Are you a fairly new bowler who uses an alley ball or just has one of those plastic balls? Has your average improved only a little and you want to get your game up to the next level? Have you only been using a ball with a "Conventional Grip", or have you been working out and can now handle a heavier ball, or has the ball you've been using just not working the same as when you first bought it? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then it is time for you to purchase a new ball!
A new bowlers average will always improve because they usually don't know much about the game. Some of them may not want to spend a lot of money on equipment until they know they like the sport, which is quite understandable. But if you have been in the sport awhile and you are still using a cheap ball, you need to get yourself a better one that has some STUFF on it! Please re-read my blog post from 5/3/21 about bowling balls.
When you buy a new ball at the pro shop, the proprietor will customize the ball and drill it to fit your fingers perfectly which is usually free of charge. You can buy a discounted bowling ball online, but then you'll have to pay for the drilling and shipping anyway. I prefer to purchase it in the pro shop because I like to ask him/her questions and he/she may ask you some questions to have an idea on your bowling style and the type of ball you throw, so the ball can be properly drilled to perform the way you want.
As I have mentioned in several of my previous blog posts, using the same ball week after week helps with CONSISTENCY which will definitely help improve your average!
If you're at the point where you are getting all the basics down pretty well and your average has improved in the last few years, you may notice that the ball isn't performing the way it did when it was new. Buying a new ball will help you get up to that next level and if you really like the ball, buy a second one immediately if you can afford it. I loved a Storm ball I had bought years ago but then they discontinued it and I was disappointed because I couldn't buy another one. So I just wanted to give you a heads up about that not to make the same mistake I did. I think the best bowling balls to buy are the "Reactive Resin" type with a Weight Block inside which helps the ball to hook, giving a lot more action at the pins.
The heaviest ball you can buy is 16 lbs. If you feel that your ball is too light, then switching to a heavier one can get through the pins better and also have less pin deflection. You won't leave the king pin (5 pin) as often which will result in more strikes!
Also, just having another ball in your bag to assist you on different lane conditions is another good reason to purchase a new ball. When I was a beginner, I only used one ball that hooked for both my strikes and spares. I missed a lot of 10 pins and then decided to get a plastic ball that just went straight. My average went up about 20-30 pins a game because I just used that ball for the 10 pin and was making a lot more of them. So if you have a plastic ball now, keep it in your bag for the occasional 10 pin leave. Or if you currently have a ball that has a small hook, you can purchase a new ball that hooks more and use it for the first game when the oil is heavier, and then when the oil begins to break down, switch over to the lesser hooking ball.
Let's say you've been in a slump and have had the same equipment for a long time, you may want to treat yourself to a new ball, bag and shoes which may give you the boost that you need right now for a fresh outlook that would help you get out of that slump and make look forward to the league and practice sessions again instead of dreading them.
Buying a new ball has always been exciting for me. I may not get one as often as I should (because they are pricey), but you should be purchasing one about every 2-3 years (depending on how often you bowl), but you can prolong the life of your ball too if money is an issue at the moment (check out my blog post from 4/4/22).
A new ball may be a little frustrating in the beginning but just be patient with yourself. Take enough time to practice on how to adjust for the strike and spare from where you were standing with your old ball. Mark things down in your notebook and remember to feel confident before using it in your league play.
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Join me back here next week when I'll be discussing different finger positions you can try out in your practice sessions.
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
There are many words or phrases that are used to describe something, and Bowling has a whole vocabulary or jargon of its own. I'm sure if you've been bowling awhile you've heard most of these, but if you are still fairly new to the game or just starting out, you may want to check these out:
Alleys-- This is the place where the bowling games take place. It can also be referred to as the Bowling Center or Bowling Lanes.
Anchor Man-- Person who bowls last on a team.
Baby Split-- Those splits where there is just enough space for the bowling ball to fit in between the pins to convert the pins. Baby splits are the 3-10, 2-7, 4-5, 5-6, 7-8, and the 9-10.
