Read Bowling Lane Conditions to Bowl
If you are an avid bowler, you know that there is more to the game than simply showing
up with a ball and renting some shoes.
As a matter of fact, there are several mental aspects to the game that
seasoned players use to their advantages when they go nose to nose with another bowler. Yet in addition to
even these aspects, there are also the physical conditions that change.
Bowling balls are different in many ways, and players have learned that different balls work
well for different shots. Shoes are different and are often used to give someone a slight edge.
Yet the one thing that a bowler has little or no control over is the bowling lane.
No two bowling lanes are the same, and a good portion of the game is dedicated to ascertaining
the differences between one lane and the next, and then turning possible disadvantages into advantages. There are a
large number of reasons why no two bowling lanes are the same.
Some older bowling alleys still have hardwood floors, whereas the more modern centers use
synthetic floor materials. Oftentimes these surfaces are made to look like wood, yet they lack the wood's aspects.
Probably the most obvious difference is the fact that wood surfaces are rougher than synthetics.
In order to upgrade their lanes, some alleys have decided not to install completely new lanes,
but instead to simply overlay old and damaged wood with a covering of synthetic material. Yet because this covering
is thinner than regular synthetic material used to create a lane, it is also softer, thus impacting the actual
performance of the bowling ball.
Conversely, you might run across a bowling alley which has not yet resurfaced its worn lanes,
and some of the lanes may show some heavy impact in the first few feet of the lane where bowling balls generally
impact the floor boards the hardest, and where damage is quite frequently the most intense.
A damaged lane will impact the way your ball with roll and thus may completely change the way
your trajectory should be planned out.
Oil is used to help preserve the surface of the lanes, and there are different patterns used to
spread it. Some of these patterns have their own names, such as the Christmas tree pattern, and each pattern
affects a bowler's rolls. Thus every bowling lane may have their own modes of laying down oil, and thus
Even within a bowling alley there are differences between the individual lanes.
For example, if you are up to bowl on a lane that has been in heavy use throughout the day, the
odds are that there is less fresh oil remaining on the floor, and what remains may have begun to dry out. This will
affect your trajectory dramatically.
As you can see, there are a large variety of reasons why no two bowling lanes are equal in
performance. Granted, they may look similar, but when you get down to the details, you will be able to tell that
there is a lot more to the shiny floors than meets the eye.
Some bowlers have cultivated close relationships with the workers at different bowling alleys to
not only be informed about lane conditions, and which lanes have received the least play throughout the day, but to
also be given some tips on which patterns have been used to lay down oil, and which lanes have recently been
The other mode of dealing with lane conditions is the practice round, when players will be able
to quickly ascertain the latest conditions of the lanes before the scoring begins.
Lane conditions play an important part on your game if you want to bowl a strike or spare. So
it'll be better for you if you can notice the lane conditions and make adjustments to your