Most, if not all, bowlers want to make a strike with every first throw in the same way that golfers like a hole-in-one. But strikes aren’t possible for all bowlers all the time for many reasons, thus, the need for spare balls. Here are a few basic things to know about them.
What Are Spare Balls?
Serious bowlers at Red Rock usually have at least two balls – a strike ball and a spare ball – although many will have several balls always ready. The strike ball is the main ball used on the first throw and the strike ball is the secondary ball used in picking up challenging spares.
In most cases, spare bowling balls have the same weight but different materials than the strike balls. This is because the latter should provide the player with a more precise throw and, thus, increase the chances of picking up spares. Keep in mind that picking up spares can easily and quickly turn a bad game into a good game, even a 150+ game.
Why Use Spare Balls?
Furthermore, lane conditions will change from one throw to the next and from one lane to the next. With a ball that reacts in the same manner regardless of the lane conditions, especially the amount of oil, is as beneficial as can be.
Let’s assume that you’re a right-handed bowler. On your first throw, you left the ten pin still standing and, in this case, you shouldn’t use a strike ball since it will most likely hook. Instead, you should use a plastic/polyester ball (i.e., a spare ball) so you can make a more accurate throw and increase your chances of picking up spares.
When choosing your spare balls, you can pick based on your preferred color and pattern because these usually don’t affect their overall performance. You should instead use spare balls with the same weight as your strike balls so you don’t have to adjust your speed vis-à-vis the ball’s weight.
How to Use Spare Balls?
Even with a dedicated spare ball, it’s important to practice with it so you can get better shots from it. A few tips to keep in mind in this regard.
- Bowl across the lane so that you can make a straighter spare shot. For example, if the spare is on the lane’s right side, you should move across to the left side (i.e., for a right-handed player). You should also consider making mechanical adjustments.
- Apply the appropriate spare system like the 3-6-9 system.
- Practice the ten pin if you’re a righty, or the seven pin if you’re a lefty.
Spare bowls are a must-have investment in your game so look for the right ones for you as soon as possible!