Bowling Lane Play Articles
Lane play is, by a fairly large margin, our most requested topic for new articles. And, it's really not too big of a surprise: the topic of lane play is very broad. To have a good grasp on lane play, bowlers need an understanding of many different sub-topics, include oil patterns, lane surfaces, bowling balls, coverstocks, layouts, physical adjustments, ball motion, pattern breakdown, carrydown, pin carry, and countless others!
Combine all of this complexity with the fact that bowling has experienced such rapid and dramatic change in this area over the last several decades and it is very easy to understand why bowlers continue to request more and more information on this topic. To give just one example, many of our readers grew up and bowled very successfully for decades in the era when bowlers typically carried just one bowling ball. They typically threw their ball right up the second arrow 90% of the time, perhaps making small physical and alignment adjustments to keep their ball in the pocket and striking throughout a bowling session. Contrast that with today, where it isn't uncommon at all for a tournament bowler to start outside of the first arrow and then, by the later games of the block, end up lofting the left gutter with a totally different bowling ball and a totally different set of delivery parameters. To say that the game has changed is certainly a huge understatement!
Our contributors make it a priority to try to help you better understand the intricacies of modern lane play. Study their articles below and formulate your own strategies for how best to attack the conditions you face. Proper lane play in today's game requires a combination of knowledge, skill, and open-mindedness. The information you'll find below represents some of the best lane play knowledge available anywhere. But, at the end of the day, it is up to the bowler to combine this knowledge with good shot-making and good observational skills so that they can more frequently make the right decisions when it matters most.
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Featured Bowling Lane Play Articles
Understanding your Bowling Environment – Part 2
Short oil strategies and variables
In the first article of this series, we discussed the various elements that make up a lane pattern and how each variable can affect ball motion. While length is not necessarily the most important factor, it’s what most people look...
Understanding Your Bowling Environment – Part 1
Oil pattern variables and house shots
You’re bowling on a 38-foot pattern. You use the “Rule of 31” to establish that your ball should come out of the pattern on board 7, giving you a breakpoint around board 6. You take out your benchmark ball, but...
Improving Your Bowling Through Self-Reflection
An example from the 2021 US Women's Open
Once a tournament is finished, do you take the time to think about your performance? Not the result, but your performance? Taking the time to reflect on how you executed, your mental game, and your lane play choices can be very helpful. You...
Alignment and Lane Play
Putting the two fundamental concepts together
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...
Five Simple Steps to Mastering Lane Play – Part 5
Commit to the shot
American entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr., once said, "You always have two choices: your commitment versus your fear." While he certainly wasn't talking about what a bowler faces as they step onto the approach, it’s very applicable. More than almost anything...
Bowling Lane Play Article Directory
The table below lists all of our bowling lane play articles.
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