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Bowling End Pairs

It can be surprising how many bowlers do not like bowling on the end pairs of lanes. The end pairs offer some psychological challenge to many bowlers and they will admit to not liking end pairs.

The reasons can vary why bowlers do not favor end pairs. Some bowlers simply do not like bowling very near a side wall to the building. Some bowlers insist the lane conditions are different on end pairs than on pairs nearer the middle of the bowling center.

Any number of reasons cause displeasure to bowlers when they are faced with bowling on end pairs.

The simple fact is that a good number of leagues and tournaments in every bowling center in the country are contested on end pairs. Therefore, it would make sense to find a way to adapt to the end pairs and increase your comfort level if you are one of those players not liking end pairs of lanes.

End pairs can often be high scoring pairs of lanes. In a lot of instances, the end pairs do not get as much routine linage as do center pairs over the course of a month of league and open play bowling. Hence, they do not break down as much as other pairs in the same center.

Although not always the case, end pairs can be closely matched in the way your bowling ball skids down the lanes. So your alignment can be the same, or nearly close to the same, on both lanes.

If the end pair you bowl on during league or tournament competition is the pair the maintenance team typically begins oiling the lanes on first, you might observe a noticeable variation in the volume of oil applied to the lanes in comparison to other pairs.

There can either be a lesser volume of oil or a higher volume of oil applied by the machine depending on the machine settings, the buffing tube, or the changing of pressure from air displacement in the oil tank, as examples.

Temperature and humidity can cause end pairs to vary your ball reaction compared to pairs near the center of the house. In many cases, there are not double entry doors at the side entrances to the bowling center and the lanes can be directly exposed to dirt, sand, or moisture from the doors opening and closing frequently during your competitive sessions.

Whatever your fears are about end pairs, the one sure way to better familiarize yourself with these pairs is to practice on them when you can.

When you bowl some practice games, ask for the end pair if one or both are available for use. Avoid asking for your favorite pairs of lanes each time, because you will learn little or nothing about the end pairs.

As the saying goes, “there is nothing to fear but fear itself.” Never fear the end pairs. Learn to keep an open mind that adjustments likely will be required to hit the pocket when moving to an end pair and be ready to adjust as needed.