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How To Throw A Strike In Bowling Part 2


Click Here for Part One

Learning how to throw a strike in bowling part 2 is a big step to improving your overall scores. The goal of you beginner bowlers, newcomers to the game, or even if you have bowled competitively for some time and have a bowling average up to perhaps 135 or 140, is to deliver your ball into the pocket to give you the best chance at getting a strike. How to throw a strike in bowling Part 2 will be the 2nd in a three part series of articles and is intended in helping understanding the second of our three key factors:

1. Pocket Location

2. Initial Alignment

3. Alignment Adjustments

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We addressed the first item in our previous article, the pocket location, so let's now discuss initial alignment. The bowling arrows are located about 15 feet past the foul line toward the pins and are in a triangular configuration. From bowler's right to left (for right handed bowlers), the arrow nearest the edge of the lane is referred to as the "first arrow" and is located about 5 inches from the edge of the lane surface and the next arrow toward the lane center is the 2nd arrow which is located on the 10 board from the right edge of the lane. Opposite is true for left handed bowlers. Since the 4th arrow (center arrow) is aligned on the 20 board as is the head pin and the five pin on the pin-deck about 60 feet from the foul line, the pocket is located just 2.5 boards to the right of the 4th arrow on the 17.5 board.

New bowlers without any coaching typically roll the bowling ball from random angles on strike deliveries. These bowlers achieve random results and seldom improve because they have no system of initial alignment nor for adjustments. It is important to use the lane oiling procedure found in most bowling centers in the country as an aide and alignment guide.

The highest volume of oil conditioner is generally applied to the lane surface located between the 2nd arrow on the right of the lane and the 2nd arrow on the left side of the lane. Also, the heaviest volume of oil is located from the foul line where the bowling ball first contacts the lane surface down the lane to approximately 20 feet distance past the foul line. Of course, each bowling center has its own oiling procedures, but in most cases, the 2nd arrow is a good place for an initial alignment to the pocket.

If you roll a perfectly straight ball delivery, you will have to use an angle from about the 6 or 7 board from the edge of the lane just beyond the foul line toward the 10 board (2nd arrow) and continuing 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), the 11 or 12 board in this example for straight ball players.

If you have a modest curve or hook ball delivery, then you will use an angle from left of the 10 board, say about the 13 or 14 board just beyond the foul line, your slide shoe instep will cover the 19 board when completing your slide into the foul line, and your ball will continue toward the 10 board or 2nd arrow, and then continuing further down the lane to the break point about two-thirds the way down the lane, and then finally hooking to the pocket on the pin deck.

Power players, those players using a high revolution delivery and those who produce a lot of hook on the bowling ball, will use a wider angle toward the 2nd arrow target on the lane than will the modest hook player. Players using a great deal of hook and a high risk and high reward scenario awaiting them. A modest hook delivery will be the easiest to get into the pocket consistently on standard house lane conditions but the power player and the big hook delivery will create a strong angle of entry into the pins and produce the greatest percentage of pin carry and strikes. The greater hook you roll, the more challenging it is to be accurate.

In cases with bowlers using "back-up" ball deliveries or with very sharply hooking deliveries, more extreme angles to the 2nd arrow will be necessary so the ball will ultimately end up hitting the pocket. bowlingball.com always recommends consulting a certified bowling instructor or local bowling professional to help you with an initial alignment procedure. Knowing how to align yourself on the lanes and where to site as a target matching to the oil conditions on the lane surface is key in achieving success and in throwing strikes. Please do not shy away from taking a bowling lesson if you are in doubt about how to align yourself and which target to site.

Part 3 of this article series will help you how to make alignment adjustments to you can continue to hit the pocket and to strike. Please get out to the practice lane and bowl as often as you can. Hope this helps you learn initial alignment.


Click Here for Part Three

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