Anyone can throw a bowling ball down the lane, but those who know how to apply LIFT and TURN simultaneously and properly, will be the ones with the highest scores and averages! The two work together to create PIN ACTION!
Lift is an UPWARD PRESSURE that is applied to the ball by pulling the two middle fingers toward the palm just at the moment of the ball release. In order to do this properly, you need to lift the fingers just as the thumb is coming out of the ball, not after the thumb has left the ball, when it would be too late. You shouldn’t break the wrist too much (when it’s slightly bent down) or you won’t be able to apply the proper lift. Lifting needs to be done when the ball is at the bottom of the downswing, which will enable you to apply the maximum amount of finger pressure onto the ball. At the point of release when the fingers are lifting, the elbow needs to be slightly bent which will give some extra power behind the ball.
If you hold your ball with your palm flat at the stance (thumb at the 3:00 position and the pinky at the 9:00 position on a clock face) and keep it that way throughout the downswing and on the release, the ball will have NO TURN. Turn is motion from the hand and wrist toward the pocket area. We need to produce some TURN because this will get the ball into the proper position when we release it. When SIDE ROLL takes over SKID, the ball will begin to HOOK. Turning your hand and placing it in different positions at the point of release, can create more pin action. There are several ways people TURN the hand in order to achieve good pin action.
Try not to TURN your hand too soon because this may limit your ability to LIFT properly. Your timing (having the arm and feet in sync with each other) is extremely important.
**LIFT and TURN work together to put extra REVS on the bowling ball.
Practice LIFTING just as you begin TURNING the ball, and then lifting the ball a split second after you turn it, to see what these minor adjustments can do.
Sometimes I’ve held my thumb in an 11:00 position at the stance, on the down swing, and on the release. Even though I didn’t turn my hand at all, the ball hooked because my palm wasn’t FLAT, it was sideways. If you want to try a CRANK or very large hook, try holding your thumb at the 10:00 or 11:00 position at the stance, then TURN OUT (turn the hand to the right for righty’s) to the 4:00 thumb position on the back swing and then back to the 10:00 or 11:00 position on the down swing and release. This will also put more REVS on the ball giving a bit larger hook on the ball and more action at the pins.
Have fun experimenting with them and try using them on different lane conditions in the league when you feel confident with the results from your practice sessions.
Join me next week when I'll be talking more about "What Do I Need To Know About Bowling"-Part 5. I hope to see you then.
Good Luck and High Scoring!
Years ago when you went to the lanes to bowl for fun, practice, or just being in a league, they only gave you a piece of paper with lines and a pencil to keep your score. Now they have computers that do it for you automatically. All you need to do is type in your name in to the computer and once you start bowling, the computer will keep track of the score. I am sure by now, you have a basic understanding of how the scoring works. If you don't, it's still important to learn how to score to be able to spot check and make sure the computer score is correct. Even though it's all computerized, it can make an error, and sometimes pins may fall from the machine and you will have to know how to make the correction in the computer.
There are TEN FRAMES to each game. When you knock all ten pins down on the first ball that counts as a “STRIKE” and is marked by the letter "X". Two strikes in a row is called a “DOUBLE”. Three strikes in a row is called a “TRIPLE” or “TURKEY”. The name is believed to have come from years ago. If someone got 3 strikes in a row in a tournament they would give out a turkey for a prize. Four strikes in a row is called a FOUR BAGGER or FOUR TIMER, Five strikes in a row is called a FIVE BAGGER, and six in a row a SIX BAGGER, etc. The person with a record of the most consecutive strikes thrown is Dan Gleiter and Tommy Gollick with 47 each!
The most strikes you can get in a single game is 12 which is a PERFECT GAME with a score of “300”. It is also sometimes referred to as a “Dinosaur” or “Dirty Dozen”. The person on record for the most 300 games bowled is “Ferro Williams” having bowled over 135 of them!! The most 300 games thrown in a row was done by Glenn Allison.
If you get a strike on the incorrect side (or in the 1-2 pocket area for Righty’s or 1-3 pocket for Lefty’s), it’s called a BROOKLYN STRIKE. If you throw what looked like a perfect strike but left a 7 or 10 pin, then you were “ROBBED”!
