Everything Candlepin




1. The wooden (sometimes synthetic) area before the foul line which the bowler can use to

run, walk, and slide prior to rolling the ball.

2. The formation, or “wind-up”, that the bowler uses prior to rolling the ball


Bonus Ball(s):

A ball or balls rolled subsequent a mark which is added to the score of the previous box. A strike rewards 2 bonus balls and a spare rewards 1 bonus ball.



A frame


Brooklyn Side:

The side of the head pin which reflects the opposite side of the bowler’s throwing arm

Ex: The Brooklyn side of a left handed bowler would be the 1-3 pocket. Legend is that the origin of this term derives from “crossing the Brooklyn Bridge”


The Caliri: 

1. A Leave consisting either the Four Horsemen left plus the 9 pin or the Four Horsemen right plus the 8 pin. This leave is named after Bob Caliri, Future H.O.F.

2. A discussion forum for bowlers and friends of bowlers located at

http://www.bobcaliri.com/caliri3/ , named after Bob Caliri, Future H.O.F.


Channel 5:

The Mecca of Candlepin bowling television shows, which ran on WCVB from 1958 to 1996, and featured the legendary Boston sports announcer Don Gillis. This T.V. show featured the absolute best in Candlepin competition (Thanks to Mark Ricci for assistance)


Cherry Pick:

An instance in which the bowler fells one pin from what seemed to be an accurately rolled ball from a straightforward spare Leavealso called a Pick



See wood.



A suggested 10-fill of a spare or strike.

Ex: A bowler converts a spare and his teammate yells: “Drop a dime on it!!”

Four Bagger:

Four consecutive strikes


The Four Horsemen:

A leave of either the 1, 2, 4, and 7 pins or the 1, 3, 6, and 10 pins


Half Worcester:

The punching out of either the 2 and 8 pins or the 3 and 9 pins. This can be done on both sides of the headpin within a box, resulting in a Full Worcester



A strike


Head Pin:

The 1 pin



A leave in which the bowler is facing the 1, 7, and 10 pins



International Candlepin Bowling Association



A back door strike where the last pin to fall is the head-pin. (Thanks Ken and Loretta!)


King Pin:

The 5 pin



The shot that the bowler is left with after rolling his/her first ball. A favorable leave is most often referred to as a “spare leave”



A roll in which the ball leaves the bowler’s hand and lands past the lob line


Lob Line:

A line ten feet past the foot foul line towards the pins that the Candlepin bowler is advised to land the ball before. Though lobbing is not prohibited in certain Candlepin rulebooks, it is frowned upon by most professional Candlepin bowlers



A score in which the bowler fells all ten pins within the first or second ball. A mark is filled with a Bonus Ball



Massachusetts Bowling Association


Perfect Game: 

A String in which the bowler has left no pins standing. This may be done in any combination of strikes, spare, and ten-boxes



See Cherry Pick



The “sweet spot” of the pin setup for the bowler’s first ball. This includes the space between the 1 and 3 pin and 1 and 2 pin



A leave in which the bowler manages to roll the ball through the pins taking out 1 or 2 pins. Examples of a punch would be a half Worcester and the spread eagle


Road Block:

A term coined by Channel 5 legend Don Gillis in which the bowler’s dead wood appears to be helpful but negatively affects a bowler’s shot upon hitting the dead wood. This often occurs when a ball is rolling towards the object pin in order to successfully convert a shot, but the Road Block prevents the shot from being made, ending with the bowler and spectators being perplexed.



A leave in which the Bowler is left with two or more pins that are standing wide enough apart to create an extremely challenging shot. An example of this would be leaving the 7-10, 2-3, or any other adjacent combination of pins left standing


Spread Eagle:

A leave in which the 1, 5, 8, and 9 pins have been felled, leaving the 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 10 pins



A series of 10 consecutive boxes



Three consecutive strikes



Three consecutive strikes



The felled pins left on the pin deck after the 1st and 2nd balls are rolled. The wood is left on the deck to be used by the bowler in subsequent shots


 September 16th, 2012  
 Rich Limone