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Stages of Bowling Lane Conditioning


The stages of bowling lane conditioning are something most bowlers, and many pro shop operators, know little about. This has been true for the 30 plus years that I have been involved in the game.

A bowling ball must go through three stages, or zones, as I explain in my article
“The Study of Bowling Ball Motion"

1. Slide

2. Hook

3. Roll

A bowling lane must match those three stages when it is conditioned.

Terms used in Bowling Lane Conditioning –

1. Heads – first fifteen to twenty feet

2. Midlane – twenty to forty feet

3. Backend – forty feet to pin deck

4. Pin Deck – place where pins are spotted

5. Transition – when the ball goes through it’s stages

More conditioner must be applied on the heads due to the drop zone of the bowling ball. It also is to keep the ball from hooking or rolling too early. It helps the ball get through the head portion of the lane.

After the ball goes through the heads it needs to slow down so that it can hook. It must transition gradually in the midlane. That’s why the conditioner must be tapered from the heads to the back end. Now the bowling ball is going from slide to hook. In order for the ball to roll, the backend must be dry.

Summary of the stages of bowling lane conditioning:

A bowling lane is conditioned for slide transition, hook, and roll.

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