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Bowling Ball Layouts
The 3 Basic Types of Bowling Ball Drilling Layouts

The 3 Basic Types of Bowling Ball Drilling Layouts.

1. The Arcing layout - This is what I call the 90 degree layout or Ebonite’s 90 degree layout. It is used on most house shots. It is also used if the bowler wants to play the bowling lane at the track area, or between the 13 and 8 board at the arrows. This layout has the widest range of usefulness. I recommend it for 90% of house shots and for bowlers that only bowl on a house shot. In other words, for the once or twice a week average bowler. The layout - When the ball is drilled put the pin 4.5 inches from your positive axis point (pap) or under your ring finger. On a symmetrical ball the center of gravity (cg) should be in line with the pin angling toward your thumb. On an asymmetrical ball the mass bias should be in line with the pin and directly underneath your thumb. This is the Ebonite's 90% layout.

2. The Early Rolling Layout. - This layout is used on oily conditions, long oil patterns, or carry down. It’s also used when the bowler wants to play the lanes from 7 boards out, or if the lane conditions dictate this. The type of bowling ball used is usually solid reactive resin or particle ball. This layout can also be used to break down a shot on a sport pattern. I like to use the word break open rather than break down because that’s what you are trying to do. The layout pin is under the ring finger or 4.5 inches away from your pap. And the mass or the cg is angled 35 to 65 degrees. The angle is determined by the amount of early roll you want. I prefer mine at about 35 degrees which is about 2 inches off the thumb rather than 3 inches. (45 degrees = 3 inches and 35 degrees = 2 inches) Another rule of thumb is, “the closer the mass is to the pap the earlier the roll.” Average once or twice a week bowlers will rarely ever need this layout, unless they are bowling in a center that has slick lane conditions and the shot is more outside. They should read my article “How To Start A Basic Arsenal Of Bowling Balls”

3. The Flip Layout. - This layout is just what it says it is, a flipping ball. This layout is used for playing the lanes more inside at about the 14 boards in at the arrows with an open line. This layout is used to stand left and give it room. It is used when the lane conditions have really dry back ends. Also when the shot is really trashed late at night. I like to use this ball in pot games. It’s a long and strong ball. A lot of people think this is an all around ball. It is really not used that much, especially if you always bowl on fresh oil. This layout is the stacked layout. The pin is 4.5 inches from the pap and the cg, or mass, is directly under it in a vertical line. The amount of length is determined by how high above the fingers the pin is. The higher the pin the longer the ball moves down lane before it flips or breaks. The ball surface is usually a pearl or a shiner solid reactive. Caution - If you use this on oil it will slide too far and never flip. So match the ball to the lane condition. Average once or twice a week bowlers will rarely ever need this layout unless he is bowling in a center that has very dry lane conditions, or the shot is more inside.

Rule of thumb.
1. Track area or medium lane conditions. = arcing 90% of house bowlers will use this ball.
2. Outside and oilier lane conditions. = early roll.
3. Inside or dryer lane conditions = flip ball or stacked.

Note - If you look through a bowling ball catalog either online or at your pro shop you will see that some companies make all 3 types of balls by design. The balancing will just make the ball more of what it was designed for.
Refer to the Recommended Resources section below for more valuable bowling information.

Ten Pin Bowling: Best Bowling Information Resource!

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