Why is It Called a Brooklyn Strike: Bowling’s Secret

A Brooklyn strike in bowling occurs when the pin action causes a strike from a hit on the opposite side of the head pin from where the ball was aimed. This type of strike is named after Brooklyn, New York, where bowlers often played on imperfect lanes, leading to unexpected pin action.

Bowling strikes are typically celebrated feats, but a Brooklyn strike holds a unique place in bowling culture. Considered a blend of luck and error, this strike elicits cheers with an undertone of surprise as the ball veers off course, only to yield the same result as a perfect hit—a clear pin deck.

Originating in the early days of bowling, the term reflects the game’s urban history and the quirky nature of alley conditions. Bowlers across all skill levels occasionally benefit from a Brooklyn strike, which proves that in bowling, sometimes a little serendipity can turn a mishit into a triumphant moment.

Why is It Called a Brooklyn Strike?: Bowling's Secret

Roots Of The Term

The term Brooklyn Strike has rich roots in bowling lingo. Decades ago, bowlers coined unique terms for different moves. A Brooklyn Strike, striking from the ‘wrong’ side for the player’s handedness, gained its name from an interesting bit of historical context. The reason for the naming lies in a traditional rivalry.

Just as the Brooklyn borough is opposite Manhattan in New York City, hitting the pins from the opposite side in bowling was dubbed a Brooklyn. This playful comparison has stuck, becoming a colorful piece of bowling jargon. Unlike other terms, it instantly paints a picture of an unexpected success. So, this quirky term continued to roll with time carrying a story within it.

Unveiling The Brooklyn Strike

A Brooklyn Strike is not about New York streets. It’s a perfect bowling term. One throws a ball across the lane. The ball hits pins on the other side. Think of a right-handed bowler. His ball hits the left side’s pins.

This move is tricky. Skilled bowlers do it to knock down all the pins. It happens in one roll. This is what people call a strike. Now, picture the ball crossing in Brooklyn, New York. It’s a fun way to describe the ball crossing lanes.

The name sticks because people enjoy using it. Even though it’s just a phrase, its fame grows. So, Brooklyn Strikes are fun to achieve and fun to say. Kids and adults whisper about this rare bowling skill.

Bowling Geography

Many people wonder why a Brooklyn strike has its name. This term originates from the sport of bowling. It refers to a strike thrown across the alley’s headpin from right to left for a right-handed bowler, and left to right for a left-handed bowler. This action mimics the geographical positioning of Brooklyn in relation to Manhattan in New York City. The bowling scene in New York is vibrant and diverse. It reflects the rich history and competition between the East and West sides.

Bowlers on each side develop unique lane tactics due to different alley conditions. East lane tactics often involve more spin to combat drier lanes. West lane tactics may focus on speed to tackle oilier surfaces. This distinction in styles contributes to the existing rivalry and the term ‘Brooklyn strike.’ It’s a nod to crossing from one ‘borough’ or side of the alley to the other.

Impact On Bowling Strategy

A Brooklyn Strike changes the game for bowlers. This strike is unexpected. It?s when the ball hits the opposite side. This hit happens for both left and right players. For pros, it’s about mastery. They understand the lanes and ball motion. They use this knowledge to adjust. Their skill lets them turn a mistake into an advantage. Amateurs learn from this too. By watching pros, they see how to change their throw. They practice to make their shots better. This learning helps them grow in the game. A Brooklyn Strike can show the path to success, even if by accident.

Brooklyn Strike In Pop Culture

The term Brooklyn Strike signifies perfection in bowling. It means knocking down all pins with the first ball. This term has special meaning beyond the lanes. Hollywood often uses this term in movies. People hear it on TV shows too.

It’s funny to hear a bowler shout triumphantly after a strike. Brooklyn Strike has become a pop culture reference. It stands for unexpected success. It’s used in contexts far from actual bowling. Kids and adults alike love the excitement it brings.

Why is It Called a Brooklyn Strike?: Bowling's Secret

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What Is A Brooklyn Strike In Bowling?

A Brooklyn Strike occurs when a bowler hits the pins on the opposite side of their dominant hand. For a right-handed bowler, this means striking the left side of the pin setup, typically between the 1 and 2 pins.

Why Is It Called Brooklyn In Bowling Terms?

The term “Brooklyn” is a playful nod to the idea of crossing over to the “wrong” side, much like the Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan to Brooklyn, suggesting the ball “crossed” to the other side of the lane.

How Do Bowlers Achieve A Brooklyn Strike?

Bowlers unintentionally achieve a Brooklyn Strike through an off-center delivery. It is not the intended target for right-handed players but can sometimes result in a strike when the ball hits the pins at an unexpected angle.

Is A Brooklyn Strike Considered Good Or Bad?

In casual play, a Brooklyn Strike is often seen positively because it still knocks down all the pins. However, in professional play, it is usually seen as a sign of a mistake in accuracy and is not the ideal strike aimed for.


Understanding the unique heritage of the Brooklyn strike illuminates a charming slice of bowling history. This term reflects the locality’s contribution to the sport’s colorful lexicon. We’ve explored its origins, offering a fun fact for enthusiasts and new players alike.

Next time you aim for those pins, remember the Brooklyn strike’s storied past and aim for a strike with a touch of history.

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