If you know much at all about bowling, you know that the toughest shot in the game is called the 7-10 split.
The two outermost pins, as far away from each other on the lane as possible, and you have to get them both down with just one throw.
Even the pros say it requires some luck to hit one pin in just the right way so that it bounces off the lane walls or the pin-setting equipment and rebounds onto the other pin.
And yet, Wired magazine wrote this week about an analysis from 2015 that used data from hundreds of thousands of bowling frames to see whether the 7-10 was statistically the most difficult shot.
In that data, bowlers made the 7-10 about 0.7 percent of the time. Not very often.
But another shot, called the Greek Church, was made even less often, only about 0.3 percent.
The Greek Church is a five pin split that has the 7 and the 10, plus a few neighbor pins.
So why was it made less often than the iconic hardest shot in the game?
It has more to do with strategy than difficulty.
As Wired pointed out, pro bowlers confronted with the Greek Church have five pins to aim at – they’re not necessarily trying to get them all down, they just want to get some points on the board. So they aim at a cluster and take their chances.
When bowlers face a 7-10 split they’re throwing more or less the same shot whether they want one pin or both.
What happens after that, in either case, is up to physics.
If you’re anywhere near New York City, you may want to head to the Hall of Science in Queens – their new exhibit, open this week, is The Art of the Brick – artist Nathan Sawaya has recreated more than 100 classic works of art out of Legos.
There’s a Lego Mona Lisa, a Lego “Starry Night,” even a Lego version of “The Scream.” Also, a 20 foot tall T-Rex, because why not.
Here’s hoping none of the people who see the exhibit step on any Legos.
Bowling photo by Fimb via Flickr/Creative Commons