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How Do I Line Up To The Bowling Pocket?

bowlingball.com, Originally Posted: 5/4/2015; Updated: 2/25/2024

If you average 170 or less and are asking how do I line up to the bowling pocket, use a couple of simple techniques to help you zoom-in on your target path.

First, use a reliable bowling ball. Use a ball which you can depend on providing a consistent ball reaction.

This ball might be one which you typically begin your league sessions using in the first game.

By using your favorite “lane-reading” ball, you can quickly see if the lanes are skidding more than usual or if they are hooking a bit more than you expect.

Usually, if the lane conditions are close to what you encounter normally in your first game of league, a slight adjustment might be all you need.

Line up where you usually start and watch your ball roll carefully.

If the ball hooks sooner than you expect, move toward the oil build-up in the middle portion of the lane.

Typically, a move of only two or three boards with your feet and perhaps a board or two at your sighting target on the lane will restore ball skid and help you quickly line up to the pocket.

Do the same in the opposite direction if the ball skids further than you expect so you pick up friction to help you gain ball traction when moving closer to the edge of the lane.

Sometimes a small adjustments are simply a matter of changing your ball speed. Perhaps a slight adjustment with your release technique can fine tune your ball reaction and help you hit the pocket.

Of course, when your initial adjustments are not helping you hit the pocket, you may need to make a bowling ball change.






Once you establish a normal starting position on the approach and a sighting target on the lane, you likely will not need big adjustments to find the pocket from week to week in your leagues.

For these reasons, using a reliable reacting, lane-reading bowling ball is useful so you quickly spot the type of adjustment experience tells you to use.

Let’s face it, hitting the pocket on strike deliveries is the most important goal any bowler needs to record good scores.

If you play the lanes right, it will not take you long to find the pocket and then make gradual adjustments as you progress through the frames and games.

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