Don't spare me the details on these tough spares

This screen shot shows just how difficult the four-pin spare showed above is to convert. 

In the Monday Night Mixers league, Roland Griffin shared an exciting spare conversion by one of our oldest and longest-bowling members, Frank Graham, with NAPA. Graham successfully converted the “2-4, 8-10 split.” This is quite an accomplishment.

I wanted to see what the odds were in making this conversion. Most bowlers understand the difficulty of the 7-10 split, often called Bed Posts. The next dreaded split is the Big Four, which is the 4-6, 7-10. Ranking high in difficulty is the 5-7-10, commonly known in PBA lingo as the Lily.

I love to conduct research and this time, as with most other times, I was not disappointed.

According to Ben Blatt, sportswriter, the “hardest shot in bowling ... is the Greek Church.”

The pin formation for the Greek Church includes the 4, 6, 7, 9, and 10 pins. Blatt goes on to say this combination actually only has a 0.3% conversion rate. Likewise, accordingly, he states “the 7-10 or Bed Post, or Big Split, actually have a better conversion rate with a 0.7% than does the Greek Church.”

When researching Ben Blatt, I found he is a staff writer at Slate, a Harvard grad, and his sports analytics studies have been picked up by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Deadspin and others. I believe his credentials would qualify him as an expert in this area.

While reading his article titled “What’s the Hardest Shot in Bowling? It’s not the 7-10 split. It’s the ‘Greek Church,’” I was impressed with his analysis of spare and split conversions and his online interactive Spare Success Machine. I was quite intrigued with his spare simulation. I put in every possible split I could think of and was elated to see the percentage rate of each.

For example, when I chose Frank Graham’s split pins for my personal experiment, this is how I found the rate of conversion number. I have included that screen shot to demonstrate:

As you can see, Graham’s accomplishment was quite a feat with only a 10.7% conversion rate. In layman’s terms, it’s very difficult.

Fellow bowlers, if you are interested in learning more about Ben Blatt’s Spare Success Machine and/or his conversion rate charts, follow the following link:

Finally, bowling friends, just a little reminder that Halloween is fast approaching. The goblins, ghosts and all sorts of creatures will be invading the The Lazer Zone Family Fun Center. Mark your calendars for a Halloween bowling tournament.

The Halloween 9 Pin No Tap Bowling Tournament, sponsored by the American Legion Post 72, is set for Oct. 27. Commander James Kercheval invites all interested bowlers to enter. It is not a handicapped nor USBC-sanctioned event. However, it is a time to participate in a costume-wearing and fun-filled bowling tournament and help local vets and their families. Kercheval asks that no masks be worn during bowling due to safety reasons. The bowling fee is $25 per person with two bowlers per team. Fee includes one large pizza per team, one large drink per bowler and three games of exciting 9 pin No Tap bowling.

Under 9 pin No Tap rules, nine pins knocked down on the first ball is considered a strike. So, it’s very possible for a person to easily bowl a 200 or better.

Registration for this Halloween event begins at noon, with bowling starting at 2 pm.

I would encourage everyone to come out. It’s a great time to bowl with family or friends! Remember, no average is required. Participants are not required to be league bowlers, and the event is open to everyone.

Please remember if you have a noteworthy accomplishment for yourself or your teammates, do not hesitate to share that with me. I would love to applaud that achievement. Please include pictures as well, if possible.

Send your information to Ann Stewart at or text me with pics and info to 405-642-5324.

Good luck and great bowling, everyone.


Dear Readers: Please allow me to express my regrets for not getting the facts exactly straight. Yes, I know accidents and/or oversights can happen; however, for me they seem more often than not. 

A couple of last week’s standings under Top Scores were inadvertently misprinted. No fault of my editor, it was my misinformation. The correction should have read “Week 6- Tuesday Night Men’s scratch series: Robbin George – 683, Ken Hoyle – 661, Mark Frances – 554.” Forgive me, gentlemen, and congratulations on each of your great series.


Monday Night Mixers

(Week 7 of 36)

1 Split Decision 19

2 Snap On 18

3 The Bowling Stones 17

4 B&S Construction 16

5 KaCee Bar 16

6 Native Strikers 15

7 Rob’s ProShop 15

8 NAPA 15

9 Splitz & Giggles 15

10 Misfits 14

11 Gutter Done 14

12 Tatum Trucking 11

13 Strike-A-Lacka 11

14 The Replacements 11

15 The Gutter Gang 10

16 Spare Me 7

Top Scores

Scratch game team: Native Strikers – 738, Rob’s ProShop – 710, NAPA — 693.

Scratch series team: Native Strikers – 2069, Rob’s ProShop – 1988, B&S Construction — 1964.

Men’s scratch game: James McGinty – 254, Bryan Beauchamp – 225, Kenneth Morrison — 218.

Men’s scratch series: James McGinty – 606, Roland Griffin – 582, Bruce Fish — 581.

Women’s scratch game: Teeoti Jimenez – 200, Derrek Thompson – 191, Skye Buck – 188.

Women’s scratch series: Derrek Thompson – 480, Skye Buck – 464, Teeoti Jimenez — 456.

Tuesday Night Mixers

(Week 7 of 36)

1 Ben’s TV 20

2 Rob’s ProShop 19

3 R2D2 and C 18

4 Bronson’s Body Shop 15

5 Pin Pals 13

6 Misfits 11

7 D’JAVu 10

8 Ghost Team 0

Top Scores

Scratch game team: Bronson’s Body Shop – 776, Ben’s TV – 740, Rob’s ProShop – 662.

Scratch series team: Bronson’s Body Shop – 2215, Ben’s TV – 2055, Rob’s ProShop – 1872.

Men’s scratch game: Ken Hoyle - 242, Wayne Cooper – 221, Jim Rice – 218.

Men’s scratch series: Ken Hoyle – 596, Robbin George – 588, Kelley Brown — 555.

Women’s scratch game: Teeoti Jimenez – 193, Rebecca Williams – 180, Hannah Rose – 168.

Women’s scratch series: Teeoti Jomenez – 480, Carey Brantley – 450, Rebecca Williams – 433.

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