For bowling enthusiasts, there are many terms and phrases that describe different types of shots. One of them is a "Brooklyn," which refers to a shot that hits the opposite side of the headpin and ends up on the same side as the bowler.

While this may seem like an error, a Brooklyn can actually be intentional and can even result in a strike. In this blog post, we'll explore the origins of the term "Brooklyn," how to identify and intentionally bowl a Brooklyn, and how it can affect your game.

What Is a Brooklyn in Bowling?

A Brooklyn in bowling refers to when the bowling ball hits the opposite pocket from the bowler's intended target, and ends up on the same side as the bowler.

It is most commonly referred to as "Brooklyn" because it resembles an exploding bridge that would be found in Brooklyn, New York.

This type of shot is usually unintentional, but when done correctly by skilled bowlers can result in a strike or spare.

The key to successfully hitting a Brooklyn is to angle the ball correctly so that it hits the headpin before veering off toward the left or right pocket.

Origin of the Term: Why is it Called a 'Brooklyn'?

The origins of the term "Brooklyn" are somewhat unclear, but it is generally believed to have originated in the New York City borough of the same name.

Some say that it was coined by bowlers in Brooklyn who would intentionally try to hit the opposite side of the headpin to gain an advantage over their opponents.

Others believe that it was named after the Brooklyn Bridge, which connects Brooklyn to Manhattan and has a distinctive arch shape similar to the path of a Brooklyn shot.

How to Identify a Brooklyn: Recognizing the Shot

A Brooklyn shot can be identified by its trajectory. Instead of hitting the front side of the headpin and continuing down the lane, a Brooklyn shot crosses over to the opposite side and ends up on the same side as the bowler.

Another way to identify a Brooklyn is by the pin action. When a Brooklyn shot hits the pins, they tend to fall in a haphazard fashion, resulting in a messy rack that is difficult to convert into a spare.

Should You Try to Get a Brooklyn Strike?

While a Brooklyn shot may seem like an error, it can actually result in a strike if executed correctly. Professional bowlers often intentionally throw Brooklyn shots to take advantage of the lane conditions or to throw off their opponents.

However, intentionally throwing a Brooklyn shot requires precise aim and control, so it is not recommended for beginners or casual bowlers.

The Technique: How to Bowl a Brooklyn Intentionally

To bowl a Brooklyn shot intentionally, you need to adjust your stance and target point. Instead of aiming for the front side of the headpin, aim for the opposite side and adjust your angle of entry to cross over the lane.

This requires a lot of practice and experimentation with different ball speeds and rotations, so it is best to work with a coach or instructor to perfect your Brooklyn shot.

Accidental Brooklyn: When Your Ball Finds the Wrong Pocket

Of course, not all Brooklyn shots are intentional. Accidental Brooklyn can occur when your ball veers off course due to a badly timed release or a lane condition.

While accidental Brooklyn can be frustrating, they can also be a stroke of luck if they result in a strike.

However, it is important to note that relying on accidental Brooklyn is not a consistent or reliable strategy for improving your game.

The Impact on Scoring: How a Brooklyn Affects Your Game

A Brooklyn shot can have both positive and negative impacts on your score. If you intentionally throw a Brooklyn and it results in a strike, you can gain an advantage over your opponents and boost your score.

However, if you accidentally throw a Brooklyn and it results in a messy rack, you may struggle to convert it into a spare and lose valuable points.

Additionally, relying too heavily on Brooklyn shots can throw off your consistency and hinder your overall performance.

Famous Instances of Brooklyn Strikes in Professional Bowling

While Brooklyn shots are not common in professional bowling, there have been some famous instances where they were used to great effect.

One memorable example is when Pete Weber threw a Brooklyn shot in the 1991 U.S. Open finals to win the championship. Despite the unorthodox shot, Weber's precision and control allowed him to execute the Brooklyn and secure his victory.

Another example is when Norm Duke hit a Brooklyn strike in the 2019 PBA World Championship to win the title. Once again, this was a testament to Duke’s skill and shows that even the most unorthodox shots can be pulled off with enough practice and precision.

Tips for Avoiding Unintentional Brooklyns: Improving Your Aim

If you want to avoid unintentional Brooklyns, the key is to work on improving your aim and control. This can be achieved through regular practice, working with a coach or instructor, and experimenting with different bowling balls and techniques.

By improving your aim and control, you can reduce the possibility of throwing a Brooklyn shot accidentally and increase your overall consistency and performance.

Furthermore, you can learn to recognize the signs of an unintentional Brooklyn and adjust your aim accordingly.

Conclusion: Embracing the Unpredictability of Bowling

In conclusion, while a Brooklyn shot may seem like an error or a mistake, it can actually be a strategic and intentional part of your game.

Whether intentional or accidental, a Brooklyn shot requires precise aim and control to execute effectively. While it can have both positive and negative impacts on your score, it is ultimately a reminder of the unpredictable and exciting nature of bowling.

By embracing the unpredictability of bowling, you can improve your game and have fun in the process. With enough practice and precision, you may even be able to pull off a Brooklyn strike like Pete Weber or Norm Duke!

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