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Rely On Your Bowling Ball Reaction

By:, Originally Posted: 4/5/17; Updated: 11/5/2021

If you are averaging between 160 and 180, rely on your bowling ball reaction to stay aligned to the pocket.

Reading the lanes is an important part of the game for all bowlers because of the importance in hitting the pocket as often as possible.

If you cannot rely on your ball reaction, it is nearly impossible to hit the pocket consistently.

One chief factor to aligning to the pocket is having your bowling ball surfaces prepared for use each time you begin bowling.

You can do some self maintenance by cleaning your ball surfaces and/or texturing the surfaces using grit pads.

The most reliable way, however, is to have your local pro shop professional wet-screen your equipment on a high speed ball spinner to evenly texture the ball surfaces.

You can discuss beforehand with the pro shop pro how expect your ball to react when you next face a competitive bowling situation.

Through experimentation, you can determine how the surface of each of your bowling balls can be textured so you gain maximum reaction reliability from each and then establish a routine ball surface maintenance schedule.

It is a difficult process aligning to the pocket for strike deliveries when you cannot trust your ball reaction due to the ball surface being in need of refreshing or resurfacing in accordance with a routine maintenance schedule.

On easy lane conditions where your bowling ball is guided to the pocket by a forgiving oil pattern, the ball surface is less of a factor in aligning to the pocket than it is when the oil pattern breaks down or if it is initially a very challenging, unforgiving oil pattern.

The one key thing you can rely on is your own judgement as to when and how often you keep your equipment prepared for use.

No bowler can make good adjustments as the lane conditions change during competitive bowling sessions unless they can trust their ball reaction to “read the lanes” effectively.

Politely suggesting, don’t be lax or lazy with routine ball surface maintenance. Your ball surfaces are like tires on your car because they are constantly in contact with the lane.

Governing your ball skid distance is a major part of getting a good ball reaction and making wise adjustment decisions when required. Your ball skid distance is affected by several factors you can control. Your initial ball speed when releasing the ball is one factor. Others are your loft distance, the consistency of your release technique, your alignment angle of attack, and, of course, your bowling ball surface traction. Once your ball is drilled with a known layout, the only thing you can alter on the ball is your ball surface texture.


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