Brooklyn--A strike or hit made on the left side of the head pin (1-2 pocket) for a right handed bowler, or the right side of the head pin for the left handed bowler (1-3 pocket).
Bucket-- The bucket is that difficult spare with four pins together in a cluster, either the 3-5-6-9 or the
Channel--The left or right side recessed area on the lane. It is also referred to as The Gutter.
Clean Game-- When you have no open frames, or all strikes and spares.
Didn't want to hurt the pin--What you may hear someone say when they just barely make a single pin spare.
Double-- Two strikes in a row.
Double Pinochle-- When you have the 4-6-7-10 split.This split can also be referred to as "Grandmas Teeth".
Double Wood-- When you have a spare leave that has one pin directly behind the other. These are the 2-8 or 3-9 spare leaves.
Dutch 200--When someone starts with a strike, then gets a spare, then a strike, then a spare and alternates throughout the entire game with that pattern. Or the game can begin with a spare, then getting a strike, a spare, strike, and alternating that manner. A Dutch 200 equals a score of 200.
Grandmas teeth-- Any of the larger splits, examples are 4-6, 7-10, or 4-6-7-10.
High-- Means your ball came up too much on the headpin (farther left than the intended 1-3 pocket).
Jersey--If you're from the east coast and a right handed bowler, and your ball crossed over into the 1-2 pocket, you would say you got a "Jersey Strike" or hit on the "Jersey Side".
King Pin-- Is what a 5 pin is referred to because without it's help hitting into the other pins, it would be extremely difficult to get a strike.
Light Hit--A first ball that barely touches the 1 pin.
No Tap-- A variation of bowling where a 9 count is the same as getting a strike. Some places have NO Tap leagues and some Bowling Centers have No Tap tournaments.
On The Over-- Is when the ball crosses over into the 1-2 pocket for a right handed bowler and you get a strike, or on the 1-3 side for a lefty.
Pit--The area of the lane in back of the pin deck.
Pocket-- Where you need to get the ball in order to convert a strike. It is the 1-3 pocket for righty's and the 1-2 pocket for the lefty's.
Ride The Rail--Going for a 7 pin or 10 pin spare and the ball rides along the lane closest to the gutter all the way down without going into the gutter.
Robbed-- Getting what looks like a beautiful pocket hit but not getting the strike. Someone may say "Call a cop".
Running-- When the lanes are hooking nicely and the strikes are carrying.
Scotch Doubles-- A type of tournament when two people bowl a game together alternating turns.
Soft Lanes-- Are high scoring lanes.
Sleeper-- When there is a pin in back of another one that is hard to see as in a double wood spare.
Split--On your second ball when the head pin is missing but you have two or more pins to convert with spaces in between them.
A Solid 2, 8, 3, or 9 Pin--When you hit what looks like a strike but one of these pins is still standing.One could say "I got robbed".
Stiff-- What the lanes can be referred to when there's a lot of oil on them and your ball is not moving or hooking much.
String--When you have more than three consecutive strikes. You may also hear this referred to as a four bagger (four strikes in a row), five bagger (five strikes in a row), etc.up to a perfect game which is 12 consecutive strikes.
Three Amigos--I made up this one, which is leaving the 2-4-5 pin spare or the 3-5-6.
Tight Lanes-- When there's a lot of oil on the lane and your ball isn't hooking very much.
Track--The area or path on a lane that is most often used.
Triple or Turkey--Three consecutive strikes (three strikes in a row).
Wash Out-- A split with the head pin still up (1 pin). Examples are the 1-2-10 or the 1-3-7 spares.
I am sure there are several more that are used, but these are the most common you'll hear at the lanes, especially in league play. Try to learn them so you can get in the loop of using them and understanding what someone means when they are using them.
Join me back here next week when I'll be discussing "When is it time to replace my bowling ball"?
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
As you know by now, every bowler that wants to improve NEEDS to go practicing at least once a week and should also be in a league that meets once a week. I know sometimes you can be too busy and can't always get to the lanes for a practice session, but if you are experiencing a slump, or are having problems with a few of the basics, or you want to get to that next level, you REALLY need to do your best to get that practice session in!
