Creating Maximum "Lane Area" When Bowling
is a term that is used to define mistake room when bowling. When bowling, if you line your feet up and target up correctly, then when bowling, you will be able to make a mistake and still strike. In order to create lane area, proper rotation and alignment needs to be in place.
In the diagram on the right, you will notice the shade of grey
in the middle of the lane where it comes to a point at it gets closer to the pins. That represents the oil pattern and is called a "Tree"
shot. Most leagues today have this type of lane condition during a normal league play. As you can see there is light or no oil on the outer area of the lanes and a greater quantity of oil in the middle of the lane. As you get closer to the pins, the oil comes to a point, kind of like a tree.
Now remember the discussion about friction and bowling on different types of lane conditions
? It explains how a bowling ball tends to hook when it hit reaches the dry part of the lane and skid when it reaches the oily part. Well if you use that same concept when looking at this diagram you will notice 3 lines ... green, blue and red. These are 3 distinct different ball paths which end up at the same destination ... the pocket!
Now let’s explain each one ... the blue line represents a good shot.
You did everything right! You lined up hit your target and threw the ball well. The ball had a natural motion of skid… hook, landed in the pocket and hopefully you got a strike!
Now the green line represents the ball path
from a shot where you missed left of your target. This can be caused by a number of factors, turning the shoulder inward, turning the hand too soon or lining up wrong. Whatever the case may be, you missed inside your target. Well, in this example the good news is that the ball hit a greater qty of oil and skidded down the lane further and reacted less. That is because the greater qty of oil in the middle of the lane creates less friction. However, the ball still hit the 1-3
pockets and hopefully you got a strike out of it. If you are lined up correctly and are using the right bowling ball, then you are in good shape.
Now the red line represents the ball path
where you missed right of your target. This can also be caused by a variety of factors ... your arm swing could be off by going behind your back..., your shoulder is facing outward a bit. Regardless, as you can see the ball path travels right of the target and enter the part of the lane with little or no oil on the lane. Once the ball hits that part of the lane, it grips the lane sooner, makes a turn and ends up being in the 1-3 pocket area.
Now as you can see, all 3 paths wind up in the same spot… the pocket!
This means you have created area. Now a big component in doing this is perfecting a good release
. This takes a lot of practice and consistency but can greatly benefit your bowling game. By developing a release that gives you good rotation on the bowling ball you can generate this lane area as described above. If you throw a straight ball it will not react as much when missing. Again, a good release, along with good bowling equipment is essential to creating room for error and creating lane area!
Now one thing to keep in mind,
as the night progresses during league, the oil pattern changes... generally in most leagues, the oil tends to dry up a bit. If this is the case, you will need to re-adjust your line to maintain that area. If you do not then a few things will happen. If you make a good shot, you "may" still hit the pocket. However, if you make a bad shot, you may pay for it dearly. This is when things like splits, wash-outs and other ugly spares are left. This is something you want to avoid. You will not always make a good shot, especially if you do not practice however lining up correctly can hopefully give you a little more room for error. This is done by paying attention to your ball roll even when you do make a mistake. That way you notice little things happening when the ball path starts to change. Like I mentioned in another article, when the ball path changes if you are not aware of it, you may start to change as well and this can cause even more problems. It can take you out of your natural rythem and cause you to force the shot instead of maintaining that natural arm swing unconsciously. This can cause you to leave even more crazy looking spares!
Yes... making spares
is important but there is a 2nd bowling saying
. If you don't want to have to make that particular spare, then don't leave it!
. So continue to search for that correct angle and that incredible lane area when bowling in most leagues and you will find things will be a little easier for you at the end of the night!
Good luck and happy bowling!