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Your Bowling Ball Reaction

You simply must deliver your bowling ball and observe your ball reaction before you can get properly aligned to the pocket. Regardless of how much you know about the lane conditions, about the oiling pattern, you still must watch your ball travel the lane to know if an adjustment is needed.

You must read the lanes each time you bowl and not assume the condition is identical to the last time you bowled on that pair or in that league.

You cannot read the lanes unless you carefully watch your bowling ball enter the pocket and roll off of the pin deck. Reading the lane conditions requires using a familiar bowling ball and watching it react so you can make logical adjustments to hit the pocket.

Once you are lined up to the pocket, expect the lane conditions to change the more you bowl. Particularly if you are in a league or a tournament where multiple bowlers share your pair of lanes.

Once the lanes change due to oil carry-down and break-down, adjustments are needed to restore your ability to continue hitting the pocket.

The best guide to tipping you off to the type of adjustment needed is your bowling ball reaction.


If you learn to watch your ball carefully travel down the lane, you become familiar with the two transition stages where your ball changes direction. They are in the mid-lane and at the breakpoint.

Watching your ball change directions when exiting the skid phase to the hook phase, and again from the hook phase to the roll phase, you will can tell if the lane is causing your ball to hook sooner than you wish or skid beyond the breakpoint.

Hitting the pocket is every skilled bowlers objective. If you can read your ball reaction, you can read the lanes and make sensible decisions about lane play adjustments.

As was stated earlier, keep your eye on your bowling ball. Observing your bowling ball motion is your most reliable guide for spare and strike alignment decisions.