How to Find Your PAP on A Bowling Ball

To find the Positive Axis Point (PAP) on bowling balls for straight bowlers, you can follow these steps:

What You’ll Need:

  1. Bowling ball
  2. Dry-erase marker or white tape
  3. PAP measurement tool (optional)


  1. Locate the Pin and Mass Bias:
    • Identify the pin and mass bias of your bowling ball. The pin is a marking on the ball’s surface, and the mass bias is another marker or indication placed by the manufacturer.
  2. Prepare the Ball:
    • Clean the ball surface thoroughly to remove any dirt or oil. This ensures accurate marking and measurements.
  3. Mark the Pin:
    • Using the marker or tape, mark the location of the pin on the ball surface.
  4. Find the Mass Bias:
    • Locate the mass bias mark on the ball. If it’s not visibly marked, you might need a PAP measurement tool or seek guidance from a pro shop or experienced bowler to identify the approximate position.
  5. Determine Your PAP:
    • Your PAP is usually positioned between your pin and mass bias. Use a PAP measurement tool if available, or follow these traditional methods:
      • Dual Angle Method: Requires drilling information from your ball. Using a dual angle layout sheet and measurements, calculate the PAP position.
      • Grip Pressure Test: Have a friend or pro shop professional watch your bowling grip and release. Observing how the ball exits your hand can help identify the PAP.
  6. Mark the PAP:
    • Once you’ve estimated the PAP position, mark it on the ball’s surface. It’s typically an individual’s preference or a bowler’s analysis that determines the PAP placement.
  7. Verify and Adjust (if needed):
    • Use the ball on the lane, observe its reaction, and adjust the PAP mark if necessary. Some bowlers experiment with slight adjustments to improve the ball’s performance based on lane conditions and their throwing style.
  8. Consult a Pro Shop (Optional):
    • If you’re uncertain or want more precision, seek help from a pro shop or experienced bowler. They might have specialized tools or techniques to precisely identify your PAP.


  • PAP identification might require practice and adjustment. It can significantly affect a ball’s reaction, so small changes can make a difference in your game.
  • For serious adjustments or fine-tuning, consider consulting with a professional or an experienced coach.

Remember, the Positive Axis Point (PAP) determines the core’s orientation concerning your release and affects the ball’s motion down the lane. Identifying it accurately can help in optimizing a ball’s performance to match your bowling style and lane conditions.

Some Mistakes You Want To Avoid

When it comes to bowling, avoiding certain mistakes can help improve your game. Here are some common mistakes to steer clear of:
  1. Gripping the Ball Too Tightly:
    • Holding the ball too tightly can affect your release and accuracy. It’s crucial to maintain a relaxed grip to ensure a smooth and consistent delivery.
  2. Incorrect Ball Fit:
    • Using a ball that doesn’t fit properly can cause discomfort and affect your performance. Make sure your bowling ball is drilled to fit your hand comfortably to avoid issues with control and release.
  3. Poor Footwork:
    • Inconsistent or incorrect footwork can lead to timing issues, affecting your shot’s accuracy and power. Focus on maintaining a consistent and balanced approach.
  4. Ignoring Lane Conditions:
    • Not adjusting your game to suit the lane conditions can lead to suboptimal performance. Pay attention to oil patterns, lane surfaces, and adjust your technique and equipment accordingly.
  5. Incorrect Ball Selection:
    • Using the wrong ball for the lane conditions or your playing style can hinder your performance. Understand different ball reactions and choose the appropriate one for the current conditions.
  6. Lack of Focus on Spare Shots:
    • Neglecting spare shots can significantly impact your score. Practice spare shooting to improve consistency and increase overall scores.
  7. Overthinking or Over-analyzing:
    • Overthinking each shot or obsessing over technicalities during a game can negatively affect your performance. Try to find a balance between strategy and instinct.
  8. Not Seeking Coaching or Advice:
    • Refusing guidance from experienced bowlers or coaches might prevent you from improving your game. Seeking advice or lessons can significantly enhance your skills.
  9. Ignoring Physical Conditioning:
    • Bowling can be physically demanding. Neglecting fitness and flexibility can lead to fatigue and affect your game. Maintain physical fitness to improve endurance and prevent injuries.
  10. Poor Mental Game:
    • Allowing frustration, anxiety, or distractions to impact your mental focus can affect performance. Developing mental toughness and a positive mindset is crucial for consistent performance.
  11. Not Understanding Equipment Maintenance:
    • Neglecting to maintain your bowling equipment, including cleaning the ball and adjusting its surface, can affect its performance over time. Proper maintenance can prolong the life and effectiveness of your gear.
  12. Rushing Your Shots:
    • Taking your time and maintaining a consistent approach is important. Rushing shots can lead to inconsistency and errors in your game.

By being mindful of these common mistakes and actively working to avoid them, you can enhance your bowling skills and overall performance on the lanes. Regular practice, self-awareness, and a willingness to learn and adapt are key to improving in the sport of bowling.

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