What is a Brooklyn in Bowling?

Though bowling may look like a simple game of throwing a ball down a lane and knocking over some pins, there are some complex techniques that pro bowlers use to up their game. One of these techniques is known as a Brooklyn shot.

A Brooklyn in bowling is a type of shot in which the ball reaches the pocket on the opposite side from which it was thrown. For example, the ball will hit the 1-2 pocket for right-handed bowlers, and for left-handed bowlers, it will roll over to the 1-3 pocket.

It is also known as Jersey side to indicate left-handers bowling a Brooklyn. Not everyone can bowl a Brooklyn, as it requires a lot of practice.

Let’s find out why this shot is called a Brooklyn shot and how to throw a Brooklyn shot.

What is a Brooklyn in Bowling?

Why Is It Called a Brooklyn?

The term was coined in New York, where people had to cross a bridge to reach Brooklyn from Manhattan. In other words, they must “cross over” Brooklyn to reach Manhattan. And if we look the other way around, people cross over Manhattan to reach New Jersey, which is on the other side.

When bowlers would want to cross over the pocket, they would indicate it as going to Brooklyn. This is how the term got added to the bowling glossary, and it still is a widespread technique among pro bowlers.

Want to be a pro bowler? Check out this article: How to Become a Professional Bowler

What is a Brooklyn Strike?

When you successfully knock down all pins on your first Brooklyn shot, it’s a Brooklyn strike. The difference from a normal strike is that your ball reaches the headpin on the opposite side from where you roll the ball.

A Brooklyn strike is not something you can easily perfect. That is why the coaches recommend avoiding a Brooklyn strike if you’re a beginner and still learning. In addition, it’s challenging to bowl a Brooklyn strike consistently because it would require a lot of run-through and practice, which is not always possible.

Related article: Want to Become a Bowling Coach? -Here is How!

How to Throw a Brooklyn Shot?

A Brooklyn shot involves throwing a ball with a spin. When done correctly, the Brooklyn Shot can be very effective, so it’s worth learning how to do it properly.

You need to start by positioning yourself at the center of the lane. Then, you should grip the ball with your fingers and thumb and ensure that your middle finger is placed directly on top of the hole.

Read more about it here: How to Hold a Bowling Ball!

Once you have a good grip, you need to swing the ball back and forth a few times before releasing it. Then, when it’s time to release the ball, you need to put some spin on it by rolling your wrist. If done correctly, the ball should spin in the opposite direction as it heads towards the headpin.

If you successfully get the ball spinning clockwise, it will hook to the left and vice versa. A Brooklyn can also help prevent gutter balls and to knock down more pins because of the spin. Additionally, a Brooklyn shot can be used to hit a spare if you need to knock down a pin in the 1-3 pocket.


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