When I'm on my way to the lanes for practice, I think about the past week and how I did in my league play. If I had any specific issues, I will use a game or two in my practice games to work on that. If I did pretty well, then I will practice some of the basics that I have mentioned in several of my past blog posts. But I always try to have something specific in mind, otherwise I'll just be competing with the people bowling next to me, which is ok, but I don't really think you'll be improving on your own game.
Some of the things I like to do that you may want to include in your practice sessions are the following:
1. Learning Angles--
Stand on the 15th board as your starting point. Practice getting the ball out over the 1st or 2nd arrow to get a strike. After you get a strike, move to the left 5 boards with your feet and try getting another strike keeping the 2nd arrow as your target. Do it again and you will see how the ball deflects a bit more after it hits the pins. You may even leave a 5 pin because of the increased angle you are coming in at. To make up for the deflection, you will need to move to the right a few boards to carry the strike. Keep experimenting until you get a strike in the 1-3 pocket (move left for the 1-2 pocket if you are a left handed bowler). Now try moving to the left another 5 boards and see what happens. Since the angle is even larger, you might need to change your target to the 3rd arrow instead of using the 2nd arrow. Now try getting a strike by moving another 5 boards to the left until you are on the 35th board. Chances are that your target may have to be the 4th or the 5th arrow (counting from right to left for the righty's).
This practice exercise really helped me in learning angles and it showed that some angles are just too large and not effective without moving your target to the left as your feet move left. It's like doing a dance on the lane. Sometimes after moving left, the carry down oil changes the lane and you'll need to move back to the right side of the approach again.
2. Feeling the weight of the ball on the inside knuckles--
As I am holding the ball on the approach, I like to feel the weight of it on the inside knuckles of my pointer and middle fingers. Then on the release, I turn my hand and use my pointer finger like a gun and aim it right at my target. Make sure to fix your eyes on the target and don't look at the pins until the ball passes it to make sure you did in fact get it over your mark!
3. Sometimes when I'm getting splits, I realize that my bowling elbow is going out to the side for some reason. Practice making sure your arm and elbow stay close to the body throughout the pendulum swing, and that your elbow finishes up close to the head after the lift and release.
4. Practicing good rhythm is very important. I like to count my steps as I walk making sure I count the same each time and not too fast or slow. If your timing is off, it can throw off your whole game!
5. ALWAYS practice getting a good first ball! If you get it over your mark every time and your release is good, you should always have a strike or at least a 9 count which means you will get the best pin count on a spare and you'll have an easy spare to convert if you don't get a strike, which will add up to a great score!
6. Practice FINISHING IN A MORE UPRIGHT POSITION--
Getting a little more bend in the knee makes it easier on the back and it actually helps to be more steady at the foul line after the ball has been released. It also keeps your shoulders more square to the foul line and helps the ball to finish up stronger on the back end.
Don't forget to bring your notebook and write things down so you can review practice sessions from time to time. Remember to be patient with yourself and only learn a few things at a time. As you know by now, Consistency is key!! You're there to practice so don't worry about people around you and especially don't worry about your score!!
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Join me again in TWO WEEKS when I'll be discussing some of the terms used in Bowling! Have a fun and safe Labor Day week end everyone! See you then!
Good Luck and High Scoring!
A Duckpin Bowling Game is just another variation of the regular Ten Pin Bowling game we are all familiar with. It was invented in Baltimore, Maryland back in the early 1900's in a bowling, billiards and pool hall which was owned by John McGraw and William Robinson who were two baseball Hall of Famers from the Baltimore Orioles team.This sport is still very popular in Ireland, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Indiana, and Washington D.C. Duckpins was also a favorite game of the famous baseball player, Babe Ruth.
The pins are 10" high and about 2/3 the size of the pins used in regular Ten Pin Bowling, and the ball has no holes and is only 4 3/4" in diameter and weighs between two and four pounds.
