Bowling Glossary

 
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C
CARRY
Refers to how often an apparent pocket hit gets a strike. If your carry is good, you get mostly strikes; if the carry is bad, you leave back row pins.
CARRYDOWN
The oil conditioner on the lane does not soak into the boards, it sits on top. As balls are thrown, the oil is subtly moved...it might be pushed left and right, or, it might be moved farther down the lane (carried down). Usually, but not always, a house with a lot of carrydown will not allow a ball to hook as much on the back ends and scores will be lower. In some houses and oil patterns, the initial pattern is too much over/under and carry increases as the carrydown effect takes place.
CARRYOFF
Similar to "carrydown" except the bowling ball soaks up the conditioner and removes it from the area of the roll; particularly common on porous and high flaring resin balls. If this happens, most players need to move inside to continue to find a playable oil line. Usually not desirable.
CC
A 200 game.
CENTER
The lanes you bowl in...the physical building.
CENTER OF GRAVITY (CG)
The heaviest part of a bowling ball. The CG is signified by a dye mark placed on the ball by the manufacturer designating the center of the weight mass relative to the top of the ball.
CHANNEL
The formal name for a gutter. The area to the right and left of the playing surface that catches a ball that rolls off the lane.
CHEATER BALL
A derogatory term used to describe modern highly aggressive bowling balls that can offer the hook and power formerly attained only by players that imparted the action due solely to the efforts of the bowler.
CHEESY CAKES
Lanes that are dressed so that it's easy to get strikes.
CHERRY
Missing a spare cluster by taking the front pin or pins only; it usually means that the ball hit too much in the center of the front pin causing no ball deflection to assist in taking the remaining pins; i.e., leaving the 6-10 spare and hitting dead center on the 6 pin and the 10 pin remaining. See also "chop". Also, a word used to describe very easy scoring conditions.
CHICKEN WING
A term used to describe the movement of the elbow of the throwing arm as it flares away from the body; it often leads to a follow through that crosses the body; such actions hinder accuracy and consistency.
CHOKE
Failing to perform in a positive manner when the pressure was on the player. To perform poorly in an important situation because of nerves. To become over-anxious and miss badly.
CHOP
To knock down one pin of a spare leave, while the pin next to or behind it remains standing. Seel also "cherry".
CHRISTMAS TREE
The 3-7-10 or 2-7-10 split; so-called because of the triangular arrangement.
CINCINNATI
The 8-10 split.
CLEAN BACK ENDS
A generally desirable lane condition in which the back ends of the lane have little or no conditioner (see "stripped lanes" also). It is helpful in that the ball can generate a larger hook with the increased friction on the clean back end surface.
CLEAN GAME
A game without any open frames.
CLEANUP (TEN)
Down all remaining pins with the third ball, (Cleanup ball).
CLOSED POCKET
A full rack of pins set up for your strike ball such that the head pin is a tad off spot towards your ball hand; i.e., to the right for a right handed player; closed pockets can give unpredictable results, often negative. See also "open pocket".
CLOTHES LINE
A group of four pins in a single line; i.e., 1-2-4-7 or 1-3-6-10.
CLOTHESLINE
The 1-2-4-7 or 1-3-6-10 leave.
CLUTCH
Pressure situation; a player that responds well to pressure.
COLUMBIA 300
One of the big manufacturers of balls.
COME AROUND THE BALL
The act of rotating your fingers around the ball to impart rotation; too much can result in a ball being "topped". See also "behind the ball".
COMING IN BEHIND THE HEADPIN
This is a ball that leaves a ten pin on an apparent solid hit, but the ball enters the pocket late.
COMING THROUGH
The act of a player performing positively under pressure.
COMING THROUGH THE BALL
A phrase to describe the player's release.
CONCOURSE
Open space where crowds gather behind the settee. They are usually separated by tables and chairs.
CONDITION
The overall term used to describe the lane surface; i.e., .."it was a dry condition."
CONDITIONER
Another name for lane oil. All lanes need some type of protective coating to prevent burn marks in the heads from the force of the thrown balls. In the "old days" lane conditioner was used primarily as a protective measure; today, under the System of Bowling, some centers legally use the lane conditioner as a tool to assist in scoring and guiding a ball to the pocket. The area of a lane that is heavily conditioned will retard the hook, and if there is heavy conditioner in the center/pocket area of the lane it can assist the ball into the pocket. See also "blocked lanes".
CONVENTIONAL GRIP
A type of ball drilling where the fingers are placed up to the second joint. Not used by many higher skilled players as it is much harder to get a hook on this type of drilling, although, is may assist accuracy in some players.
CONVERT
To make a spare after a split leave; loosely, to make any spare.
CORE
The material in the center portion of the ball.
CORE TORQUE
Internal or core torque refers to the mass distribution within the core and the internal lever arms created by the core. Core torque is an assigned value of the ball's ability to combat rollout, the complete loss of axis tilt. High torque balls are more effective than lower torque balls at delaying rollout. Core torque can also be one indicator of the type of reaction that a bowler can expect at the breakpoint with high torque balls having the propensity to be more "violent" and the lower torque balls tending to display a more even, predictable transition from skid to roll.
COUNT
The number of pins knocked down with the first ball in a frame.
COUSIN
Usually the term used to describe the anchor player on a team that had a chance to "stick" a teammate with a beer frame, but did not strike. The anchor is said to be a "cousin" of the other player. Also, the name of the pin that is hidden in a spare cluster; i.e., the 8 in the 2-8, or the 9 in the 3-9; a "sleeper".
COVER
To make a spare; "I covered the five pin."
COVERSTOCK
The material that makes up the outer shell of the ball; the hardness, texture, and shine of a bowling ball. It is generally defined as Aggressive, meaning it is made of a high friction material that is prone to large hook or flip when it encounters dry boards; or, Medium which displays less tendency to hook; and, Mild/Mellow which is the lowest friction material and the least sensitive to dry lanes.
CRANKER
A player that uses exaggerated arm/wrist action to impart a great deal of hooking action. Usually means that the player has less accuracy and relies more on power for their scores.
CRAWLER
A strike on which the ball misses the head pin. So called because the 4, 2, and 1 pins usually fall slowly, like dominos, after the rest of the pins are down.
CREEPER
A slow ball.
CREEPER/CREEP SPEED
A person that throws the ball very slowly; very slow ball speed.
CROAKER
A combination of a cranker and stroker.
CROSSING WITH A PLAYER
Refers to competition in which you move lanes after a game or games and the persons that move with you are said to "cross" with you.
CROSSOVER
A ball thrown on the first shot that misses your pocket and hits either on the "wrong" pocket or even misses farther to the wrong pocket side.
CROSS-OVER
A ball that results in a Brooklyn hit.
CROWN/CROWNED CONDITION
A lane conditioning pattern that places a larger amount of oil in the center of the lane to assist the ball and help guide it to the pocket. Promotes high scores at the expense of talent. See "block" or "blocked lanes" and "flat condition".
CUPPING YOUR WRIST
A type of ball carry that has your wrist bent upwards; it is considered a power/more hook delivery.
CURTAIN
A blow in the last frame by the anchor man, when a spare would have won for his team.
CURVE
A ball that has a big, slow break. Compare to hook.
CUSHION
Part of the pinsetter at the back of the lane that absorbs the shock of pins and thrown balls. Also refers to the amount of a lead you have on your competition; i.e., "I had a 30 pin cushion."
CUTTER
A very sharp-breaking hook.

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