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Where To Finish Your Bowling Slide

If you are learning the game and getting started in league competition, you will want to determine precisely where you should slide at the foul line. Kindly follow this one simple practice technique and you will be able to establish a reliable system for alignment.

Everyone knows you must slide near the foul line, perhaps no more than 4 - 6 inches from the foul line maximum.

The trick is which board must you slide on to ensure you are close enough to the inside edge of your bowling ball as it passes by your bowling ankle, so you retain leverage and generate good power.

You want to make certain you slide very close to the inside edge of your bowling ball when releasing and while sliding into the line at the same time.

Next time you are on the practice lane, place your bowling ball on the approach floor sitting on the thumb hole so the ball will not roll away.

Set the thumb hole of your ball exactly on the 13 board of the approach floor about four inches behind the foul line.

We reference the boards on the lane from the center board, the 20 board, which corresponds to the large, center guide dot at the foul line.

In this case, set the thumb hole covering the 13 board which is 7 boards right of the center dot if you are a right handed bowler (opposite for left handed players).

Then place your foot to the left of your bowling ball, about one half inch left of your sliding ankle, with the toe of your sliding bowling shoe only a half of an inch behind the foul line.

You will notice in doing so that the instep of your sliding bowling shoe most likely covers the 18 board. About two boards to the right of the center guide dot at the foul line.

Next, project a line from where the center of your ball sits on the 13 board to the 2nd arrow down the lane some 15 or so feet beyond the foul line.

In this example, your shoe will slide on 18 board, your bowling ball will be released slightly beyond and over the foul line. It will land on the 13 board and you are sighting at the 10 board, the 2nd arrow on the lane.

If you are a “stroker” type bowler who delivers your ball up-the-boards with only a slight delivery angle, you will have created a three point alignment system which you use for initial alignment when beginning a session on the lanes.

You can also make adjustments with your sliding board and your sighting target as the lanes change. As there will always be this same five board space between the board you cover with your sliding bowling shoe and where the center of the ball contacts the lane surface. This will be the one constant in your alignment system.

As the lanes change, you must play a different area of the lane which will require adjustments to where you slide at the foul line and where you sight on the lane.

However, in this example for your initial alignment you slide on 18, release your ball on 13, and hit 10 board at the arrows. Simple enough.

Obviously if you hook the ball more than this example provides for, you may have to slide further left and possibly change your sighting target as well. If you deliver the ball very straight, you have to adjust in the opposite direction while using the 2nd arrow target.

The point here is to develop a system of initial alignment so you know where to slide, where to release your ball, and where to aim at the arrows.

The next piece of your alignment process is where to stand back on the approach. If you walk a straight line, your answer is an easy one. You would stand covering the same board as the instep of your bowling shoe slides near the foul line. You walked a straight line.

If you typically drift a couple of boards, make a slight adjustment to your starting board so you slide on the 18 board at the line if you want to play the 2nd arrow.

There are several acceptable and workable alignment strategies you can use to be an effective player. This simple alignment system will help you know precisely where to stand, where to slide, where your ball contacts the lane surface, and where to sight at the arrows.

Also, this system helps you to keep your forward swing tucked in very closely to your body where your swing moves underneath your bowling shoulder at the moment your thumb begins to exit the bowling ball.

Accuracy is developed through a sound alignment system. If you are just learning the game and want to make improvements and take some of the guesswork out of your alignment process, give this system a try next time you are on the practice lane.