Bowling Glossary

 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z ALL
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PACE/PACER
A pacer bowls as part of a team only for the purpose of keeping the "pace" of the game more even; pacer scores do not count towards the team total. Also, the rhythm of your footwork as you approach the release point.
PACK
A full count of ten; a strike; also, an adjective to describe a full pocket hit; i.e., "it was packed". See also "six pack".
PAP (POSITIVE AXIS POINT)
The point on the ball that is equidistant from all points of the release ball track.
PAR
To a professional bowler, a 200 game. See also over; under.
PART OF BUILDING, (HIT)
Get 7 or 10 pin only. Hit corner pin with first ball.
PART OF THE BUILDING
An expression used to describe a standing single pin after an apparent perfect hit.
PART OF THE BUILDING/HOUSE
Said of the 7 or 10 pin when it remains solidly standing after an apparently perfect hit. Used in a phrase such as, "That pin must be part of the building."
PBA
Professional Bowlers Association.
PEARL/PEARLIZED
A type of ball surface that is not a solid color, but has a swirling, cloud-like appearance. As a general rule, all things being equal, a pearlized ball tends to go longer before hooking than would its solid cousin.
PENCILS
Very light weight pins.
PERFECT GAME
A score of 300, resulting from 12 consecutive strikes.
PHYSICAL WORK
Activities which are somewhat difficult yet nonspecific to sport. They do fatigue the body at times and may generate some forms of physical fitness benefits.
PICK
Same as chop.
PICK A 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".
PICKET FENCE
The 1-2-4-7 or 1-3-6-10 spares.
PIE
Easy scoring condition; easy lanes.
PIE ALLEY
A lane that produces high scores; from "easy as pie."
PIN (AS IT APPLIES TO A BALL)
The small circle of a different color found on the surface of the ball. It locates the center of the weight block that identifies the direction it is tilted.
PIN ACTION
Motion of struck pins that hopefully will knock down others!
PIN BOY
Before automatic pinsetters, the pins were set by hand. The person, regardless of gender or age, was the "pinboy".
PIN CHASER
An employee of the bowling center that helps with machine calls during play.
PIN COUNT
The number of pins knocked down in a frame.
PIN DECK
The surface of the lane ends upon which the pins are spotted. It is made of a hard wood or synthetic surface to absorb the pounding it takes.
PIN PLACEMENT
Out or In. A drilling term that is relative to a bowler's track designed purposely for creating more ball dynamics. A Pin-in ball (when the pin is located within two inches of the CG) is excellent choice for control and less hook; a Pin-out ball usually can be made to hook more and flip more dramatically than pin-in balls; they often give the driller more options.
PINCHING THE BALL
Taking too tight a grip on the ball. Gripping the ball too hard.
PINDECK (PLATE)
The area upon which the pins are set.
PINDICATOR
A display board that shows the bowler which pins remain standing after the first ball.
PINE/THE PINES
The portion of a wood lane beyond the splice and up to the pin deck. See also "heads", "maple".
PINFALL
(1) the number of pins knocked down; (2) how the pins fell.
PINNING
Getting single pins and pairs (after the first ball). ("Pin it out", etc.)
PIT
The area of the lane behind the pin deck. The area at the end of the lane.
PITCH
Angle at which the holes in a ball are drilled.
PLATFORM
Same as approach (1).
PLAY THE GUTTER
Playing a strike angle from the edge of the gutter.
PLUG
To fill a hole with a plastic that hardens so that you can drill the holes in a different area.
PLUS
In competitive play, the amount of pins (including bonus, if any) that a player is scoring over a 200 average; a player that shoots 1734 for 8 games is "plus" 134. See also "minus", "over" and "under".
POCKET
The desirable location for the ball to hit the pins to maximize strike potential. Generally the area between the 1-3 pins (right hand player) or the 1-2 pins (left hand player). This is the target for the first ball in a frame.
POCKET SPLIT
A split that is left after the ball hits the pocket; usually it is the result of a ball being deflected too much (i.e., some pocket splits are the 8-10, 5-7 etc).
POINT
To aim the ball directly at the pocket; usually as part of a "frozen rope".
POISON IVY
The 3-6-10 split.
POLISHING THE BALL
The process of applying a foreign substance to a ball in order to lessen the friction between the ball and the lane; the ball becomes shinier/glossier and the goal is for the ball to hook later and less.
POLYESTER
Substance (a plastic) that was very popular in ball surface in the 1970's (among top players), and, still very popular today as either a spare ball or ball of first choice for recreational players. It usually hooks less than a urethane or resin ball, but more than a rubber ball. It normally has a hard shiny surface, not prone to hooking much; it can come in a variety of colors. Used by higher skilled players if the lanes are very dry. See also "urethane" and "resin".
POODLE
To throw a gutter ball; probably a facetious corruption of puddle.
PORTSIDER
A lefthanded player.
POSITION ROUND
In competition, league or tournaments, in which part of the competition is match play, it is when teams or individuals play each other based upon their standing; i.e., position 1 plays 2; 3 plays 4; etc. The purpose is to give teams a chance to improve their standing directly against their closest competition.
POSITIVE AXIS POINT (PAP)
The axis of the ball during the first few revolutions that is created totally by the bowler's release style.
POSITIVE WEIGHT
Weight on a ball that tends to enhance the hook and/or to get the ball into a roll later down the lane; top weight, positive side weight and finger weight are considered positive weights. These are considered static weights that can be drilled into a ball. See also "dynamic" weights.
POT GAME
A type of gambling competition in which two or more bowlers put money in the pot and the high scorer wins it all.
POUND
To consistently hit your mark.
POWDER PUFF, PUFF BALL
Same as nothing ball.
POWER PLAYER
A cranker; hard hitting, big hook, faster than average speed player.
POWERHOUSE
A ball thrown very fast and with a lot of action, resulting in an unmistakable strike.
PRACTICE
The act of bowling with a purpose to either improve a skill or to work on acquiring a new skill; it is NOT just going to the lanes and bowling a few games.
PREFERRED SPIN AXIS (PSA)
It is the final axis a ball achieves while rolling down the lane. It is heavily influenced by the amount of friction and bowler generated revolutions.
PUDDLE
(1) a gutter ball; (2) a spot on the lane that seems to have much more oil than expected.
PULL SHOT
An erratic shot that goes off target towards the center or past the headpin.
PULL THE RUG
A hit on which a number of pins wobble for a time before falling down simultaneously, as if a rug had been pulled out from under them.
PUMPKIN
A softly thrown ball with little or no spin. A soft hitting ball.
PUNCH OUT
To finish with consecutive strikes, from any frame on.
PUNCH OUT OR THROUGH
Down a pin(s) from the middle only (punch No. 6 out of a full set; or punch through No.1 after a Worcester, etc.)
PUNCHED OUT
The act of completing a game with all strikes from a given point in the game.See also "off the sheet" or "XXX'ed out". or "all the way".
PUSHAWAY
The initial movement of the ball to get it into motion; some people push the ball directly forward, others slightly push forward and up, others drop the ball into motion.
PUZZLE
Where wood is an obstruction or is difficult to figure (play).

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