Similar to Candlepin Bowling (mentioned in last weeks Blog Post), you get three tries to knock down all ten pins. If you get all the pins down on the first try, it is called a "Strike" which is marked by the letter "Y". You add whatever you get down on the next two balls with that strike like in Ten Pin Bowling. In the image below, you can see that there were strikes in the 4th, 7th, and 8th frame.
If you knock down all ten pins using two tries, it is called a "Spare". A spare is marked by a slash like in regular bowling " / ". You can see that there was a spare in the 5th frame down below. The slash can be marked in the small box or in the large box as shown. On a spare, you add what you knock down on the next ball. If you get down all ten pins after the three allowed tries, you will just get a total of 10 points for that frame.
A 300 is the highest possible score you can get in Duckpins and the current record is held by Pete Signore from Connecticut when he bowled a 279 in 1992.
There us a reset button near the ball return which you need to press after the three tries to reset the pins.There is also a pedal to step on the floor to clear any deadwood (pins that have fallen but remain on the pindeck) because deadwood cannot be used to help knock down other pins.
Based on the above paragraph, see if you can understand how the game was scored below.
Another version of the Duckpin Bowling was invented by William Wuerthele in Pittsburgh, Pa to increase the action and the scoring of the game. He placed a hard band made from rubber around each pin, and so the "American Duckpin Congress" was formed in the 1920's to govern the game. Later in 1945, the name was changed to the "American Rubber Band Duckpin Bowling Congress" and is affiliated with the "National Duckpin Bowling Congress". If you type in Duckpin Bowling into Google, they will give you names of places where you can give this sport a try. I tried it once and it was pretty challenging indeed. If you are ever visiting Ireland, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Indiana, or Washington D.C, please give it a try. Who knows, maybe you could tie or break the current record!
Join me here next week when I'll be discussing "What Can I Practice in Bowling?-Part 2
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
Candlepin Bowling is another type of bowling that you should try. It is very similar to the Ten Pin Bowling we are familiar with today and was started by a man named Justin White in Worcester Massachusetts back in 1881. It is still a very popular sport in California, the New England area, Canada, and Germany.
The main difference between Candlepin bowling and regular ten pin bowling, is that you get three tries to knock down all ten pins as opposed to two since the ball is much smaller, only 4 1/2" in diameter. The ball also has no holes in it for your fingers and the pins are much thinner, weighing about 2 lbs. 7 oz. each and 15 3/4" high.
When you knock these candlepins down on your first try, they are NOT cleared off the rack like in regular ten pin bowling. They remain on the lane to help you in knocking down the rest of the pins on the next two tries.
Candlepin bowling lanes have three sets of foul lines as opposed to the one in ten pin bowling. The first line divides the approach from the lane. The second is ten feet from that in the direction towards the pins which is called the "Lob Line". Your ball must come in contact with the lane before it comes to the Lob Line. If it hits the lob line or goes past it, then it's considered a "LOB" and if you knocked down any pins they will not be counted. The third foul line is 24" forward of the headpin and is called the "Deadwood Line". Any pins that have fallen in this area can't be played legally and are not counted in the scoring. These pins won't be re-set which can be to your advantage in helping you to knock down the remaining pins down.
A game of Candlepins is called a "String" and each string has ten boxes or frames. If you get all the pins down on the first try, it is called a "Strike". You will add what you throw on the next two balls just as in ten pin bowling. If you get all ten pins down after two tries, it is called a "Spare" and you'll add whatever pins you knock down on the next ball to that. If you take all three tries to get down all ten pins, that is called a "Ten Box" which is marked by an "X".
A Foul happens if a ball is thrown into the gutter, a bowler goes over the first foul line, or a ball lands on the lane passed the Lob line (second foul line). Fouls are always scored as a Zero-"0" and the pins will be re-set.
