What is a washout in bowling

Split (bowling) - Split (bowling)

A. Split is a ten-pin bowling situation where the first ball in a frame knocks down the head pin ("bowling pin # 1") but leaves two or more non-adjacent groups of one or more pins standing. Obtaining a replacement in this situation is often referred to as a "killer shot".


7-10 split

One of the most notorious splits is the 7-10 split, often referred to as the "goal post". or "bedpost" where the bowler remains with the left-most pen and right-most pen in the back row (number 7 and number 10) to knock down and score a replacement with a single ball. This is also one of the most difficult divisions to grasp.

There are two ways to convert this split. The first is to hit one of the pins and let it ricochet off the pit area and hit the remaining pin. Not only does this require significant ball speed, but the pin needs to be hit in the right place. In addition, a pencil flying out of the pit is rare. This is made difficult by the variation of the pit design according to the Pinsetter system, with the Brunswick A-2 being more prone to ricochets than newer machines. Bouncing off a GS series pinsetter in Brunswick is extremely difficult due to a movable curtain in the back of the pit that absorbs the impact, while AMF pinsetters are more likely to bounce off the pin facing away from the ball return of a pair of tracks. The second method is to hit one of the pins on the inside with sufficient speed to bounce it off the side wall (kickback plate) and bounce back up and over the deck into the other pin. Pushing the pen directly will not work as the ball will fall off the lane before it's far enough from the 7- or 10-pen to push it right over it. Despite this fact, many television shows and movies over the years have shown how to transform the 7-10 split by sliding one pen directly into another. In each case, the "conversion" was manipulated by either moving the slide pin on a deck with no pin patches (giving the ball additional room to slide the pin to one side and make it look like the pin was correctly spotted ) or by requiring help (human or mechanical) out of the pit to "push" the pen. Aside from such "Hollywood magic" in real life, a freak jump out of the pit or a sidewall rebound are the only realistic ways to convert a 7-10 split.

Mark Roth became the first bowler to televise the 7-10 split on January 5, 1980 at the ARC Alameda Open at Mel's Southshore Bowl in Alameda, California. The only other two pros implementing this split on television are John Mazza and Jess Stayrook, who both did so in 1991. nobody has done it on television since then. Roth and Mazza converted their programs to ABC programs on the Professional Bowlers Tour, while Stayrook aired his programs on an ESPN program. All three converted their splits by jumping a pen out of the pit.

Other common splits

Cincinnati (7–9 or 8–10)

This is similar to the 7-10 in that they are both splits with pins in the back row of the deck. It's just as difficult to convert too. However, it is possible to slide the 9 or 8 pin into the 7 or 10 pin, but there is only an error limit of 0.05 mm (1 mm).

(5–7) or Woolworth / Kresge / Dime Store (5–10)

Similar to a 6-7 split, but because the pins are closer, the 5-pin doesn't need to hit a fine angle to meet the 7-pin. Another rare method is to deflect an extremely light ball (under 10 pounds) off the 5-pin.

Sour Apple, Lily, Full Murray, or Three Wise Men (5–7–10)

Similar to the above, one needs to use a light ball (under 10 lb) to deflect the 5 pin into one of the 7 - or 10 pin which deflects the ball into the other rear pin. It is also possible to slide the 5-prong into one of the rear pegs. With a bit of luck, the run-down pin will either slide or roll (depending on which side the bowler is walking on) into the third pin. It's one of the hardest splits to convert.

The 5–7–10 is considered to be the most embarrassing breakup of all, as not only is it nearly impossible to make, but it also throws a "flat ball," that is, a shot at it with no turns or action.

3–7 split (or 2-10)

Similar to a 5-7 split, but since the 3-pin is two rows ahead of the next one of the 7-pin, the ball must hit the right side of the 3-pin at a slight angle.

Baby Split or Murphy (2-7 or 3-10)

This is the easiest split to convert as there are two options: A) sliding the 2-pin into the 7-pin; B) Deflecting the ball from the "front" pin. This can be achieved with a ball of any weight because the pins are close enough together.

Tightened hat or Christmas tree (2–7–10 or 3–7–10)

This division is basically the baby division with the opposite corner pin. The player should ignore that "opposite" pen and play the baby split between the pens. With a little luck, the front pin can slide over the other pin.

4-7-10 and 6-7-10

These divisions are similar to the 7-10 division but are easier to grasp because of the extra pen. Always aim the two pens at the side for the possibility of a pick-up. Note that these divisions are identical to divisions 4-10 and 6-7.

Big Four (4-6-7-10)

The Big Four (also known as the "Golden Gate Split", "Big Ears" or "Grandma's Teeth") consist of the two pegs on either side of the pen deck. It is similar to the 4–7–10 and 6–7–10 in that a common attempt at making the split is to slide the 4 or 6 pin into the remaining two pins on the other side (the ball is taken out either the 7 or 10 pin). As with practically all splits, it is possible to hop a pin out of the pit. An older nickname for this division is "double pinochle".

