Many beginners in bowling fail to see the importance of determining the breakpoints on whatever lane they are playing on, and that’s a shame considering that these are important in better scores. Fortunately, there are ways to determine where the breakpoints are and then use them to your advantage.
But first, keep in mind that it always takes two points to make a line, a basic concept in geometry. A well-defined line is a must in many aspects of bowling, from the approach and foul lines to the breakpoints. Indeed, the line played should be made of two distinct points – one at the heads and the other at the breakpoint.
Look for the Pre-printed Markers
You have to train your eyes to look for the breakpoints in a lane, a task that will take practice but will pay off well. In a bowling center with breakpoint markers already pre-printed on most, if not all, lanes, it’s so much easier. You should train on these lanes as much as you can.
Usually, each pre-printed marker is three feet in length although it may seem shorter from your vantage point in the foul line. The pre-printed markers closest to the pins are on the ten boards on both sides of the lane; these start at 40 feet. The five boards on the pre-printed lanes have black outlines while the seven boards are made of a light color, thus, making it easy to pick out the individual boards.
Make Your Own Markers
In a bowling center where there are no pre-printed breakpoint markers, you may still be able to make your own markers using black tape. Be sure to ask for the permission of the management before applying the pieces of black tape on the lane.
If you get the go signal from the Brunswick management, you should choose either the first lane (i.e., left-hander) or the last lane (right-hander) in the center. You don’t want to walk down the gutters or the lanes – these are violations of the rules of etiquette in bowling – when placing the pieces of tape. You can, however, use the walkway beside the lane for this purpose.
Putting the DIY lane markers is easy.
- Measure 40 feet from the foul line or, alternatively, 20 feet from the head pin.
- Place a piece of tape each on the five board and the ten board.
The 40-feet measurement needn’t be exact. Your goal is to establish reference points for your breakpoint so you know where to look.
When the pieces of tape are in place, you can bowl in your usual way but with a difference. You should pay closer attention to the ball as it nears the breakpoint and adjust your game from there.