Beginner Bowler Straight Ball Strike Alignment
If you are new to the game and just now starting to learn about playing the lanes, there are many things to consider. One important key to good alignment to the pocket is to first understand where the “pocket” is located on the pin deck.
The pocket for right handed bowlers is the dead middle of the head pin and the 3 pin sitting just to the right and in the row of pins behind the head pin. The opposite is true for left handed bowlers. The pocket is the directly in the middle of the head pin and the 2 pin.
The next important things to identify are where to stand on the approach, where to slide on the approach, and where to sight as an intermediate target on the lane.
Depending on your current release technique, targeting the 2nd arrow is the place to begin aiming your bowling ball deliveries toward.
If you roll a perfectly straight ball delivery, you will have to use an angle from about the 6 or 7 board just beyond the foul line toward the 10 board (2nd arrow in from the right edge of the lane for you right handed bowlers). This delivery path will help you direct your bowling ball down the lane to the pocket at 17.5 board.
Your sliding bowling shoe should end up with the instep about 5 boards left of the release point where your ball first contacts the lane surface just beyond the foul line (again, for right handed bowlers).
If you deliver your ball on the 7 board, for example with straight ball bowlers, you will slide on about the 12 or 13 board at the foul line. It is recommended to slide with the toe of your bowling shoe pointing to the pocket.
If you walk a perfectly straight line to the foul line, you must align your sliding bowling shoe instep on the same board you slide at near the foul line.
You have just created a simple alignment strategy using a five point system.
This system references the board you place your sliding bowling shoe
on during your stance position, the board your sliding shoe covers when sliding into the foul line area, the board your bowling ball
first contacts the lane surface after it it exits your hand, the board your ball rolls over near the targeting arrows about 15 feet beyond the foul line on or near the 2nd arrow, and the board where your ball contacts the pocket on the pin deck 60 feet down the lane.
The five point alignment strategy is as follows:1.
Stand with the instep of your sliding shoe on the 12 or 13 board on the approach. The center guide dots on the approach mark the lane center and is the 20 board.2.
Slide on the same 12 or 13 board near the foul line. It is recommended to slide no further behind the foul line than 4-6 inches.3.
If your swing is close to your body and in a straight line delivery path, your ball will contact the lane surface just beyond the foul line on the 7 board.4.
If you release your ball sighting at the 2nd arrow (10 board), your ball will have a good chance of following the correct path to the pocket. It helps to release your ball and allow your bowling hand to follow the ball in the intended direction toward your 2nd arrow sighting target.5.
Your bowling ball will contact the pocket between the head pin and the 3 pin, and your chances of getting a strike are good.
You may have to “tweak” your stance position on the approach slightly if you do not walk a straight line and slide on the same board near the foul line.
If you have already developed a slight hook ball delivery style, you will have to adjust your stance position on the approach, your slide position at the foul line and then your release point where your ball contacts the lane surface will follow in accordance with your sliding step. You will continue to sight at the 2nd arrow (10 board) from the right edge of the lane as your primary “spot” on the lane.
This simple five point strategy can be used as the nucleus of a more sophisticated alignment system as you develop in the game.
Accuracy in bowling is sliding at the right place near the foul line and delivering your ball over the proper intermediate target with the right delivery angle so your ball hits the pocket. Hitting the pocket is a key to rolling high bowling scores.