Straight Ball Bowlers
Delivering a straight ball keeps things simple. Although you are at a disadvantage to players who hook the ball to the pocket and gain a formidable angle of entry into the pins, a straight ball delivery makes it easy to find the pocket and continue rolling the ball into the pocket as lane conditions change during competitive bowling sessions.
If you use a straight ball delivery, you should establish an effective initial alignment to the pocket at the start of your session on the lanes. The next thing is to develop an awareness of your target on the lane and how to adjust for spares. Use the 2nd arrow in from the edge of the lane as your sighting target. The 2nd arrow is located on the 10 board at the bowling guides about 15' past the foul line. To use the 2nd arrow for your strike delivery, place your bowling shoe
instep over the 15 board (five boards right of the center board on the lane approach for right handed bowlers - opposite for left handed bowlers).
Next, make sure you establish a parallel shoulder-line position when you take your stance position on the approach. By keeping your hips and shoulders square to the pins, you will find it very easy to release your ball toward your sighting target. You can influence the toes of your bowling shoes slightly to point to the pocket resulting in your bowling shoulder being perhaps one inch forward of your non-bowling shoulder. Maintain this shoulder alignment throughout your walk to the foul line and while delivering the bowling ball
. It is important to walk a straight line path to the foul line and slide on the same board you initially lined up on during your stance position for both strike and spare deliveries.
You should also maintain a a 90 degree angle between your chest and your bowling arm when you swing your ball back and forward. Continue to maintain the 90 degree angle when you swing your arm in an upward motion to a full follow-through position. Release the bowling ball with your hand finishing in front of your bowling shoulder maintaining the 90 degree right angle.
Avoid excessively opening and closing your shoulder. This causes the shoulder to rotate away from your target. Bowlers rolling a straight ball delivery must keep the front portion of their bowling shoulder aligned directly to the sighting target throughout the approach without rotating the upper body away from the target. It is vital to keep a consistent delivery path to your target.
Making adjustments for spare shooting also becomes a fairly straightforward process when you do not hook the ball. In fact, a beginner bowling spare system known commonly as the “3-6-9” system is the easiest spare shooting system to learn and can work virtually anywhere you bowl if you continue delivering a straight line ball path to the pins.
For a straight ball player, adjusting for spares is easy if you remember to use your strike target (2nd arrow on the lane) for all spares in this simple system:
For the 2 pin, move right 3 boards
For the 4 pin, move right 6 boards
For the 7 pin, move right 9 boards
For the 3 pin, move left 3 boards
For the 6 pin, move left 6 boards
For the 10 pin, move left 9 boards
Focus your eyes on your target on the lane from the set-up and throughout your entire approach to the foul line, regardless if you are bowling for a strike or a spare. It is important to commit to a specific target to contact with your bowling ball and remain committed to the target while releasing the ball.
Learn to line up for both strikes and spares and watch your scores increase. It is recommended you consult with a professional bowling instructor to aide you in your alignment process. An experienced bowling coach can help you with your physical game fundamentals, lining up to strikes and spares, and managing your game while bowling in competition.