Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Minor Bowling Details To Know

I like to take my students on a tour of the bowling lane sometime during the first lesson. Many of them have never actually seen the lane up close.

While I cannot physically show you (the reader) the details I 'm relating here, I hope you'll ask your favorite bowling center for permission to walk alongside one of the end lanes, past the foul line, and study the details of what I'm about to I'm tell you.

These are points are one's not everyone coach discusses, but, they are important to your knowledge of the sport of bowling.

For ease of description, I'm rounding off numbers because some of the specifications are fractional. to the thousandths of an inch.

The difficulty of this game of bowling is exemplified by the details I'm listing for you.

Note: If you stand at the foul line and gaze at the pins, you're looking at 60 feet to the center of the headpin and 62 feet, 10 inches to the very end of the lane.

My “Choc-List” is as follows:

(1) The lane is oiled only for a certain number of feet from the foul line. In a typical bowling center, this is about 39 to 41 feet. Beyond that, no oil is put down, and whatever's there is because the bowling ball “carries” it down there.

(Note: If you can, take a walk down the side of the lane before anyone bowls and then, after people have bowled. In the “before” you will not see any oil after the end of the oil pattern; in the “after” look, you will see a lot of oil streaks.)

(2) Your ball is 8-1/2 inches wide and each pin is 4-3/4 inches at its widest point. That means for a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9 pin, you have nearly 21-3/4 inches to spare. The 7 pin and the 10 pin have about 14 inches of playing area. These are some pretty wide errors of margin, don’t you think?

(3) Looking at the triangle of pins from our vantage point on the approach, the “V-shape” of the pins is (headpin-to-the-left) the 1, 2, 4, and 7 pins and (headpin-to-the-right) the 1, 3, 6, 10. The center-to-center measurement is 5 to 6 inches between each. That is, 1 pin to 2 pin, 2 pin to 4 pin, and 4 pin to 7 pin, etcetera.

(4) There are 39 boards from gutter-to-gutter on a regulation lane so every “board” is 1.06” in width. Using the center of your body the marking for where you stand on the approach (and assuming you walk fairly straight), every board you move, left or right, is affected by 2 inches at the pins.

What is the significance of these minor details?

You'll be able to use them to adjust for different lane conditions and for becoming a better spare shooter.

Think about them carefully and you’ll be able to hone up on your bowling skills.

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