Drilling and Layout Articles

Take a quick look at any bowling social media group or discussion forum and you'll see that drillings methods and layouts are among our sport's most-discussed topics. Bowling This Month is here to give you an in-depth look into the science of bowling ball motion manipulation. Our contributors are from all parts of the bowling industry. We have articles from the manufacturers themselves, and even from some of the best coaches in the business. In this section, you will find articles that cover the various methods used to lay out a bowling ball, detailed descriptions of what different layouts will do, and, of course, information covering the layouts themselves:

  • Methods used to lay out a ball: Through the progress of bowling ball technology, more and more research has been done regarding the placement of the holes in correlation to the pin, mass bias marker, and other factors that affect your bowling ball’s performance. This section details the different types of layouts that exist and the methods used to obtain that particular layout.
  • Detailed descriptions of what different layouts will do: Have you ever seen a layout being used by a certain professional, but have no idea of why they would have had to use it? Our layout articles detail when, where, and why you would use a certain layout, and what effect each layout has on your ball motion. We also detail the impact other factors have, like how plugging and redrilling a ball affects its motion.
  • Layouts: From conquering the short pattern with low flare layouts, to the Vector Layout System, to the powerful Blueprint simulation software, we will help you take the guess work out of bowling ball motion manipulation.

Knowing how to lay out your bowling balls can help you gain an edge over your competition. Instead of being lost in transition, you will have a far better educated guess on how to adjust because you understand all the ins and outs of your bowling equipment. Even if you never plan on drilling your own equipment, knowledge of layouts can pay huge dividends for all competitive bowlers.

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Featured Drilling and Layout Articles


In this recurring feature, I’ll be answering questions from Bowling This Month readers, or questions I’ve received from bowlers I work with, that might not require the depth of a full-length article, but that can definitely benefit more than just...

Anatomy of a Bowling Ball Layout

Trying to wrap your head around bowling ball layouts is like trying to wrap your head around the universe. Without highly specific training, it's nearly an impossible thing to do. In sticking with our KISS acronym from last time, let’s...


A lot of the questions bowlers have about equipment relate to layouts: “What kinds of layouts are best for sport patterns?” “What’s the difference between Dual Angle and the Pin Buffer methods?” “What’s most important in a layout?” My goal over...

A guide to filling the void

Life After Balance Holes

If you've been paying any attention at all over the last couple of months, you're likely already aware of the recent USBC rule modifications affecting how bowling balls can be drilled. Just to recap, here are the relevant changes1: Balance...

Some thoughts on differential, balance holes, static imbalance, and coverstock oil absorption rate

A Look at the USBC's Bowling Technology Study

About a month ago, the USBC published the results of a recent research project that examined bowling balls and their impact on the bowling environment. This project, which they are calling the Bowling Technology Study, primarily examined bowling ball RGs,...

Drilling and Layout Article Directory

The table below lists all of our drilling and layout articles.

You can sort this table by clicking on the header row of any column. Also, you can filter the data in the table by entering a search term in the search box below.

IssueArticle TitleAuthor
Coach, I've Got a Question! - September 2022
Anatomy of a Bowling Ball Layout
Layouts: Keeping It Simple
Life After Balance Holes
A Look at the USBC's Bowling Technology Study
The Layout Effect: Myth or Magic? and
Pin-to-PAP Distance and Its Effect on Bowling Ball Motion
Making the Case for Limited Layouts
Bowling Ball Balance Hole Fundamentals
Fast and Furious Changes in the Game of Bowling
The Effect of Plugging and Redrilling on Bowling Ball Mass Properties
Producing a Smoother Ball Motion with the LSL and SLL Layouts
Layouts: Aesthetics vs. Effect
Test Driving Your Ball With Blueprint
Storm Introduces the Vector Layout System
Consistently Performing Layouts
The Non-Physical / Non-Mental Game