by: John Baker Sr.

This is a new column call Positive Access point . In the articles to come we hope to teach, inspire, anger or just make you think about our sport of bowling, you might even learn something new. My name is John Baker and I have been bowling since Dinosaurs ruled the earth and bowling balls were made of stones chipped from the backyard. An automatic ball return meant to bowl uphill so the ball would come back to you.

Why sport shot bowling? As you know the lane conditioner is applied to protect the surface of the lane. Applications in certain areas of the lane can and do effect the roll and hook of the ball making you play a certain area of the lanes. Houses usually put a “HOUSE SHOT” out meaning more conditioner in the middle of the lane to funnel the ball to the pocket.

Recently I got my first taste of sport shot bowling by ways if a pattern called DEAD MANS CURVE.  It is a 43′ heavy volume of conditioner “ Sport Compliant “ pattern .  The oil graduating from the 5 board heavier to the 14 board . This creates a playable area but with the length of the pattern ( 43ft ) and the volume creates a OUT OF BOUNDS area outside . Too far to the right with your ball and you will not make it back to the pocket too far left and you will be continuing left . The best way I found to attack this pattern was to bring out my mild aggressive equipment set up to hook early . Nothing fancy trying not to “ Swing” the ball , straight up 8-10 board with a mild reaction at the back end .

Why subject yourself to this type of practice? The answer is as you learn to play these more difficult oil patterns your accuracy will improve on the Typical House Patterns . Having to play tighter and not having the heavy middle oil to correct an shot to the left or the extra dry to correct to the right . This type of practice will also help you understand lane breakdown as the oil moves and changes where the ball hooks. Spend the time to learn these patterns and your game will improve as well as test your mental state by not getting down on yourself when your shot goes wide.