Like our FB page

Like our website
Tweet @bowlingball
Follow @bowlingball
Use and distribution of this article is subject to our terms and conditions
whereby's information and copyright must be included.

How Senior Bowlers Can Prepare For Competition Part 2, Originally Posted: 2/8/2011; Updated: 9/21/2023

This is the second in a three part series of articles with a few tips on how senior bowlers can prepare for competition part 2. Learning how senior bowlers can prepare for competition part 2 will help players make best use of their physical tools and bowling equipment. Our first article addressed selecting a tournament where you can compete with players in your own age and skill set and with practicing physical game mechanics you can pick up ball speed and retain accuracy. This article will discuss your bowling ball equipment and how to develop a small arsenal if you must travel to bowl in competition.

The least expensive way to prepare an arsenal of bowling balls is to use the ones you already own. If we were to develop the strategy of a four ball arsenal, then you should begin with a ball you can use as a dual purpose ball for spares and for extremely dry lane conditions. Often, plastic bowling balls can do the trick. The XXXL Starburst ball leads the way with plastic ball choices for dry lanes as it has a low flare potential which makes it easy to hold the back ends, particularly for senior bowlers with slow ball speeds. The XXXL Starburst is a 2 piece plastic ball made with quality and designed for use on very dry lane conditions.

Another popular plastic ball for dry lanes has become the OTB NHL specialty bowling balls available with team logos of any of your favorite 30 NHL hockey teams on one side and the mascot design on the other side of the ball. The NHL Phoenix Coyotes ball model, for example, is a high gloss factory finish and match up very well on those dry lane conditions.

For dry or medium dry lanes, either polish up your medium reacting equipment presently in your arsenal or add a new ball such as the Recon RX1 Silver Pearl and as wonderful choices for drier conditions. These are great bowling balls for advanced players looking for top performance on dry lanes. The Recon RX1 has the reaction characteristics of a urethane bowling ball with the hitting power of a reactive bowling ball.

The AMF 300 Smoke series are good choices for medium-dry lanes because of the 3-piece pancake weight block built in this entry level reactive coverstock which yields 2-3 inches of flare potential. The Smoke Blue/Gold works great for burned up lane conditions without losing its hitting power.

The Storm Tropical series has been a popular choice of players looking for a dry lane or medium dry lane ball because of its polished factory finish and reactive resin coverstock with a modified 3-piece core design. The Tropical Storm ball series are perfect choices for entry level bowlers or bowlers with slow ball speeds. Any of these aforementioned new bowling balls are not expensive to purchase and will work very dependably on dry and/or medium dry lanes.

On the other end of the spectrum, medium-heavy or heavy oil conditions require aggressive coverstocks to combat the volume of oil found in the front end of the lane. To prevent over skid past the break point, using bowling balls which create a high level of surface friction on the front ends while retaining enough energy and track flare potential on the back end of the lanes is the primary objective.

If you own such a ball or balls, experiment with texturing the ball surface before traveling to competition by using various degrees of grit screening pads down to a 500 grit finish. Try screening the ball surface first with perhaps a 1500 grit pad, then a 1000 grit pad, then perhaps even as low as an Abralon 500 grit pad for the ultimate surface texture when you are positive you will be facing very heavy oil conditions. If you do not experiment, you will not know which of your present bowling balls has the the level of ball reaction capability for oily lanes and if it is the best choice of ball for a limited travel arsenal.

New bowling balls for heavy oil available at, of which any would make a good choice to add to your arsenal, are the Theory , the Anarchy, or the C (System) alpha-max bowling balls. All of these choices provide strong enough of coverstocks to deal with heavy oil conditions and the coverstocks are versatile enough to be modified by virtue of screening procedures to increase or decrease skid length potential in heavy oil as needed.

Using a four bowling ball arsenal gives you a decent chance of having a bowling ball to match a given lane condition. Using a six ball arsenal gives you an even better chance of having the right ball when you arrive at your competition. Of course, anything more than six bowling balls allows you the options of finding pieces of equipment to fit between the main balls you rely on for most known lane conditions.

Traveling with six bowling balls to the 2011 USBC Open Championships in Reno can be done with two each three ball bags, either tournament bags or roller bags. Some three ball bags will contain the total ball weight under 50 lbs so airline travel restrictions will not become a problem. Checking with the airline you choose before bringing bowling bags to the airport is always a good idea because shipping bowling balls as excess baggage can be expensive.

Don't forget that in Reno, there are all the major bowling ball manufacturer's pro shop booths available on the concourse of the National Bowling Stadium so any new bowling ball you wish to consider is ready for you to drill and use. Also, there are daily locker rentals where the large lockers hold up to six bowling balls. If you are not going to Reno in 2011, however, and are planning travel to another location for a competition, then try and research lane conditions before you travel to get some idea what you may be facing. It is easier to prepare an arsenal for a tournament or series of tournament events if you know in advance what type of lane conditions you will face.

Not only is it important to have an arsenal with various bowling ball coverstocks but to also have coverstocks textured to a grit finish you are familiar with and understand when to use in competition. It is also important to understand the drilling layout with each ball in your arsenal so you can augment the ball motion beyond the capabilities provided by the general construction of the ball. Many players, therefore, choose to bring an undrilled ball to drill at the event site if they need a special piece of equipment. Give some thought to either investing in a new ball at the event site or to bringing at least one undrilled ball and then decide on a drilling layout at the event site using local pro shop services.

Having the right bowling ball is key to scoring well in tournament competition. Understanding your equipment is vital in matching a ball to a lane condition. Don't be unprepared. Work with your pro shop and get your equipment ready to go.

We hope these tips help. has become the No. 1 “e-tailer” of choice for bowling equipment by the consumers of America. Ordering is an easy process by following simple online instructions as our store is open and ready to assist you ​M-F 8am-6pm (EST)! Thanks for visiting

Click here to shop smart deals Need Help? Click here to access our contact information. Click here to shop 3G Tour X Shoes!
WeeklyContestText Click here to shop all Pyramid bowling balls