Improvise, Adapt and Overcome the Variables

By Michael Cousins

So, I know we’ve talked about this before, and I know this probably won’t be the last time we go over it, but I feel it has to be said again: conditions are going to play different lane-to-lane, day-to-day, even in the same house.

And this doesn’t mean the pattern has changed. This doesn’t mean the lane machine is broken. And this doesn’t mean your bowling center sucks.

There are so many outside variables that go into how a lane plays. The temperature inside, the weather outside, the amount of people in the center, the age of the lanes, the surface of the lanes, the topography of the lanes, and what time the lanes were conditioned can all effect the lane, the conditions, and how they’ll play.

And understand that bowling centers — and their lanes — in many cases — are getting old. And only getting older. And, over time, these lanes begin to change shape due to wear and tear. And not all lane surfaces change at the same rate or in the same way; some lanes have been bowled on more than others.

If you’re bowling on lanes 15-16, for example, and lane 15 has been bowled on more than lane 16, that lane will not play identical to the other. That is just how it is. It is a variable that we, as bowlers, have to deal with. And I know it can be frustrating. I get it.

But that doesn’t mean any wrong doing is being done. It doesn’t mean your proprietor has changed the pattern, it doesn’t mean you mechanic sucks, and it doesn’t mean the lane machine is broken.

It just means that there are unavoidable variables at work. It really is that simple.

Bowling is a finicky sport. Lanes are finicky. So, by association, conditions are finicky. And as these lanes continue to age, it is going to continue to become more and more apparent and evident.

But that is how it is. That is how it is going to be. And we have to accept it. There is no other option. The only alternative is quitting, if you really want to avoid it. But that is a bit much.

And I know some of this seems hard to believe. I know there are nights that are going to feel and play so different that you are going to swear the shot was changed and/or that the lane machine malfunctioned. And while in some very, very rare cases, I suppose this could be true, as a whole, this simply isn’t the case. It just isn’t.

As hard as that is to grasp sometimes, you have to try. And knowing this information can and will help you in the future. It’ll make much more sense going forward, and you’ll be able to make moves quicker and easier without having to worry and wonder about what has been done to the lanes.

From my experience, it isn’t the lanes being different that causes the biggest problem. It is your frustration and confusion that makes it harder to make sense of what is happening and adjust.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *