Duckpin Bowling Definitions


Anchor: Last bowler in a team's lineup.
Approach: Area behind the foul line on which the bowler takes his/her steps prior to delivering the ball. Known, too, as the run way. Also, considered the entire delivery process, from push away to release.
Ball Return: Usually an under-the-lane track (or if your lanes are more than 40 years old the track is above ground like North Chelmsford Lanes) on which the ball is returned to the bowler from the pit. Also, where the ball rests before and after all shots.
Double: Two consecutive strikes.
Fill: Number of pins knocked down by the first ball after a spare. So called because those pins finish the scoring for the previous frame.
Foul: Touching or going beyond the foul line when delivering the ball.
Foul Line: A black line on the alley which separates the approach from the lane.
Frame: One-tenth of a game. Each large box on a score sheet indicates a frame. A player's turn during a game. A game consists of 10 frames.
Gutter Ball: A ball rolled in the gutter.
Gutter or Channel The drop off area on each side of the lane (not a place you want your first ball to go). Also called the channel.
Handicap: Pins added to a bowler's score to equalize competition. The lower a bowler's average, the higher the handicap so that he/she will have a better opportunity to defeat a bowler with a higher average.
House Ball: A ball that is owned by the bowling center and can be used by anyone.
Lane: Name usually associated with the 60-foot wooden surface extending from the foul line to the end of the pin deck.
Lead Off: First bowler in a team's lineup.
Leave: Pins that remain standing after the first ball delivery.
Lofting: Tossing the ball far out beyond the foul line. Normally caused by a late release. Also called lobbing the ball.
Mark: A strike or a spare.
Miss: When no pins are knocked down on a single shot.
Open: A frame without a strike or a spare, pins are left standing after two shots.
Pin: Object which the bowler is trying to knock down.
Spare: Knocking down all 10 pins with two shots within the same frame.
Split: A spare leave in which the headpin is down and the remaining pins have another pin down immediately ahead of or between them so that the gap is greater than the width of the ball.
Spot: Target on the lane at which a bowler aims.
Steps: Number of steps bowler takes when delivering the ball.
Strike: Knocking down all 10 pins with the first shot of a frame.
Target Arrows: A series of seven triangular darts (spots) placed in front of the foul line out on the lane. Used as sighting targets to help a player align the starting position on the approach with the ball path to the pocket.
Turkey: Three consecutive strikes (and Dinner at Thanksgiving time!)