Transforming Bowling with String Pins

introduction of string pinsetters

How String Pins Will Save Bowling

Bowling has been a beloved sport for decades, providing entertainment and camaraderie for people of all ages. Over the years, advancements have been made in technology to enhance the bowling experience. One such innovation is the introduction of string pinsetters. In this blog, we will explore why string pins are transforming bowling and how they have the potential to save the sport.

The Rise of String Pinsetters

String pinsetters have gained popularity in recent years, and for good reason. Unlike traditional free fall pinsetters, which rely on gravity to reset the pins, string pinsetters use a system of strings attached to the top of each pin. When a ball strikes the pins, the strings gently pull the fallen pins back into position, ready for the next roll.

Increased Reliability and Efficiency

One of the major advantages of string pinsetters is their increased reliability and efficiency. Traditional pinsetters often encounter mechanical issues, resulting in downtime and frustration for bowlers. With fewer moving parts, string pinsetters are less prone to breakdowns, ensuring a smoother and uninterrupted bowling experience.

Cost-Effective Maintenance

Maintenance costs can be a significant burden for bowling alley owners. Traditional pinsetters require regular maintenance and replacement of various components. On the other hand, string pinsetters have fewer parts, making them easier to repair and maintain. This translates to cost savings for bowling alley operators, allowing them to invest in other areas to enhance the overall bowling experience.

Improved Bowler Experience

String pinsetters not only benefit bowling alley owners but also improve the experience for bowlers themselves. The consistent and reliable pin placement provided by string pinsetters eliminates any discrepancies caused by pinsetter malfunctions. This ensures a fair and enjoyable game for all participants, enhancing the competitive spirit and overall satisfaction.

The Data Speaks

Numerous studies have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of string pinsetters. According to research conducted by the US Bowling Congress (USBC), string pins resulted in 7% fewer strikes compared to traditional pins. While some may argue that this reduction affects the competitiveness of the game, it is important to note that the decrease in strikes is compensated by an increase in strategy and precision. Bowlers are encouraged to refine their techniques, leading to more skill-driven game play.

Embracing Change for a Brighter Future

In August 2023, the USBC certified string pin bowling as an independent category of equipment and competition. This acknowledgement further solidifies the significance and potential of string pins in shaping the future of bowling. As the sport evolves, it is crucial to embrace innovative technologies like string pinsetters to attract new players and ensure its longevity.

In conclusion, string pinsetters are transforming the game of bowling by providing increased reliability, cost-effective maintenance, improved bowler experience, and encouraging strategic game play. The data supports the viability of string pins, and their recognition by organizations like the USBC validates their importance in the bowling world. By embracing this innovative technology, we can save bowling and propel it into a brighter future.

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17 thoughts on “Transforming Bowling with String Pins

  1. Anthony Dalrymple says:

    Where is the rest of the data? Such as, pin carry, split conversions, and the percentage of times the string either helps other pins fall or stop the pins from rolling ancross the deck into another pin? How does a rev dominate player fare with string pin bowling? Do the strings get tangled? I feel there is more questions that need to be answered for those who have never bowled with string pins. I can say I’m all for revolutionizing the sport, just not seeing string pin bowling being the answer.

    • Tom says:

      I agree. I’ve seen videos of string pin and it’s not pretty. The strings stop pins from rolling eliminating a lot of pin action. When you move a pin off its spot, on a free fall machine as long as the rack can pick it up it stays odd the spot. In string pins the pins left standing are reset to their exact spot. So many of the little nuances of the game are going to disappear. For me, I’ll just move to a house with free fall until there are no more.

  2. Bill Freckman says:

    About String Pins…I can’t imagine a worse scenario! Currently pins have the ability to move about from left to right and visa versa, from the 7 pin across to the 10 pin and all in-between…what happens with a bowler that has a lot of live pin action??? Think about it, there’s a string attached to the top of each pin….I foresee lots of tangles…Show me I’m wrong.

  3. Greg Martin says:

    I hope that Bowling Alley owners pass along some of the overall savings in lineage cost that comes with string pins from the beginning of making the change, This can be a win-win for the owners and customers, so that it’s clear to everyone that the change will save money in maintenance costs, paid labor, power, less alley downtime, and allow the game to continue its latest success with the youth finally seeing how fun and competitive bowling is as a sport!

