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moves is a matter of where you target, the lane condition, and other variables.

DO YOU NEED TO MOVE? There’s only one way to know if you need to make a move. You have to watch your shots. It’s really as simple as that, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. Most bowlers target somewhere near the arrows, so you may not have any clue what your ball is doing for the first 15 feet on the lane. You might think you threw a good

shot, but it misses because there may have been a dry spot early in the lane that you didn’t see. The key to recognizing when and where you have to make an adjustment is seeing the ball the entire way down the lane. If it has a smooth overall movement down the lane and hits the break-point right where you want it to, you’re generally

on, a simple move of one board to the left might do the job. Maybe two boards. The point is moving a very small amount can have a dramatic influence on your shots.

good. If not, you need to get those feet in gear.

“I tell my students to adjust first and

ask questions later,” says Spigner. “If some- thing isn’t working you don’t want to do the same thing again. The hard part for the recreational bowler is to know whether it’s the lane, the ball or them that’s not func- tioning correctly.”


IF IT’S A PARALLEL MOVE… If your release is feeling good to you, and you’re hitting your target on the lane, but not hitting the pocket, a lateral move with both your feet and target could be all you need to start rattling off strikes. Don’t change your approach speed, and

generally don’t change anything except where you’re standing on your starting position. Move in the direction of the miss. That

is, if you’re missing the pocket to the left, move left. If you’re missing to the right, move right. How far you move might require some

trial and error, but you can make a pretty good guess based on how far you’re miss- ing. For instance, if you’re a righty and your ball is hitting the pins between the 3 and 6 pins, you might want to move your starting position and target as much as five boards to the right. If you continue to miss, you can adjust from there in smaller increments. However, if you’re a righty and your

ball is just barely missing the pocket and hitting the head pin a little too straight

Sidestepping Parallel Moves

A parallel adjustment, as shown here , is made when both your target on the lane and your starting position foot placement move the same amount and in the same direction. If you move right two boards with your feet, move right two boards with your target as well. If you move left with your feet, move left with your target.


IF IT’S AN ANGULAR MOVE… Many times, an angle move makes sense. For instance, as the lanes start to get drier as the night goes on, a right-handed bowler will move left to find more oil in the front part of the lane so that the ball will have an initial skid. With the lanes having more friction,

a bowler will need to deliver the ball with more angle away from the pocket so that when the ball hooks, it doesn’t go right through the nose. Remember also that your initial align-

ment is very important when it comes to making an angle change. You need to match your body angle to the intended ball path. If the lanes start to hook more as the night goes on and you want to send the ball farther to the right, you need to have your body facing that direction as well. As a right-handed bowler, a solid rule

of thumb for a typical house condition is to move left to find more length before the ball hooks, and to move right to find more hook.

WHAT IF YOU MOVE TOO MUCH? Some would argue that over-adjusting is better than chasing the line, so to speak. The average bowler is usually several frames late in making a move and, when finally doing so, ends up chasing the oil line for the rest of the set. Rather than moving one or two boards,

consider starting out at three boards for a parallel adjustment and at minimum five boards with your feet and three with your eyes for an angular adjustment. If the adjustment ends up being too

much, the worst that happens is gained information on what area might be more appropriate. Instead of chasing the line, you can now zero in on an area rather than always be a frame or two behind the oil line.

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