Feb 282009

The Positive Axis Point (PAP) is probably the most important piece of information on a bowling ball that you can’t see. It can’t be marked by the manufacturer, because it depends on the bowler. It is the point around which the ball rotates after the release. Think of a tire, the axis is always the same, because of the two dimensional nature of the tire. But on a bowling ball, your release dictates how much side roll and forward roll the bowling ball has.

Most drilling layouts today reference the PAP. You layout your bowling ball by placing the pin a predetermined distance from your PAP. But if your PAP is different from mine, the pin may end up in drastically different location.

 Posted by at 11:09 pm

  24 Responses to “Talk Bowling #15 – How to Find Your Positive Axis Point (PAP)”

  1. "Ten pin" bowling pins are 15 inches tall, 4.75 inches at their widest point and may weigh from 3 lbs. 6 oz. to 3 lbs. 10 oz.

    When I first started bowling they could be as light as 3 lbs. 2 oz. I miss those things!

  2. Hey Guys keep them videos coming i look forward to in every friday. I have a question i remember you talking about this before but i cant seem to access the video it wont load for me. Any who I was wondering about the pin 1-5 inch does it matter how long it is? Im planing on getting a new ball and was wondering what a good pin is to get.
    Thanks again

  3. Hi David,

    Yes, you can find your PAP from the track on your bowling ball. We only showed one way of doing it in the video, for people that do not have access to pro shop supplies such as grease pencils.

    The other way to find the PAP is to trace the flare ring the is closest to your thumb hole, not the middle of the flare. This ring should be the track the ball starts on and then flares from there.

    Once the track is marked, you have a couple of options. 1) Put the ball in a ball spinner and try to get the line to rotate horizontally. Then tap a grease pencil on the very top of the ball. This is your PAP. 2) The other way is to draw three or four lines perpendicular to the tracing. Where all of these intersect on the opposite side of the ball is your PAP.

    Hope this helps…


  4. Re: Changing the surface of the ball, you are only allowed to use non-abrasive polishes. Some polishes do have abrasives, and those are not legal to use after the first ball of competition has been thrown. Near the bottom of the page at http://www.bowl.com/specs/ballCleaner.aspx is a section titled "Products Containing Solids or Abrasives". These are not allowed during competition, and include many polishes.

    Another clarification for readers who may be wondering "How late is too late to change surface?" You can change the surface of your ball until the first delivery has been made for competition. This means that you can still sand the ball after practice, but before the first ball has been thrown (by anyone). But, if you're the anchor, you can't sand after the first bowler has thrown.

  5. i was wondering what your rev rates and ball speeds were. i am 14 and my ball speed is only 14 mph…..is that too slow? i am doing a project for my school and i need to find my PAP……what is the easiest way to do that?

  6. hi…. this is paul again……….i am averaging about 205 right now, and i am looking for another ball for heavier oil…….what would you suggest? my ball speed is about 14, and i have a rev rate of i would guess about in the upper 200-low 300 range.

  7. hi…..i noticed that yours and a lot of other peoples PAP's were always over and then up…….i haven't measured mine, but is it bad if it is over and then down? if mine is down… does that mean that the rotation/rolll that the ball has needs to be changed?
    thank you

  8. Hi, I have been bowling for awhile just for fun and have decided to take the next step and get my own ball. Can I find my PAP with a house ball? thanks jay

    • Yes, you can but it is best to buy your own. We did but it has been a long time and not sure what track we left it on. Really need to find our key and then we could unlock our connection right for bowling perfect strike ! hope this helps you!

  9. I have a PAP that is 3 1/4 and 1/4 up. What kind of layouts would work for my PAP. I have a lower track.


  10. JEM and JEM we have a good average at bowling sometimes but it is a game that needs precision,wow, could my Dad play it and now my Pop, he never played but this just doesn't point right, it feels like we are paying for someone else to hook on our PAP way of bowling, just not fair. How do we point to strike right every time and bowl a perfect game? Does anyone know? Actually 3000 feet would be to big of a bowling area but ha ha ha what the hay? We could try it flying in a balloon around the PAP and then get proper direction without someone else stealing our point we do not mind helping people but why should we pay for their direction point and let them play free?

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