  4. Steve Lennard says:

    The biggest and unsurmountable problem is that pins are always respot in their original position, this alone should mean automatic failure to certify. Add to this the cleverly worded admission that splits will be easier and strikes harder, and there you have it. Strings are cheap and fun but so is Skee Ball and both belong as arcade games not in a “Sport”

  5. Verne A GORDON says:

    I have seen some the videos for string pinsetters and am puzzled why USBC has approved this method. I saw a lot less pinaction on the first ball and it looks like the ‘ messenger’ hits on other pins won’t happen as much. Also, no data so far on string entangling. How about strings breaking? How long would it take a mechanic to remove the pin and string and replace the pin and /or string? What about splits? Are the strings going to prevent such as a 2-7 from being made? What is the life of a string on a pin? Data anyone?

  6. David Schaab says:

    I hope that all the data is released, and I write that as someone who was involved with the ITRC this past summer comparing string to free fall. It became obvious that the number of strikes and averages would drop with strings. However, how much – maybe 10 pins. I found that strings definitely required better shot making which isn’t a bad thing. The strikes weren’t cheap. But I also didn’t see a common thing in my several leagues – the 7-10 pocket hit split. Why? My first guess would be that the pins were accurately placed. In all my games and the games of other bowlers on the same pair, I saw only one string interfere with a spare. I talked to the controller and he said there has been maybe 3 or 4 times a string interfered with well over 300 games in the study. Some have complained that the pin that moved and didn’t fall would be placed on its spot. I don’t know if that is really a bad thing or even how often I see that in my play now. However, what I do see quite often is misplaced pins by the pinsetters and you have to live with it because it the setter can’t be immediately fixed. How often, also, have you had to call the desk to reset a pin dropped by a pinsetter? And when it is reset it is place on its spot which is exactly the same thing the string setter does. Plus the string setter will not knock over pin standing regardless where it moves on the deck.

    Those who depend on the flying actions of the free fall pin, yes, that would be the high rev/speed bowlers, might be impacted the most initially. However, what the strings will give the sport is a better sense of accuracy. It looks good to fly the pins and have them all in the pit but is there a chance that this change could be challenge to those who score high because accuracy will be demanded more?

    I still have to roll the ball with timing, release, location, and understanding of the lane conditions. None of that changes with strings. My average during the testing on strings versus free fall was only 7 pins lower, a mark or double maybe? I saw nothing strange in my misses. Light pocket or high pocket was not as likely to result in a strike but a flush pocket was always a strike. In fact, I never saw a stone 8 or 9 on strings. What will happen will be nothing different than what we have today – averages for house, averages for sport, and add averages for string. The game will not change.

  7. SHARI says:

    Usbc is ruining the sport as it is. We get nothing for our fees. So by default let’s help the proprietors out who give us nothing for our fees. I am done if our house installs string pins. USBS has seen membership go down in the past years, I believe it will go done even more. If I had my way, we should all join non-sanctioned leagues, have our own tournaments. Again, We get nothing for our fees.

  8. David says:

    This group who supports the String pin setters are attempting to turn bowling into the equivalent of an arcade or festival game. More and more of these arcade venues are installing small lanes which utilize smaller pins with these smaller balls and short approaches along with some installing string pin setters. This will destroy the sport.
    Those who are pushing these carnival games are trying to find a way to sell the devices and monetize the games with no staff. Those pushing these are not bowlers. This idea is not new at all, it has been tried in the past and failed miserably.

  9. Melyssa says:

    Who is the vegetable that came up with this mishegoss idea, Bowlero’s boss? Actually, just give me one game with the string beans — uh, string pins, and have them all fall down 12 times so I can get that elusive 300 game.

  10. Rich says:

    String pins is Dave and Busters bowling. How long before all Bowlero houses go to string pins. Does the study show messenger pins? Can’t believe USBC approved this garbage.

  11. Chris says:

    Improved bowler experience my ass.
    String pins WORSEN a bowlers experience. No messenger pins, the strings tangle, string pins that should fall stay up because the strings have tension, string pins that should stay up get knocked down by strings instead of pin to pin contact looking like a ghost hit the pin. Every facility that swaps to string pins should be Boycotted by their regular patrons.
    String pins are the opposite of innovative new technology, they are old school carnival game calibur tech that have been around on miniature lanes since 1963, if USBC wants to fall backwards so far with tech they should have gone all the way to pin boys.
    This isn’t changing the lane from wood to synthetic, or changing ball material, it is negatively impacting the behavior of the pins, even USBC certified ones are an embarrassment and have all the issues previously stated. None of the money saved is passed along to the patrons for the cost of play.
    You would have a better experience burying your gear in a closet, and dusting off Wii Sports Bowling.
    Every outlet, bussiness, pro, or influencer embracing this travesty for the sport is a shill.

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