On challenge and sport patterns, since the oil ratio is flatter, you don't get the free pass to the "pattern exit." If your feet are too right, the ball won't hold pocket and too left, won't recover. You could get lost in speed and ball choices which can be frustrating.
A few articles ago, we talked about the Kegel formula, pattern length - 31. If you're bowling on a 43 foot Dead Man's Curve, you're looking for the ball to exit the pattern on the 12 board (43-31). On Broadway, a 37 foot pattern, you're looking for the ball to be on the 6 board (37-31). So how do we line up?
Everyone has separation between the bowling ball and their feet. That's the distance between your shoulder to the center of your body. Most medium men's frames are about 7 boards and for an average woman, it's 6. That means that when a girl is trying to go directly up the boards, she will slide 6 boards left of her target. So sliding 16 means that the ball will be released on the 10 board and if the swing is true, the ball will go directly toward the 2nd arrow. 10 to 10. Not everyone walks board for board or drift less so determining your footwork's uniqueness is essential. You do this by throwing a series of shots straight up 10 standing 16 or 17 and seeing where you start and finish with your feet. Once you have your "lateral variance," you can apply it to other angles.
Let's say a man walks board for board and wants to get the ball to the 6 board on Broadway and through the 10 board at the arrows. Where does he stand? What's the head angle?
For easy math sake, lets say 45 feet is the break point and 15 feet are the arrows. We need to extend the line to the foul line to know where he needs to slide and then where he needs to stand.
Difference between 10 (15ft) and 6 (exit) = 4 boards / 2 = 2. So it's a 2 board head angle. The ball will be released at 12 at the foul line. Now reverse for your feet. If an average man is throwing this ball, he would need to slide 19 to release at 12. If he stands toward the back of the approach, which is another 15 feet from the foul line, he would be in his stance around 21 square to his target.
Feet Ball position
foul line 19 12
mid lane 08
pattern exit 06
Looking at your feet at the foul line can explain whether your swing, hand position or your alignment was to blame that your ball reaction wasn't right. If he slid left at the foul line but hit the target, the ball would be wide of his break point. That could explain the 2-10 or washout. The shot was fine but the alignment ruined it. He could have slid 22 and missed his intended line, going 13 arrows to 8 pattern exit because he slid too far left and blame his swing or game for "tugging" the ball.
Another example. Lets say your a woman with a 6 board separation but drifts 6 boards left. Zero sum gain. Lets say the lanes are pretty toasted and looking to go 20 at the arrows and 12 at the break point.
20 - 12 = 8 / 2 = 4 board head belly. So lay down point is 24.
She needs to slide 30/31 so with her drift, she would start 24/25 facing her target.
Feet Ball position
foul line 30 24
mid lane 16
pattern exit 12
This is a basic way to check your approach so that you not only hit your target, but that you're lined up to exit the pattern properly. Alignment helps you generate more efficient momentum and take the pressure off your swing and hand to "throw" the ball at your target. That would usually sap you of of speed and also make your grip pressure heavy losing valuable revs and axis rotation.
So in summary, determine if you drift and how much. Work out the math for some common angles you use. Ultimately, I want you to save a shot or two lining up properly. Those shots could save you lots of pins by not wasting time getting the ball along the right path.
Make sure you're not "afraid" of the gutter by playing up the first arrow, sliding oh, 11 or 12. If you happen to slide left of that zone, there's no way you can play that target line properly and it's not because you're tugging. Grab a plastic ball and prove it to yourself.