Article Contents

  • 1. Watch that oiling machine
  • 2. How long has the oil rested?
  • 3. What is the temperature of the building?
  • 4. What is the topography like?
  • 5. What is the field like?
  • 6. Who are you following?
  • 7. What is the scoring pace?
  • 8. Are the people around you slow bowlers or fast bowlers?
  • 9. What tools in your toolbox allow you to combat the field?
  • 10. How are the approaches across the house?
  • 11. Let your ball be your guide!

At its core, bowling is very simple: you get two chances to knock down all of the pins, and then you get to try again! Ultimately, that is all you can control, but it is not all you should pay attention to.

The best bowlers in the world are able to focus only on what they can control, but they are keenly aware of what is going on around them, which gives them information about what to do next without letting that information influence what they are doing right now. This is an extremely difficult thing to do, to control your emotions while being aware of the standings, your cross, your competitors’ equipment, etc. This is a skill that comes with lots of experience and practice. For many amateurs and competitive bowlers, the first piece of the puzzle is knowing what to look for.

With this in mind, I decided to speak with a few elite players and coaches I have worked with over the years and summarize their findings with my own thoughts. Here are the top ten lane play factors to be aware of, listed in no specific order.

Watch that oiling machine

Brunswick and Kegel lane machines are quite different in how they apply oil to the lane, but they are both incredibly accurate. Much like a human being, however, they need some warming up. It is recommended to “burn a lane” by oiling a lane (or an entire pair) and then stripping and re-oiling that lane (or pair) to warm up the machine. This helps make the lane pattern play extremely consistent across the house.

A local sweeper might start running the lanes without burning a lane or two first, making the first lanes they started oiling play drier than the rest. PBA events always run a few lanes to warm the machine up first, so it is much less noticeable. However, the burn pairs might still feel drier thanks to the double-stripped back ends, but they will still be much more consistent as far as the oil application compared to ...

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Jordan Vanover

About Jordan Vanover

Jordan Vanover is a BowlU Skill Development coach, USBC Silver-certified coach, and USBC Coaching National Instructor. He was a Product Specialist and Director of Coaching for Turbo 2-N-1 Grips before moving on to Brunswick as a Product Specialist. Jordan is currently Brunswick's International Sales Manager. Aside from his expertise in coaching, he is an IBPSIA Master Instructor and he served two terms on the IBPSIA Board of Directors as Vice President.