Article Contents

  • 1. The 3-6-9 system
  • 2. Systems taught by Susie Minshew
    • 2.1. The “works almost anywhere you go” system
    • 2.2. The fourth arrow system
    • 2.3. Left side spares from the left and right side spares from the right
  • 3. The Triax spare system
  • 4. The Shadow Pin spare system
  • 5. Bowling Beyond the Basics system
  • 6. How to Pick Up Spares e-book
  • 7. Tenpin Toolkit app
  • 8. Which system should I choose?
  • 9. Spare shooting philosophies and strategies
    • 9.1. To hook or not to hook?
    • 9.2. Shooting at splits
  • 10. Spare thoughts

In the first part of this series, we discussed ball choices, wrist supports, spare releases, and the mental game aspect of spare shooting. In this segment, we will summarize several different spare shooting systems, provide important considerations for each one, and end with some general spare shooting philosophies.

Space does not permit me to discuss each spare shooting system in detail, so wherever possible, links to original sources will be provided. Additionally, since all of these systems are either taught by well-known coaches or have stood the test of time, it is important to note that there is no wrong or right system; there is only what is easiest and most repeatable for you, the bowler.

The 3-6-9 system

This spare system has been around for ages, and there are numerous websites and videos describing how it works. Its essential principle is that spares are converted going cross-alley and that each zone of pins requires a 3 board move in the opposite direction. So, for example, you move 3 boards left to shoot your 3 pins and 9 pins, 6 boards left to shoot your 6 pins, 9 boards left to shoot your 10 pins, and vice versa for left side spares.

I have intentionally left out the obvious question of “move right or left starting from where?”  This answer depends on which version of the system you are ...

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Joe Hoenig

About Joe Hoenig

Joe Hoenig is a USBC Silver coach and a graduate of the Dick Ritger Bowling Camps. A Licensed Master Social Worker by profession, Joe works full-time as a Clinical Trainer and Educator for a health insurance plan and takes his love of teaching and bowling onto the lanes, coaching both youth and adult students of all ages and skill levels. Additionally, Joe is a volunteer coach for the Suffolk County, NY Bowlympics youth travel league, which calls South Levittown Lanes its home.