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Common Bowling Adjustments

If you are averaging about 170 and find yourself yearning to improve, there are a few common bowling adjustments to help raise your scores.

A big step to getting a strike is hitting the pocket. When you hit the pocket, you leave simple spares to convert if you do not strike.

By having a few easy adjustments when the lanes change, you can find a way to continue hitting the pocket.

Getting aligned to the pocket initially is your first challenge.

Use the lane condition to help steer your bowling ball into the pocket. If you miss your spot one board either way and still hit the pocket, you are likely lined up pretty well.

If you miss your spot by a board and miss the pocket entirely, you need to make an adjustment to restore your ability to hit the pocket when you miss a board in either direction.

If you miss the pocket left, move left. If you miss the pocket right, move right. This simple alignment strategy works most of the time when bowling on house conditions in normal league competition.

Once you have developed a system for getting aligned to the pocket, continuing to hit the pocket as lanes change is your next challenge.


Using a common adjustment can help you hit the pocket with greater consistency as lane oil conditions breakdown or carrydown.

Here are common adjustments for most bowling center lane conditions:

1. Deliver your bowling ball at a slightly faster speed when your ball begins hooking too much.

2. Increase your bowling ball loft distance over the foul line between 6 -12 inches.

3. Decrease bowling fingers rotation applied when releasing your bowling ball.

4. Change bowling balls to compensate for a loss of skid length.

You may have to use multiple options in ending up with the desired ball reaction you seek.

It is recommended, however, to try these adjustments one at a time before implementing multiple adjustments.

With some experimentation during competition and during practice sessions, you will gain confidence in using common adjustments.

The goal is to hit the pocket, adjust to the pocket as lanes transition, and pick up your routine spares. If you want to raise your average scores, learn to trust and use these common adjustments.