Why Did I Leave a Solid 10 Pin?

You knew it the second the ball left your hand. You could feel it coming, the perfect roll, right over your target, great ball speed, and then it happens. A ringing 10 pin. (Yes, I know lefties leave 7 pins too.) But, let’s look at that last shot, was it really as perfect as you thought it was? What if you could slow down all that action at the end of the lane and look at it frame by frame. The question is WHY is that corner pin still standing? What can you do on your next shot to save yourself the frustration of another one?

Ringing 10 pins are not the act of an almighty bowling deity that decides to smite you from above in anger. It’s a simple matter of physics. Perfect pocket shots will result in 10 in the pit, light or heavy pocket hits will leave you with a corner pin standing and laughing at you from 60 feet away.

There’s 2 reasons common reasons to leave a corner pin on a pocket shot:

  • Hitting High:
  • Hitting Light

Hitting Light

When you are hitting light, the 3 pin hits the front of the 6, sending it to the left of the 10 pin.
This can be recognized by watching what looks like a solid hit leave a 10 pin due to the fact that the 3 pin is hitting the 6 pin on the right side, sending the 6 to the left of the 10 pin.

The easiest way to recognize your hitting light is by watching the 6 pin. If it’s missing the 10 to the left, your hitting too light.

Hitting Heavy

When you are hitting heavy,  the 3 pin usually heads straight back, which sends the 6 sideways to lay in the channel or wrap all the way around the right of the 10 pin.

We leave the 10 pin because the ball lost energy before it enters the 1 -3 pocket and the ball will hit heavy (more on the 3 pin). There’s a few reasons this could happen:

  • Your ball rolled out early and used all it’s energy before hitting the pocket
  • Your ball hit a spot of carrydown and rolled too late.

Easy ways to spot is a 6 pin laying in the gutter, or wrapping around the 10 pin.


How do I fix it

Great, I can see what’s going on now. So how do I fix it? There’s no one size solution to corner pins but a starting point is to move in the direction of your miss.

Missing High: If your missing high, you should move 1-2 boards left, or move backwards 4-6 inches. This will keep your ball in the oil a little longer and give it more time to slide into to pocket

Missing Heavy: If your missing light, you should move 1-2 boards right, or move forwards 4-6 inches. This will increase the angle your ball enters the pocket at and all the 3 pin to drive into the 6, into the 10.

If your a visual learner this video from USBC is a great example of how 10 pins are left standing.

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