What Are Some Good Tips to Help With Duckpin Bowling?

Increased throwing repetitions and target precision are the keys to improving in the game of duckpin bowling. The differences in ball and pin size require a slightly different approach than that of traditional 10-pin bowling.

The significantly smaller ball used in duckpin, approximately 5 inches in diameter and 4 pounds, compared to 8.5 inches and up to 16 pounds in 10-pin, involves more of a “throwing” motion with less swinging of the arm. In making the adjustment, those new to the game are encouraged to develop a fluid technique until each throw is identical to the previous.

While the pins are arranged in the same manner as those of traditional 10-pin, duckpins are stouter and shorter, just 9 to 9 1/2 inches, compared to 15. It is important that the “pocket,” the area between the 1 and 3 pin and 1 and 2 pin, serves as the precise point of impact. This is easiest in balls employing little to no curve, according to alley owner Ralph Curry.

As a result of the increased difficulty, duckpin competitors throw up to three balls per frame instead of two. Like 10-pin, knocking down all pins on the first or second throw of a frame results in a strike or spare, respectively. However, players are given a third throw to eliminate remaining pins in duckpin.

While perfect games in 10-pin bowling are regular among amateurs and professionals, such a game has never occurred in duckpin; as of 2015, the record in a sanctioned game is Pete Signore Jr.’s 279 in 1992.