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George Freeman's Expert Bowling Tips

-Difficulties Of Carry Down
9/25/2000 - By George Freeman
     Oil doesn't stay in one place on the lane, it moves with every shot. As the ball goes through the "heads" (the first 15 feet of the lane), it takes with it the oil on the lane surface. As the ball goes through the "mid-lane" (the next 25-30 feet) and the "backend" (the last 15-20 feet), the ball deposits some of that oil on those other regions of the lane. This is called "carry down" and can cause well-executed shots not to strike.

     As carry down occurs, the bowling ball is coming into contact with oil further and further down the lane before it hits the dry area, and begins its break into the pocket. The further the ball goes before it breaks, the less of an angle the ball will have into the pocket. This usually results in a weak 10 pin (7 for the lefties). You may see the 6 pin flop lazily into the channel, instead of cracking back into the 10 pin. This is the result of carry down delaying your ball's hook into the pocket. The weak 10 is an indicator, telling you it is time to make an adjustment, because if you stay in the same place for even one more shot, the chances of your ball not making the corner in time to hit the pocket increase. This could result in anything from a 2-10 split, to a washout, or any other number if undesirable combinations.

     There are a couple different ways to adjust. Some people move their feet back on the approach, giving them a little more roll on the ball. More roll can give your ball the extra hook necessary to get back into the pocket. Some people will move laterally on the lane. Moving a board or two left will change the trajectory of the ball, giving it a relatively cleaner mid-lane and back end for the ball to break into the pocket. I've used both methods, and both work. This doesn't mean that both will work ALL the time. Sometimes moving back on the approach works and moving left does not, and vice versa. Sometimes using both together, moving left AND moving back can be effective. It's basically trial and error. Whatever you decide to do, remember this: When you start to see carry down, and you are confident you are making good shots, you MUST make some kind of change, because if you do not, you are setting yourself up to start leaving combinations of pins, or even splits that are next to unmakeable. This is much of the reason you will see bowlers have a tremendous first game, only to follow it up with a disastrous one--the lanes were changing, and they either did not see the change happening, or did not think to make a change to their game when they did see it. Hopefully, you will be able to do both. :)


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