Article Contents

  • 1. Ball motion shape
  • 2. Breakpoint grid
  • 3. Lateral displacement and front-to-back distance
  • 4. Shape matching considerations
  • 5. Moving shape up and down +/-1
  • 6. An alternative way to use this model
  • 7. Conclusion

Last year, I published a lane play planning concept to help define which practice manipulation zone (PMZ) should be used during practice to open up the lane. Pattern length minus 31 works well, but it has limitations in sport pattern structure.

With the process I refer to as pattern decomposition, one can more accurately define where to play the lanes as well as where the exit point and breakpoint should be. For example, on the fresh, some sport long patterns play better in medium play zones while other long patterns play more inside. Similarly, some medium patterns can be played more outside and others more inside.

Once you have the practice manipulation and breakpoint zones, you need to conceptualize which ball motion shapes will provide the most margin of error based on where the ball will make a move toward the pocket. This is a function of the defining the breakpoint location in terms of both length (front-to-back) and lateral position (side-to-side).

This breakpoint shape match system is best intended for off-lane reflection, on-lane practice implementation, and pre/post competition reflection. The goal is to understand what shapes work best on specific environments. Through this, the process becomes more automatic, helping you make better lane play decisions and utilize your equipment better.

Ball motion shape

As you can see in the below graphic, I define six ball motion shapes: 1, 1+, 2, 2+, 3, and 3+ (only 1, 2, and 3 are explicitly shown). This is an easy way to define when, where, and how fast the ball transitions from hook to roll. Once you understand the needed shape, you can meet with your local IBPSIA pro shop professional who can ...

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Joe Slowinski

About Joe Slowinski

Joe Slowinski, a USBC Gold Coach, is a freelance bowling coach who works with bowlers around the globe. He is currently on assignment with the Philippines. Slowinski is the former Director of Bowling at Lincoln Memorial University, where he served as Program Administrator and Head USBC Collegiate Men’s and NCAA Women’s Coach. The Portland, Maine native has served as the Administrative and Men's Head Coach at Webber International University and served for four years as a Master Teaching Professional at the Kegel Training Center. Slowinski is also the former Director of Coaching and Coach Certification for the National Sports Council of Malaysia. He has coached international teams at the World Championships, Pan American Games, South American Games, and European Championships, helping Belgium win a Gold medal at the 2022 EBF Championship of Champions and coaching Brazil to Gold medals at the 2015 Pam American Games and the 2014 South American Games. He was the 2018 NTCA DII/III Coach of the Year and the 2010 NCBCA Men’s College Coach of the Year.