Stages of Bowling Lane Conditioning

A bowling ball must go through three stages, or zones.

  1. Slide
  2. Hook
  3. Roll

A bowling lane must match those three stages when it is conditioned.

Terms used inBowling Lane Conditioning

  1. Heads – first fifteen to twenty feet
  2. Midlane – twenty to forty feet
  3. Backend – forty feet to pin deck
  4. Pin Deck – place where pins are spotted
  5. Transition – when the ball goes through it’s stages More conditioner must be applied on the heads due to the drop zone of the bowling ball. It also is to keep the ball from hooking or rolling too early. It helps the ball get through the head portion of the lane. After the ball goes through the heads it needs to slow down so that it can hook. It must transition gradually in the midlane. That’s why the conditioner must be tapered from the heads to the back end. Now the bowling ball is going from slide to hook. In order for the ball to roll, the backend must be dry.

Summary of the stages of bowling lane conditioning:

A bowling lane is conditioned for slide transition, hook, and roll You could Picture this like a rocket taking off from the earth to the outer space.

  1. You must have a take off part so the rocket can get off the ground. = The slide .
  2. After the rocket is off the ground it must transition to get out of the atmosphere. = The transition and hook.
  3. Then transition again to adjust to the outer space itself. = The roll This is the same kinda concept involved in bowling lane conditioning.

Making Your Spares

“Brackets” are a mini tournament using your game scores in whatever event you are competing in, there are typically 8 bowlers starting each bracket who are eliminated from the bracket as soon as they lose a game. The bowler has the option to buy as many of these “mini tournaments” as he would like, usually at a cost of $5 – $10 dollars each. The bowler competes, on a blind draw basis against another bowler in the event, if he wins his first game, he moves on to another winning bowler for the second game, and then again on to the third game. The payout for brackets is made form the entry fees for the brackets. It is not unusual for a bowler who is hot to make more money from brackets than from the original tournament. So this one spare miss really could have cost me more than $2000.00. But alas we will never know, however on to the story.

I was not bowling well on this particular day only averaging about 190 for the first 3 games, at the end of the third game I calculated that I could still make the cut with a final game of around 250. I switched bowling balls, changed to another line and led off with strikes for the first 6 frames, in the seventh frame I left the dreaded “ringing ten pin” the destroyer of more great bowling games than any other pin. I then proceeded to miss the spare, and score strikes in all of the remaining frames for a score of 258. If you are familiar with bowling scoring, had I picked up that ten pin and still struck out, my score would have been 279. The last qualifier made it into the match play round with a score of 268.

Now ask yourself, how important is picking up your spares?

You may have heard the adage “Pick up your spares and the strikes will take care of themselves” this is the honest truth; even professional bowlers do not succeed if they are not good spare shooters. In the preceding paragraph I made reference to the dreaded “ringing ten pin”, in my own bowling experience this is the pin I leave most often, and also the one I miss most often. Several years ago, when looking back at my league scores for the just completed season it struck me, that if I increased my conversion ratio of just the ten pin spares, my average would probably be 5-10 pins higher than the 193 I had just finished with. The next summer I bought a new plastic ball, to use for straight shots at the ten pin, and practiced a lot at hitting just the ten pin, my finishing average the following year was 204. Most of that increase can be attributed to concentrating on just one particular spare. Picking up your spares is the difference between being a good high average bowler, and a mediocre average bowler. Actually the difference between a 190 average and a 210 average is about one more spare per game.

Basics of Ten Pin Bowling

  • Ten bowling pins – Bowling pins are about 4.75 inches wide at the widest point and 15 inches tall. They weigh between 3 pounds 4 ounces and 3 pounds 10 ounces.
  • Bowling ball – bowling balls are made from a variety of materials, from rubber to plastic to reactive resin to a combination of these materials, as well as other materials. Most bowling balls used in ten pin bowling have 3 holes drilled into them, one each for the thumb, middle, and ring finger. Of course, there is no regulation stating that a bowling ball cannot have up to five holes drilled into it, one for each finger. Bowling balls cannot weigh more than 16 pounds.
  • Lane – In ten pin bowling, a bowling lane is 60 feet from the head pin to the foul line. The width of the lane is 3.5 feet.
  • Gutters – Once the ball is in the gutter, there is no chance you are going to be able to hit any pins down. The gutters allow the ball to roll safety to the end and then to begin its journey back on the ball return. Some bowling alleys have “bumpers” that can be blown up and placed in the gutters, making it impossible to get a gutter ball. These are great for children to learn with.

Other important terms in ten pin bowling:

  • Strike – A strike is what you are going for. It is called a strike when you hit all of the ten pins down on the very first ball (each player gets two turns to roll the ball down the lane and to knock over as many pins as possible). For a strike, a player gets 10 points, plus a bonus. Of course, the exact bonus depends on what that person scores with the next two balls (so, if the next two balls were gutter balls, no bonus).
  • Double – What it is called when a bowler gets two strikes in a row.
  • Turkey – Three consecutive strikes.
  • Four-bagger – Four consecutive strikes.
  • Spare – A player gets a spare when at the end of the second ball, all of the ten pins have been knocked down. A spare gives a bowler ten points plus a bonus of the points scored with the next ball.
  • Pinsetter – The machine that sets the pins up in their perfect triangular formation. Before there was the machine, there was a human pinsetter.

In the United States, we call ten pin bowling “bowling.” Elsewhere, like in the United Kingdom, persons refer to ten pin bowling as “ten pin bowling,” namely so that it does not get confused with five pin bowling (played in Canada), lawn bowling, and other types of bowling.

Health Benefits of Bowling

Promotes good muscle exercises

Merely walking along the lane, while attempting to make a strike or a spare, is enough to exercise the muscles in your legs. It resembles that of the “walking exercise” that most health buffs do; the only difference is that there is more weight involved. This is because in bowling, your hands are holding the bowling ball.