The scoring is done automatically nowadays but some of the Candlepins lanes are semi-automated and the bowler has to enter in the pin count and the machine will just add it up. Players can use a vertical sheet and add the totals from all the boxes to determine the score. The most points a frame can have is 30 like regular ten pin bowling. Here is a sample scoring below:
The right side of the sheet indicates the total scoring. The left side shows what the bowler did. So the "X" means that the player got all ten pins down in the three tries allowed. The fourth box down on the left shows a spare, meaning all ten pins were knocked down in two tries, and on the next ball he/she got a 9 count. So you would add the 9 + 10 to the 25 giving a total of 44 in the fourth box or frame. A strike was achieved in the sixth box (all ten pins were knocked down on one try) so on the next two balls another strike and a six count was gotten. So you add 16 + 10 for the strike to the 54 which equals 80 and so on as you can see. The final score was a 133 which is a fair score for Candlepins.
The highest score recorded to date is a 245 out of a possible 300. It was done in 1984 by Ralph Semb who is the head of the International Candlepin Bowling Association (ICBA). Then in 2011 his record was tied with a fellow named Chris Sargent in Massachusetts.
This is a fun and challenging game and if you are ever in a part of the country that has a Candlepin Center, please give it a try!! You may find another sport you love!
Join me back here again next week when I'll be discussing one other bowling game to try, "Duckpin Bowling".
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
If you're a new bowler, you may not have encountered any of these mechanical problems that can happen while you are bowling. If you've been bowling for awhile, then you have come across some of these that can be a real distraction. I feel they are worth mentioning so you will know how to deal with them for when and if they happen, they won't distract you and you can get back to focusing on your game.
1. Ball Getting Stuck in the Gutter (channel):
This usually doesn't happen during league time because people bowl somewhat decent and can throw the ball with enough force to make it go all the way down the lane and off the pin deck. But let's say you are bowling with your kids on a week end. Many young children just can't throw the ball very hard, and these lightweight balls don't end up going all the way down the lane and occasionally will get stuck in the channel. If it is close enough to the foul line, you can try to retrieve it yourself, but if you have to step onto the lane then, just go up to the front desk or buzz the intercom that contacts the person at the front desk, and ask them to have the mechanic help you. Just give them the lane number you are on and they should be able to help you within a few minutes. The oil is quite slippery on the lane and you could fall and possible get injured, so it's better to ask for help.
2. Pin Stuck in Gutter:
Some people just can't bowl when they see a pin in the channel because it can be a bit of a distraction. Again, go up to the front desk and give them the lane number you are on and they will have the guy remove it for you. If it's taking them too long to come over to your lane, then you or a team member can try to walk carefully on that area in between the lanes and try to get it yourself. Then you can just slide it all the way down the channel so the sweeper that clears the pins off the pin deck can get it out of the way. Or throw a ball in the gutter and let the ball take it all the way down the channel.
3. Ball Not Returning to the Rack:
Once in awhile a pin flys off the pin deck in such a way that it can get stuck in the area that the ball must pass through to be able to come back to the ball rack and blocks the ball from being able to return. If this happens, just inform the person at the desk. This has happened to me a few times over the years and to others. Sometimes your ball can get damaged from the machine, so when the ball comes back don't forget to check it over. If there are any chips that came out of the ball just let the proprietor know as soon as you can. Sometimes they will send you down to the pro shop and he can fill it in with some resin material and it should be fine.
4. Pins Falling Down from Pin Setter:
If this happens to you and it happened before you threw your first ball, just re-set the pins twice so it will be on the first ball when you go to bowl again. If it happened when you were going for your spare, then you will have to contact the front desk and let them know which pins were still standing so the mechanic can re-set those pins up for you. That's why it is important to know how the pins are numbered and if you didn't get a strike, know what spare is left up on the lane after you bowl. If the pins keep falling down, then the mechanic will have to fix the pin machine. Hopefully it will be a quick fix, but sometimes the bowling center may ask you to bowl on a different lane, or lanes if you are bowling in your league.
5. Pins are Not All Up There:
Get into the habit of making sure all TEN pins are up on the pin deck before bowling your first shot. If one pin is missing for example, it could interfere with you carrying the strike. If you throw your first ball and notice one or more pins is missing, it will be too late and you will have to accept what you get. You need to let a team member on yours and the opposing team know that a pin is missing before you bowl, and then just re-set the pins so you'll have a full rack.
