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Angle Of Entry And Bowling Pin Carry

Angle of entry for a bowling ball traveling down the lane is the direction the ball travels when going into the 1-3 pocket from the break point for right handed bowlers and the 1-2 pocket for left handed bowlers.

The USBC (United States Bowling Congress - the governing body for the rules and regulations for the sport of bowling) has publicized that a pocket strike occurs at board 17 to 18 board with an entry angle between 4 to 6 degrees.

Equating pin carry to angle of entry is not a precise science and varies from bowler to bowler.

Here are some factors which vary the angle of entry and correspondingly the pin carry brought about by you as the bowler:

1. axis of rotation variations from delivery to delivery (inconsistencies in your delivery style)
2. using bowling balls with varying track flare potential
3. alignment to the pocket based on oil pattern distance and application ratios
4. the drilling layout used
5. ball speed control variations

The three phases of bowling ball motion are the skid phase in the front end, the hook phase in the mid-lane, and the roll phase on the back-end of the lane with the roll angle of entry remaining fairly constant.

Between 4 and 6 will be ideal for optimum pin carry on a given night, on a given condition.

Hitting the pocket solidly will, in the long run, yield a higher strike percentage than will light or high pocket hits regardless of the angle of entry.

With 4 to 5 degree entry angles, you generally will see corner pins or a 4 pin (6 pin for left handed bowlers) if the ball contacts the pocket a little high.

Angles of entry at 6 degrees or higher run a risk of leaving any of the back row pins as well as the occasional big split. These leaves occur more frequently with big hook angles of entry as opposed to the more modest angles of entry.

In the final examination about angle of entry and pin carry, the lane conditions coupled with the bowler’s given delivery technique, the selected equipment used, speed control, release consistency, and playing the lane conditions matching best with the given oil pattern are the key factors in the variance of pin carry from session to session on the lanes.

Remember, the simple notion that when round objects such as the ball and pins collide, funny deflection angles can occur. It is next to impossible to get consistent pin carry each time you bowl.