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Change Bowling Balls

If you are a competitive league or tournament player, you know you cannot always get a good bowling ball reaction.

When lane conditions change, the bowling ball you use when you first begin your competition may no longer react as you wish.

If you have made the adjustments you normally do using that ball and you still cannot get a good reaction, it is time to change bowling balls.

It helps to understand the differences in your bowling ball equipment both from a design standpoint and from a surface texture standpoint. Changing balls in a timely manner takes some idea of which ball you are going to switch out to complete your competitive session.

If you are using a very symmetrical ball with a stable and even arc motion, perhaps you need to switch to a ball which gives you more length and more back end reaction.

If you are using a strong hooking ball, perhaps you need to switch to a ball which skids easily down the lane and then makes a gradual and smooth arc motion to the pocket.

By knowing your equipment, how each ball is drilled with a given layout and by knowing the surface texture of the given ball, you then have a idea which ball to substitute to compensate for the changing lane conditions.

What is in your “bag of tricks?” There are adjustments you can make when using your favorite ball on familiar lane conditions.

You can change ball speed. You can change loft distance. You can change your delivery angle. You can change your release technique.

These type of adjustments are your staple adjustments, your first lines of defense for changing lane conditions.

When these adjustments no longer help you find the pocket, change bowling balls. Don’t try to out bowl what the ball allows. Not going to happen.


Make the decision which coverstock would best match to the conditions you face.

You must also know which type of ball, one with a low flare potential or a high flare potential, will give you the best chance to find the pocket again and control your ball reaction based on the delivery angle the lane condition dictates.

You must understand which the drilling layouts favor the lane conditions.

It takes some time and experimentation to make the ball change decision with confidence during competition. Making a ball change is a risk/reward situation.

If you do not change, and your competitors make successful changes in adjusting to the lane conditions, you lose. This much we all know.

Know your own game, know your equipment, and practice using your equipment so you trust your decisions when it is time to switch bowling balls.