6. Lane Break Down:
If the pins keep falling down, or the pinsetter isn't setting up all ten pins for a few frames, then you can request bowling on a different lane/s. This scenario does happen occasionally, even in the leagues. It can be extremely frustrating especially if you're on a roll and already have several strikes. When you must change lanes, they cannot set the score up from the other lanes you were on so you must start the game over again. They will give you practice time at least but the lanes may be totally different than the pair you were just bowling on. The thing is to NOT let it get you distracted! Just do your best to stay focused by keep your rhythm going, and making sure you are executing a good shot!
7. Slippery or Sticky Lane:
Sometimes you or a team mate may encounter something that makes you stick on the lane/s, or perhaps slide too much. The first thing to do is to check your shoes in case you stepped in some debris that carried onto the lane. You can go to the front desk and have the worker come over and wipe the approach area for you, especially if it's happening to several people. if it's something on your shoe, wipe it well with your towel and perhaps put a little "Easy Slide" onto the sliding shoe (check my blog post from 4/26/21 about the equipment you will need in bowling).
8. Sweep Accidentally Knocks Down Pins On Lane:
This is similar to #4 above. Make sure to familiarize yourself with how the pins are numbered on the lane so if it happens to you, you will be able to have the guys set up the correct pins that were up there. Again, use the intercom or go up to the front desk and give them the PIN numbers to set up and the lane number you are on. You can have a team member do this for you so you can immediately bowl as to not hold anyone up.
There may be a few others that you have encountered but I think I have covered most. Remember, most mechanical issues are usually a quick fix and just a temporary setback. Don't let it throw off your rhythm if you have to wait awhile for them to fix the lane. Just stay focused the best you can so you can keep bowling well. Don't let other people's complaining about it get to you!
Please review some of your notes you have been taking during your practice sessions and don't forget to do some of those bowling exercises I mentioned in my blog post from 5/17/21.
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Since it's summer and some of you take a break from regular ten pin bowling, join me back here next week when I shake things up a bit and introduce you to another type of bowling game you may want to try!
Good Luck and High Scoring
As previously discussed in prior blog posts, there is a Cranker style, Stroker, and Tweener style.
The last two styles a bowler may have, can fall in the category of either "Straight" or the "Back up Ball". I feel they are worth mentioning because I do see many a bowler with these styles and don't want anyone to feel left out.
4. The STRAIGHT ball goes in a straight line, just as the name implies. If you have trouble mastering wrist turning and getting "stuff" or lift on the ball, then you may want to develop this style. It is fairly simple to master and all you need to do is place all three fingers in the ball and let your hand stay in a "Flat" position at the stance, on the down swing, and then release the ball with NO wrist or arm turn. If a bowler starts in the center of the lane (20th board as you know) he would walk in a straight line with the shoulder finishing fairly square to the lane. The Straight ball is also the best for getting your spares because there is more accuracy in the Straight ball approach.
However because there is no hook at all on the ball, there will be more "Pin Deflection" and it will be a bit more difficult to get the strike. From my observance over the years, many bowlers with this style usually begin from the right side of the lane to help compensate for this deflection, and the squareness of the shoulders and hips will be in a line directly with the 1-3 pocket (1-2 for lefty's).
5. The BACK-UP style is when a bowler hooks the ball in the opposite direction of the norm. For example, when a right handed bowler throws a hook, it will hook toward the left into the 1-3 pocket. Bowlers who use this style begin and end the same way as the "Stroker" except will rotate the arm and bowling hand in the opposite direction and will use the 1-2 pocket instead of the 1-3 pocket. The ball hooks to the right.
After reading about these five different Bowling Styles, you can now place yourself into one of these categories. However, your BOWLING STYLE is still yours and unique because it's a combination of how high or low you choose to hold the ball, how you position your feet, the posture you have at the foul line, and what type of "stuff" you put on the ball. Some bowlers don't keep their knees bent the entire time they are walking along the approach for example, but can still have the Cranker Style.
