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You Can't Out Bowl A Bad Ball Reaction

If you are a competitive league or tournament player, you understand that it is not always possible to get a good bowling ball reaction, particularly when the oil conditions change.

What can you do when your ball reaction gets away from you to save your session on the lanes and maintain a good standard of performance? Change equipment.

If after you make your routine adjustments when your ball reaction causes you to miss the pocket repeatedly, it is time to “face the music” and change bowling balls.

There are certain adjustments you can make when using your favorite ball on familiar lane conditions. You may have the ability to adjust your ball speed or your loft effectively when releasing the ball. You might be able to make adjustments to your finger rotation or your wrist position as you release the ball.

These adjustments might be staples in your “bowling bag of tricks.” What happens when these adjustments no longer work?

The thing you must remember is that there will be a time when the lane conditions change enough to cause your ball to lose its predictable motion and none of your usual adjustments restore your ability to hit the pocket consistently, nor carry the corner pins as well as you are accustomed.

It is in times such as these that you must quickly recognize that you simply cannot out bowl a bad ball reaction.

You might be a talented player and a member in an important Hall of Fame, but if you cease getting a reliable ball reaction and your usual adjustments stop working, your performance will suffer if you do not change equipment.

It is time to change bowling balls. It is time to make a decision which coverstock would best match to the conditions you face.

You must also know which type of ball, one with a low flare potential or a high flare potential, will give you the best chance to find the pocket again and control your ball reaction based on the delivery angle the lane condition dictates. You must understand what the drilling layout in your various bowling balls offers in the way of an alternative ball motion.

If your favorite ball no longer works, change balls. The longer you hesitate before making the change can cost you precious pin fall when bowling in stiff competition.

Avoid forcing your ball, forcing your delivery technique, in an attempt to gain a good ball reaction if you cannot control the break point.

It is at this point when you must recognize that a change in ball skid length is needed and a different look on the back end is beneficial.

Changing balls to a known ball in your arsenal is the first move you must make.

It is also important to know your equipment so you can trust your ball change decision and know you will have a better chance of regaining a good ball reaction than if you remain with the ball you have been using.div style="float: right; padding-left: 15px;">


If you are in a competitive league, you certainly do not need to carry six or eight balls to the center. If you can, narrow the choices to three balls so when the oil condition changes you have a ball to switch to with the advance knowledge how the given ball will react.

It takes some time and experimentation to make the ball change decision with confidence during competition. Making a ball change is a risk/reward situation.

However, if you do not change and your competitors make successful changes in adjusting to the lane conditions, you lose.

The key is to know your game, know your equipment, and practice using your equipment so your opportunities for success rise. Then you win.

Remember, you cannot out bowl a bad ball reaction with modern equipment. Instead, change bowling balls based on what you see happening and rely on your equipment to help you make needed adjustments.