For right-handed bowlers, the term “washout” relates to pins 1, 2, 4, and 10, while for left-handed bowlers, it relates to pins 1, 3, 6, and 7. It’s not marked on the scoresheet as a split because the headpin is still present, but it can be more difficult to convert than some splits that are marked as such.
In this premium video, Scott Pohl, owner of On Track Pro Shop, demonstrates how to convert the washout by playing the proper angle that allows for less deflection when the headpin drives into the 10 pin.
Stop throwing your strike shot at the washout
Ask yourself this question: If you were truly lined up, would you have left the washout in the first place?
The answer is no.
By moving to the right (right-handed bowlers) and hooking at the washout, you have no idea if the bowling ball will hook too much, not enough, or just the right amount.
Let’s use a pool table to illustrate the proper angle to make a washout. Take one pool ball and set it in the middle on the low end. Take another pool ball and place it in the middle on the high end.
If you want to get the ball on the low end into the right corner pocket with the ball on the high end, you would want to move left to get the best angle to accomplish this.
Picture the 14 ball as the head pin now and the right bottom corner pocket as the 10 pin. Shooting washouts at this angle gives you a higher conversion percentage than hooking with your strike shot.
In order to make the bowling ball roll straight, you’ll have to flatten your wrist. This makes the bowling ball roll end over end with little axis rotation. Having a plastic spare ball will help the ball roll straight because of its coverstock and core.
Check out “Developing a Split Strategy” and “Developing a Spare System” for more expert coaching from the National Bowling Academy.