When you get a strike, you add those 10 pins to whatever you get down on the next TWO balls. Use the scoring sample below to follow how to score:
In your first frame you get a strike and then you get another strike in the second frame. Then in your third frame you get 8 pins down. You need to add the ten for the first strike, ten for the second strike, and the eight and you’d have a score of 28 in the first frame. Now you get eight pins down and you picked up those last two remaining pins on the second shot. That would be considered a “SPARE” which is designated by a slash /. You must add the 10 pins from the strike with the next two shots (8 + 2) which would give you a 48 in the 2nd frame.
In the 4th frame the scoring shows that you got 9 pins down on the first shot so you add that to the 10 pins total from the 3rd frame (19) and add that to the 48 giving you 67 in the 4th frame. You did not pick up the spare which is a MISS and marked by a slash " - " which is considered an "OPEN FRAME. So you would add 9 to the 67 giving you a total of 76 in the 4th frame.In the 5th frame, you crossed over the foul line which is considered to be a "FOUL". This is marked by the letter "F" and the pins you knocked down were not allowed to be counted. Then on your second shot you knocked down 8 pins. Just add the 8 to the 76 giving you an 84 in the 5th frame. In the 8th frame, you had a "SPLIT" which is indicated by a circle. Now that you have an idea of how the scoring works, you should be able to figure out the rest of the scoring with the above information.
Always try your best to get a good first ball, so you’ll get a strike or at least an 8 or 9 pin count. Then you'll have only one or two pin spare to pick up and you’ll always get a good pin count for that double or spare. If you get less than 5 pins on a spare, you’ll leave yourself a more difficult spare to pick up, and you could possibly chop or miss it completely. Before I got much better at bowling, I got a lot of 6’s and 7’s on my spares. If I had gotten 8’s or 9’s instead, my score would have been much higher and we might have won more games that had been very close.
If at any time you should throw the ball in the channel, it’s considered a GUTTERBALL. If the ball goes into the gutter first but pops out and hits any pins, they will NOT be counted in the score.
If after you throw your first ball and you’re left with a spare that has a space between the pins and the head pin (1 pin) is NOT there, as you know is called a“SPLIT” and is marked with the number of pins you knocked down with a circle around it.
When you get to the tenth frame of the game (last frame), if you should get a strike(as shown in the scoring sample above), you get to throw two extra shots as a BONUS.
If you should get a spare in the tenth frame, you get to throw one extra bonus shot. When bowling first started, you were allowed three tries to knock down all ten pins, but many people were able to do this too easily, so to make it more
challenging, they shortened it to only two tries.
In league play, always try your best to get the most pin count on your spares. Let’s say for example that your team and the opposing team are tied up in the tenth frame. The anchor man (the team member who goes last) gets a split with 3 remaining pins, but tries to make the split for a sure win but only gets one of them instead of trying to get the two easier ones, and the guy on the other team also gets a split in the tenth frame but picks up his two pins. Your team will lose that game by one pin, so it’s always best to try and get the most pin count if the game is close, rather than trying to show off and end up losing a game by a pin or two!
A “DUTCH 200” GAME is when you get a strike, then a spare, then a strike, spare, etc. alternating through the entire game. Or you could start with a spare, then get a strike and alternate that way. If you get all spares and all 6’s on the spares, that will equal a game of 160. If you get all spares and 7’s, that equals a 170 game, all spares and 8’s a 180, and all spares and 9’s will be a score of 190.
If you miss a spare and have an open frame, then you must throw a Double (two strikes in a row) to make up for that open frame.
To bowl a 200 game, you need to get all your marks plus at least one double, and to get a 210 you need all your MARKS (strikes and spares) plus a triple (three strikes in a row). If you can’t get a triple but you get two doubles in your game, that is equal to a triple. To get a score of 220 you need to get all your marks plus a four bagger (four strikes in a row), and so on.
If you get all your marks and have no open frames, it is considered a “CLEAN” GAME.
At the end of a league bowling session, each game will count for 1 or 2 points depending on what your league votes on. The team that knocks down the most pins for the three games, will get an extra POINT or two for "TAKING THE WOOD".
The score that is the most rare to get in bowling is a 292. It’s not likely that you would only get 2 pins after throwing the first eleven strikes in a row.
Check put my ebook available on Amazon/Kindle--"Let's Rev Up Those Bowling Scores"!
Join me here next week when I’ll be discussing "What is Lift In Bowling and Turn"?
Good Luck and high scoring!!
Continued from August 30,2021 post:
19. After releasing the ball, try to think of your forearm going up towards the ceiling to insure getting a good LIFT on the ball.
