Bowling Vocabulary

The students who came to our bowling event yesterday had a lot of fun at Lucky Strike and for many of the students it was their first time trying the sport. It was challenging at first, but after awhile everyone started to improve. While we were playing some of the more advanced bowlers and higher level English speakers were teaching the other students about the vocabulary of bowling. We thought we would share some of the most important bowling words with you, so that you can sound like an “expert” next time you go to Lucky Strike or another bowling location.

1) Bowling Alley – The place where you go to bowl. Lucky Strike is the most famous bowling alley on Miami Beach and it is just one block from our school on Michigan Avenue.

2) Lane – The place where you throw the ball. It is usually a long, skinny “road” for the ball.

3) Gutter – On the sides of the lane there are two gutters. If you throw the ball in a bad way, the ball may go in the gutter. If it goes in the gutter, you do not usually hit any of the pins.

4) Pins- The white things at the end of the lane that you try to hit with the ball. There are usually 10 pins, which are arranged in a pyramid shape.

5) Strike – This is a special score that happens when you hit down all of the pins with just one ball. So, if you throw the ball and hit all 10 pins at one time, you have scored a strike. Strikes give you a lot of points. If you score a strike you will see an X on the score screen.

6) Spare – This is another special score. You receive a spare when you hit down all of the pins with 2 balls. For example, if you throw the first ball and hit 8 and then the second ball and hit 2. You have still knocked down all of the pins, but it took two turns instead of one. If you score a spare, you will see a / on the score screen.

7) Split – Every time it is your turn, you get to bowl 2 times. A split happens when you are bowling your second ball. Sometimes you knocked down some pins with the first ball but they were at opposite sides of the pyramids. Therefore, there is a hole in the middle of the pins. A split is really hard to knock down because the pins are not close to each other.

Those are the bowling specific words. Now, we have one more bonus word that we learned at bowling yesterday.

Smack Talk – When you say things to the other players that show you are the best and that the other players are not as strong as you at the sport or activity. An example for bowling would be: “You can’t knock any down. I’m going to get strikes all night!”

Make sure that you can play as well as you can smack talk!

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