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Your Bowling Ball Reaction Is Your Alignment Guide



By: bowlingball.com, 10/17/16

Updated 7/1/2020

Your bowling ball reaction is your alignment guide for hitting the pocket.

Lining up to the pocket first requires reading the lane conditions. Reading the lane conditions requires reading your bowling ball reaction.

Reading your ball reaction provides your ability to observe the two transition points down the lane, in the mid-lane and at the breakpoint.

Watching your ball reaction carefully allows you to make alignment decisions in hitting the pocket.

Once you are lined up to the pocket when bowling in competition, expect the lane conditions to continue changing due to lineage and the effect of bowling balls absorbing oil from the lane surface.

Once the lanes change due to oil carry-down and break-down, adjustments are required to re-establish a reliable ball reaction and restore your ability to hit the pocket consistently.

Your single, best guide to tipping you off as to the type of alignment adjustment needed is your bowling ball reaction.

There are three phases of ball motion, the skid phase, the hook phase, and the roll phase.

If you were to carefully and closely watch your ball travel down the lane, you will notice the ball transitions from the skid phase to the hook phase in the mid-lane.

The second transition is about two-thirds distance down the lane at the breakpoint where the ball begins its roll phase of motion.

Once you see a change of motion in the transition points and your ball begins to react differently causing you to miss the pocket, it is the signal to make an alignment adjustment.

The trick is to carefully watch your bowling ball travel the entire distance of the lane.

Your ball reaction, in a sense, is your alignment guide for sensible decisions related to adjustments.

Adjustment options are many. Normally the skilled bowler will seek a positioning adjustment on the approach and a sighting adjustment on the lane before making any subtle physical game adjustments.

Once you are lined up to the pocket, expect the need to adjust when the oil condition changes in order to restore your ability in hitting the pocket.

The key is to not take “your eye off of the ball.”

On challenging oil patterns, you may have to make physical game, fine-tuning adjustments. These adjustments might be ball speed adjustments, loft distance adjustments, a change of applied finger rotation to slightly alter your bowling ball axis of rotation and tilt, a switching of bowling balls, and changes to your intended ball delivery path to the mid-lane. Regardless of the adjustments most needed to restore the frequency of hitting the pocket during competition, your bowling ball reaction is your guide to alert you when to adjust.

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