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How To Learn About The Bowling Ball Positive Axis Point

If you are interested in how to learn about the bowling ball positive axis point, then begin with understanding where the PAP (positive axis point) is located on the ball while the ball is in motion. The point on the pocket side of your bowling ball at the end of the axis of rotation upon delivery of your bowling ball and while it is in motion is referred to as the PAP.

Let's break that down a bit. When your bowling ball is delivered, the ball will revolve around an axis known as the axis of rotation. At the ends of the axis of rotation are the PAP and the NAP (negative axis point). The PAP is the one point most important in deciding on a drilling layout and ultimately in achieving the ball motion you seek.  How to learn about the bowling ball positive axis point and where specifically it is located on your bowling ball is determined by your release technique. Every bowler has their own release technique so the PAP is different for each bowler.

The motion of your bowling ball is based on how far the Pin and the mass bias (MB) are from the PAP. The Pin and MB in relation to the PAP will help determine the amount of track flare your ball promotes as it travels down the lane.  When you deliver one of the new reactive resin bowling balls, you will notice the oil on the ball comes back with rings and each one of these rings indicates how many times the ball makes fresh contact with the lane surface.  The Pin location with respect to the differential of the core rating determines how much your bowling ball will flare.

Maximum flare will produce the sharpest angle of entry when your ball reaches the break point and as it travels to the pocket. Maximum track flare is achieved by placing the Pin 3-4 inches from the PAP on the surface of your bowling ball. Minimum flare results in a minimum angle of entry from the break point to the pocket and is achieved when your Pin is located either about 1 inch or 6 inches from your PAP.

The distance the pin is from the PAP will also determine how quickly your ball will rev-up upon delivery.  If the MB is closer to the PAP, the ball will rev-up sooner than if the MB is farther away from the PAP.

It is important to note that a high rev player with a good deal of axis tilt created by the player's delivery will not see the same overall ball motion as a low rev player with less axis tilt if both players use the same layout pattern. Because there are so many styles in bowling with so many types of releases, drilling a new ball with reference to your PAP is crucial in achieving the ball motion you seek.

Most pro shop operators can measure your PAP in a matter of just a few minutes. Combining your PAP location and knowing where the Pin and MB markers are located on the ball surface will help the pro shop operator determine a proper layout which will get you the ball reaction which best matches to the lane conditions you encounter.

bowlingball.com employs several successful and experienced pro shop operators in the U.S. who periodically contribute information so we may present useful content in our articles and videos about the key features of bowling ball design. This article reflects such content about the PAP of the bowling ball and has been shared with us by one of our pro shop operators. We are proud of our team at bowlingball.com and wish to make every effort to provide as much useful information as often as we can.


We recommend you consult with a pro shop operator of your choice to learn more about layout patterns and your PAP. Please be sure to check out the "Drilling Layouts" feature on our home page for diagrams of layouts with PAP and other marked indicators of core design and weight distribution in given bowling balls.

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