor in pin carry. The pin cells of automatic pinsetters need to be adjusted from time to time as routine maintenance. “Off-spot” pins can cause inconsistent pin carry.

The greater the percentage of pocket hits by any given bowler, the chances at strikes increases as does the number of “taps.”

For example, we know that if you hit the pocket 25 times in a three game series of games, you will get a fair share of strikes and your fair share of one pin spares to convert.

The number of strikes will vary each series of three games based on the same example of 25 pocket hits, because some pocket hits will be solid ones and others will be light pocket or high pocket hits. These numbers of light, solid and high pocket hits will vary each series of games.

The stress in getting a higher than normal number of nine pin counts in a given series of games can be frustrating, to say the least. No bowler will carry an extremely high percentage of times when hitting the pocket every time they bowl.

There are simply too many variables so don’t worry about things you cannot control.

In the end, all any bowler can do is to align to the pocket, make a good delivery, and convert the spare if a strike is not recorded. Pin carry is an elusive entity.