Tournament Prep: Equipment

Bowling a tournament is a great way to get out of your league night comfort zone and challenge every part of your game. This article’s focus is on equipment preparation, and it will help you succeed at your next competition.


If the bowling ball doesn’t feel right, you’re not going to be able to repeat shots. Getting your fit looked at by your pro shop operator regularly is vital to your tournament success. For a down-and-dirty test, put the bowling ball in your hand and let it rest to your side. If you find yourself squeezing while doing this test, your fit needs adjusting. Check out our premium video “Bowling Ball Fit and Grip Pressure” for complete instruction. Change out the piece of tape in your thumb hole often, and make sure you’re using the correct thumb tape and putting it in its proper place for the best results. Watch our free video “Quick Tip: How to Insert Thumb Tape” to learn more. Your bowling ball will feel different from city to city, state to state, and bowling center to bowling center. Learn how to control the feel of your bowling ball with accessories every bowler should have in their bag with our free video “Control Your Bowling Grip Feels in Different Environments.” If your finger inserts are old and worn or they need adjusting, watch our free video “Quick Tip: Replacing Inserts and Tape.” Finally, if you are experiencing callusing, cuts, or pain/discomfort, check out our premium video “Proper Bowling Ball Fit Varies By Hand.”

Bowling Ball Maintenance

Your bowling ball cannot perform at its best without maintenance. When you are done bowling, clean your bowling ball. Watch our free video “How to Clean Your Bowling Ball for Peak Performance” to learn which cleaner to choose when cleaning your bowling ball. A bowling ball absorbs oil every time it rolls down the lane. Like a car tire with worn tread, a bowling ball with a lot of oil absorbed into the coverstock will skid farther than it once did when it was new. This results in the bowling ball hooking later and not driving back to the pocket like it once did. Regular bowling ball cleaning helps avoid this, but after 40 games, your bowling ball will have absorbed so much oil that it will need to be extracted from the bowling ball. There are many different ways to do this—please see your pro shop for assistance. Do not go into your next competition without setting your equipment up for the best chance of success. It will cost you pins, and it could be the difference between making or missing the cut line and having a payday.


When you bowl at one location for league night, you get familiar with the approaches and generally know what to expect. When you bowl a tournament at a different bowling center, you may run into too much slide, not enough slide, or sticking at the foul line. You can’t perform at your best if you do not have a plan to get yourself back to your happy place on the approach. You can use a wire brush to get more slide from your shoes, or if you have interchangeable shoes, you can put on a new sole or heel on to achieve more or less slide on the approach. Watch our free video “Quick Tip: Test Approaches” to learn how to gauge your comfortability with the approach you are competing on, and watch our premium video “Choosing the Best Bowling Shoes” to learn about how interchangeable slide pads and heels make every approach you bowl on feel the same. Every pin counts. If you struggle to strike because your equipment isn’t ready, you’re starting out behind. Give yourself the best chance at tournament success and properly prepare your equipment.

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

Make a comment:
characters remaining

No Responses to “Tournament Prep: Equipment”

No Comments