Article Contents

  • 1. The three lines
  • 2. Watching the breakpoint zone
    • 2.1. Visual cues
  • 3. Lane play implications
  • 4. Making your adjustments
    • 4.1. When the ball is hooking before the optimal zone and missing the pocket
    • 4.2. When the ball is hooking before the optimal zone and hitting the pocket, but not...
    • 4.3. When the ball is hooking in the optimal zone, but not carrying
    • 4.4. When the ball is hooking late and hitting the pocket, but not carrying
    • 4.5. When the ball is hooking late and missing the pocket
  • 5. Conclusion

If you want to win, you don’t have to make perfect shots. If you need to be perfect, something is wrong. Find the right part of the lane and you’ll have some room to miss and, in turn, you’ll start making better shots. With this in mind, it stands to reason that our planned ball path that we discussed to find the right alignment is not necessarily where you are actually rolling the ball. This is completely normal and completely okay—up to a certain point.

Last time, I discussed The Importance of Proper Alignment, introducing the concept of Everything Towards the Target (ETT). For this article, we’ll expand on some of the alignment concepts and apply them to lane play decisions to tackle two of the most fundamental concepts in modern bowling. If we are lined up correctly, we’ve built in some margin for error, so as long as you stay within that margin with proper alignment, your results should be fine.

The three lines

There are essentially three different lines that we use in bowling, even if you are not fully aware of them:

  • The intention line: This is the straight line from the laydown point through the breakpoint to represent our launch angle. If we extend this line, it often ends up in the gutter when the bowler is playing with open angles. This is also the line we use to calculate our alignment in ETT.
  • The shooting line: This is the planned ball path from release to the pins, including the hook and back end shape, intended to hit the pocket.
  • The actual line: This is the actual ball path, which usually differs slightly from the shooting line on a good shot, or can differ quite a bit on bad shots. It will also differ if the ball reaction we expect is not the one we get.

The intention line and shooting line will overlap for the first part of the lane while the ball is going straight through the oil. The shooting line will veer away from the intention line toward the end of the pattern as we plan for the ball to hook into the pocket. Remember that in our system the primary target is the downlane target and ...

Already a premium member? Click here to log in.

Ernesto Avila

About Ernesto Avila

Ernesto Avila is a professional bowling coach who is currently the Head Coach of the Peru national team. He is a Panam Bowling Master Coach, a USBC Silver Coach, and an ETBF Level 3 Coach.