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Adjusting to Lane Conditions
Bowling lanes are primarily conditioned to protect the lanes. Most lanes are conditioned with a specially developed oil for bowling center use. Most of these are made from medical grade mineral oil and may have some extra additives to increase it's surface tension and durability. Cleaners with solvents or lower amounts of "solids" which creates more inconsistency is no longer in use by most centers.

The lanes must be conditioned often since most oils begin to evaporate as soon as they are applied to the lane. Some new oils have been developed to last longer, and remain more consistent throughout the day. However, they can only be applied with very expensive and highly technical lane conditioning machines.

Glacier Lanes and other better bowling centers are constantly carefully evaluating the lane conditioning process and procedures to provide our customers with more consistent lane conditions. However, the number of people that bowled on the lane, types of balls used, overhead lighting, the porosity of the wood or the synthetic lane, humidity, and temperature of the center also effect the conditions to some degree.

The pattern or the position of where the dressing is applied is also very important. The condition of the lane's surface can also become an important factor. All of these factors explained above play an important role on the ball's reaction with the lane once it leaves the bowlers fingers.
Consistency must be achieved first.
Before attempting to adjust to conditions, you must have a consistent delivery and release. Do not attempt to adjust if you do not:
  • Have an accurate, consistent arm swing.
  • Have a properly timed arm swing with your foot movements.
  • Have mastered your release, and it is the same every time.
  • Have a straight approach, without drifting more than 3 boards to the left or the right.
Once these factors are consistent, its time to start considering the condition of the lane and how to adjust.
Types of Conditions
Oily, Medium, and Dry are the three basic types of lane conditions that you can encounter. The oilier the lane the more the ball will skid before it begins to roll and then hook. If the lanes are dry the ball will skid less, roll and then hook much earlier and more than it would on an oilier lane.
  • Oily Lane = Less Hook
  • Dry Lane = More, earlier Hook.
How to Adjust
There are two basic rules for adjusting to lane conditions: Move in the direction of the Error or Take advantage of the conditions.

Move in the direction of the Error
If your ball is consistently missing to the right, move to the right in the stance. If your ball is consistently missing to the left, move to the left. You should move the same amount of boards by which you missed. It is important to use the same target out on the lane and open or close your shoulders in relation to your target.

For right-handed bowlers, open your shoulders when you adjust to the left, and close your shoulders when you adjust to the right.

For left-handed bowlers, close your shoulders when you adjust to the left, and open your shoulders when you adjust to the right.

It is important to remember, to continue to walk strait to the foul line even though you may be moving to the left or the right.

Take advantage of the conditions

When taking full advantage of the conditions you should play a hook game when the lanes are dry, or play a straight game when the lanes are oily. A hook ball is nearly impossible, when the lanes are very oily just as a straight ball would be difficult when they are very dry.