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Why You Need A Bowling Ball For Spares

Why you need a bowling ball for spares is an easy concept to understand. There are a variety of lane conditions where getting a consistent ball reaction is challenging. When you encounter very dry lane conditions, for example, it becomes clear why you need a bowling ball for spares. Simply stated, you need to maintain a controlled ball motion when rolling for the tricky spares so you don’t waste scoring opportunities.

Using a high-performance strike ball is common in today’s game. Gaining increased hook potential is proven to create improved strike power because of an increased angle of entry into the pocket and because the bowling ball can hook back to the pocket when delivered at a relatively wide angle to the break point.

There are times however, when high-performance bowling balls leave us with the tricky corner pin spares which are nearly impossible for most amateur players to convert using bowling balls with extremely high hook potential ratings.

For example, when you leave the 7 or 10 pin standing, you require a precision delivery when shooting for the spare. It can be in your best interest to use a ball that doesn’t hook much at all but rather rolls straight and true toward the spare. At all costs, you will want to avoid your ball hooking suddenly and miss the spare altogether, something which is greatly reduced in chance when using a polyester spare ball, for example.

Bowling is a sport that doesn’t really allow much room for error like in basketball or football. Basketball and football players are only limited by time and the opposing team, of course, to score as many points as possible within 60 minutes.

In bowling, we are not limited by time but by frames. Our goal is not to make as many shots toward the hoop or passes into an end-zone as possible but rather to make as few shots as possible. 12 deliveries for strikes constitute a perfect game. Unfortunately, rolling a "perfecto" is easier said than done. We can’t always strike on every delivery so we have to rely on our second delivery, our spare shot. That’s where the spare ball comes in handy.

In addition to the single pin spare scenario mentioned earlier, many split combinations require a precise hit in order to pick up the spare. A good example would be a 3-10 split. This is especially difficult for right handed bowlers as the right edge of the lane doesn’t allow enough room for a sharp hooking ball's path to track consistently.

With a spare bowling ball, you have a better chance of making the shot by following a straight path between the pins slightly towards the 3 pin’s right side. This will result in a deflection towards the 10 pin and the conversion of this split/spare opportunity.


The great thing about buying a spare ball is that even though they are a polyester coverstock composition, there are still a wide variety of products to choose from in terms of the look of the ball. Also, many of them are a great way to personalize your style and attitude.

So if you want to maximize your bowling score, then you want to look into purchasing a spare ball. It gives you versatility in making your spare shots and increases your scoring potential, particularly on very dry lanes.

bowlingball.com always recommends you consult your certified bowling instructor or an experienced local coach, possibly your pro shop professional, to help you develop a strategy to improve your spare shooting skills.

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