Positive Axis Point
When you purchase a new bowling ball it can be a very confusing and overwhelming thing to decide how you want your ball drilled when it comes to the layout. If you're new to bowling or if you've taken a casual approach in the past, browsing our Drilling Layouts
section of the site can be a daunting task. With all of these technical terms, it may seem like you're reading War And Peace
I mean, what is a PAP? Is this something I'm supposed to know, or is that up to my ball driller? Well, the majority of the process is reliant on your driller, but having an understanding of the PAP will make communication and the end result more successful.
The PAP is your Positive Axis Point. This is the axis that your ball rolls on while traveling down the lane. Just like the Earth spins on an axis, so does your bowling ball. There are actually 2 axis points that make an imaginary line through your ball as it rolls, with the other being the Negative Axis Point (NAP). However, the only one we're concerned with right now is the PAP, the axis on the opposite side of your track. There are many ways to find your PAP, and your ball driller should be happy to go over their preferred method with you.
Everyone rolls the ball differently. Your axis rotation and swing direction are what make your PAP unique to you. PAP's are calculated using coordinates. The first coordinate is measured horizontally on your Horizontal Axis Line (HAL). This is a fancy term for the line that goes from the center of your grip out toward your axis point (To the right for righties, and left for lefties). Most bowler's horizontal coordinates fall between 4" and 6 1/2", but this isn't always the case.
Most bowlers also have a 2nd coordinate to their PAP since the axis doesn't usually fall directly on the HAL. In order for that to happen, your ball track would have to be equidistant from your fingers and thumb, and most people's isn't. The 2nd coordinate is measured vertically on what we call the Vertical Axis Line (VAL). This is found by following the HAL until you reach the first coordinate and then travelling up or down on the VAL until you reach the PAP. If your bowling ball tracks closer to your thumb, your vertical coordinate will be up, and the opposite if you're closer to the fingers.
Alright, enough with that, here's the question you were probably asking from the beginning: Why is the PAP important? Well, not only is it important, it is the MOST important thing when it comes to putting a specific layout on your bowling ball. If your driller knows your PAP, he/she knows exactly how YOU roll the bowling ball. If you don't know your PAP, it is impossible to achieve the precise ball reaction you desire. Nearly every Drilling Layout
uses a specific distance from the Pin to PAP and CG/Mass Bias to PAP. When you know your PAP and you layout the ball using the pattern you desire, the core will be positioned precisely where it needs to be for the way YOU roll the ball. In turn, when you're being this precise, the layout that results on your ball will NOT necessarily look like the one in the picture.
The main point that needs to be made is that if we both roll the same bowling ball, the way the ball reacts for you is going to react differently for me, because we don't throw the ball the same. This is why knowing your PAP is extremely important. You can really fine tune your ball reaction, and that's what we're all looking for!
Once you determine your PAP and start putting it to use, your game will thank you, we promise!