What Is A Hambone In Bowling: Things to Know ( 2023 )

A “strike” is what bowlers refer to when they manage to hit every pin with a single, accurate shot. Because they award you with more points than other types of images, strikes are highly desired. A strike really awards two times as many points as an ordinary ball.

A “Hambone” or “Four-Bagger” is what you get if you manage to obtain four straight strikes; it’s a much larger accomplishment.

What is hambone in ten-pin bowling?

In ten-pin bowling, a “hambone” is a spare shot in which the bowler strikes all but two pins that are touching, giving the impression that the bowler is playing a hambone (a drum made by slapping one’s legs and chest). The bowler must strike the two remaining pins in a certain fashion that separates and knocks them down in order to pick up a hambone spare. The ability to hit a hambone spare is regarded as a difficult stroke and may be a valuable tool in a bowler’s toolbox.

The importance of hambone spare in a good bowler’s arsenal?

A competent bowler’s arsenal should include the hambone spare since it gives their game more variety in ten-pin bowling. To regularly score highly, a bowler must be able to complete all types of spares, including the problematic hambone spare. 

When faced with challenging split shots, a bowler’s ability to pick up hambone spares can be helpful since it calls for accurate ball control and in-depth knowledge of ball trajectory. 

As performing a difficult shot successfully may enhance a bowler’s mental game, hitting hambone spares can also increase a bowler’s overall confidence. To succeed in ten-pin bowling, hambone spare is a crucial component of a successful bowler’s game.


What is a Hambone in Bowling?

In ten-pin bowling, the term “hambone shot” refers to a spare shot in which the bowler leaves two pins upright that are in contact with one another, giving the impression of a hambone. The bowler must strike the two pins in a certain way for them to separate and fall in order to pick up the hambone spare. This stroke is difficult because it demands exact ball control and a thorough knowledge of ball trajectory. Instead of just aiming to knock them both down, the bowler must aim at the pins in a way that makes them separate. 

In general, the hambone shot needs both physical proficiency and mental concentration to accomplish properly.

How to pick up a hambone spare?

Here are some pointers for ten-pin bowlers on how to pick up a hambone spare:

  • Select the ideal beginning position: Choose a starting position that is both comfortable and that enables you to strike the pins at the ideal angle and velocity.
  • Pick the proper ball: Choose a ball that feels comfortable in your hand, has the ideal weight, and has the ability to hook for your style of play.
  • Target the pocket: Try to strike the pins at an angle that will cause them to split by aiming for the pocket, which is the space between the headpin and the 3-pin.
  • Control the speed: Acquiring the hambone spare requires careful control of the ball’s pace. While a quicker ball will make it more difficult for the pins to separate, a slower ball will allow the pins more time to do so.
  • Utilize spin: By giving the ball spin, you may alter its trajectory and make it simpler to grab the hambone spare.
  • Practice makes perfect, so the more you hit hambone spares, the better you’ll get. Concentrate on improving your consistency and technique.
  • Finally, before trying the hambone spare, remain concentrated and psychologically prepared. Having faith in your ability to make the shot might be the difference between success and failure.

Keep in mind that picking up a hambone spare involves both physical prowess and mental concentration. You can learn to regularly make this difficult shot with practice.

The Challenge of Hitting a Hambone?

In ten-pin bowling, hitting a hambone spare is difficult for various reasons:

  • Precision is essential for the hambone spare, as is having a solid grasp of ball trajectory. Instead of just aiming to knock them both down, the bowler must aim at the pins in a way that makes them separate.
  • Ball speed: Picking up the hambone spare depends on the ball’s speed. While a quicker ball will make it more difficult for the pins to separate, a slower ball will allow the pins more time to do so.
  • Placement: The difficulty of striking a hambone spare can be significantly influenced by the pin positions. The shot becomes more difficult the closer the pins are placed together.
  • Physical prowess: A certain amount of physical prowess is necessary to hit a hambone spare, including good hand-eye coordination, ball control, and the capacity to spin the ball.
  • Hitting a hambone spare requires mental attention as the bowler must maintain composure and confidence throughout the shot.

In conclusion, it is difficult to hit a hambone spare because it requires a mix of accuracy, ball speed, pin placement, physical talent, and mental concentration to make the shot.


Skills Required to Hit a Hambone Spare:

The following skills must be had by a bowler in ten-pin bowling to effectively strike a hambone spare:

  • Precise ball control: In order to strike the pins at the proper angle and speed, the bowler must be able to control the ball’s speed and trajectory.
  • Ball trajectory knowledge: The bowler must be able to predict how the ball will behave after striking the pins and change their shot accordingly.
  • Hand-eye coordination: In order to strike a hambone spare, the bowler must aim precisely and hit the pins in the proper direction.
  • To properly strike the hambone spare, the bowler must have good control over the ball’s pace and spin.
  • Mental preparation: Even when faced with difficult pin configurations, the bowler must stay concentrated and psychologically prepared throughout the stroke.
  • To strike a hambone spare, one must have confidence in their abilities to perform the shot. A bowler who has faith in their abilities has a better chance of winning.

Practice tips: 

  • Practice: The more you practice hitting hambone spares, the better you will become at it. Start by practicing with an empty lane and gradually add more pins as you improve.
  • Focus on technique: Good technique is crucial in hitting a hambone spare. Focus on keeping your arm straight and maintaining good form throughout the shot.
  • Use visualization: Visualize the shot before you make it. See the ball hitting the pins at the right angle and with the right speed.
  • Experiment with different ball speeds and spin: Try different ball speeds and spin to see what works best for you. Pay attention to how the ball reacts after hitting the pins and make adjustments as needed.
  • Look at the experts: Observe how experienced bowlers approach hambone spares. Pay attention to how they play and make an effort to borrow some of their techniques.
  • Get opinions: Find out where you can improve by asking a coach or more seasoned bowler for their opinion. They can provide insightful guidance on how to enhance your hambone spare technique.

Last but not least, keep a cheerful outlook while being goal-focused. Keep in mind that progress takes time and patience, but with perseverance and commitment, you can master the art of hambone sparing.

Final thoughts: 

A player who has thrown two strikes in a row can provide a perfect space, also known as a hambone or high-spare, from the other end of the alley. As the pins would be too near for the third strike of a bowling ball to cause it to strike them, it would not be hit by the second strike.

If you’re fortunate enough to obtain a hambone, you should make all effort to maintain it. It’s unlikely to happen again very soon, but you may maintain your momentum by firing off a string of powerful, rapid strokes. It might be simple to keep a hambone running if you can maintain your concentration while avoiding interruptions.


  1. What Is A Hambone In Bowling? Definition & Meaning : https://www.sportslingo.com/sports-glossary/h/hambone/
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