A Lesson in Proper Lane Management: Tough First Night to the Kegel Boardwalk Pattern Segment


Anytime you place a risk/reward proposition outside of most people’s comfort zones, crazy things can and do happen.

Such is the case especially when you look at how people of all skill levels attack the extremes: Shark (45’) and Cheetah (35’).

Despite Kegel’s successful formula of Pattern Length – 31 = Breakpoint Range to tell you where to play (or where not to play), most people will gravitate to the edge of their comfort zone without actually leaving it.

When that happens, you see many times lane transitions that end up less favorably than if everyone works together on the lane to “work it” in properly.

Last night was a lane transition clinic that showed both good and bad ways to get the lanes to be easier or harder very quickly.

Lanes 9-10 had three of five people playing the pattern correctly outside of 5 board, with a two-hander and another bowler opting for curving the lane to the hook spot.  Their transition was mild, but did offer some end-of-night challenges to those I spoke with.

Lanes 11-12 had two lefties and two righties bowling.  While the lefties tried working together, weaker equipment and a urethane ball on the high-volume Boardwalk pattern spelled doom for both players on the right side once the “hang” on the gutter and the “hook” left of 5 board developed.

A sure case of learn from your mistakes and change your attack strategy next week.

Then there was 13-14 where all four players played the lanes similarly and opened up the pattern to be very scorable.  While they tightened up initially, the hook spot opened up later and was a very defined place to play and almost no chance for the ball to sail into the gutter on anything but a horrible shot.

Looking at the collective pins-over-average by pair, it’s easy to see how each of the assessments above is true:

Lanes 9-10       -294 pins under average

Lanes 11-12     – 315 pins under average

Lanes 13-14     +64 pins over average

So goes the adage my Captain, Jeff Richgels, always reminds us of; when it counts, we live and die by how well the lane is managed to our advantage.

Then today I saw this video from USBC with Chris Barnes.  He tells about choosing a spot far enough right that provides consistent hook back to the pocket.  See that video here.

What doesn't get talked about enough is having your feet close enough to the gutter as well as your ball being closer to the gutter.

In a dismal night of scoring, only two people were over 200 average for the evening: Steve Richter 897 and Ben Cleveland 837.  And, there were only three people over average for the evening (two were on lanes 13-14); Sarah Paasch (+86), Steve Richter (+57) and Ben Cleveland (+49).

Understandably, Steve and Ben both lead the points race this segment with 45 each followed by Sarah (44), Paul Gloede and Joe Champeau (34).

To view a current standings sheet, click this link here.

We found a tutorial on how to better play the Kegel Boardwalk pattern, you can watch it by clicking the play button: