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Lane Play Strategies For Recreational Patterns And Leagues 01/19/2017

You walk into a bowling center, league night. You want to bowl good, possibly a 300, maybe an 800 series on top of it, hang out with friends and have a good time. But you also want to walk in with a game plan, a strategy on how you’re going to defeat the ten big fat pins that are 60 feet away from you when you throw the ball.

Recreational patterns, which can also be described as a typical house shot, are designed to give the bowling ball easier access to the 1-3 pocket, or 1-2 pocket if you are a left handed bowler. Basically we call them “house shots.” There will be a higher concentration of oil in the middle with free hook to the outside part of the lane. Some recreational patterns are the USBC Red, White and Blue patterns, which are a one up from the typical house shot normally laid out. The USBC Red pattern will give you the greatest amount of forgiveness. The USBC White is a bit tougher with a smaller ratio of oil from inside to out, and while the USBC Blue is slightly easier than sport conditions, it’s more challenging than the white.

So what’s your game plan? What’s the feeling you’re going to have when you slip your shoes on, put your ball on the ball return? What will it take for you to feel like Kevin Durant just walked out of the locker room ready to play basketball? Say we are bowling on a typical house shot, normally around 39 feet. I myself would want to start out with a benchmark ball, the first ball out of my bag. For me that would be either my IQ Tour from Storm or my Pathogen from Pyramid Bowling. Both bowling balls will allow me to stand right around 36-37 board with my feet having my ball cross 18-19 at the arrows, get to the 8-9 board and the break point and destroy and all 10 pins.

You’re one game, maybe one and a half games in to league night when all of a sudden your benchmark ball is too much for you to handle? Ball down! You need something that will push down the lane more, but not too much to where you still have that entry angle on the backend to carry the corner pins. Off the IQ Tour or a Pathogen type bowling ball, I’d move to something that’s a bit weaker like the HyRoad from Storm. Hybrid cover, something that will push further than my IQ, but still create my entry angle to carry those 10 pins and 7’s, and strike the rest of the night.

Any recreational pattern (typical house shot or the USBC Red, White and Blue) should have a starter pack of three to four bowling balls, benchmark, hybrid, and a weak but strong pearl and a spare ball, all of which are best friends to a two handed bowler. A good time with friends as well as a couple drinks and you’ve had yourself a successful league night, and remember all the bowling balls you need are at, it’s where bowlers go.

Hello everyone and greetings from the Bowling Mecca of the World, also known as Las Vegas! My name is Nick Pollak. I am 18 years old and I’m a two-handed bowler as well as a USBC Bronze level coach. I am thankful to have been invited to join the team to write about the sport I love. I look forward to sharing many articles with you and hope to interact with many of you to get feedback and topic ideas you would like to see.

Did I mention I am a two hander? I wasn't always but that all changed in January of 2015 when my one-handed mechanics became a tremendous liability. For each and every one of my fellow two-handers, it should be noted that we are all different in our styles of approach, rev rate, speed and release. I look forward to sharing my perspective of the sport I love, as a competitive bowler and as a two-hander.


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