Single Pins – Disaster or Near Perfection, Part 2 of 3 by Ed Cotter

Single Pins – Disaster or Near Perfection, Part 2 of 3 by Ed Cotter

 

How many of us have thrown what we thought was an excellent pocket hit only to have a single pin stop us dead in our tracks?  I know I have.  With this installment, I’ll discuss the second row of pins, the 4, 5, and 6 pins.  I’m not going to touch on the 1, 2, and 3 pins, because the premise I’m using is the ball is finding the pocket but not carrying ten pins into the pit.

 

Again I’m going to come at these leaves from a statistical point of view.

 

6-pin leave for righties or the 4-pin leave for lefties – statistically, the contributor for leaving this pin is a very high pocket hit.  The ball hits more of the head pin than the 3 or 2 pins.  For a righty, the ball rips through the head pin and deflects the 3-pin out and around the 6-pin then takes out the 10-pin with a wall ricochet.   For a lefty, the ball rips through the head pin and deflects the 2-pin out and around the 4-pin then takes out the 7-pin with a wall ricochet.

–     Move slightly left, right for lefties, on the approach, for me it’s two or three boards, and maintain the same strike line.  This allows the ball to finish deeper in the pocket hopefully forcing the 3-pin into the 6-pin or the 2-pin into the 4-pin.

–     Move up an inch and a board left, right for lefties, on the approach – do this only if you have room before the foul line with your normal approach.  Maintain the same strike line.  This allows the ball to finish deeper in the pocket hopefully forcing the 3-pin into the 6-pin or the 2-pin into the 4-pin.

 

4-pin leave for righties or the 6-pin leave for lefties – statistically, the contributor for leaving this pin is a very light pocket hit.  The ball hits less of the head pin and more of the 3 or 2 pins.  For a righty, the ball clips the head pin deflecting it into the 2-pin out.  This sends the 2-pin straight back as the 1-pin ricochets off the wall into the 7-pin.  For a lefty, the ball clips the head pin deflecting it into the 3-pin out.  This sends the 3-pin straight back as the 1-pin ricochets off the wall into the 10-pin.

–     Move slightly right, left for lefties, on the approach, for me it’s two or three boards, and maintain the same strike line.  This allows the ball to finish higher in the pocket hopefully forcing the head pin into the 2-pin, then into the 4-pin into the 7-pin or into the 3-pin into the 6-pin into the 10-pin.

–     Move up an inch and a board right, left for lefties, on the approach – do this only if you have room before the foul line with your normal approach.  Maintain the same strike line.  This allows the ball to finish higher in the pocket hopefully forcing the head pin into the 2-pin into then the 4-pin into then the 7-pin or the head pin into the 3-pin into the 6-pin into the 10-pin into the 4-pin.

 

5-pin leave – statistically, the contributor for leaving this pin is a ball with little power and deflects off the head pin instead of driving through the 1-3 or 1-2 pockets.  This is usually caused by coming around your ball creating an exaggerated axis tilt, which decreases the amount of left to right or right to left movement of the ball.  The ball will hit the pocket and deflect straight back through the 3-pin or the 2-pin for a lefty.

–     The trick here is to maintain your usual release and allow the ball to roll into the pocket rather than slide into the pocket.  With the exaggerated axis tilt, the ball will slide too much before friction forces it to roll.  I don’t have any magic formulas here, other than knowing my release.  By knowing my release and the feel of my fingers in the ball, I know if I have come around the ball too much.  When the ball hits pocket and leaves a 5-pin, my errant release is confirmed.

 

In my last installment, part 3, I’ll discuss entry angles and how they impact your strike percentage.  Good luck and good bowling.

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