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How To Make Bowling Alignment Adjustments

Learning how to make bowling alignment adjustments is a big step to increasing your "strike" potential, leaving easy spares to convert, and to improving your overall scores. The goal of all bowlers, and certainly for you advanced players, should be to become competent in quickly adjusting to various lane conditions. How to make bowling alignment adjustments can be accomplished by understanding these important factors:

1. lateral adjustments 2. length adjustments 3. ball speed adjustments 4. release adjustments 5. bowling ball changes

Typically, most bowling centers use a lane oiling procedure which 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, certainly for league play. Also, the heaviest volume of oil is located from the foul line where the bowling ball first contacts the lane surface down the lane to approximately 20 feet distance past the foul line. Of course, each bowling center has its own oiling procedures, but in many cases, the 2nd arrow is a good place for initial alignment to the pocket.

Depending on your release technique, targeting the 2nd arrow is the logical place to begin your deliveries while warming up for a session on the lanes. If you have a modest curve or hook ball delivery, then you will use an angle from left of the 10 board, say about the 13 or 14 board just beyond the foul line, your slide shoe instep will cover the 19 board, and your ball will continue toward the 10 board or 2nd arrow, and then continuing further down the lane to the break point about two-thirds the way down the lane, and then finally hooking to the pocket.

In cases with bowlers with high rev-rates and who create very sharply hooking deliveries, more extreme angles to the 2nd arrow will be necessary so the ball will ultimately end up hitting the pocket. A sound and consistent initial alignment positioning is important as a basis of reference.

Adjustments in initial alignment will be needed when a ball is delivered accurately toward the 2nd arrow but does not end up solidly impacting the pocket. The amount of adjustment for missing the pocket from your initial alignment, either to the left or to the right, depends on how far you missed the pocket after rolling your ball over your target.

We recommend a "parallel adjustment system" whereby you simply move your feet two boards and your target on the lane one board, in the same direction, either to the left or to the right. Moving your feet two boards right and your target on the lane one board right, as example when the ball slides too far and misses the pocket solidly to the right, will close your angle and create a more direct route for your ball to travel and contact the pocket. If after adjusting 2:1 ratio to the right and your ball still does not make it to the pocket solidly, then adjust another 2:1 boards to the right. Continue making 2:1 ratio adjustments until your angle matches to the oil conditions and your ball finally contacts the pocket solidly at the 17.5 board.

Adjusting in the opposite direction, 2:1 boards to the left from your initial alignment positioning, will work for lanes which have less than heavy oil and which causes your ball to hook too early and miss the pocket to the left (again in the case of right handed bowlers). Multiple adjustments of 2:1 boards, either left or right, will either close your angle to the pocket on oily lanes or open your angle to the break point down the lane on dry lanes.

Of course, parallel 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 parallel adjustment typically works nicely on most house conditions if the oiling conditions are not too severely oily or dry.

Length adjustments may be made simply by extending your visual target on the lane either down the lane or nearer to the foul line. Sighting further down the lane from your initial targeting distance will help project the ball down lane, increase the overall skid length in the front end of the lane, and help to prevent that early hook motion dry lanes cause. Adjusting your visual target nearer to the foul line will assist you in getting the ball into a strong roll pattern on the front end of the lane to help combat very oily conditions.

Another length adjustment is the distance you release the ball over the foul line. No matter how much loft over the line you generate, your goal should be to regulate your ball speed from delivery to delivery. Remember, bowling is a game of direction speed control! Experiment with loft control adjustments but maintain a consistent ball speed in doing so.

Adjusting your overall ball speed about two miles per hour faster or slower than your median average speed will also change the moment your ball picks up its strongest rolling pattern. The manufacturers recommend an average velocity range measured at the release point near the foul line of about 19 -22 mph. Any bowler increasing speed from a 22 mph launch velocity risks directional control and release control problems. Care must be taken to maintain good balance during the moment of release and to maintain speed control from delivery to delivery, regardless of the speed you choose to use during any given session on the lanes.

Adjusting your release slightly is also a method of adapting to changing lane conditions. If the lanes break down from excessive lineage, for example, then using a less rotational release with less of an unhinging of the wrist motion will certainly enable your bowling ball to increase skid length and delay the its hooking motion. The reverse is true for heavy oil conditions in that increasing slightly the rotational hand action or the quick unhinging motion of your hand at the critical moment of release will help rev-up the ball and react earlier on the front end of the lane.

Finally, changing bowling balls during competition is highly recommended but it is important to note that you must have a calibrated arsenal of known ball surfaces and core designs to adjust to changing lane conditions and your delivery angle to the break point. It is surprising how many players of advanced experience levels do not have the surfaces of bowling balls in their arsenals properly prepared to match to the known or anticipated lane conditions.

Two important factors in selecting the right ball from your arsenal when a change is needed during competition are the length potential and hook potential ratings each ball in your arsenal possesses. It is vital to practice with all of your equipment and have each ball ready for use and geared for specific oil conditions prior to the start of competition. recommends you consult an experienced and touted, certified coach or a bowling professional for more information on a developing a strategy for lane adjustments. If the top amateur and professional players consult with coaches, why not you? Of course, we offer literally hundreds of articles and videos dedicated to helping you better understand the game of bowling. Feel free to browse our "BowlVersity" located at the top of our home page to find more articles to review. We hope these tips help.

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