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Bad Bowling Pin Racks, Originally Posted: 11/3/2013; Updated: 2/17/2023

There are a number of common reasons why we do not carry as well one session on the lanes and better another. One common reason is bad bowling pin racks.
When the pinsetter cells are slightly out of adjustment, we get bad racks of pins.
If you have ever noticed that your pocket seems open or closed in relation to normal pin spotting, you might begin to think that a solid pocket hit will more likely leave a corner pin than not.
There are times when the head pin is set off spot to one side and your pocket seems closed while the opposite pocket side appears open.
Poor pin spotting can adversely cause poor pin carry on good pocket hits. Poor pin spotting is a result of the pinsetter being in need of pin cell maintenance.
Most maintenance teams at centers across the country schedule periodic maintenance and adjusting pin cells as one of the maintenance items. Remember to report the bad rack on your lanes to bowling center management after you complete your bowling.
Many bowlers try to overcome poor racks by attempting to hit the pocket either a bit high or a bit light in hopes of improving their chances of getting a strike.
This can be a useful technique if you are able to make such a finely tuned adjustment and pull it off. If you can make a slight adjustment without losing the pocket, do so if you feel your chances at getting a strike will improve.
If not, you should accept the poor rack of pins and do your best to deliver your bowling ball into the pocket and live with any potential corner pin spare you may or may not leave.
The lane conditions will have to yield a very good ball reaction where you can make a slight angle change and hit the pocket precisely where you wish. In many cases on challenging lane conditions, just hitting the pocket anywhere, is a difficult thing to do.
When you think you are leaving a corner pin repeatedly on a given lane with poor pin spotting, either an open or a closed pocket, then you have a decision to make.
Do you continue delivering your ball into the pocket and be hopeful you will carry a strike? Do you gamble that an adjustment of some type will help you change your angle into the pocket? Or change where you contact the pocket, high or light, in hopes of improving your pin carry?
The first thing to try is to re-rack the full set of pins and check if in doing so you get a better pin spotting and a normal pocket to target. If the new rack of pins is not improved, then no matter how many times you re-rack you will be likely to get another bad rack.
Know that even when you have good racks, you will get your share of “taps” where you leave a common corner pin spare.

It is important to know that the bad rack is not always the culprit. One thing to remember is that hitting the pocket must be your priority above all else.
Do not make a careless or a hasty decision to adjust your delivery and end up missing the pocket where your chances at getting a strike are further reduced.
The point here is you cannot let a bad rack get in your head and force you to panic during competition. You make any slight adjustment you feel you can get away with to not miss the pocket and live with the results.
It is entirely possible you will strike even if you have a poor rack of pins and your pocket pins are off-spot. Make the best of what you have and do your job by delivering your ball into the pocket.

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