Tournament bowlers are often bowling on an unknown condition. The key to adjusting to an unknown environment is using every shot in practice to collect information, even though the first few won’t be at full power. Use your benchmark ball to explore an unknown condition and then adjust accordingly:

  • Your first couple of shots can be used to determine the pattern length by looking for where the ball hooks sharply when it exits the pattern. This is easier to see at lower ball speeds.
  • As you get closer to normal release potential, learn about the overall friction levels by opening your angles slightly to test the outside, and then closing them slightly to test the hold.
  • With these two pieces of information, and now that you’re fully loosened up, you can approximate the desired area of play and determine if your benchmark ball’s reaction is appropriate. If necessary, change balls. Then adjust the coverstock surface, if the rules allow.