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Where On The Lane Does My Bowling Ball Hook?, Originally Posted: 3/26/2015; Updated: 6/16/2022

If you ask where on the lane does my bowling ball hook, then we know you are not delivering a straight ball?

Since you hook the ball, then we can discuss the points of transition, or hook points your ball encounters while traveling down the lane.

The hook phase of bowling ball motion is described as a curve or as a slight arc. The hook phase is the the second phase of ball motion where the ball has encountered enough friction to change direction twice in what is commonly known as the mid-lane.

The 1st phase of ball motion is the skid phase on the front portion of the lane.

The hook phase is located in the mid-lane where your bowling ball begins to arc or curve at or slightly beyond the 20 foot distance area of the lane from the foul line.

Your ball hooks due to a higher friction factor on the lane surface than in the skid phase where the build up of lane oil is heaviest and the friction is lowest on the front end of the lane.

This hook motion is a change of direction from the original path your ball travels in the front end resulting from your chosen alignment angle of attack.

This motion in the hook phase occurs early in the mid-lane as the first hook transition and again when your ball reaches the breakpoint at the beginning of the back end of the lane.

The second hook point or transition point is commonly known as the breakpoint.

The breakpoint is located anywhere from 45 to 48 feet distance from the foul line on most house lane conditions, depending on the distance the lane is oiled.

The breakpoint is generally found nearer the edge of the lane on shorter distance oil patterns and nearer the middle of the lane on longer distance oil patterns.

From the back end breakpoint to the pocket, your ball does not change direction while traveling at an entry angle of perhaps 2 to 8 degrees angle.

The optimum entry angle is said to be 6 degrees for the best pin carry.

Normal entry angles typically vary from 4 to 6 degrees of angle as your ball is traveling from the break point to the pocket.

Bowling ball motion has been extensively studied and well documented by a USBC Task Force over the years.

Some other factors affecting the hook points your ball encounters are based on the bowling ball you select to use, on your delivery technique, and on the given oil pattern, and actual lane surface determine, all of which affect the precise moment your ball makes the first transition.

The drilling layout mapped by the pro shop professional affects the degree of hook but affects to a lesser degree, the hook points.

The surface texture of your ball influences the hook point and the degree of traction your ball creates on the lane surface.

Altering your surface texture is something you can directly control after your ball is drilled.

To summarize, your ball transitions first in the early portion of the mid-lane and again at the breakpoint based on the above mentioned factors.

If you encounter challenges aligning yourself to the pocket and then making good adjustments and are confused about where your ball should hook, consult an experienced bowling instructor who can help you find solutions to improve your game.

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