The oil on bowling lanes has another use for players aside from creating a miss room – it’s also useful in determining the tracks on a ball. Basically, the tracks are the ring or rings or oil on the surface of your ball after it has travelled down the lane. These are the parts of the ball that actually touched the lane while travelling toward the pins.
If you see multiple rings on a ball, it means that you have achieve a flared shot or you have flared on your shot. Keep in mind that it’s neither a good nor a bad thing per se because it depends on the type of shot you’re aiming for in the first place. Like most things in bowling, your attitude and reaction toward it will determine whether you will let it work for you or against you.
The number of rings on a ball is related to its revolution rate – the general rule is that the more rings, the higher the revolution rate. But whether you have a low or high rev rate isn’t as important as your attitude toward it – you can use both to your advantage, too.
Remember, too, that the more rings there are on a ball, the more flare it has and, thus, the earlier it will hook upon release. But if there’s a single ring, which means there was no flare, it means the ball will hook later, not earlier.
If you’re aiming for a shot that will hook later, the ball shouldn’t show plenty of flare. But if you’re aiming for a shot that will hook earlier, the ball should have several rings. You can then adjust your release, for example, depending on your goal.
Tip: Clean your balls after every game, if possible, since the tracks from a previous game may still be visible on them. You may make mistakes in judgment otherwise.
Obviously, the main benefit of looking at your ball’s tracks is to get a visual evidence of your performance for a given shot. You can then determine whether you’re on the right track or you have to make adjustments to your game. You may, for example, increase or decrease your speed, make a hook or a straight shot, or even get a different layout on another ball.
Yet another benefit to inspecting the tracks is to find the positive axis point, a piece of information necessary in proper ball drilling. With it, your ball will be customized to your unique needs and wants and, thus, your game can be improved on.