The more a bowler stands in the center of the lane and throws a straight ball down the center part of the lane, the LESS ANGLE they will have coming into the 1-3 pocket area. It's important to be able to come into the pocket at different angles in order to be successful on the lanes when their conditions are changing, so we need to figure out wether we need to move to the right or left on the approach to determine the best angle for the ball to give us a strike.
A "Line" is an angle or path a bowling ball takes as it travels down the lane.
If you throw a straight ball standing in the center of the lane (20th board) and hit into the 1-3 pocket area, you will most likely get only 9 pins down and leave a "5 Pin". You need to remember that the pins have weight (about 3 1/2 lbs.each) and will cause your ball to "Deflect" to the right for a right handed bowler, and to the left for the lefty's. To compensate for the balls' deflection, you need to move a board or two to the right (left for lefty's). Moving to the Right on the lane is called the "Outside Line" and the ball is usually rolled between the 1st and 7th board. You can use this line when there is heavy oil on the lanes. This line also gives the ball the most pocket power and most action power. If you haven't been carrying the strikes, moving to this outside line and throw directly into the pocket with some speed will be your best bet.
The ball will enter on the lane between the 8th and 15th board from the right edge of the lane. Let's say if you release the ball over the 12th board, the ball will go to the right about 5 boards and then start to hook back into the pocket. You must be careful though to not get into an oil track causing the ball to straighten out and not be able to hook back into the pocket.
The bowler usually stands on the left side of the lane and throws the ball between 15-30 boards from the right edge of the lane, and the ball should go at least 10 to 15 boards to the right before hooking back to the pocket to be classified as a Deep Line. This line is used mostly by those bowlers who throw a large hook (a Cranker) and can be a dangerous line to play especially if the lanes don't have much oil on them. The ball can really cut into the pins at a very sharp angle leaving the bowler with some nasty splits to deal with, so do use this line with some caution.
If you stand in the center of the lane (20th Board) and throw the ball over boards 10-15 on the lane, this is considered a Tight Line. This line is popular among many bowlers because the ball will roll straight until approximately 5-6 feet before the pins, then only hook 5-6 boards before coming into the pocket. Because the hook is small, it’s easier to control.
"ANGLE" is determined by moving left or right on the approach. It's also determined by the amount of speed and the amount of hook on the ball. If you slow the ball down for example, the ball will hook more and come into the pocket at more of a right to left angle. If you speed up the ball, it will skid more and the angle will be more straight coming into the pocket. You can also increase or decrease angle by varying the amount of Turn and Lift you put on the ball at the release.
If you are leaving a lot of 10, 8, 5, or 5-7 Pin spares, then you need to come in at more of an angle. Try moving to the right a board or two more on the approach as a starting point. Try the opposite if you are a left handed bowler.
If you are leaving the 7, 9, 5, or 5-10 pin spares, then you need to use less angle and can move more to the left.
If you are leaving the 4, 4-9, or 4-7 pin spares, then you are using too much angle and need to move more to the center of the approach. For a lefty, if you are leaving too many 6, 10, or 6-10 pin spares, then you need to move to the right or more to the center of the lane to come in at less angle.
For a strike, the ball should be in it's ROLLING PHASE and enter into the pocket around board 17!!
I hope you can understand this concept. Keep practicing because the more you practice, the you will improve on playing different angles, and which adjustments you need to make on changing lane conditions.
Join me here again next week when I'll be discussing "The Viper Oil Pattern".
Good Luck and High Scoring!
Hello!! My name is Joanie. Although I'm not a professional bowler, I have loved the sport for more than 45 years, averaged over 200 for several seasons, and learned quite a bit with research and experience.