Consequently, as you swing around to hit the pins, the flexing and stretching provides adequate exercise for your tendons, joints, ligaments, and muscles in the arms.

Fat burning

As your muscles flex, turn, and twist in every swinging motion that you make while playing bowling, these moves can actually promote the burning of some accumulated body fat.

Builds friendships

One of the health benefits that can be derived in bowling is based on the kind of relationship that is being built with your friends or family. As some psychologists contend, building social relationships can actually promote better performance of the heart muscles. Emotional stress can shorten the lifespan of an average person.

Bowl Like a Professional

One of the most important things that one must look into before learning how to roll the ball down the aisle is the ball and the shoes. One must choose a bowling ball that is easy to handle, not too heavy and has holes that will fit ones fingers as holes to big or too small could cause one to hurt them. The next thing one must look into is the shoes. Every bowling alley has a stand where one can get a pair of bowling shoes, or one can come with their own. These shoes must be worn because they can handle the highly slippery floorboards that, if one wears regular shoes, they risk falling.

The next step as one tries to know how to bowl; one must be able to hold the bowling ball right. This means that one must place their fingers correctly in the corresponding holes. Then one must ensure that the ball can swing comfortable outwards then downwards and must not be swung backwards past shoulder length as that could cause some harm. One must then have their knees slightly bent and the body straight in preparation for the shot. One must curve the thumb at different angles if one wishes to make a straight or a curved shot. It is known as the thumb rule that states that the ball will head in the direction that one’s thumb points. As one slowly runs forward to make the shot, ensure that the right leg goes behind the left in an outward angle, and let the ball roll off the arm comfortably. One must ensure that when aiming, one should concentrate on the arrows in order to get a shot, because focusing on the bowling pins does not guarantee that one will get a shot. In addition, when aiming, one should place their left foot on the dot displayed and one must ensure that their feet point in the direction of the pins in their target range

Bowl a Strike or Spare Everytime

Bowling a strike or spare requires the bowler to focus completely on the movements leading up to the delivery of the ball. A strike is when all ten pins are knocked down with the delivery of the first ball. A spare is knocking down most of the pins with your first shot and knocking down the remaining pins with your spare (second shot). Most professional bowlers prefer to pick up spares because of the increase in points you are able to accumulate.

When bowling a strike or spare, keep in mind the lane conditions. Whether they are oily or dry effects the type of ball you should use, how you should approach, and how you deliver the ball. On dry floors, the floor seems ‘sticky’ or ‘catchy’ and oily floors allow for more smooth bowling, but can be tricky when trying to control the ball.

Practice makes bowling a strike or spares a habit. Visualize yourself bowling a strike or spare, feel the movements when bowling a strike or spare and remember them. Repeat these motions frequently to make them more natural and familiar. By visualizing the movements, your mind accepts them as natural and learns to perform them more quickly.

A good bowler knows that bowling a strike or spare requires a plan. Remember which board you stood on for bowling a strike or spare, where is it compared to where your shot needs to go? Will a hook ball work? These are only just a couple of questions to ask yourself before bowling a strike or spare.

Keeping a correct tally of the points throughout a game, can be difficult in reference to bowling a strike or spare. It has gotten easier over the years with automated systems, but even the computers can miscalculate the totals for bowling a strike or spare. A couple of terms used when bowling a strike or spare consecutively, is turkey for three strikes in a row, and chicken for three spares in a row. Regardless of nick names, bowling a strike or spare repeatedly (preferably a strike) has the possibility of raising your game scores noticeably.

Try to throw straight balls when bowling a strike or spare, keep the wrist relaxed, and do not over do the spin. A plastic ball is probably your best choice for bowling a strike or spare since it tends to go straighter than a reactive-resin ball. While many bowlers might disagree with this choice, a plastic ball is much cheaper, and much easier to control in diverse lane conditions, and is generally the best for beginners, and those people who bowl at many different centers and on many different lanes.

Once you are well grounded in the basics, bowling a strike or spare will soon become second nature and you will find your game averages increasing as well as your skill as an accomplished bowler. Try not to limit yourself to one set or style of bowling habits. Learn what works for you, and challenge yourself often.

High Performance Bowling

Obviously you do not want to purchase a great, professional, bowling ball for a child who just likes to play and does not belong to a league or a team–but sometimes you need the very best.

If you are really interested in keeping your bowling balls perfect as the day you purchased them–high performance bowling balls will need equipment and accessories to keep them in top-of-the-line shape. High performance balls are the most important kinds of bowling balls to maintain. The condition of your high performance bowling balls can really affect your game.

There are incredibly highly technologically advanced bowling ball accessory items such as cleaners, and polishers, being developed by all of the top manufacturers. And the very best cleaners, polishes, gloves, etc will keep your high performance bowling balls the way you want.

When you purchase high performance bowling merchandise you have certain expectations. Purchasing excellent high performance bowling balls, and treating them with care will provide the very best performance possible. You will be ready to take on the competition with your high performance equipment–especially bowling balls because they do give any player an advantage over everyone else. The rest is up to your skills as a bowler.

Shiny, high performance bowling balls chosen carefully among a vast selection of the absolute high performance bowling balls are the high quality you want if you are a serious bowling enthusiast. And we know you will love keeping your high performance bowling balls pleasing to the eye. Look around online to find the very best performance bowling balls you can get.

The most important thing about bowling is that you have fun doing it, right. However, especially in competitive bowling scenarios, a high score sure helps you have more fun than a low one. When you use the right ball polishes you will have the perfect amount of slide for your bowling ball. Go ahead–go high quality–technique, ability, training, practice, great equipment and high performance bowling balls are the requirements that make a great bowler.