My point is that you should pick a style that comes down to your own preference, comfort, and one that will get down the most pins as possible!
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I hope you have been practicing and doing those bowling exercises!!
Join me back here next week when I'll be discussing "Mechanical problems in bowling".
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
This Post is a continuation from my Blog Posts on 12/20/21 and 1/3/22. Please go back to review if you need to.
As previously mentioned and I'm sure you know by now, that there are many problems we may face during our bowling sessions. Here are a few more to be aware of:
9. Over Turning the bowling hand--
This can also be called "Topping the Ball". If you don't finish with a 10:00 or 11:00 thumb position on the release and you end up turning the ball with the thumb finishing at the 8:00 or 7:00 position (turning the hand too much to the left for a right handed bowler or too much to the right for a left handed bowler-4:00 or 5:00 position). This can also happen if you turn the entire arm instead of just the wrist. Over turning will cause a LOW AXIS TILT which leads to a loss of ball power at the pins, and a poor ball delivery onto the lane.
10. Trailing Foot too much to the Side--
This can also be called "Side Wheeling". Many right handed bowlers have their right leg extended out to the left side as a way to help with balancing the body after the ball is released (opposite for Lefty's). But if you do it excessively, it can cause a loss of balance because the body is turned too much and not able to face the target more squarely. It also causes the ball come to come around behind the body and the elbow ends up being too far away from the bowlers' side resulting in an over turn of the fingers (#9 above). If you feel that your body is not facing the target squarely, then have the trailing foot more in back of you instead of out to the side and place the non bowling arm out to the side to help with your balance.
11. Opposite of Side Wheeling--
Instead of the arm and elbow being close to the body on the back swing (which is the proper positioning), some bowlers tend to bend their elbow and swing the ball in an arc away from the body. In doing this, the ball will cross inwardly and after the release will cause the ball to finish to the left of the headpin instead of coming into the desired pocket area. When arcing, sometimes the arc may be done closer to the body and and other times may be further away from the body, causing inconsistency! This can also cause a bowler to "Top" the ball and causing a loss of pin action (#9 above).
12. Elbow Out to the Side--
If you find you are getting more splits than usual, having the elbow out to the side could be the culprit. This was happening to me when I was a beginner and I just couldn't' figure out what I was doing wrong. I decided to take a lesson with the pro shop guy and he could see right away what was happening. What helped me was to think of that area of my arm that is in front of my elbow to always be facing the pins as my arm was coming up after releasing the ball. When I did this, I never turned my arm out to the side again. I realized that the reason I was doing this was because I was trying to hook the ball with my entire arm, instead of just using my wrist, hand, and fingers to achieve the proper hook.This can also happen if you are trying to get the bowling arm around the body which is why I recommend holding the ball out slightly to the side instead of directly in front of the body at the stance.
It's important to practice good timing, footwork, and keeping the arm, hand, and ball close to the body with a good pendulum swing during your practice sessions. Remember, Consistency is the key!!
Join me back here again next week when I'll be discussing "What are the different types of bowling styles", a continuation from Blog Posts dated 1/10/22, 1/24/22, and 1/31/22.
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
Here are a few things I learned over the years that I want to mention to help you learn the game and improve more quickly:
1. For more ACCURACY or when there's not much oil on the lanes:
**Have a better follow through by looking another 6-12" past your normal target. This will make you reach out more.
**Use a slightly weaker release-lessen the lift and turning motion.
**Start a little father back on the lane which will increase your walking speed and thereby cutting down on the amount of hook which increases accuracy.
2. To help read the lane better, always start in your normal spot when the lease practice session begins. I always start in the center of the lane (20th board). Then adjust left or right from there, but only a board or two at most to start.
3. Determine at what point the ball breaks (starts to hook). If you slow down, the breakpoint will begin sooner. Each lane is slightly different so pay attention to each and make a mental note so you stand on the correct dot or board on each lane, and not visa versa. I've been on pairs of lanes that have varied by 5 or more boards.
