Bowling Lanes - Read Them And Weep
If you are a top tier player in your town, then you know that reading the lanes is a vital part of your bowling successes.
Every highly skilled player will agree when reading the lanes, a swift and concise evaluation of the oil pattern must be made so alignment to the pocket is effective.
On easy conditions where the pattern literally steers the ball to the pocket if you are anywhere near lined up correctly, there is little or no stress in getting off to a good start in competition.
It is when the condition is less than forgiving and more challenging than typical house shots that you must be on your game to know which adjustments are needed and which ball to use.
On extremely challenging lane conditions when you get a bad ball reaction, adjustments may not come so easily.
It is then you must additionally determine if your shotmaking is consistent or if you need a ball change or perhaps you need to implement some other type of adjustment from your “bag of tricks”?
The tougher the lane conditions, the less bowling ball overreaction will serve you best.
It is easy to get carried away with drilling layout options, coverstock preparations, core designs, and surface texture procedures that it can be confusing when trying to get a good ball reaction on challenging lane patterns.
Most skilled players today choose to carry a low flare ball with a symmetric core design.
A ball which makes a predictable reaction when bowling on a USBC Blue or White pattern is far more preferable than using a ball set up to hook strongly and gain front end traction (as in the case of heavy oil, USBC Red patterns) on the same pattern.
Controllable bowling balls producing tame back end ball reactions serve you well on most patterns because of their versatility.
Therefore, this type of ball can become your “lane reading ball” with which you can rely upon to assess a pattern when bowling in an unfamiliar environment such as out-of-town tournaments.
Avoid loading your equipment arsenal with strong reacting bowling balls only.
Try and have a like number of control bowling balls with a couple of layouts and with mild coverstock preparations so your ball does not transition in the mid-lane unpredictably nor at the breakpoint on tougher conditions.
Any player who can make the best “lane reads”, quickly choose the best ball for the pattern from their arsenal, add any other adjustments such as ball speed changes, release changes, alignment changes, and sighting changes are the bowlers who will likely get off to the best starts in competitive bowling conditions.