Tricks of the Trade

What’s your average score when you come to bowl at JB’s on 41? Are you one of our league bowlers, clocking routine 200+ games? Or perhaps you’re one of our casual bowlers, coming to JB’s for the cosmic lights, the game room, and the buffalo chicken wings. No matter your style of bowling at JB’s on 41, we’re betting that you’ve tried trick bowling a time or two.

Trick bowling. You know, the kind where you shoot backwards and between your friend’s legs. But you probably didn’t get a strike on that particular bowl. But that’s okay, because it might make you appreciate the work of trick bowlers that much more.

Trick bowling is a form of competitive bowling in which special pin sets, obstacles and multiple bowling balls add additional challenges to 10-pin bowling. Competitions are set up so that one bowler has a chance to make a trick shot; if he or she does, the next bowler must also make the shot, or the first bowler receives a point. If you recognize this format, it’s because it closely resembles the scoring in a game of “horse” in basketball ( ).

Wondering about some common trick shots? Here’s a quick directory for you.

30-Pin Strike: The lane is set up with 30 pins in the same triangular formation as the standard setup.  

Spinning Ball Spare Conversion: The bowler spins one ball slowly down the lane, and sends a second ball down the lane normally. The second ball knocks down nine pins, and the first slowly spun ball knocks down the one remaining pin.

Backwards approach shot: You know this one! The bowler throws the ball between his or her legs without looking at the lane.

Marked Shots: The bowler will place a marker on the lane, and the ball must cross over that marker before knocking down any pins.

Prop Shots: The bowler places an object in the lane to create an obstacle and make the shot more difficult.

Flying Eagle: Watch how this one happens here. Continue watching the video to see amazing trick shots through a skate park. We also recommend this 1940s video of Andy Varipapa—the commentary is almost as good as the bowling!

Keep practicing your trick shots, bowlers. You never know which one will be the shot of a lifetime! Be sure to stop by our Juniors Blast Off Party this upcoming Saturday August 23rd from 12-2pm.  Meet our coaches, enjoy FREE bowling & snacks, and learn more about our Juniors League Program.  If you want to become a pro bowler or try your luck as a trick bowler, this is a great place to start!