5 Ways to Increase Your Bowling Average

Every bowler gets stagnant in their development. This leaves them with the big question “What should I do to increase my bowling average?” The simple answer: knock down more pins. Easier said than done, right? That’s why we’ve outlined five easy tips to help you increase your average and bowl a better game!

Increase Bowling Average: Bowling Cleaner

1. Prepare Your Equipment

It’s a tall order for any bowling ball to perform at its best if it isn’t properly maintained. Regular maintenance is key to getting the most longevity out of your bowling ball.

After you finish bowling (not before) spray your cleaner and remove the oil absorbed on your ball with a microfiber towel.

Once a bowling ball has between 50 – 100 games on it, take it to your pro shop for regular maintenance, including:

  • Grips/inserts replaced
  • Double check fit
  • Oil extraction/resurfaced

Make sure your shoes are working properly and don’t forget to stay stocked with the accessories you like to use.

Increase your Bowling Average: Lane Graph

2. Know the Playing Field

If the lane pattern is released prior to play, you will have access to the lane graph.

You’ll find information like:

  • Lane surface
  • Pattern length
  • Oil volume
  • Shape of the shot

Without this information determining how to play the lanes becomes a little trickier (invisible playing surface and all).

Coach Del Warren has developed a system to find pattern length, oil volume and the shape of the shot without a lane sheet. The best part about Warren’s system is that you’ll know how to play the lanes in three shots.

Increase your Bowling Average: Practice

3. Make Practice Count

There are two primary types of practice sessions and they are: an open practice and the 10 minutes that is usually allotted before competition.

Open practice gives teams the opportunity to experiment with equipment and watch how lane transition may progress come tournament time.

When the 10 minutes of practice before competition begins, the better teams have determined a line that their team is going to play, and each bowler uses the first 4-8 minutes to burn the oil to the right of the that line.

This develops what’s known as miss room. Each bowler will use their most aggressive ball in their bag with a lot of surface on it to achieve the desired miss room.

Increase your Bowling Average: Splits

4. Make Your Spares

This seems straight forward but misses matter. Single pin spare conversions need to be made at a high percentage for any team or individual to be competitive.

Pins count double depending on how many strikes you are on. Having a split strategy is vital to the team game when every pin counts.

Increase your Average: Strikes

5. Strike More

Yes, it’s that simple. More strikes will increase your average. This assumes you are making your spares at a high percentage.

We have two videos that provide fantastic information on strike percentages and the entry angle required to set yourself up for success.

Getting to the pocket is the key to success. You can’t strike every time, but with the proper entry angle you shoot at single pin spares rather than the Greek Church.

In the end, there is no overnight fix to increasing your bowling average. Keeping a journal will help you long term in your efforts towards improvement. You can’t understand where you are going without knowing where you’ve been.

Share tips, start a discussion or ask one of our experts or other students a question.

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18 Responses to “5 Ways to Increase Your Bowling Average”

  1. Ralph

    Send video

  2. Brian

    Nice article. I have a question for you. Which type of lane is perfect for beginners to improve the score?

  3. BRETT

    <strong>I am a roller coaster on weekly average. I'll go up a couple of weeks then down a few weeks. I am finding that I open myshoulder a lot when playing inside and trying to pick up spares. Any help?


    I am a right hand bowler using the 5 to 10 board when league bowling my 1st game I get a lot of 10 pin left after a good pocket hit. How do I improve

  5. helen puffer

    I would like to learn more about ball cleaners what is best to use

  6. helen puffer

    I have a lot of problems with picking up my spares

  7. Kevin Lyall

    I want to do regional events, what do I need to do?

  8. seamitch70

    I can't get any of the 5 vids to play. Not sure if it's a bad link or my phone.

  9. Larry Hudson

    Thanks, great info

  10. gejaeger300

    I had to work on my footwork and cadence. I was not comfortable at the foul line and knew something wasn't right. Came down to footwork, and I have been working on it for months. Finally have a cadence that gets me to the foul line balanced and not weeble wobbling. I also have Brunswick shoes that have a heal lift plate in them. I took them to a cobbler to knock down the heal but it is still too high. But, I'm already seeing the results even with my reconditioned shoes. Last tournament, very consistent, really solid at the line. I wish the merchandisers would make women's size 12 so I can get my arch supports in my shoes and not have to wear men's shoes. Men's shoes run too wide for me.