Article Contents

  • 1. What might cause the ball to go left of target?
  • 2. Thumb issues
  • 3. Wrong drilling to support your game
  • 4. Ball speed

East of Eden, North to Alaska, North by Northwest, the famous quote from the late comedian John Candy “Wagons, EAST”, etc. How many movies or famous quotes from movies have had a direction in them? Come on, guys! How many times should we have asked for directions rather than hunting around, having no idea where we were going? Sitting for a group picture, you have heard the photographer give directions like, “Move a little left,” or “Maybe a little right”. It seems that everything we do has something to do with compass-type directions. I know you have heard the expression “this is a game of inches”. Every sport is and our great sport of bowling is no exception. Every board is a bit over an inch wide. The ball is 8.5 inches in diameter and the maximum width of a bowling pin is 4.766 inches. The distance from the center of one pin to the center of the next pin is 12 inches. The exceptions are the double wood setups of the 1-5, 2-8, and 3-9 where the center-to-center distance is 20.784 inches. We will leave the nitty gritty numbers for now (they do have an impact on direction and will be covered in more detail later), and concentrate on direction.

What might cause the ball to go left of target?

When watching bowlers (mostly seniors) rolling on different conditions during different parts of the day, there are many times when the ball goes left of target and maybe even left of the headpin on the first shot. During a recent “undercover” survey of eight mixed senior leagues, over two-thirds of the time the ball went left of the headpin or spare leave (right for lefties). Of the three games bowled in league play, it was expected that the ball would go left most often during the third game since that is when most of the oil may have been eroded. However, it was during the second game that more balls went left.

You can hear the comments wondering why this is happening. I feel there are quite a few possible reasons for the ball to miss to the inside. I would ...

Jack Schmid

About Jack Schmid

Jack Schmid is a USBC Silver Coach, a Ritger Level II Coach, an Honor Graduate of the Institute of Professional Bowling Instruction, and has been named a BJI Top 100 Coach eight times.