The only professional implementing this breakdown on television is Walter Ray Williams, Jr., who did it on an ESPN broadcast in 2005. Although there were other bowlers doing this on camera

Side-by-side splits (4–5; 5–6; 7–8; 9–10)

Similar to baby splits due to their close spacing, the side-by-side split is almost the same.Always insert the ball between the two standing pins. A much rarer conversion of the pitch is to slide one pin into the other. A similar division (4–5–7 or 5–6–10) should be done in the same way. Also known as "fit splits". The 4-5 was in the Make That Spare.

Greek Church (4–6–7–8–10 or 4–6–7–9–10)

referred to as "Steam Fitter" The layout is similar to the Big Four, except that an additional pin is included (either the 8- or 9-pin). This split is believed to be a little easier to convert than the Big Four, as moving the 6-pin (for right-handed people) sometimes causes the 6-pin to bounce off the 9-pin, setting a crash course for the 4 and 7 pens. "Shoot the two" (4-7 for right-handed) can also work if the bowler can get the 4-pin to peer / ricochet off the front of the 9-pin. However, the statistical review shows that this shot is the least implemented in professional bowling.

Big Five (3–4–6–7–10 or 2–4–6–7–10)

This division is easiest if you slide either the 2-pin (for left-handers) or the 3-pin (for right-handers) into the two pins on the other side of the pin deck. The ball should take out either the 6-10 (for right-handers) or the 4-7 (for left-handers).

Big Six (2–4–6–7–8–10 or 3–4–6–7–9–10), also known as "Greek Cathedral", "Four through the Middle" or "The PBA Four" or " Double trouble "

This division is similar to the Big Five, but a little more difficult because there is another pin in the back row that creates a division with two pegs on one side and four pegs on the other. The division should be done with a drastic curve at the back of the lane so that the ball can convert the four pins and the front pin can take out the two remaining pins.


Although not a gap as the head pin (1 pin) is still standing, washouts comprise an array of pins that are spaced apart, including the head pin. Common examples of washout are 1-2-4-10, 1-2-8-10, 1-3-6-7, and 1-2-10. Washouts are easier than most splits because the head pin is in the front of the pin deck, so the bowler has more room for error. The type of washout largely depends on whether the bowler is left-handed or right-handed. For example, a left-handed bowler would leave washouts like 1-3-6-7 and 1-3-7-9, while a right-handed bowler would leave 1-2-4-10 and 1-2-8-10. The modern variants include the 1-2-4-6-10 and 1-3-4-6-7 models, in which the bowler, unlike the normal two, only picked out a single pin (3 pens for right-handers, 2 pens for left-handers).

Occasional divisions

If 6 pound balls are used and / or very slow ball speeds are used, other normally invisible divisions may be left behind as this light ball either deflects into the groove or stops after touching the pins on the pen deck. An example of this is the 6-7-8-9-10.

Equivalent divisions

Since the pins are arranged as an equilateral triangle, equally spaced divisions can occur on different parts of the lane. The conversion would be done the same way.

  • 7–9 = 8–10, 4–6
  • 5–7 = 2–6 *, 3–4 *, 4–9, 5–10, 6–8
  • 3–7 = 2–10
  • 3–10 = 2–7, 2–9 *, 3–8 *, 1–4 *, 1-6 * (technically the last two are not divisions, see "Washouts" above)
  • 2–3 * = 4–5, 5–6, 7–8, 8–9 *, 9–10 (known as "Fit Splits")

* denotes occasional splits that are normally not visible

Candlepin bowling splits

As in the tenpin game, splits can also occur in sports that focus on New England and Canadian Maritimes from Candlepin Bowling. Since candlepin bowling allows for the use of overturned "dead wood" pins in the lane to aid in felling standing pins for replacement and split conversions, it is still the most notable split in the sport of candlepin. "Spread Eagle", the six-pole leaf that results from the combination 2-3-4-6-7-10 exists due to the above-mentioned "Fit Split" status of the 2-3 split in tenpins (but with the smaller candle ball the 2 and 3 pin cannot be hit together) and the "spread eagle" almost never occurs in tenpins, where the 2- (or 3-) 4-6-7-10.

In contrast, even more difficult pitches like the infamous 7-10 pitch can be converted into candle pens more easily, as dropped pens remain in the lane after being knocked off. So if enough pegs are spread across the track, a strategically skittled ball can hit the fallen pegs into 7 and 10 at the same time.


External links

Recorded 7-10 shared conversions

Recorded 4–6–7–10 shared conversions