Bowling questions

Is there any impossible pattern of pins remaining after a single throw?

Is there any pattern of pins that’s impossible to get a spare on?

Whether it’s theoretically possible or not, I would really love to see how you knock down the 5 pin and leave all the others standing. There will be several combinations that are, for all practical purposes, impossible.

Without any doubt, it’s impossible to take out the 5, 8 or 9 or any combination of the three without taking out the 1,2,3,4,6,7 or 10 also.

It’s pretty difficult to take out only the head pin or the 1-2 or the 1-3 or the 1-2-3, but I’ve seen kids bumper bowling with 6 lb. balls do it.

No pattern is an absolute physical impossibility, because pins can fly off the walls, but the 5-7-10 is as close to impossible a pickup as any spare that you’re ever going to see. (It’s hard to even leave the 5-7-10 unless you bowl a very light ball, but one of my female friends does so and leaves it with surprising regularity.)

The only way to pick it up is to clip the 5 and send it into the 10 and then careening across the alley for the 7. (When my friend leaves it, she lets her husband try to pick it up. He loves to wing his 16-pound ball as hard as he can, trying to clip the 5 just right. He has never come close.)

As far as the spare goes, if you can pick up a 7-10, anything’s probably possible. However, I wonder whether a 5-7-10 or a 1-5-7-10 (though, obviously it’d be pretty hard to LEAVE those with your first ball) might be harder because of the patterns involved.

Freddy and Garfield…I started to give similar answers, but reread the OP who questioned what would be an impossible LEAVE on the first shot.

The 7-10, 8-10, 7-9 and 4-6 are termed the impossible splits, but since there are sidewalls, curtain, gutters and pinsetter parts that the pins can ricochet off of, they’re not really impossible (the type of pinsetter can make a big difference in picking up the 7-10 because of different construction in the area around the pin deck…I also seem to recall something about Brunswick pindecks have more of a slope to the gutters making the gutter a little deeper next to the 7 and the 10, making it easier to bounce the 10 pin out of the gutter and across to the 7 pin).

I always heard of the 7-10 split as the closest thing to impossible, but not quite impossible.

Well…then the 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 leave seems pretty impossible.

But, there are two separate questions.

If you roll a baseball instead of a bowling ball…and the five fell juuuust right?

It is impossible to take out only the 5 pin. A bowling ball cannot go between pins without touching one or the other of them.

Similarly, any combination of remaining pins which involves taking out the 5 or 8 or 9 pin withouth having taken out the 1, the 2, the 3, the 4, the 6, the 7 or the 10 pin would be impossible, for the same reason.

From a practical standpoint, you aren’t going to see any leave that takes out the 1 pin without either the 2 or the 3 going down as well. And taking out only the 1 and the 2 or the 1 and the 3 would be pretty hard to accomplish as well.

Beyond that, most things are possible. Remotely likely, mind you, but I’ve seen some pretty wierd looking patterns in my day.

Apropos of nothing in particular, here’s some cool bowling stuff on YouTube:

Mark Roth 7-10 Split
Jess Stayrook 7-10 Split
John Mazza 7-10 Split

And the coolest one of them all:

Walter Ray Williams 4-6-7-10 split

Depends on how bad of a hook the player has. I’ve seen it happen. Or sometimes the 1 falls just so and lands between the other pins while the ball goes into the gutter. My experience is mostly with the candlepin variant though, so YMMV.

The one that surprised me the most though (and it happened several times in one night!) was the 7-8-9-10 leave.

As far as picking up spares goes, in candlepin the pins aren’t reset after each ball so pretty much anything is possible there depending on the dead pins.

I’ve never been a big bowler, but I always thought there was a huge amount of skill in picking up a 7-10. It looks to me from each of those videos that the guys just aim for one pin and hope for a one in a thousand bounce from the pin in the back of the cage…

it has been made on TV at least twice. Mark Roth did it first many years ago.

Just knocking down the one pin would be hard. The ball has to go somewhere.

One time bowling when I was 13, I took out the 7 pin. It bounced off the side and took out the 10 to pick up the 7-10 split.

All luck - no skill.

If this can happen, this taking out only the 5 pin can happen. It is possible another pin could take it out then end up standing.

No, although we discussed this before in a different thread, the possibility of a pin being knocked into the 5, knocking down the five so that it doesn’t hit any other pin, while the pin that knocked down the 5 stands back up, and no other pins are hit by the ball is so remote as to make it essentially impossible. I invoke limits to equate them. :smiley:

Candlepins are entirely different, since the ball is able to split between candlepins, I believe. I’m talking normal bowling.

Hey! Candlepin is normal bowling. :dubious: