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Preparing For A Bowling Tournament

If you are an intermediate average-range bowler without a great deal of tournament experience and are preparing to compete in a bowling tournament soon, let’s examine a few things to help you get ready.

Having your bowling ball prepared to match with the lane conditions is always the first step in getting ready for a tournament. Check your equipment and make sure everything in your bowling bag is ready for use. Start by checking your bowling balls to make certain the gripping holes are not worn or in need of reshaping or beveling. If you use finger inserts, check them for excessive wear and replace them if needed.

Select the best surface texture preparation for each of your bowling balls. Get them into the pro shop for any necessary maintenance to ensure you have the best surface texture and polish for the lane conditions you expect to compete on during the tournament. In many cases, the lane conditions at tournament sites can vary from your normal house conditions where you bowl leagues most of the time. If get a chance to practice at the host tournament center, you might gain some insight into the conditions you will likely face.

Next, make certain your bowling shoes have the smooth sliding capability required of any tournament player. If you are bowling on wooden lanes at your local center and the tournament site has synthetic lanes and approaches, you might wish to invest in a new pair of bowling shoes with interchangeable sliding heels and traction soles. The sliding friction factor on approaches varies in accordance with weather, the physical approach surface, and the maintenance of the approaches. Being ready and having multiple pairs of bowling shoes ready for use is always a smart idea.

Check out your accessory pouch. Make certain your supply of bowling tape and an insertion/removal device are handy. You will want to have sufficient amounts of tape to last through the tournament. Have some skin protection substance ready for use if needed. You can never be overly prepared for competition.


If you bowl in a tournament where the pair of lanes you draw causes rubber marks or excessive dirt from the ball return tract, you will want to keep the surface of your bowling balls clean each frame. Make sure your bowling towel is clean and you have a supply of ball cleaning compound which is already cleared by the USBC and is ready for use.

The next thing to do is to grab some additional practice games and work on the strong parts of your physical game. Getting ready for a tournament involves being well practiced and knowing that you may very well be playing different delivery angles than you do in regular leagues. Be prepared to play away from your favorite angles in case you need to do so. You can easily practice at different times of the day than you normally do. Practice using all of your bowling ball equipment and not only the ones which work best for you at your home bowling center. Be adaptable and ready for any lane condition you might face.

In addition to getting your equipment ready for the tournament and practicing enough games to keep you sharp, you might want to use some of your practice time to focus on the following keys to successful competition:

1. Focus your eyes on your target throughout the approach and delivery with full commitment.

2. Maintain an athletic posture and good balance during your approach.

3. Maintain a consistent pace of footsteps. Try to avoid accelerating your steps excessively, particularly the final two steps of your approach which are the most critical. Fast steps will cause hurried and inaccurate releases.

4. Swing your bowling ball freely and smoothly without arm tension. Try to maintain a consistent swing tempo on the back swing and forward swing on each delivery.

5. Hold your form at the foul line until your ball passes your target. Balance during and after the critical release of the ball is vital to accuracy and good results.

Getting ready for a tournament simply means having your equipment prepared for use and getting practice games logged in so you are ready for the challenges ahead.