How to Deal with Changing Lane Conditions

Learn how to deal with changing lane conditions from former PBA touring player Mike D'Ambrosio in this Howcast bowling video.


Changing lane conditions. In bowling, you're bowling against an invisible playing field, sort of like golf where you're playing on a green. In bowling, you're playing on a lane that has some kind of oil pattern on it. Not only do you have to adjust yourself properly, but there's many other attributes to the lane that you have to know about. There's techniques and methods to combat those lane conditions, be it a certain ball, a certain angle, a certain rotation, a certain speed, and also a certain approach. You can change your steps.

You can change your ball. You can change the surface of the ball. There's many things you can do to adjust to lane conditions. You've got to make sure you have the proper technique and the proper method in order to score. Some of the lane conditions you have is a regular house pattern. That's generally between 36 and 38 feet, and the oil is very light, and it's easier to score. On a competitor's side, you have sport conditions, or a heavier concentration of oil in the middle of the lane than on the outsides to make it more difficult to score as more of a challenge. To see what kind of pattern you have on a lane, or what oil conditions you have in front of you, you need to throw a couple of practice shots to make sure you know what's out there, and you read the lane by watching the ball pattern down the lane. If you're ball ends up going too quickly down the lane and has very little hook, you most likely have a lot of oil concentration on the lane. If the ball ends up being a little more aggressive and starts hooking a little earlier, it's going to definitely tell you that the lanes are drier or with a shorter pattern.

If you come across a lane that has too much oil or more than you're used to, there's certain ways to combat that condition. You can actually change your ball, change the surface of the ball. You can adjust yourself physically on the approach by creating less or more angle. And also ball speed, you can throw a little stronger or throw a little slower. On the other end of that, when the lanes are drier and the ball is hooking too much or has too much movement, you're going to change the ball surface or change the ball itself. Maybe have a little more speed on the ball and get the ball down the lane and create a different angle of entry to combat that certain condition.

When you're bowling in a league, you may not have too much of a change of conditions, but when you go someplace else, to a different bowling center, you may have a different shot to play on. So you have to make sure you throw some practice shots, and read what the ball is doing in order to change balls or make the proper adjustment for that condition.

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