20. As you lift up your arm after the ball release, try to FEEL the elbow through the line of your target.
21. Don't try to flick the ball on the release, just feel a nice SMOOTH PENDULUM SWING bringing your arm up towards the ceiling with a good FOLLOW THROUGH.
22. Keep your head STILL and FRONTWARDS, not sideways, and KEEP your EYES FIXED on the TARGET for a few
seconds. It's the same way in golf. People tend to look at the fairway immediately after they swing at the ball. But you need to keep your head down and eyes fixed on the desired target, otherwise how will you know if you really hit the correct target if you are looking at the pins instead?
23. Most bowlers hold the ball out directly in front of them and then have to push it out slightly to the side of their body to allow for body clearance so they don't hit the body on the downswing. Sometimes the bowler may go out more to the side than other times and we want to be as CONSISTENT as possible. The best way to avoid being inconsistent is at the stance. After you are set up on the approach, swing the hand holding the ball slightly out to the right side (for righty'y and to the left for the left handed bowler) to allow for body clearance. Keep the ELBOW somewhat CLOSE to the BODY and then you will always put the ball out to the same amount by doing this before you begin the walk on the approach.
I know there has been a lot of information here in parts 1-4 on the important things to remember, but you can review them the day before or on the day of your league so you can refresh your memory about these important BASICS. The more you remember, the more you can incorporate into your game, and the better your bowling is going to be.
Most of all, don't forget to have FUN! Sometimes there are so many things to think about at once, it becomes difficult. If this happens to you, then only work on one or two new things at a time in your practice sessions . As you become better at these, they will become what's referred to as "MUSCLE MEMORY" and you'll only have to concentrate more on the TARGET and the ADJUSTMENT you need to make as the lanes change.
Join me next week when I'll be explaining "How To Keep Score in Bowling".
Good Luck and high scoring!
When holding the ball at the stance, there are basically three wrist positions a bowler can choose from and use throughout the pendulum swing:
1. Using the Broken Wrist Position:
* Will put less SKID and more ROLL on the ball.
* Will transfer more of the balls weight to the fingers letting the bowler apply the necessary LIFT giviing ball more
action at the pins.
* You need to stay focused to be consistent and break the wrist the same way each time. You can break the wrist
slightly more when dealing with tight (oily) lanes, but if the break is too extreme, then the ball will not be in the
correct position at the end of the swing. It will place your fingers too much at the top of the ball, instead of
underneath, and you won't be able to lift with the fingers properly. The balls' weight will also be shifted on the thumb
causing the ball release to be too early or too late.
2. Using the Straight Wrist Position:
* Is the most popular wrist position bowlers use.
* Will keep the proper position of the ball throughout the swing.
* The easiest of the wrist positions to maintain and execute. If the ball feels too heavy, use a wrist supporter as
previously discussed in the "Equipment" Blog Post from 4/26/21.
* Keeps the fingers under the ball to be able to execute proper lift.
3. Using the Cupped Wrist Position:
* Allows the hand to move more strongly under the ball, which produces more Skid Force. Skid Force allows the ball
to travel a bit further down the lane before it starts to break (hook). This wrist position helps you to score higher on
dry lane conditions (when there isn't much oil).
* Produces a low effective roll that will help with pin carry.
* Requires a powerful forearm and wrist, or the strain of holding the ball in this position may cause your hand to turn
slightly to the left (for right handed bowlers), or to the right (for left handed bowlers. It can also cause you to move
your elbow and arm away from the hip too much (to allow for the proper body clearance) which would restrict a
good pendulum swing.
* Does restrict the use of a wrist supporter, depending on which type you like to use.
**One can say that there is really a fourth wrist position if you use one of the "O'Clock Positions I spoke about throughout my Blog.
As I have previously mentioned if you think of the face on a clock, for a right handed bowler, a 10:00 position would mean that your thumb would be pointing at the number 10 and your fingers would finish up at the number 12 on the release. You can use a 9:00 position or an 11:00 position too. Your wrist would be sideways as if you are shaking someones hand. You can use these at the stance and hold this position through the pendulum swing and through the release or start with a flat hand and on the downswing turn your wrist and finish up in the 9, 10, or 11:00 position.
Which wrist position do you use? If you haven't tried all of them, go practicing and give these a try to see how they can affect your ball's reaction on the lane. I know I keep saying this, but do keep notes on what you discover and practice them often so you can use them at any time during your league play when lanes are changing and nothing else is working.
Join me here next week when I'll be discussing more on "What Do I need To Know About Bowling"?-Part 4 See you then, and have a great week!
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.