Scott Pohl

Big Move, Small Move and No Move

Scott Pohl
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Duration:   4  mins

Lane play adjustments are an area of the sport where many bowlers struggle. You should only make a move if you know that everything you are trying to accomplish is fundamentally sound and the result doesn’t add up to your intention, striking.

In this Premium Video Scott Pohl, owner of On Track Pro Shop, walks you through when and how to adjust to the lanes based on what your ball motion is telling you.

Skids too far

In the first example, the ball slides too far down the lane, missing the breakpoint, hooking late, and hitting the pocket light, leaving the 2,4,5 & 7 pins. Because this barely hit the pocket, this will be a big move.

Move your feet 4 boards to the right and the target outside or to the right for a right-handed bowler, 2 boards. This parallel move keeps the shape of the shot but changes the break point. The result is the ball starting up quicker, skidding less, and hitting the pins properly.

Another adjustment you can make is to switch to a more aggressive ball while staying put in the same spot and target. This also makes the ball start to hook earlier on the lane, which helps it hit the desired breakpoint, resulting in the ball rolling through the pins properly.

Shaker 7 pin

The next example is the shaker 7-pin. This tells bowlers that a small move is required: 2 boards left with your feet and 1 board left with your target. This diagonal move will change the shape of the shot but keep the break point the same. Once again, you can switch to a more aggressive ball and stay in the same spot as an alternative option to move.

Hooks too early

In this example, the ball hooks early, crosses over, and leaves the 3-pin. This is going to be another big move. Move your feet and target inside or to the left for a right-handed bowler, 4 boards with your feet and 2 boards with your target. This helps to create less angle for the ball to go through the pins.

You can also change to a weaker ball and stay in the same spot. This ball will skid further down the lane and also create less angle going through the pins.

10 pin

The next example is the flat 10-pin. You see the ball deflect to the right as it falls off the pin deck, and you know an adjustment is required, or you’ll be shooting at these all night. This is a small move, 1 board right with your feet, keeping your target the same.

If that doesn’t work for you and you’re still not carrying the 10-pin, move 2 boards with your feet and 1 with your target. Another option is to grab a slightly more aggressive ball and stay where you are.

No move

In our final example, you see the stone 8 for a right-handed bowler, the only true tap in bowling. This is a bad break, and there is no reason to make an adjustment. Make your spare and move on.

Every time a bowling ball goes down the lane, it absorbs oil and alters the pattern. Sometimes, in just a few frames, the pattern you are bowling on can look much different than what you started with. The more versatile you are with how you can adjust when the pattern changes will keep you in the pocket, giving you your best chance for success.

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