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Bowling: The 2-4-6 Spare Shot

By Edited Jan 15, 2014 1 0

Understanding the Swedish Spare System For Advanced Bowlers

Even though the 3-6-9 system for picking up spares in bowling is the most commonly used and taught, the 2-4-6 spare system, or Swedish Spare System, may be more accurate.  The foot position in both the 3-6-9 and 2-4-6 spare systems are the same.  What the bowler adjusts in the 2-4-6 method of picking up spares is their visual target. 

Pyramid Path Blue, Black and White
The 2-4-6 system has many advantages more advanced bowlers. It really comes in handy for those on end lanes,  or find themselves standing very close to the ball return and are unable to move their feet. This can create problems in the 3-6-9 spare system, making the 2-4-6 spare system a good way to avoid placement problems and allows the bowler to pick up spare bowling pins in all types of conditions.

When a bowler is using the 2-4-6 spare system, they must be able to bowl both on the arrows and on particular boards on the lane. The bowler’s starting position will always stay the same, but their target will differ depending on the spares that need to be picked up.

Plasma Bowling Ball
There are two different starting positions in this method of picking up spares, the strike position and the 10-pin position. There are two aiming targets as well, also called strike and 10-pin, which is used for picking up all spares and spare combinations. The player simply aims for a different board or arrow depending on what their target is. The 2-4-6 spare system works for both right and left handed players.

The bowler’s feet should not switch starting positions in order to effectively use the 2-4-6 spare system. They should consistently use the same starting position and only change the target.  

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Bowlers should visually adjust their target by off the key line by 2, 4 or 6 boards to pick up spares. The 2-4-6 system is similar to the 3-6-9 spare system in that the bowler needs to adjust their target from the corner-pin line in order to pick up spares on the opposite side of the lane. Also similar to the 3-6-9 system, bowlers can adjust their bowling style and movements to increase their personal accuracy in picking up spares.

The 2-4-6 spare system can be used on every lane condition. Bowlers do not have to worry about the problems that often arise while using the 3-6-9 system.

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Learning the 2-4-6 system may be challenging, but can increase a bowler’s accuracy and confidence in their game. Though this system is not used as much as the 3-6-9 system, it is one of the more popular basic systems of picking up spares. It is not simple by any means, so the 2-4-6 spare system is mostly used by professional and more advanced bowlers.

For more details and maybe some coaching in the 2-4-6 spare system, bowlers may go to the local alley. There may be advanced players there, willing to take another bowler under their wing, or lessons offered at the lanes.

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