What is a Split Ball in Bowling

Have you ever heard about the split ball in bowling? If you haven’t heard about the term earlier or you have no idea, what is a split ball in bowling? Then you will be stunned when you meet suddenly with it while playing. Basically, it is a very common occurrence every player in bowling has to face once in a while. If you have a bit of bowling experience, you may encountered it at least once or twice. But if you have never heard the point.  It’s okay. We’re here to let you know. let’s find out about split ball in bowling. We assure you this article will help you to cope with the difficulties of split balling and scoring as you demand

What is a Split Ball in Bowling

What is a Split Ball in Bowling?

If you have the intention to win the game, knowing about the split ball in bowling is a must for you. In short, a split ball is a situation that the players have to handle after putting down some particular pins. Those who have a tiny idea about bowling know that the scores are determined in the bowling game by hitting the bowling pins. And the pins are gathered in a triangular shape at the end of the bowling lane terminal. The first pin, which stays alone in the front row, is called the headpin. In the second row, there are two pins, number two and number three. The third row has 3 pins. And the last row contains 4 pieces of pins.

This is how all the pins are aligned. The split ball happens for the majority of the 10-pin bowling where the headpin topples. But the second and third pins stay the same. This is applicable for other pins too. Sometimes, the split shot can even topple the headpin by leaving all 9 pins intact. So this array of pins can also be considered as the split ball. Though the split shot gives a different meaning than the above, most of the bowlers address it as the split despite there being no approval or allowance of shots for the closer pin. It suggests having more than 2 pins at different positions, which are segregated by several tiles. While the ball hits the pins, if two or more pins remain intact at left on the surface at a distance, it will be considered the split.

Types of Splits

More than a few different types of splits can happen in the regular equilateral triangle bowling pin arrangement. Let’s discuss some of the most frequent and well-known splits in bowling.

7-10 Split / Goalpost Split

The most widely known type of split would be the 7-10 split, also called the bedpost or goalpost split. In this split, the leftmost, which is pin 7, and the rightmost pin, which is pin 10 still remain intact and have to be toppled to score a spare., The required accurate angle, pace, and deflection are quite hard to achieve to get the perfect shot for the split. That’s why this is the most difficult kind of split to score.

7-9 Split/ Cincinnati Split

The 7-9 or 8-10 split looks similar to the 7-10 arrangement as it also focuses on the pins at the last row in the ten-pin arrangement. It is also called the Cincinnati split. If we talk about the difficulty of scoring, it is slightly less difficult to attain than the goalpost split, but the margin of error is extremely low.

5-7 Split/ Woolworth Split

The chance of occurring the 5-7 split is very unlikely, but still, it happens once in a while. It has another popular name called the Woolworth split. In a typical arrangement, the seventh pin from the last row and the fifth pin from the third row have to be toppled to score a spare in the frame. However, it is very hard to score this split like most of the common splits a bowler may encounter. All these splits require incredible skill and great precision.

3-10 Split/ Murphy Split

The 2-7 or 3-10 split (Baby Split) is another standard split that you might stumble into quite often during a ten-pin game. It has an interesting name called the Baby Split or Murphy Split. The pins which are involved in this split are the 2nd pin from the second row, the 3rd pin from the second row or the 7th pin from the last row, and the 10th pin from the last row.

How You Can Score a Killer Shot

When you score a spare in a split, it is called a “killer shot.” Scoring a spare in a split can be pretty hard, but you can learn to throw a killer shot with practice. Let us look at how you throw a killer shot if you face a split. First, align yourself with your normal stance in front of a ten-pin arrangement. Then, angle the bowling ball outward depending upon the type of split. Now, make sure you throw the ball with maximum force, so the bowling ball hits the pin hard and, therefore, creates a deflection. That deflection will clash with the other pin, and that’s how you get a killer shot.


Splits are a common occurrence in bowling, but if you are a beginner, your chance of scoring a split is very low. Nevertheless, if you get some proper training, you will surely learn to score a split effectively. We hope you have a proper idea about split in bowling from this article. Hope you can figure out the scoring split in bowling and have a lot of fun while doing it.

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