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Bowling Positioning Adjustments

By:, 1/22/17

Bowling positioning adjustments are key for any bowler of any experience level. This article is intended for relatively new bowlers or ones with fairly low averages trying to improve in the game.

Alignment and following positioning adjustments are the part of the game which can make or break your ability to hit the pocket and give yourself a chance to strike or to convert routine spares.

The process begins with choosing a standard or initial alignment to hit the pocket. This alignment is based on the oil conditioner pattern applied to the lane surface and to your bowling ball delivery technique.

Once you find an angle of attack in playing the lanes, then you will need to fine tune your alignment angle by adjusting the positioning of your feet on the approach and your sight target on the lane in an attempt to “dial in” the pocket.

An alignment adjustment system most widely used and time tested is known as a "​angular adjustment" system.

The "​angular adjustment system" is simply moving your feet positioning on the approach and your target on the lane; this adjustment is commonly made as a 2:1 adjustment where your feet are adjusted two boards on the approach floor and your sight target on the lane one board in the same direction.

This adjustment can be made either to the left or to the right on the approach and on the lane depending on whether you choose to use the oil conditioning pattern to help increase your bowling ball skid distance or decrease the skid distance.

On standard house conditions where you typically bowl most often in leagues or in open play, moving your feet two boards right and your target on the lane one board right, as example, will close your angle and create a more direct route for your ball to travel and contact the pocket.

This is an adjustment intended for right hand bowlers; the opposite adjustment direction is for left hand bowlers.

If after adjusting 2:1 ratio, either left or right, and you still see your bowling ball not quite reacting by getting your ball to enter the pocket solidly, then adjust again another 2:1 boards.

Continue making 2:1 ratio adjustments until your angle matches to the oil conditions and your ball finally contacts the pocket solidly on the pin deck.

Of course, ​angular adjustments may also be made in increments of 1:1 ratios for the fine tuning adjustments and in ratios of 3:1 for greater angle changes to the break point down the lane.

The 2:1 common angular adjustment typically works nicely on most house conditions if the oiling conditions are not too severely oily or dry.

Other adjustments useful to your game can be ball speed adjustments, changing your loft distance beyond the foul line, or altering your release technique to reduce or increase bowling ball rotational motion. Your first line of defense must be positioning adjustments described above. When minor adjustments are needed, you can choose one of these other type adjustments but it is recommended you are well practiced and able to make these changes effectively before using them during your competitive bowling sessions. Consult with a bowling instructor before attempting to learn about adjustments other than the positioning adjustments described in this article.


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