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Bowling Open Frames

If you are averaging at or near 180 and wish to raise that average, reducing the number of open frames you record in leagues is the most direct answer.

Open frames are “doubles killers.” Every time you get a double, you give yourself a chance at bowling a 200 plus game score if you do not get any open frames. One open frame requires two doubles to get you back on the 200 game track.

Raising your average requires three solid game scores, preferably a series of 600 or better. That requires as few open frames as possible.

The question becomes, how can you reduce your number of open frames per three game series?

It is a necessity to accomplish three key things to eliminate your number of open frames.

1. Hit the pocket consistently
2. Make good adjustments when the lane conditions change
3. Become one heck of a good spare shooter

You must hit the pocket enough times each game to give yourself the best chances at getting sufficient numbers of “doubles and three baggers” each game to bowl 200 or higher game scores.

In order to hit the pocket consistently so you leave easy and routine spares to convert, you need an alignment strategy for playing the lanes.

If you are averaging 180 or better right now, you are likely close to being aligned to the pocket properly based on your delivery style and based on the given lane conditions.

Using the oil pattern to your advantage is the key in developing a strategy for aligning to the pocket. Another key is using a reliable bowling ball so you get a consistent ball reaction and can read the lanes good enough to align to the pocket.

Once you learn to align yourself to hit the pocket, you must then learn to adjust as lanes change so you can continue hitting the pocket over your three game set.

Adjustments are a critical part of the game for top tier players. If you wish to learn what things you can do to adjust as lane conditions change, then develop your own little “bag of tricks” in making adjustments.

The most common adjustments when you begin to lose the pocket are a delivery angle adjustment, a ball speed adjustment, a release adjustment, and a bowling ball change.

Knowing which of these adjustments is best for you and when to make them, is the majority of your adjustment challenge.

By hitting the pocket consistently and making good adjustments as lanes change you leave fewer splits, which are typically difficult to convert. You also leave more routine, one pin spares which are fairly easy to convert.

Finally, you must develop the ability to reduce the number of open frames each series by missing fewer spares. Becoming an excellent spare shooter should become your top priority.

The players who learn how to convert spares consistently and to get good pin counts when not getting strikes, because they are “peppering the pocket” are the players who average 200 or better year in and year out in competition.

If you are able to become a good spare shooter and learn to line up to the pocket and make necessary adjustments as lane change during your series, you will reduce the number of open frames to a manageable amount and your bowling average will surely increase.