Quick Tips: Cover The Wood


Before we begin when I say phrases like “covering the wood,” or “picking up the wood,” I’m referring to picking up the pins on one side of a split (the side that has more pins).  For example a common split is the 6-7-10.  If a teammate shouted “don’t worry about it, just go for the wood,” they are basically telling you to just pick up the 6-10.  If a 7-10 split was made, either the 7 or the 10 pin could be the wood.  Ok, lets move on.

Every bowler comes faced with a split every now and again, but whether or not you should attempt to make the split, or just go for the wood often confuses people.  I’d say more often than not attempting to cover railroad* splits or splits of similar difficulty is a bad idea unless you need those pins to have any chance of winning the match.  If that is the case have at it, otherwise over the long haul you’ll get more pins out of just covering the wood.

Think about it realistically.  Say you can cover a 4 pin 90 times out of 100.  How many times are you going to cover a 4-6 in 100 tries.  Let’s assume you are attempting the convert the 4-6 and you now only hit a pin 50% of the time. That means you’ve lost 50 pins.  You’d have to cover that spare at least 4 times in 100 to make it worthy of attempting.  Now with the 4-6 someone might argue they are capable of that, but realistically are you?

With that said you should always attempt certain splits.  The 2-7 and all baby splits like the 9-10, 7-8, etc. should all be attempted to convert. This is because you are not giving away any wood attempting to convert them.  Splits like the 5-10 and the 5-7 are situational but more often than not you should be attempting them unless you only need 1 pin to win or lock out an opponent.

*Railroad: A split with both pins on the same line (4-6, 7-9, 8-10, 7-10)

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Categories : Quick Tips


  1. Pin count! Missing the cut by one pin is not fun. Pin count!

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