Sometimes, a lane play adjustment feels obvious. When you go through the nose for a big split, for example, it’s almost always a sign that you need to find a little less hook by moving into more oil or changing balls. But what about high hits that are a bit more subtle?

Not all high hits are created equal. Why does one player go high and trip the 4 pin, when your shot does not? It’s all about angles and ball reaction. Here’s what to do the next time you leave these combinations:

  • 9 pin: This isn’t technically a high hit, so much as a pocket hit with too much angle. Look for a smoother shape that will deflect through the pins properly.
  • 4 pin: This is generally a high hit, but it also trips out with the right ball reaction. An earlier, smoother motion (think more surface) might need to be combined with a move on the lane to solve this problem.
  • 3 pin: Any combination of a 3 pin is a sign of too much hook, and possibly a ball that is over-responding to the back end. Start by reducing the hook and then work on smoothing out the shape, if necessary.