When I was a beginner, I used to write on a piece of paper where to stand on each of the lanes which I kept in my pocket. I would check it when I needed a reminder to let me know what dot or board to begin on and which target to use for each lane in case I forgot. When the lanes changed and I made adjustments and make a note on the paper. There's a lot of things to remember when you first start out and by writing it down, it was one less thing for me to have to worry about.
4. As the golfer makes the mistake of looking up too soon, remember to keep your eyes on the ball until it goes over your intended target to make sure it is in fact doing that! There's plenty of time after it passes the target to look up at the pins.
5. Learn to bowl each frame SEPARATELY! Try to focus on good execution and follow through and do NOT think about the prior frame if you missed converting a spare. You should only do that immediately after you did it to figure out what you did wrong and what adjustment you need to make. Then leave it in the past since you cannot do that frame over again, there's no sense in dwelling about it. Remember, if you are worried about the past frame/s you won't be able to focus on the task at hand!
6. I found over the years that when shooting for strikes, it's best to aim from the foul line to the arrows and when going for spares, it's better to aim from the arrows to the pins (spotting farther down the lane helps with accuracy as mentioned above).
If you have extra time this week, go practicing and just have a fun time out bowling with the family, then you can show off how much you are improving! I am proud of you for sticking with me and I know how committed you are to get to that next level!
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Join me here again next week when I'll be discussing " What are the most common problems that can affect your bowling"-Part 3
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
Several years ago I read an interesting article in the US Bowler Magazine. The USBC Equipment and Specifications & Certification Team (ESCT) did an interesting study for a few years on why you sometimes get strikes when the ball is perfectly in the pocket and other times you get robbed. It basically involves pin carry, and bowling ball motion.
Since good pin carry comes down to angles, it's important for you to have a close eye on the ball! During the study, the ESCT used special studio lights and a high speed camera to discover where the bowling balls' precise entry angle and location was on the lane to acquire the most strikes. Write this down in your notebook because it really works! Are you ready?????
They said that strikes will occur most often when "the bowling ball enters the pocket on board 17 1/2 from the highest possible angle for the ball being used"! This below image I got from the article shows that the bowling ball is exiting the pin deck between the 8 and 9 pins slot which causes the greatest pin deflection. When the 3 pin hits into the 6 pin and the 6 pin into the 10 pin, you will get the perfect strike!
If your ball hits the pocket more to the right side of the headpin, it will keep deflecting to the right and exit the pin deck through the 9 pin slot as shown in the next photo. As you can see, the 3 pin is taking out the 10 pin instead of the 6 pin taking it out which is the correct way. (For lefty's, if you hit the pocket more on the left side of the headpin, the 2 pin will be taking out the 7 pin instead of the 4 pin taking it out. When this happens, you end up getting robbed and even though you hit the pocket, the strike may NOT carry.
Ball motion consists of three phases--Skid, Hook, and Roll. and NOT skid, roll, and hook as previously thought. In order for the strike to carry, the ball MUST be in its' "ROLL" phase as it enters the pocket.
If your ball appears to be moving left as it goes through the pins on a high pocket hit for example, then it is still in the "HOOK" phase. When that happens, you may leave a solid 9 pin or 4 pin spare or even a 4-9 or 7-10 split! If this happens, you need to CHANGE your ANGLE. If the ball appears to be deflecting to the right as it goes through the pins, then the ball was in the "Roll" phase too early leaving you with a 10 pin spare, 5-7 split, or a 2-4-5-8 bucket to have to deal with! If this happens, you'll need to adjust by moving to an area with more oil on the lane.
Train yourself to watch the ball carefully and follow its' path as it's going through the pins. Check to see if the ball is entering the pocket at board 17 1/2 and in the hooking phase. It's just a matter of having a "Keen Eye" and being more observant as the article points out.
Join me here next week when I'll be giving you some more"Good Tips" that will help you in improving your game.
Good Luck and High Scoring!
Hello!! My name is Joanie. Although I'm not a professional bowler, I have loved the sport for more than 45 years, averaged over 200 for several seasons, and learned quite a bit with research and experience.