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Thread: Questions about Topography

  1. #1

    Default Questions about Topography

    If you bowl on synthetic lanes, please answer the following questions about topography. If you are one of the dozens of members who just browse this site, PLEASE answer.

    Do you believe that topography affects modern bowling?

    What is topography?

    Can you overcome lane topography?

    If you can, how?

  2. #2


    Had a long answer get shorter

    Yes it does

    It is differences in lanes such as divets, damage to lanes etc.
    We had a pair with a decent chunk missing on the right side about 5 ft down you had to loft over, dubbed the holy pair...(also a church leagues favorite pair lol)

    Yes you can. In the example above overcome by lofting over the damaged area, however it usually isnít that blatantly obvious, and iím Not that good lol. But things like ball speed, lofting, hand position, are all ways to overcome potential issues.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobLV1 View Post
    If you bowl on synthetic lanes, please answer the following questions about topography. If you are one of the dozens of members who just browse this site, PLEASE answer.
    Do you believe that topography affects modern bowling?
    Yes, The playing surface affects pretty much every sport to some degree.

    What is topography?
    In regard to bowling it usually refers to the peaks and valleys (aka:Crowns and Depressions) typically caused by wear from the bowling balls rolling on it. There's also the crosswise tilt a lane may have, example a small tilt of the lane the wrong way can cause a ball to struggle to get back to the pocket.

    Can you overcome lane topography? If you can, how?
    Depends on what is meant by overcome?

    You can't force a lane and/or a ball to play the way/where "you" what it, You have to work with what's being given you and find the best path to success.

    Given if you knew the peculiarities of any given lane (the topography of a lane) you are playing on, You could make adjustments in equipment, surfaces and lane play that would allow you to play that lane the best you could with what you were given.

    Now "best" doesn't necessarily mean shooting deuces, It could just mean leaving make-able spare's with a strike here and there for a 180-190. As opposed to trying to force the issue and leaving split's and opens for a 140-150 game.

    Right handed Stroker, high track ,about 13 degree axis tilt. PAP is located 5 9/16Ē over 1 3/4Ē up.Speed ave. about 14 mph at the pins. Medium revís.High Game 300, High series 798

    "Adjust too soon and maybe ruin one frame, adjust too late and ruin a game."

  4. #4
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    Do you believe that topography affects modern bowling? Topography most definitely affects modern bowling, it is likely the greatest challenge we face that is not due to neglect.

    What is topography? Imperfections in the surface of the lane as a result of normal use/play - the "ups and downs" of the lane that affect the path of the ball as it travels down the lane

    Can you overcome lane topography? It depends on what you consider "overcoming" lane topography. If the concept is you can throw the ball in a manner that topography doesn't affect the shot than I would have to say no. If the concept is centered more around the thought of succeeding in the face of topography changes you can as long as you understand that there is topography variations in each lane to the point that (a) each lane is different and (b) if you know the oil pattern it is just a starting point when trying to determine the best line of play and not an absolute (the common misconception of the oil pattern says I should play here so the shot must be here)

    If you can, how? As stated above, it can be "overcome" by understanding the potential influences that lane topography on ball motion. It doesn't require that we have the topography chart, just that we are aware that this is out there and we must consider that when making adjustments and changes between shots, lanes, etc.
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  5. #5
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    Yes topography absolutely affects modern bowling.

    Topography is how even or uneven the surface of the lane is and there can be high and low spots on different parts of the lane. This will naturally affect the bowling ball motion on whether the ball has to go uphill or downhill and even both depending on the lane surface.

    The only real way to overcome lane topography is to watch your ball reaction from release all the way through the pin then adjust accordingly to how your ball is reacting to the lane.

  6. #6


    Where I typically find myself bowling, the lanes seem to be well maintained and they oil them frequently. Not nearly as much dirt on the ball either. Keep things pretty clean.
    One place where I would go for coaching I found that the lanes there didn't hook nearly as well as my other house and I could never figure it out. Some of their lanes were a bit different with more reaction and I attributed it to how often they would oil the lanes. Never figured it out.
    After a couple of years of visiting there I heard that they were going to be working on the lanes for a couple weeks. Found out that they were shimming underneath to level things out. There was a crown in the middle of the lanes which kept balls from making a decent move towards the pocket which is what I had observed. Got out on the lanes and they were much more similar to what I'm used to. Interesting to say the least.
    Don't have more stories like that though...


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