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The Bowling Pocket Location

By:, 1/7/17

Updated 10/9/2020

As a new bowler learning the game, how to strike in bowling means developing an awareness first of an important factor, the bowling pocket location.

The center of the pocket is located on the 17.5 board on the pin deck. Using a right handed bowler as the example, the pocket is on the 17.5 board counting from the right edge of the lane.

The head pin sits directly on the 20 board (middle of the lane) and the 3 pin and 2 pin on the 15 board respectively.

In this example, the pocket is between the head pin and the 3 pin. Of course, for a left hand bowler, it is located between the head pin and the 2 pin.

A pocket hit is one in which the bowling ball contacts the head pin first. If the angle of entry is between 4 degrees and 6 degrees, you will have a good chance at getting a strike.

The angle of entry is determined by an angle measurement between the line created by the parallel boards of the lane and the direction of the ball path into the pocket.

With a sufficient angle of entry, the bowling ball will not deflect severely upon impact with the head pin and thereby will continue into the heart of the pin formation and contact the 5 pin next followed by the 9 pin and/or the 8 pin.

An angle of entry can vary because one bowler may deliver a straight ball angled into the pocket from the edge of the lane and the next bowler may deliver the ball with a hook motion and use a ball delivery path angle slightly away from the pocket before hooking toward the pocket.

Other factors affecting your ability to strike are your initial alignment to the pocket and which adjustments you make when your ball no longer hits the pocket when you make a good shot. The initial alignment to the pocket is based on your release technique and on the oil conditioner pattern applied to the lane surface. The oil pattern directly affects your bowling ball skid distance and when it will hook.


Most Popular Articles To Improve Your Game:

How To Identify Bowling Pin Formations

USBC Beginner Bowler Etiquette

Ask Bob (October 2015) - How Do I Make Adjustments On The Lane?

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