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Aligning To The Bowling Pocket, Originally Posted:  10/2/14; Updated: 4/10/21

If you are new to the game or investing some time to improve your game, then addressing the importance of aligning to the pocket is a key to real progress.

Let’s examine some simple pocket principles:
The center of the pocket is located on the 17.5 board on the pin deck.

 A pocket hit for right handed bowlers is one in which the bowling ball contacts the head pin first and then contacts the 3 pin next.

With a modest hook delivery, the ball will continue past the head pin and 3 pin and contact the 5 pin next followed by the 9 pin.

 Left handed bowlers must contact the head pin and 2 pin to hit the pocket with the ball then contacting the 5 pin and 8 pin with a modest hook delivery.

 Most bowling center house conditions for oiling the lanes creates the highest volume of oil conditioner located between the 2nd arrow on the right of the lane and the 2nd arrow on the left side of the lane.

 The heaviest volume of oil down lane is typically concentrated from the foul line to the mid-lane approximately 20 feet distance past the foul line with less conditioner applied in the mid lane and with the back end of the lane dry.

 Adjustments in initial alignment will be needed when a ball is delivered accurately toward your selected target but does not end up solidly impacting the pocket.

 The “rule of thumb” for most house lane conditions is if you miss the pocket to the right, adjust your feet to the right. If you miss to the left, then move your feet to the left.

 Do not make alignment adjustments based on a poor delivery.

 The amount of positioning adjustment on the approach for missing the pocket from your initial alignment, either to the left or to the right, depends on how far you missed the pocket.

If you feel you missed a solid pocket hit by about 5 boards, then adjust 5 boards on the approach and perhaps only half of that many boards at your sighting target on the lane.

 As in any sport, the better one becomes, the more complex is the science of the game.

 Keeping a simple alignment system can be the best method of gaining positive results when learning the game and working toward improvement.

 When hitting the pocket, you enable yourself to have a good chance at getting strikes.

If you hit the pocket and do not strike, you will leave easy spares to convert which helps you gain good scores.
Improving your scores begins with a reliable alignment technique and hitting the pocket consistently.

 If you have challenges in gaining good alignment and hitting the pocket, it is sensible to use the services of experienced bowling instructors to help you with your alignment strategy.
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